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“One piece doesn’t make statistics”. Rawlplug’s strength tests of mechanical and power tools

3 min
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There is one common rule: always be testing!

In part one, we wrote about our strength tests for plastic and metal fixings as well as for bonded anchors. In the case of mechanical tools and power tools, the question of strength is equally extensive, although its testing is based on slightly different principles.

There is one common rule: always be testing!

Expert: the correct answer is “it depends”

The topic of the strength of hand tools, power tools and their accessories is like two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, it’s about the resistance of the respective tool to wear and tear as a result of the work performed and the impact of external conditions, and on the other hand, it’s about what the device can do in the tasks for which it was designed. One thing is certain: when asked whether a tool passed its strength test, we have one answer that’s always correct, namely ‘it depends’.

Jarosław Bednarczyk

Product Management Team Leader

What does it depend on then? The answer is: on the factors related to the way in which the tool is used. Take a drill bit for metal, for example. Its strength, namely the ability to drill a certain number of holes, is always specified by the manufacturer for ideal conditions. These conditions include the type of material to be drilled in, the supporting substrate, the rotational speed, the drilling depth, or the presence of coolant. While they are negligible in occasional home use, they assume key importance at the construction site. At the same time, it is precisely at the latter, where a lot of drilling takes place and where it is done rapidly, that the ideal set of conditions is kept least often, as dry drilling is most frequent, and the rotational speed is often high and does not match the drill bit diameter, which leads to a substantial reduction of the latter’s service life.

Hands-on, practical tests

How do we test our tools? 

At Rawlplug, we attach great importance to practical tests allowing us to see how a tool performs in the applications for which it was designed. We test it in various applications, looking at how the machine performs in terms of time and functionality. Such strength tests are considered to have a positive outcome if the machine circuitry responds correctly, signalling the limit of usability, or cutting off the power supply in situations going beyond the intended use. If smoke starts coming out of the motor when a screw is being driven, the device simply fails the test, as its continued operation would result in an irreversible breakdown.

Jarosław Bednarczyk

Product Management Team Leader

It is worth mentioning that a key term in the case of power tools is service life, i.e. the assumed period over which the machine is expected to remain fully functional and safe to use. Although there is no legal obligation to set such a parameter for power tools used at construction sites, such as rotary hammers or nailers, manufacturers assume intervals at which specific device components should undergo maintenance or be replaced to ensure full functionality of the machine.

These are just some of the elements of the tool tests which constitute a fixed part of the process of improving existing products, developing new ones, and having them approved for use. We have different sets of tests for various products, adapted to the specific items and their intended use.

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