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To Keep Charging or Not to Keep Charging

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Forum topic by andy_P posted 05-15-2016 09:06 PM 819 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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andy_P

353 posts in 2672 days


05-15-2016 09:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Many years ago…..maybe six… I won a Coleman PMB 8131 18V drill set. I have long since lost, misplaced or , heck, maybe I ate the documentation. I realize this is not an upscale battery powered drill, but it has actually out lasted my Mikita (battery replacement was prohibative). I’ve tried to find a definitive answer on the internet, but am constantly being stonewalled by caveats and “CYA’s”.

Does anyone wish to offer a definitive answer to: Should you leave a NiCad battery in the charger for extended periods of time? While you are at it, how about Lithiums…..I’ve seen both sides of the coin here too.

I’ve always thought that the answer is “no”, but I have run into the problem of the battery being run down by time and when you need it, you have to wait for it to charge. It really would be great to just leave the battery in the charger and pull it out when needed.

I hope this is not too much of an elementary question.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.


18 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#1 posted 05-15-2016 09:20 PM

Does anyone wish to offer a definitive answer to: Should you leave a NiCad battery in the charger for extended periods of time?

Depending on the charger, the answer is either absolutely not – or – no more than a few days if it’s a trickle charge type. See here for more information: BU-407: Charging Nickel-cadmium (Battery University).

A standard NiCD battery in a modern charger typically only takes about an hour or so to charge, so for me, it’s not a big deal to pop it in and then go do something else while I’m waiting. If I plan on using it for a while, I’ll pop a second battery in after the first one is charged just in case. Also usually not a problem as I use my drills quite a bit, so I always have a charged battery on hand. All batteries will self discharge, so regardless of battery type, if you only use the tool infrequently, you will have the same problem (dead battery when you need it). The advantage to NiCD is that they have twice (or more) service life and are a fraction of the cost of the others.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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Alongiron

571 posts in 2157 days


#2 posted 05-15-2016 09:36 PM

I have 2 craftsman drills that use these type of batteries. I have had the same batteries for 5 years. I will run the batterie completely dead and leave it on the charger until The other one is dead. According to my information with craftsman, the battery will be fully charged in one hour and once fully charged will automatically go into a trickle charge. I have not really noticed a decline in the life of the battery before having to recharge. Take care my friend! Steve

-- Measure twice and cut once.....Steve Lien

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andy_P

353 posts in 2672 days


#3 posted 05-16-2016 07:23 AM

Hello, Steve. Hi, Brad. Thanks to both of you for your input, but it looks like it really depends on the charger. I have noticed that the battery charges fairly quickly, so the idea of waiting a short while might be the answer…..just keep doing what I am doing right now.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3941 posts in 1957 days


#4 posted 05-16-2016 10:53 AM

No! While it’s true that it depends on the charger, no sense in taking a chance. I left my battery in the charger from my first cordless drill. One day (apparently) the battery shorted and the charger heated it to a very high temp. I discovered it and threw the whole thing away, but I believe it could have started a fire had I not lucked onto it. To keep your batteries topped off, put them on an electronic timer programmed to cycle on for about 2 hours each week. I’ve been doing that for over ten years, and it even works well with the newer batteries (NiMH and LiON). Your spares are always ready for use when needed.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Clarkie

380 posts in 1305 days


#5 posted 05-16-2016 11:09 AM

I have always kept one battery in the charger and left it on 24/7. This has been going on for the past three or so years, and when I run the battery down in the drill or other tool the one in the charger is ready to use. When the battery powered first came out, I did have a problem with the charger and the battery blew up, but since then have been told by the company to leave them on the charge. For the first few days it was like going out and leaving the coffee maker on, when you get back, you have hot coffee though for some reason we feel the maker should be unplugged.

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EEngineer

1061 posts in 3078 days


#6 posted 05-16-2016 11:31 AM

It really does depend on the charger. If the charger is designed to drop to a “trickle charge” then batteries can be safely left charging for the most part. Unfortunately, in order to save cost, most chargers sold with tools do not do this.

Also unfortunately, I have seen all too many failures like Fred Hargis mentioned above. My chargers are all on a timer that automatically shuts off after a maximum of 4 hours. If I am using the devices, it is no big deal to reset the timer for another 4 hours. But if I leave the shop, the 4 hour limit eliminates the chance of a failure starting a fire!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1834 days


#7 posted 05-16-2016 01:12 PM

I’ve been using my DeWalt 18v NiCd XRP batteries in my drill and impact driver for over 5 years now (purchased March 2011). Now, I may only use them once or twice per week on light tasks, but there have been some more demanding carpentry tasks tossed in over the years. The charge definitely doesn’t last as long as it did when they were new, but for things like drilling/assembling pocket screws and such, the charge outlasts the 1 hour it takes to charge the second battery.

I’ve always left one on the charger (the manual states that this is good practice, the charger has a maintenance mode that kicks in) and one in the tool. When the one in the tool seems like it’s running down, I’ll swap them out.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Roger

19878 posts in 2268 days


#8 posted 05-16-2016 01:32 PM

I have always charged the batteries when needed, then I take them off the charger. Having 2 per tool helps. One is always available. Just my 2-cents

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View andy_P's profile

andy_P

353 posts in 2672 days


#9 posted 05-16-2016 03:49 PM

I never thought of the timer idea. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

I’ve looked high and lo for a manual or info sheet on that drill. I think it has not been offered for quite some time and a Google search has failed to show anything other than eBay offerings. Soon….I don’t know what the manufacturer suggested. The timer should cover all the bases.

Thanks again.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

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andy_P

353 posts in 2672 days


#10 posted 05-16-2016 06:58 PM

Just a quick follow up. I finally located the original instructions that came with the drill on line.

They definitely say that the battery should not remain in the charger. A three to eight hour charge after noticing a reduction in performance is what is recommended.

I think it is definitely time for a new drill….............any suggestions?

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4226 posts in 1663 days


#11 posted 05-16-2016 07:29 PM

I think it is definitely time for a new drill……..........any suggestions?

Maybe not what you were looking for, but check your local CL for deals. I needed a new charger for my Makita, so started looking around… and for $35, I wound up with another Makita drill, two flashlights, four battery packs, two chargers and a carrying case. The older 9.6v and 12v Makitas turn up all the time for pennies on the dollar, and replacement battery packs, if needed, are also dirt cheap (and have more capacity than the ones originally shipped with the tool).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

816 posts in 363 days


#12 posted 05-16-2016 07:35 PM

I charge and keep charging until I hear, I’m sorry sir but that will not clear at this time. :>/

I love my little Dewalt “compact” 20V Lithium Ion Drill. I leave the battery in the charger until the other goes dead, been doing this practice for a little over 3 years. Just now starting to notice batteries not quite lasting as long, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

424 posts in 589 days


#13 posted 05-16-2016 08:08 PM



I charge and keep charging until I hear, I m sorry sir but that will not clear at this time. :>/

I love my little Dewalt “compact” 20V Lithium Ion Drill. I leave the battery in the charger until the other goes dead, been doing this practice for a little over 3 years. Just now starting to notice batteries not quite lasting as long, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

- jbay

I leave one in the box at all times (Dewalt not only says it’s ok, they advise it). I still haven’t moved beyond 14.4 because they work and the “kits” were cheap for the old versions as the technology moved ahead. I got to skip the 18v phase…now seems that 20v or now 24v is the key but the kits are priced about the same as the old stuff. I like the Dewalts (liked my Bosch also but that charger died and I can’t find a replacement plus I think the batteries are getting close to “recycle” time). Waiting to see if we get to the point where a limit will be established where I can find the tool, 2 batteries and the charger for much less than the price of 2 batteries.

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Mainiac Matt

5993 posts in 1793 days


#14 posted 05-16-2016 08:21 PM

I think the answer is “it depends”

In general, it’s never a good idea to leave any battery on trickle charge for an extended period of time, as batteries need to be cycled (discharged-charged-discharged-charged, etc…)

But… many of the better brands have electronically controlled “smart chargers”, which will shut off the trickle charge, prevent charging of a hot battery, etc..

I’m guessing that the DeWalt has a smart charger.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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andy_P

353 posts in 2672 days


#15 posted 05-16-2016 09:40 PM

Thanks for all the ideas.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

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