DeWalt battery care

I have a 14v drill and an 18v trim saw from DeWalt. Both are great tools, but I frequently get caught off guard with dead batteries when I go a long time without using them. Is it OK to just leave the batteries in the chargers all the time so I always have a fresh charge?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comAntiSpam (Ksu93dlv) writes:

Only my opinion, but...
If you have the cheap wall-wart charger (i.e. the one that takes a few hours or more to charge), chances are leaving it plugged in all the time will eventually overheat the battery and shorten its life. NiCds want to be used until dead, then fully charged, but never overcharged or overheated. NiMH can be charged regardless of stored charge, but really want a smart charger. Lithium cells pretty much require a smart charger designed for them.
If you have a smart charger (less than an hour), leaving it charging all the time doesn't - eventually it stops charging. Some chargers may detect the eventual discharge and re-charge automatically. My car battery charger does this but I haven't seen it elsewhere.
Depending on the type of battery, there is an "ideal" storage charge. IIRC, half a charge is best. Most rechargables self-discharge, meaning they'll be dead when you go back to them after a while, so it's best to have a way to charge them as needed.
I got a fast charger for mine, it fast charges my 18v pack in about 20 minutes, then trickle charges it to top it off, then stops. I have two packs, so I usually pop one on the charger when I start working, and the other one usually only lasts 20 minutes or so - but by then the other one is ready to go, so I swap them. After that I always have a fresh pack when I need it.
However, I spent twice as much for the [good] charger than I did for the [cheap] drill.
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Don't use them all the way to exaustion, just till you sense it getting weak. Don't worry about 'memory' effect, it's a myth (ducking for cover_.
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brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (brian roth) writes:

Right. I stop when it doesn't have enough power to (1) drive the screw all the way, and (2) activate the clutch. It usually turns out to be quite close to the rated amp-hours of the pack (my charger's computer has a diagnostic display :) so I know I'm doing it right.

It's a myth based on lots of people experiencing it. However, proper care and charging will easily avoid such problems.
My personal theory is that people put them on the charger too soon, but keep them on the charger for the full time, which overheats the batteries. Smart chargers avoid most of this problem, but mine's directions still warned about charging partially discharged NiCds. If I could find the instructions in the pile on my desk I'd check it.
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On 16 Dec 2003 19:20:11 -0800, brian_j snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (brian roth) brought forth from the murky depths:

No, not a myth, but newer NiCads don't have the problem.
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Not a myth, but almost impossible to produce the effect. What most folks have experienced with NiCd in the past had more to do with crummy chargers than with the batteries themselves. I had some NiCds way back that were awful until I got a smart charger for them - then they were great! The newer NiCds come with better chargers these days.
Mike
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wrote:

I have two 1988 Makita batteries that have been used five days a week, charged about once a week, used in a drill that just un-does & does up housing screws in powertools day in day out, each battery holds a charge well & always charges in about 3/4 of an hour....other than that we've had several others that have lasted three to five years on average in other applications. I think the key to long life is establishing a regular cycle of use & not exposing them to extremes in cold or hot weather.
Also a decent charger is the secret, the high capacity multi voltage charger we use for all our Makita formats is excellent & reliable.
--
Jon Down
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On 16 Dec 2003 21:43:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comAntiSpam (Ksu93dlv) wrote:

I leave DeWalt batteries in the DeWalt fast/trickle chargers all the time without worries.
Barry
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I also have about 5 of the Dewalt 14.4 battery drills with 10 batteries and they are always either in a drill or in a charger. When the Battery is fully charged they shut off they have a little lite on them to tell you when they are charging or not.
George
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Yes !.....................The batteries are supposed to go dead after a while of no charge

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Some tips are here:
http://woodworking.homeip.net/wood/ and look under Tuning Tools - Battery Care
Greg

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I've heard of some kind of "super" battery available (aftermarket) from DeWalt---anyone know about them? My batteries don't last worth a damn-- I'll probably never buy a DeWalt battery-powered anything from them again. My old Makita lasted much longer between charges than the DW. You'd think that at such a premium price they could have beaten the competition hands down. DeWalt planers are worth the inflated prices, their table saws, while innovative, are not! Roger
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We sell DeWalt batteries here (as well as many other brands) & even the DeWalt XR+ series battery does not perform as well as Makita's top or even regular batteries....we get more DeWalt prematurely dead batteries bought in than any other except perhaps the crappy firestorm & regular B&D batteries of course. It is a common problem with DeWalt (B&D) batteries to break or become loose at the top of the stack, also poor design makes them easily drop out of the tool or become loose at the terminal connection.
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Thanks! That does it. I'm getting rid of the DeWalt forthwith. I'll go back to Makita for battery-powered stuff. Can't stand having tools with poor performance characteristics.
Roger
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Wise move....we just this morning sold 8- $115 (Reg $129) Canadian + tax 18V DeWalt batteries to a local Ski club (nice sale but unrewarding) they had six out of eight from last year not make it through a year of harsh use, knowing they also have four Makita 14.4V Cordless kits from two years ago I asked the maintenance guy how they were doing, he said all 8 batteries that came with the kits are all working great & due to their reliability they get used even more than the DeWalts.....Proof from the front line...just to let you know these drills are used under extreme conditions to make large auger holes in the ice & snow for the ski race marker poles. They also had to replace 1 DeWalt charger already & rebuild 1 gear & clutch assembly & replace 2 chucks.
No doubt in my mind & the Ni-MH technology also beats Ni-Cad anyday.
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PWɮTLMAN 3 wrote:

are about 25% of original capacity. It's past time to replace them
OTOH, my good old Makita 12V got over 6 years off its one battery.
Dick
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www.primecell.com ... your DeWally's will be better than new, and last longer, for about half the price of replacing them with new ones.
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We often see Makita batteries over 5 years old still going strong even in the older ( what I call generation 1) 10 to 15 year old 7.2 & 9V batteries, the old black stick type with one less terminal on them, they really gave their moneys worth.
I have recently started carrying the Makita 9.6V stick battery in Ni-MH recently, it requires a high capacity charger but does it ever pack a wallop at 2.2Ah compared to the old 1.3Ah. even at $18 bucks Canadian extra I'm being told they are worth every cent.... And they tell two friends & they tell two friends & so on.
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