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Why O' Why can't/don't power equipment manufactures

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Forum topic by Jack Lewis posted 09-21-2017 02:32 PM 2952 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jack Lewis

208 posts in 917 days


09-21-2017 02:32 PM

Why O’ Why can’t/don’t battery powered equipment manufactures smarten up and use the same battery in their tools just like flashlight manufactures do. Granted there are different sized batteries, “A”, “AA”, “AAA”, “D” but all “AAA” equipment uses the same “AAA” battery size/shape/recharger. Sure, 18v/20v batteries should be different than 60v just the same as 110v electric plugs are different than 220v plugs. The same should hold true for tool batteries. Let them maintain sales on the merits of their tool and battery instead of the shape. A car battery charger will charge any car/boat/truck battery without discrimination or restriction and they still are manufactured by many companies. I would like an answer from a manufacturer a logical reason besides PROFIT.

-- "Now we are getting no where, thanks to me"


32 replies so far

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PPK

870 posts in 648 days


#1 posted 09-21-2017 02:50 PM


I would like an answer from a manufacturer a logical reason besides PROFIT.

- Jack Lewis

There you have it… I don’t think there’s any other answer.
I’ve had the same consternation.

Although one small matter I’ve considered: the new lithium ion batteries nowadays are “smart”. They communicate with the tool to tell if too much current is drawn/how much heat, etc. and shut the tool down at times. I suppose if there was generic sizes, there would have to be a generic “battery data” system too. Not that this couldn’t be overcome, I mean we have full-blown operating systems (like microsoft or android) that multiple manufacturers of devices all use, so I’m sure its very possible.

-- Pete

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Rich

1984 posts in 428 days


#2 posted 09-21-2017 02:55 PM

Agreed. There’s no reason they couldn’t just standardize on something like an 18350 lithium ion cell and make their battery packs simply be carriers for the cells. Another benefit would be that when a cell died, you would replace it, not the whole pack.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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DS

2824 posts in 2259 days


#3 posted 09-21-2017 03:03 PM

Unfortunately the answer IS only about profit.

Firstly, there are no industry standards for these new batteries.
Second, there is no incentive (profit motive) for them to come together on a standard.
Third, the batteries are a wear part that can be sold again and again, whereas your tool is a one-time sale. And since they are the only ones making batteries for their tools, the markup (profits) are usually higher on them. (A monopoly, of sorts)

If you take one apart, inside they are made with basic standard sized cells just like the AAA, AA, C and D sizes (plus a few special lithium sizes like 2/3 A, etc.)

Regarding “smart” batteries, yes, they have special circuits that prevent damage during recharge cycles, but, these use the same basic electronic circuits made by only a few major manufacturers. Technologically speaking, it would be a simple thing to do to standardize them – Marketing-wise, political-wise and economic-wise, a very complicated thing to do.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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PPK

870 posts in 648 days


#4 posted 09-21-2017 03:06 PM

Ah yes, and it would even level the playing field and curtail all the false advertising:
Such as the DeWalt “20 volt” verses the Milwaukee “18 volt” (that low and behold all use the same cells inside the battery pack)

-- Pete

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DS

2824 posts in 2259 days


#5 posted 09-21-2017 03:11 PM

One technical hurdle is that due to the high current capacity of lithium cells, they are usually impedence matched within a pack. Otherwise, some cells will empty before others and the pack will not be fully utilized and some cells are stressed more than others, reducing life cycles.

I’m not sure if this is still an issue today with more modern battery technology, but at least a decade ago, it was still an issue.
So, individual cell replacement is slightly more complicated than with an alkaline battery where relatively small impedence differences aren’t significant.

You would have to replace the cells together for a pre-matched pack of cells.

EDIT: (Or, have standard impedence values for cells and replace the one dead cell with a matching value replacement cell, I suppose)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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MagicalMichael

71 posts in 355 days


#6 posted 09-21-2017 03:18 PM

Because when we come out with a new model we can discontinue the old battery. What do you think we’re dumb or decent or something!

Michael

-- michael

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rwe2156

2716 posts in 1319 days


#7 posted 09-21-2017 03:20 PM

Not only that, but the batteries change with each new model.

But I like what many manufacturers are doing by making batteries universal across their own tools.

Sorry to say, DS is right the only reason its their way of you buying more but you have throw out a perfectly usable tool.

The batteries and chargers are so expensive it is more cost effective to throw it away and buy a new kit.

Appliance manufacturers do the same thing. Most of them are on borrowed time after 5 years according to my repairman.

I think it all goes to a mentality of “cheap & Chinese/throw it out and buy new”.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View tmasondarnell's profile

tmasondarnell

62 posts in 1628 days


#8 posted 09-21-2017 05:41 PM

As others have said, it is all about profit.

Profit in selling you the battery replacement, but locking you into the eco-system.

If I am looking to buy a cordless saw, most likely I will buy the same brand as my other cordless tools because the batteries will be interchangeable.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

9633 posts in 3486 days


#9 posted 09-21-2017 06:06 PM

You can buy replacement cells but the savings
isn’t that dramatic over OEM replacement
packs in many cases. The power tool makers
have economy of scale on their side. Adding
contacts and metal casings to cells would increase
their cost and add weight to a power tool as
well.

If you don’t like the cost of battery packs, take
a look at the 10.8v systems. They use a simple,
inexpensive triangular battery pack. Also the
shape helps the batteries cool easily so the packs
should last awhile like the old long-handled
Makita drill packs would.

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Rick_M

10638 posts in 2218 days


#10 posted 09-21-2017 06:20 PM



I would like an answer from a manufacturer a logical reason besides PROFIT.
- Jack Lewis

Profit is the sole reason companies exist. You know that.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DS's profile

DS

2824 posts in 2259 days


#11 posted 09-21-2017 06:24 PM

A few ways that a standard comes about:

1) Competing companies try to outsell the other one for dominance. The non-selling version goes away and the dominant one becomes the defacto standard (And very wealthy to boot). e.g Blueray vs HD-DVD. We all know who won that one. The IBM PC is another one. Interestingly, the better product doesn’t always win – the better marketing usually wins in this model.

2) Industry committees such as IEEE are convened. Composed of representatives from Manufacturers, consumer groups and Engineers, they arbitrate standards for a couple of years and come to an agreement to build things to a certain specification. Wi-Fi and USB to name a couple.

3) Governments decide it is in the public interests to create standards for the nation and they regulate the industry to comform to those standards. Electricity distribution (AC current), the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), TV broadcast standards (HDTV, NTSC, ATSC) come to mind.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4762 posts in 2332 days


#12 posted 09-21-2017 07:40 PM


I would like an answer from a manufacturer a logical reason besides PROFIT.
- Jack Lewis

Profit is the sole reason companies exist. You know that.

- Rick

Exactly! If there wasn’t a profit motive, there wouldn’t be any of those tools…..what would we cuss then? ore importantly, how would we do some of the things we do?

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

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

4698 posts in 1559 days


#13 posted 09-21-2017 07:43 PM

They almost all use 18650 cells but as others have stated, it’s all about profit! The only exception (that I’m aware of) is Ryobi which has pledged to maintain the battery/tool interface indefinitely. Given they are the only ones to promise this, it’s huge. I wish more manufacturers would step up to the plate and do the same.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#14 posted 09-21-2017 08:08 PM

Some people talk about profit like it’s a nasty, horrible thing. There’s nothing wrong with profit or an excess of it. Who is anyone to decide what excess really is, or if it really even matters? If you don’t like what a company charges, let your wallet do the talking. Shop elsewhere and the market will decide what stays and what goes, that’s the beauty of our economy. You’re not forced to buy anything…..except healthcare, but that’s an entirely different subject.

There’s not a person in here who doesn’t have a job because of profit. No profit = no business = no jobs.

View DS's profile

DS

2824 posts in 2259 days


#15 posted 09-21-2017 08:46 PM



They almost all use 18650 cells but as others have stated, it s all about profit! The only exception (that I m aware of) is Ryobi which has pledged to maintain the battery/tool interface indefinitely. Given they are the only ones to promise this, it s huge. I wish more manufacturers would step up to the plate and do the same.

- bigblockyeti

The only problem with such a pledge is that new innovation makes older versions obsolete.
Do you remember NiCad?
Who knows what the next new technology will bring in batteries – Lighter, smaller, more energy.

The old systems could render the product noncompetitive after a while then your pledge is worthless.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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