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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default battery life???

Ok, here's the problem: I bought three tools, an 18V Li-ion hammer drill, an 18V Li-Ion drill and a 18V Li-Ion impact driver. I have four batteries and I use two of the devices constantly, the hammer drill and the impact driver. I have two different pairs of batteries, one pair is twice the size of the other and I've used them constantly. The smaller pair I relied on when the big ones needed charging. However, it wasn't long until the small ones stopped holding a charge. I had them replaced. However, in spite of them being guaranteed for life, I don't want to be replacing them constantly.

Do you have any method that you use to get the most out of your batteries? Any tips on regenerating the batteries over time?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 06:19 AM
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Hey Ron, I have several cordless tools as well, Dewalt and Milwaukee, sounds like you have Ridgid. I can't directly answer your question, but can tell you some other stuff;


1) Don't let your batteries freeze, or leave them in a hot vehicle
2) I know a guy with several crews and they invested heavy into Ridgid because of the lifetime warranty. They now regret this because even though replacement is FREE, the batteries don't last. Sorry.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 07:47 AM
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Heat kills batteries. Make sure that they are not left on the charger unless it is a 'smart' charger that won't allow them to overcharge/overheat.

Since each battery is comprised of a bunch of cells, and no two cells are exactly the same, make sure that when you start to notice the battery performance start to drop off while using the tool you recharge it right then. This usually means one or more of the cells are discharged. If you keep pushing the tool, you can cause the remaining cells to work harder and get hotter, shortening their life.

LiIon tools don't have to worry about a memory like the old NiCads, so don't be shy about recharging them.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 09:10 AM
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The worst thing you can do to a LI battery is run it out completely, it internally damages the cells. When the tool shows any sign of slowing down, swap batteries. Some tools, like my Festool drill, monitor the battery and shut down when the current level drops. Your tools may not do this.

In general, LI batteries have a spotty track record so far for service life. That's why most manufacturers warranty the tool far longer than the batteries.

From the description, it sounds like you have a Rigid tool. I've heard that getting a new battery under the lifetime warranty is a pain, you can't just walk into your local Home Depot and exchange it. Is this true?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp91 View Post
each battery is comprised of a bunch of cells, and no two cells are exactly the same
Festool is the one exception to this rule. They actually hand-match the cells in each pack to give the same discharge cycle.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Cliff:

Quote:
The worst thing you can do to a LI battery is run it out completely, it internally damages the cells. When the tool shows any sign of slowing down, swap batteries. Some tools, like my Festool drill, monitor the battery and shut down when the current level drops. Your tools may not do this.
That's exactly what my Ridgid tools do. They quite literally quit. Drilling a series of holes, first few no weakening, suddenly, battery change.

Quote:
In general, LI batteries have a spotty track record so far for service life. That's why most manufacturers warranty the tool far longer than the batteries.

From the description, it sounds like you have a Rigid tool. I've heard that getting a new battery under the lifetime warranty is a pain, you can't just walk into your local Home Depot and exchange it. Is this true?
Ok, a bunch of stuff here. In all fairness, it is not right that one just walk into Home Depot and expect to swap out batteries. It is possible that the problem is not the batteries but the device or the charger. Thus, they request that you bring in the tool, batteries and charger to the repair centre, _not_ the store. They will check out the tool and the charger before replacing the batteries. I have had one pair of batteries replaced.

For me, this is a learning experience. These batteries behave differently than any other's that I've had. By your council, I now expect to modify my battery use and charge weekly. I have numbered them 1 through 4 and will cycle them in that order but be sure they are charged more frequently than actually used.

Thanks for the input. Anyone with other suggestions/experiences?

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 05:37 PM
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hi ron

i had several drills. my favorite was the dewalt, but i then bought a ridgid drill and impact driver mostly for the lifetime warranty. the drill had the auto drive feature.

after using the ridgid for a while, i saw it just didnt compare to the dewalt. now my thinking on the lifetime warranty has really changed. i feel like i want a tools that works flawlessly a lot more than i want tool that doesnt even if it has the ridgid warranty.

ive just recently bought another dewalt and am delighted to have a nice drill again.

this is just my opinion and experience.

p.s. the dewalt batteries seem to have a much longer life than any batteries ive ever used.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 07:12 PM
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I will 2nd your post Levon........

===

Quote:
Originally Posted by levon View Post
hi ron

i had several drills. my favorite was the dewalt, but i then bought a ridgid drill and impact driver mostly for the lifetime warranty. the drill had the auto drive feature.

after using the ridgid for a while, i saw it just didnt compare to the dewalt. now my thinking on the lifetime warranty has really changed. i feel like i want a tools that works flawlessly a lot more than i want tool that doesnt even if it has the ridgid warranty.

ive just recently bought another dewalt and am delighted to have a nice drill again.

this is just my opinion and experience.

p.s. the dewalt batteries seem to have a much longer life than any batteries ive ever used.



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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-30-2010, 07:28 PM
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I will third (3rd) levon's post
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-31-2010, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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I'm ecstatic that you're happy with your tools. I have a huge problem with the Black & Decker family of brands. They took $20M from Canada to operate a factory here. They took the money, shut the R&D and factory in Belleville down and immediately ran back to the US. Since then I don't trust anything related to the B&D label, including Delta and DeWalt. They have to be very deeply discounted for me to consider them.

That said, I'm quite happy with my little Ridgid impact driver, hammer drill and drill and I'm quite happy with the service.

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