Battery Life

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Forum topic by lab7654 posted 12-06-2012 03:27 AM 915 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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266 posts in 2241 days

12-06-2012 03:27 AM

I find such a variance in the lives of batteries that I own, and I’m wondering what your guys’ experiences are. Which batteries have served you the longest, and which the shortest? 2 out of my 4 Ryobis are completely shot, and the other 2 only hold a charge for a few screws in my impact driver. On the other extreme, my dad has a pair of Sears/Craftsman 12v batteries and a drill that have lasted 16 years and counting. I find the fact that they still hold a charge unbelievable, and the charge they hold lasts surprisingly long.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

5 replies so far

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5688 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 05:03 AM

I have a set of Makita lithium 18volt batteries that are exceellent. I have used them extensively for over 5 years with no problem.

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10377 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 12-06-2012 05:58 AM

Keeping the discussion to Nicads:

1. Ryobi batteries suck. Actually they are ok but they don’t last,
but they used to be cheap to replace so the Ryobi 18v
format wasn’t a bad deal when the batteries were $39 a pair.

2. heat smokes batteries, and the heat buildup in an 18v pack is
a lot more than that in a 12v pack. That’s why the lower
voltage packs sometimes go for years and years while the
18v and bigger ones die.

3. heat smokes batteries so if you put a hot battery on
a charger, you’re burning it up. Let nicads cool for an hour
optimally before charging, especially larger packs because
the heat takes longer to dissipate.

4. Some brands are definitely better with the NiCad/NiMh battery
technology than others. Panasonic has a rep for being

Lithiums are a different discussion and for a lot of users
they are the way to go. They have a rep for lasting 2
or 3 years, then they quit, so plan on replacing the
battery every few years regardless of how much you
used it. You’ll find that lower voltage formats (like
12v) make some sense when you figure in how light
weight the new drills are, the impressive torque and
runtime, and the lower cost of battery replacement.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

375 posts in 3077 days

#3 posted 12-06-2012 11:05 PM

Battery life also has a lot to do with the charger. A smart charger will revert to a trickle charge after the battery is full. Cheap chargers stay at full current and overcharge the batteries, reducing battery life. The quality of many chargers seems to be really bad, since many manufacturers compete entirely on price. This is one area where Li-ion batteries excel. They must have intelligent chargers.

One other thing that is really hard on batteries is letting them discharge and sit for extended periods of time uncharged.

-- Steve

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2099 posts in 2183 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 12:15 AM

I think these cordless tool manufacturers use the same strategy as ink jet printer manufacturers. Their real money is in selling you batteries, so why would they make them to last.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2630 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 12:22 AM

I’ve had my Makita lithium batteries for about three years and they have started to crap out recently. With that said, they have lived a prosperous life and I have no gripe with them.

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