Damned Amazon sent me some emails this morning suggesting some things I might
like, and the bastards were right. Reminded me that my old 14V Porter Cable
cordless drill has just about outlived its usefulness, and now I'm looking at
these two puppies:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) (Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
Thoughts? Any direct experiences comparing these two puppies? Others I should
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
Find Nailshooter's posts on the amp/hour ratings of the batteries. If
one brand is 1.5 AH and the other 3 AH... go for the bigger ones. The
brand is less important as both Makita and Milwaukee are credible.
I have this Makita set:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I like it a lot. For a bit more in price you get a lot more
capability. The little impact driver is great. The set has 1.5 amp
hour batteries, but I'm not using it in a production setting so the 15
minute charge time keeps me going with no down time.
I'll agree with that. My LiON batteries are sitting in the garage now,
recharging after dieing half way through an ice rink build. It's only 1F
outside, maybe I should leave them on the snow instead of putting them back
on the case.
Typically all things being equal most all manufacturers say that the L-ion
will last twice as long per charge and can be recharged twice as many times
as the NiMh...
Nailshootrer has seen contrary evidence.
My excperience with a L-ion Bosch impact driver 18 volt 1.5 amp is that it
lasts as long as the 2.6 amp 12 volt Nihd Makita.
All things being equal, it seems that the larger any type of battery
is, and given it is properly cared for, you will rebuild it less.
However there is a curve on the lower powered batteries (also of any
type) that will require them to be rebuilt more often under steady use
since they will be cycled more frequently during use.
But apparently it isn't as simple as "this one has half the amp hours
so it will last half as long." Complicated explanations were given to
me about how batteries work that indicate that (for example) a 1.5mh
battery will have less than 1/2 the effective usable life of a 3mh
battery, not exactly 1/2.
One thing I learned when I was absolutely beating the whole battery
issue to death was that no matter the chemical composition or rating
of the battery, the are not created equal. I have no doubt as to the
validity of your experience.
Setting aside charge times, many QUALITY NiCds will out perform Li and
NiMh batteries. And the same goes for any variant of that equation.
Whilst on my mission, I found the city's largest battery rebuilder
literally two blocks from my house. They rebuild for the police and
fire department, the sheriff's dept., several hospitals, and several
According to "Robert" at Mtronics (no, not this one), Li batteries are
fine for video equipment including cameras and recorders. He also
likes them for phones and for radios, in other words devices that have
low, steady drain. He hates them in anything else and won't provide a
usable warranty for Li rebuilds.
He recommends NiMh batteries for maintenance people or for any other
service industry that uses a device that can be recharged overnight,
on a daily basis. Their lack of memory and ability to charge fully in
a short time is the key there. They also stand a variable drain
better in something like a drill in which you require much more power
if you need to really lean on a drill to use it.
I took his suggestion on my Makita drill that I carry in the truck and
went back to NiCad.
I was pumped about Li batteries for my drills as I have had great luck
with them in my digital cameras. But Bob steered me away with the
MSDS sheets he provided from two different battery suppliers they use.
Li batteries have a 2 -3 year useful life. That' it. I am sure
someone here has had their for 25 years and counting, but even the
manufacturers don't claim more than that. Additionally, you aren't
supposed to use them until they absolutely die. You will damage the
batteries. Worse, if you don't keep them charged properly, they will
die on their own, even if they are new.
Now the kicker. Stored in the truck, my drill has to be ready to go
when I need it. I rotate batteries out so the one hour I spend on a
NiCad has never been a problem for me. They hold their charge in all
manner of inclement weather, humidity, etc., even tossed in the tool
box where they live.
Li batteries are not that hardy. They do not like cold, and cold will
ruin them. They do not like heat (uh oh... tough living in South
Texas with that caveat!) and will discharge rapidly and can be easily
ruined in normal heat.
This is a quick three page read on Li batteries:
Techtronix, a large manufacturer of Li batteries has this to say about
I must say, I have done damn little battery maintenance in my life and
really don't need anything else to keep up with.
Note the lack of cycles on these Li batteries, and then rhink of the
actual useful cycles that could imply. Not good. Then check out the
italicized statement that "higher temperatures, above 68 degrees
reduce the battery storage life.
My tools don't ride in the air conditioning, and my little shop isn't
air conditioned either. I don't know when that battery would have the
pleasure of not being more than 68 degrees in temperature.
Information abounds on these batteries, and if you look into what tool
users say, the casual guys seem fine with the Li batteries and the
daily users don't care for them.
There is hope on the horizon, though. Sanyo (branded as eneloop) and
one other company has a second generation Li battery design that is
much sturdier, and in tests (not by them!) they only lose 15% off a
full charge unattended and unused for a full year.
If they get the temp problem solved, that could be a great battery.
It is the old, "Pay me now or pay me later" game.
These batteries have a "Mean cycles to end of life" design parameter.
IOW, you have a known number of charge cycles to reach end of life,
and know I don't know the number<G>.
Something to consider, batteries don't like to get hot.
Recharging a battery gets it hot.
Want to extend the service life of a battery?
Use at least 3 batteries for continuous duty applications.
Stated another way, try to limit the number of recharge cycles of a
battery to once per day.
Doesn't save you any money, but solves the problem of being 40 ft up a
ladder with only 5 more screws to drive, you know you'll get it done.
Just in case you may have thought I was tooting the horn for L-ion, I was
IMHO a 18 bolt 1.5 amp battery lasting as long as a 2.6 amp 12 volt battery
is nothing to brag about other than the fact that the battery is smaller and
On 1/9/2010 2:38 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
<snipped all kinds of great stuff>
Actually, I really kinda like my old Porter Cable drill (it's a 3/8" Model 876
that uses Model 8723 14.4V 2Amp-hour NiCad batteries), and all this talk about
rebuilding batteries makes me wonder if it wouldn't be worth doing so. $80 for
a new battery is pretty ridiculous, and rebuilt ones aren't all that much
cheaper... Any idea what it would cost to rebuild the ones I have? Any
recommendations on a reputable rebuilder (I'm in Austin, BTW)?
The help I get from this group is *much* appreciated, BTW. These days I'm to
the point where trying to track down "the answer" on Google just makes me
cross-eyed and grouchy, and I *still* don't trust the result. Thanks guys!
See Nad. See Nad go. Go Nad!
To reply, eat the taco.
From what I understand buying replacement batteries does not mean you get
fresh. Basically there is a shelf life and the new battery you buy might be
limited in life. Rebuilding while not too much cheaper usually means a
fresh battery pack and typically better batteries installed.
I had the 14.4 1/2 PC which I loved. Had it for 7 years and replaced
batteries once I think. I used it everyday also. The only problem was it
was stolen from my truck. Bought a new replacement PC and ended up
returning it because it was junk. Bought the Makita and love it. But
having the old PC batteries rebuilt is not a bad idea if the drill is
still strong. That drill is pretty much bullet proof!!!
You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK !
With good reason. I used to remark or post in response to something
that was specifically in my field of work or experience if I knew it
was wrong. Now, I watch the tone of the thread and see if the OP is a
first time poster, or if the thread turns to politics. Then I don't
The internet is still a vast treasure trove of information, but it
still needs to be viewed with a suspicious eye. I am like to find
something that piques my interest that is presented as a "fact", just
to store it away in the back of my mind for further use.
I cannot imagine any other medium that has spawned more experts on any
subject than the internet.
Anyhow, at the risk of sounding like one of those know-it-alls, this
is a neat piece of work that details out some of the workings of a
NiCad battery. If you read this carefully, you can see why the NiCads
fail. The crystals that form inside the batteries from normal use
make it harder and harder for the battery to fully charge.
The crystals are formed at a much faster rate when the NiCads aren't
properly charged, then discharged through normal use, or stored, then
discharged and recharged. (See page three of the pdf).
The guys that claim to be able to revive a NiCad battery have had some
luck doing it.
They break down the crystalline structure inside the battery by
"shocking" the battery, restoring its ability to receive and hold a
charge. This blitz conditioning is supposed to work well about half
the time, depending on who you talk to. Interesting that someone
figured that out, but it held no interest for me. Money is tight for
me... but not that tight.
My guy Robert can be found here:
I had no idea they had a website. Since you may wind up shipping them
out anyway, he might be a good source for you.
When you have your batteries rebuilt, there are a few criteria:
- you must be able to disassemble the battery by backing out security
screws. None of the folks I talked to will cut open a case any more
- you need to find out what mh hour rating they are building to. In
my case, I stuck with 2mh, as the 2.3mh upgrades were 30% more. Try
to get something similar to what you have if you have been happy with
the performance in the past
- make sure they rebuild batteries as a large portion of their
business. Old batteries or old rebuild methods aren't worth fooling
- make sure they use name brand or industrial type batteries. It
isn't unusual to be able to get better batteries than your original
- when they assemble your battery pod, make sure they spot weld the
batteries together. Soldering isn't as good, doesn't last as well,
and isn't as sturdy in the field. According to Robert, they solder
joints don't maintain their electrical connectivity as well either; I
am guess because the actual connection isn't as sturdy as a spot weld.
When I had my Makita 14.4 drill rebuilt, I switched from NiMh to
NiCad. (As a note, you should make sure that your charger will charge
the battery type you change to if you make that decision!) My Makita
charger works with both NiCad and NiMh, so I was set.
To have the batteries rebuilt, Robert's guys had them out to me in two
days. (Online guys - 3 - 4 weeks with shipping!). Cost was $36 per
battery. I have only been using them in the drill for about 2 months,
but they seem great.
Using that bulk rate USPS box, you could get both your batteries over
here to San Antonio for about $8.
A buddy of mine bought some instructions on how to do it on eBay for a
few bucks, and he said it worked fine - brought some dead batteries
back to life. I'll try it at some point on some old tools I don't use
anymore, and haven't in years. If it brings those back, well, Lazarus
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