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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Lithium ion batteries

I have several cordless tools. While I look forward to the improvements in the lithium ion batteries, I really don't want to have to go out and buy a whole 'nother set of cordless tools for the new batteries. Do you have any ideas about whether or not the tool companies will make the new batteries fit and work the older tools? I just wonder how much this is all going to cost me.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 01:44 PM
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As far as I know there are no Lithium upgrades for previous models. I doubt the companies would do that, they want to sell their tools and will all have new lines built around the batteries. Maybe I am wrong but I really doubt it. Milwaukee was the first to use this techonology I think about 2 years ago and now everyone is making a lithium line. I will just wait for the prices to drop in the next couple of years. The best thing about this is how long a charge will last.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 03:37 PM
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Drick,

I can guess that aftermarket battery companies like ATBATT.com or Batteries.com will come up with aftermarket solutions. They now offer a NiMH version of the old 9.6v makita battery instead of the old NiCad versions.

In laptops, they've pretty much come up with LiIon batteries to replace all of the OEM NiMH batteries.

With all of the quality cordless tools out there, there will be enough market for replacements and upgrades for a LONG time. Check the sites every so often, you might catch a deal for a particular tool you have.

http://www.atbatt.com/product/6631.asp

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 04:04 PM
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Lithium Ion batteries can be dangerous. If you've never seen one puff up and spontaneously combust (I have) while being charged..... it's a sight to see. They burn VERY hot and I know of at least one car and one garage lost by fire from a Lithium Ion battery burn.

NOW.... that being said, I will also say that most of these batteries were NOT encased in a hard shell. To use them in tools they'd be in a hard shell. THey have MUCH better output than NiCad or NiMH batteries. I still have NiMH batteries and the LIons run circles around them. Lithium Ion batteries typically need a different kind of charger than NiCad and NiMH. I have one charger for NiMH and NiCad (I don't actually HAVE any NiCads any more) and a completely separate charger for the LIons.

Tools would almost certainly be using multi-cell LIons and when charging, they have to be carefully balanced between (among?) the cells that make up the battery.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 05:27 PM
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Drick, I would not worry about the cost of changing over. Properly cared for your batteries will last you a long time. I still use original nicad's in my 9.6 volt Makita tools. I have only had one wear out and replaced it with the nimh. I have 7 battery packs, 5 chargers, 5 drills, a sander, jig saw, 2 flash lights and a grass trimmer. I know the newer tools last longer on a charge and are stronger but I can run non stop all day long with what I have. In case nobody ever told you there is a reason most cordless drills come with flash lights. Once your battery is too weak to run the drill you install it in the flash light and it will finish draining the battery fully. It is important to completely cycle the old batteries from full to dead to help maintain the cycle duration. If you follow this tip your batteries will last longer and run longer each charge. Keep an eye open for duplicates of your tools at flea markets and garage sales. Getting extra parts, batteries and chargers cheap is always worthwhile.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2006, 06:32 PM
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Technology is a wonderous thing. You shouldn't have any worries about cost or switching over. I do agree with reikimaster, before going with the newer stuff, learn up on it first before deciding to make the change over. Also, Mike has a very good point, always keep several extra batteries an chargers. After 10 yrs with my craftsmen cordless drill, I've finally had to replace both batteries within the past 2 yrs. I figure I got my $$$ worth outta 'em.

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