Cordless Technology Penetrating New Power Tool Markets

Global demand for electric power tools is forecast to rise 3.4% per year to $28.1 billion in 2024, according to a new Freedonia Group analysis:

  • Despite a sales decline in 2020 due to reduced construction and manufacturing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, demand will begin to recover in 2021 as these industries return to growth.
  • The ongoing shift to cordless electric tools will enable particularly strong gains for these products.

Cordless Electric Products Increasingly Penetrating Professional Markets

In 2019, cordless products accounted for only 38% of electric tool demand in professional markets, compared to 55% in consumer markets. Professional users typically have more demanding performance requirements in terms of power and run times, which has slowed their adoption of cordless tools.

However, technological advances – particularly in battery capabilities – are quickly eroding the performance gap between plug-in and cordless tools, and professional users are expected to rapidly shift to cordless products as performance improves. Between 2019 and 2024, cordless products are expected to account for 81% of professional electric tool sales growth, as they rise to account for 45% of demand in this market.

Cordless Technology Reaching New Product Types

In addition to market-based variation, the prevalence of cordless electric technology varies widely by product type. Historically, drills have been by far the most likely to be purchased in a cordless version. In high-income countries, cordless products already accounted for as much as 90% of electric drill demand in 2019, leaving limited room for further growth. Cordless saws are also fairly common, although plug-in variants remain more purchased.

Penetration of cordless technology has been particularly low for sanders, polishers, and grinders. These products tend to be used in ways that require long run times, and cordless products typically run out of battery charge too quickly. However, that has begun to change, and cordless versions of these products are expected to rise to a 22% share of sales in 2024 after being below 1% as recently as 2009.

Want to Learn More?

Global Electric Power Tools, a spin-off of Global Power Tools, is now available from the Freedonia Group. This study examines global supply and demand for electric power tools. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 are provided for power tool demand by product and market on a country-by-country basis.