Cordless power tool batteries deteroriate with time?

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Most manufacturers will state that the life of batteries in terms of the number of charging and discharging cycles. I remember reading from somewhere that rechargeable batteries has a shelf life even when the batteries are not used.
For e.g., when the batteries are not being used, they will still be "dead" say after 24 months or so. I also heard that for infreqently used rechargeable batteries, it is necessary to store them at a very low temperature (about 10 deg. C) in order to to prolong the shelf life.
I intend to buy a cordless screw driver mainly for use in driving screws on cabinets, walls etc. And I will use it only about 3 to 4 times per year. And if the batteries really have shelf life, it would not be econimcal. Would it be better to get the corded tool instead?
Thanks!
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Just to clarify what I said:
For e.g., when the batteries are not being used, they will still be

The "dead" means it cannot be recharge or revived again.
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a1esta wrote:

Self discharge is through the internal resistance. Warm temp. makes the chemicals more active. There are many different kinds of rechargeables. They have individual charge/discharge characteristics.
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a1esta wrote:

Battery technology keeps changing. My experience tells me that current batteries are good for maybe 3-8 years total time if treated well.
In your case I would suggest making a plan to recharge them on a schedule maybe every two or three months. Letting them totally discharge is not good.
--
Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

I use almost all corded tools, having tired of batteries dying at the worst possible time......
usually their capacity just gets less over time accelerating near end of life, about 3 years for most battery packs today.
comanys should be required to make them accept standard cells for easy replacement
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supposed lifespan. If you use them once in a while, or don't deep-cycle them, expect them to die young. I have exactly one rechargable tool at home, a 24v drill that I bought on sale (and on impulse) and like for small jobs, but realistically I almost never work far from an outlet. At work, I am Mama to about 100 rechargable walkie-talkies (real ones, like cops use), and I only get 2-3 years out of the batteries, because I can't get the users to deep-cycle them. When they are at their desks, they leave them in the charger, and the battery exercisor can only do so much once they stop holding a charge. And these are fancy supposedly memory-resistant batteries, about 60 bucks a piece. If I ever replace this analog system with a trunked digital, I'm gonna hang a dozen gang chargers on the wall by the coffee pot or something, so they can't help but drain them.
But having said that- rechargeables are a whole lot better than they were 20 years ago. In an earlier life, I took pictures, and had several rechargable flashes. Under occasional use, they all died in a year or so. My current grab-first camera is a digital, and it holds a charge unused for at least a month, where the old stuff would drain down in a couple days.
aem sends...
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My first Makita 9.6V stick lasted 10 years when used daily,6095DW drill,light usage,but daily,charged when drill speed began to drop.The next stick only lasted a couple of years because it got very infrequent use.
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Jim Yanik
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Batteries have improved, but they will still deteriorate over time. Keeping them cold is not going to help in the long run. In your situation, it is difficult to monetarily justify a cordless tool knowing you will never get full value of the batteries. If you get three to four years out of them, you'd be about average, longer is a big plus. Only you can put a value on the convenience of cordless.
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After my Makita 7V went bad I bought the 9.6V Makita the batteries seemed last at best 2 years I did use it a lot. After that I bought a Dewalt 14V they said the batteries could be charged about 1200 times. well I'm a little over two years no where near 1200 and they charge but don't last long. So hear I am again $50 for each battery or a whole new set up. I also think Dewalt tools are way over rated. But now I just read about a new design drill. what's deferent it has a electrical type cord attached to it, then that hooks into a central power supply ( they do make extra length cords you can add to it) The good part is you never have to charge it and they say it should last over 20 years and best of all there actually cheaper.
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Check out www.primecell.com to have it rebuilt, often better than new

What a concept. Next thing you know, they may start making telephones like that.
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wrote in message

I'll check out primecell. I know there is a couple places in Sac. that rebuild batteries also. A telephone with a cord I bet it's the same CO. making the drills. The possibilities are endless, modern science always amazes me.
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wrote:

used to be that one needed a longer and longer cord, but the new design uses a copper ring around the earth and a fixed length wire with a contact that slides across the ring. To complete the circuit, they use a "space ground" which is the astronomic equivalent of an earth ground.
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That's an understatement. Dewalt tools always have been and always will be overpriced Black and Decker junk. As a construction electrician, I remember when Dewalt first came out, guys were buying them right and left because they weighed less and cost less than Milwaukee (who ruled the market at the time, IMHO, still does). Now I don't see them very often on jobsites. A couple of years ago I even saw a guy with 4 Dewalt cordless drills trying to get ONE to work.
To the OP, the old adage, "use it or lose it" applies to cordless tools, even quality ones. I had a Milwaukee 9.6 volt cordless drill that the original two batteries, charged per manufacturer's instructions, used almost daily, lasted for 10 years. I even changed out the chuck to 1/2" and used 4" holesaws. They were still working well past the specified limitations until I suffered a rotator cuff injury and couldn't work for 6 months. The Batteries had to be replaced. I bought new batteries, which remained trouble free with almost daily use until I sold that drill 3 years later in good condition. IMHO, there is something to be said for a quality tool. Paying $80 for one Milwaukee battery may seem a lot, but compared to buying 3 or 4 $20 Ryobi's in the same time period, where's the savings?
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Batteries differ. LiIon hold charge for a long time on the shelf, but they also slowly self-destruct whether they are used or not. They will have much less capacity in 2 or 3 years even if you only use them a few times a year.
NiMH are more robust, in that they can last many years if treated well. They do self-discharge at a faster rate, so if you only use the battery 3 times a year expect to have to charge it *before* using it. NiMH can also be charged in well under an hour, while LiIon takes an hour or two.

Corded tools have more power and run forever without recharging batteries. But if you're working where there is no 120 VAC, cordless is better than the alternatives (gas generator, big battery and inverter).
If you do get a cordless screwdriver, try to get one with an interchangeable battery pack instead of an internal battery. This lets you (a) replace the battery easily when the battery dies, and (b) have more than one battery so you don't run out of power at a bad time.
    Dave
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No,they don't like cold either. Regardless of what you do,they have self-discharge.

Or buy the newer,more costly lithium-ion battery models. They will hold a charge for at least six months.
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Jim Yanik
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kept alkalines in the refrig for years, many times years beyond their expiration date, and they stay fresh that way. Not the same with nicads however.
Bob
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wrote:

Alas, apparently this well-meant advice is exactly backwards. Nicads benefit somewhat from the freezer, alkalines (as a practical matter) do not.
See this:
http://ask.yahoo.com/20011219.html
Cue

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.

experience with LOTS of batteries. You are a fool if you believe every article you read on the 'net. And I said refrig, not freezer. -Red
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wrote:

Don't be a bonehead, Red. Listen and you might learn something new.
Cue
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For those who care to learn something from alt.home.repair:
Refrigerating batteries doesn't help much
You may have heard that keeping batteries in the refrigerator will help them keep their charge. Is that true? According to Consumer Reports, the answer is "not really". They compared 432 Duracell AA, C, and D batteries in a refrigerator with some at room temperature. After 2.5 years, refrigerated AA's had kept their charge perfectly, but the unrefrigerated batteries lost only <4% of their charge. (The unrefrigerated C's & D's lost only 10%.) So while it's true that refrigeration helps, the savings is negligible and not worth it, unless you live in a hot climate without air conditioning...
http://michaelbluejay.com/batteries/tips.html
Does putting batteries in the refrigerator actually help them keep their charge or charge them better? W.B.
Boston
A. There is no need to store your batteries in the refrigerator or freezer, says Keith Schapp, a spokesman for Eveready Battery Co. in St. Louis.
Decades ago, when battery technology was not as good and when few houses had air conditioning, people could extend the shelf life of batteries by keeping them cool.
``Heat and moisture are a battery's worst enemies,'' says Schapp. In cool refrigerators, the chemical reactions that cause a battery to lose power take place much more slowly.
Keeping batteries in a fridge will extend the shelf life -- but only minutely, says Schapp, ``and most batteries now have a shelf life of five years now, so it's not necessary to keep them in the fridge.''
The ideal storage conditions are a dry, cool place. About 70 degrees is ideal, Schapp says.
Now, if you are set on keeping your batteries in the fridge or freezer, make sure to store them in a tightly-sealed plastic bag. The bag will keep moisture away from the batteries. And allow them return to room temperature for 24 hours before using them. This will prevent any problems that could be caused by putting frozen batteries into a device that generates heat when it is on. Extreme cold has a negligible effect on batteries, says Schapp. (Boston Globe)
"How to Care for Your Batteries"
By Bryan Noonan Zbattery.com July 24, 2002
Caring for your batteries can be a confusing process. One conventional myth circulating about battery care is that you should store your batteries in the refrigerator to maximize your battery life. This is not entirely true.
Caring for your batteries is actually quite simple. You can get the most from your batteries by following these simple rules: 1.. Don't overheat. Do not attempt to charge non-rechargeable batteries. This will overheat them and could cause a fire. Keep batteries out of hot places, like your car. Your car can be an oven, and baking your batteries shortens their life.
2.. Store properly. Keep your batteries in a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is cool, but not dry. You could store your batteries in the refrigerator and maximize their life by using a silica gel to keep the batteries dry. This however, is an expensive and inconvenient option.
3.. Don't short the connections. Keep your batteries organized. Don't let the ends touch the wrong thing or you'll short the battery.
4.. Don't mix and match. Use the same chemistry and brand. Never mix rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries.
5.. Properly dispose of used batteries. Go to www.RBRC.org to find the recycling location nearest you. Following these simple steps will end up saving you money and hassle in the long run.
http://www.zbattery.com/batterycare.html
Does it help to store batteries in refrigerator? Not really. Batteries should be stored in a dry location at room temperature. There is a minimal benefit to storing them at a lower temperature, but generally it is not recommended since the high humidity levels inside of the refrigerator can cause the battery cell container to rust. If you currently have batteries stored in a refrigerator, be sure to allow them to warm up to room temperature before using them in your device
http://www.batteriesplus.com/t-faq2.aspx#37
Cue
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