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Cordless tool battery charging

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by bonkerrs, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Anyone know anything about NiCad batteries in power tools?

    I'm thinking about buying a timer to switch on the powerpoint to charge a couple of NiCad batts (cordless drill and electric blower). Just wondering if I should charge once a week for 2 hours or leave it longer then charge for longer. I really don't use the cordless drill much at all, could go over 8 months without use. But hate it when I want to use it and there's no charge!

    Some questions...
    Do NiCad batts hold charge for long?
    Do NiCad batts get damaged if charged regularly?
    Do NiCad batts have cut off if overcharged?
  2. * no. never tested length of charge personally, but i would say no more than a week or 2 before it's stone dead. usually only a few hours when in use.
    * no, but they only last X number of charges. brand and quality of components suggest that despite all NiCad batteries being essentially the same, they're really not, and some can last years with constant use and some can last one charge.
    having said that, it could be the constant use which keeps them usable
    * that's to do with the charger, not the battery

    NiCad really is dino-tech in this day and age, we've gone through NiMH we're onto Li-ion now, but for some reason power tools have stayed with NiCad
  3. from what I know (which is minimal), rechargeable batteries will not last long if you keep running them till they are dead. If your power tool seems to have lost it's power, don't continue to run it till it is dead, instead recharge it. This will keep the battery lasting longer (so I have found). Also continuous charging can also damage it unless your charger turns itself off once the battery is full. So once fully recharged, let it sit, if you don't use it for say a couple of weeks, then charge it for an hour or 2 before use.

    TheForgotten, my Bosch cordless drill runs off a Li-ion, and the battery life does last longer with it compared to my older cordless.
  4. If they are NiCads and not NiMH or LI ion. To get the best life it is best to have low charge rates. I assume your charger is a fast charger because most designers design so that equipment can be re-used as soon as possible. Fast charging reduces life on NICads so my advice would be short period charging twice a week.

  5. I have one of those power-drill / screwdriver removable and rechargeable power packs. From a full charge I have never used it enough to run it down.
    But if I leave it out overnight still plugged into the drill, its flat by morning.

    So I started to leave it charging all the time... but it would stay there for months without use... staying charged, until I needed it for all of 5 mins. Seemed like a waste.

    But if I don't keep it charging, its always flat when I need to use it, and can't be stuffed waiting 24 hours for it to be charged enough to use it. I need it now.

    Kinda of damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
  6. If your battery dies overnight, I'd say it might be dying. I have left 2 batteries sit for a month or so and after testing them on my drill, they both still had power. I then gave them both an hour charge before use and they worked for an hour or so before they turned weak.

    But I do know what you mean in regards to wanting to use it for 5 mins only to realize the battery is out of juice.
  7. Looks like the timer has decided for me. Once a week for 45 mins, it only has a 7 day cycle. Right or wrong, I like the idea of the batt only needing a quick top up once a week to be read for short periods of work (which doesn't happen as much as it should!!)