Cordless power tool batteries deteroriate with time?

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On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 11:59:44 -0500, "Cue Miller"

These are the kind of results I fairly often see, and I wonder why they say it shows one thing, when I think it shows the opposite.
I don't know how one can call 3+% or 10% negligible.
I would also like to know exactly what they meant by "their charge". They might mean ampere-hours but they might not. The easiest thing to measure is voltage, and 10% of 1.5 volts is a tremendous amount. The batteries when new are somewhat more than 1.5 volts and if they are the same amount over 1.35 volts (1.5 - 10%), I'd consider them worthless.
And I'm suspicious about their finding a difference between AA vs. C or D. Electrically, they are the same. Only the size is different. Is there really a difference or did they do something wrong?
So for simplicity, let's assume exactly 1.5 volts for a AA battery. And that they are judging charge by voltage. Minus 3.5% is minus 0.052 volts, giving 1.45 volts. That is low. 1.5 is good. 1.45 is marginal.
And what about batteries that are kept more than 2.5 years? I have special sizes that have been in the frigde much longer than that. (They were removed from somthing that broke, and I'm saving them until I need them.)
What I do find valuable from their report is that the ones in the fridge they found "kept their charge perfectly".

This is another comment at that page:

He seems to go from one example to saying "Usually" at the top. That's ridiculous. In addition, it is my experience that batteries weaken at the same rate when used in the same thing. That's what my voltmeter shows. And how could it be any other way? Unless one battery was defective, they are all going to have the same amount of current going through them, etc. etc.
So I don't think this tips page does much to vet their statments, which come from more than one person.

This is nonsense. If it has a shelf-life of 5 years, that means at 5 years and one day it might be too weak to use. If the fridge would extend the shelf life even minutely, it would still be good that day. In fact it would be better every day than it would have been if not kept in the fridge. They say things like this to encourage people to buy batteries,
And I can't trust his use of "minutely". Just yesterday in this news group someone called a horseshoe peg "minuscule" because it was 2 centimeters tall. That is not minuscule and who knows if this guy (who in the next paragraph misuses the word "cool" knows what "minutely" means?

I was impressed by Schapp, because he is said to be a spokesman for Everyready Battery. But he's lost my respect. First he says a dry, cool space. Then he says 70 degrees is ideal. 70 degrees is not cool. For most it is room temperature. For me it is hotter than room temperature. (I like 68.) Cool is 45 to 60.

No one is suggesting keeping batteries in the freezer.

So the moisture matters if the batteries freeze?
So then none of this applies to all those who put batteries in the fridge and not the freezer. STrangly, I've noticed that everything seems to work fine when I take batteries out of the fridge and put them in something as quickly as possible. I thought they would have to warm up, but I haven't seen that.

If it is only partially true, why is that not enough? Below he seems to say that it is not dry in the fridge. I haven't seen any consequences from that. The Consumers Reprot study at the top said that batteries didn't lose any charge in 2.5 years in the fridge, and that paragraph said nothing about efforts to keep them dry/

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Don't know for sure, but I keep my photographic film, my yet to be used prescription medicine, my nice candles, and my rechargeable and non-re. batteries in the refrigerator. They sometimes take up more room than the food, I think.
A guy I met at a hamfest who bought out four RadioShacks and is selling what he bought said that NiCd batteries need a cool dry place iirc but not a fridge. I only have a couple of those in the fridge, but I may move them when I find a good spot. I don't really know what power tools use.
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Assuming you don't have any drill/driver at all then you should get a corded one first. Cordless drills/drivers are populare and fun to use. Corded drills are real workhorses in comparison. They are less expensive, more powerful, and more cost effective. You might be happy with a cheap drill but mine are all Milwaukeee brand which has a great reputation.
If the corded one doesn't please you or you have some money to blow then you can alway buy a cordless drill/driver later. They are maybe better suited to driving screws since they have slower speeds and an adjustable clutch.
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If you decide to get a cordless drill, here's a tip to get the most life out of your batteries:
When you detect the speed of the drill slowing down, an indication that the battery has discharged, stop using the drill immediately. Swap batteries and put the discharged one in the charger.
Running batteries completely flat causes the cells to heat up. Batteries don't like heat, and will decrease their life if heated up regularly.
Good luck,
--
John English


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