At the beginning of the year I posted a survey on 18-volt tools and within a month had received 880 responses. I began by asking which of 16 trades best describes the work you do. The top answers were as follows (click the links below to see the results for those particular trades).

(The rest of the list can be found in the chart at the bottom of this page)

Next I asked the following multiple-choice questions:

  • Which 18-volt tools do you currently own?
  • Which do you wish you owned (that you don't own now)?
  • What is your favorite brand of 18-volt tools?

The survey was set up so answers could be separated by trade. Out of 880 people who completed the survey, 326 identified themselves as remodelers. The tables below contain their responses.

It came as no surprise that drill/drivers top the list of cordless tools already owned by remodelers. That's the first cordless tool most tradesmen buy and the first most tool companies make.

The ownership rates for wood cutting circular saws, recip saws, impact drivers, and hammer/drill drivers are high and nearly identical. Odds are many of these tools were purchased in combo kits, which would explain why their ownership rates are almost the same.

I didn't expect quite so many remodelers to have 18-volt flashlights or work lights, but then I remembered that throwing a light into a combo kit is an inexpensive way for manufacturers to boost the number of tools it contains. Presumably, it’s easier to sell a four-tool kit than a three-tool kit, even if tool number four is not that great.

I was surprised by how many remodelers already have jobsite radios and by the percentage who wish they had cordless jigsaws. Cordless jigsaws are the number one item on remodelers' wish lists.

One of the more interesting items is near the bottom of the list—heated jackets. They’re a relatively new product and until about a year ago only Milwaukee offered them. Now you can get them from Bosch, DeWalt, and Ridgid. And Makita is offering them in Europe so I would not be surprised to see them here in time for next winter. Demand for this product seems strong; almost four times as many remodelers say they want heated jackets as already own them. If we were to conduct the same survey a year from now I’d be willing to bet that far more than 3% of remodelers will say they own heated jackets—especially after a winter as cold as this one has been.