Power tools can be quite an investment,and the batteries that run your power tools can be expensive as well.Brand name power tool battery replacements can frequently cost as much as the tool itself,especially for models that have changed over time.It can be easy to dismiss the importance of a high-quality battery in the functioning of your cordless tools.As it turns out,however,a good battery is just as essential to a cordless tool as a healthy armature or motor.
Battery technology has significantly advanced since the introduction of cordless power tools; since the development of the Nickel Cadmium (NiCad),power tool batteries have evolved from NiCad to Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH),and most recently to lithium-ion battery (Li-Ion) technology.Nickel Cadmium batteries were the first on the market for cordless power tools and though the technology is older,it is still very reliable. NiCads are less sensitive to adverse temperatures and have a high recharge cycle,meaning they can be charged and recharged repeatedly for a long period of time.NiCads are also less expensive than NiMH and Li-Ion batteries.
On the down-side,however,NiCads tend to suffer from battery memory effect.This occurs when a battery can no longer accept a complete charge because it had been repeatedly charged without first being fully depleted.As a result,many European vendors won’t sell NiCad batteries.The NiCad’s negative effects on the environment,in fact,cause them to be heavily taxed outside the U.S.A.It seems the battery “remembers” how much energy it has discharged,and only wants to accept back that much energy from charger.The element Cadmium is highly toxic making it the most harmful battery to the environment.
NiMHs are lighter than NiCads but they are far more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures,in fact,NiMH can’t work in below freezing temperatures (32 degrees Fahrenheit and below) and they degrade very quickly in intensely high temperatures (105 degrees Fahrenheit an up).Nickel Metal Hydride batteries run on a higher amperage than NiCads,because of this,they also have a longer run-time.Although the NiMH has a longer run-time than the NiCad it doesn’t accept as many charges.NiCad and NiMH batteries do have very similar overall lifespans but NiMH has a larger energy storage capacity.
A high energy density means that the Lithium Ion has a superior energy to weight ratio storing more energy for their size than most other batteries.Lithium Ion batteries have a higher energy density than most other rechargeable batteries.Li-Ions have a very slow self-discharge rate meaning they retain their charge for much longer.Most rechargeable batteries significantly deplete as they are disengaged,the slow rate of charge-loss in Li-Ions,however,allows them to maintain most of their charge for longer periods,even on a shelf in your shop or garage.
Li-Ions maintain their charge for much longer and have continuous max power throughout their energy discharge cycle.Other batteries consistently lose power as you work. There are many benefits to working with motor lithium battery from their light-weight,to their long run-time.Li-Ions are light-weight,and have a huge storage capacity,this means you now have a lighter,more efficient and powerful battery without the bulk.Lithium Ion batteries are by a landslide the least detrimental to our environment,and for many reasons they are the favorite of most craftsmen.
The Li-Ion has a built-in chip that protects the battery from over and undercharging,and ensures it has a longer life.This computer chip,however,doesn’t allow the battery to continue accepting charge once its energy level has dropped below a certain point.There are,however,some disadvantages to cordless power tool batteries.Li-Ions are a bit more expensive.The complexities of production (in circuitry) accounts for this price difference.Li-Ions also rely on this circuit to stay cool.Since Li-Ions lose charge so slowly,and the battery and charger communicate so well together,it’s fairly simple to keep Lithium Ions temperate and at a safe charge level.