Milwaukee 18v batteries

Hi:
Has anyone else had problems with short life on Milwaukee 18v 2.4amp batteries?
I have had two go dead in less than 18 months. At $80-100 bucks apiece it gets to be a bad economic situation.
I love my 18v Milwaukee drill but the batteries kind of suck
Ole
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Nope, but I had problems with short life on Milwaukee 12V batteries, so I bought an 18V Makita to replace the drill.

Exactly.

FWIW, the Makita is going on year #3 with no battery life problems. Hard to say why or if it's a fair comparison, but there it is.
Dave Hinz
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That sounds like a relative short life and especially for Milwaukee. BUT it has been documented that the larger voltage the battery pack and with more constant use and recharging the battery gets hot. With more cells in a 18 volt model vs. a 12 volt model the heat tends to store longer and cool down slower. Heat is bad for batteries.
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the problem is not heat so much as the number of cells. no matter what brand or quality cells can go bad. the more cells per pack the bigger the change you have of having a bad cell. so the bigger the drill the more chance of failure.
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Here's a little note on Milwaukee batteries.
==================================================DISCLAIMER
If you don't know what you are doing ... stop here. Do NOT continue.
Assume full responsibility for your actions.
================================================== There ... that's out of the way.
About a month ago my boss and I were at a customer's facility and when he pulled the drill out of the bag of tools, the battery was flat. No big deal, swap batteries, and pop the discharged on the charger.
(right about now some wise ass is going to say " duh ... is THAT what you have to do? " ... don't bother )
The discharged battery would not take a charge. Mind you, we used these batteries HARD ... but I didn't think they'd up and quit like that. I expect a loss of capacity over the life of a battery pack ... not an abrupt failure.
We opened the battery up to check for a blown fuse (no fuse). Here's where the knowing what you are doing part comes in.
The battery was REALLY discharged, and the charger depends on having SOME voltage to detect a battery ready to accept a charge. Run your battery below this point and you have to charge it a little differently.
I had my lab power supply (it doesn't power the lab ... it is USED in the lab) ... it provides 0-20 volts at 0-2 amps, and is both voltage AND current regulated. I set the supply for 20 volts and limited the current to around 0.5 amps (500 mA for those who REALLY know what's up). I gave the battery a slow charge for about 30 minutes, then popped it onto the Milwaukee charger.
The Milwaukee charger was now able to detect the battery and quickly recharged the battery. No great loss of capacity (that we can observe without test equipment), and no further issues.
If you don't have a regulated power supply, you might try jumping this battery with a good one (be sure to get the polarity correct). Be sure to current limit (such as with a pair of 12 volt light bulbs in series with the lead). You DON'T want to dump all the good battery can deliver into the bad battery ... that's not a good thing.
*****
Oh, and before I forget ... always take the battery off the tool before storing. The drill trigger lock on our drill has worn, and the trigger got pressed traveling from site to site.
HTH
Rick
( and here's hoping that there is something in the charger manual about this ... but since the tools are 600 miles away right now I can't read the thing and tell you.)

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ole wrote:

I've one of the two that seems intermittent...occasionally it won't charge at all, but then again, it seems just fine....assume there must be an intermittent inside...
Other than that, they both hold fine and have been used heavily for about 18 mo now...
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I have 8 of the batteries. Two died as a direct result of overheating. I sent them to Milwaukee and they replaced them both. I also killed one by using the small charger supplied in the kit by running it from a generator. I purchased the multibay charger and now I can re-charge them from the generator with no problems.
There is a definite difference between some of the batteries and their ability to hold a charge. I am going to send two more back to Milwaukee for replacement.
Overall, the benefits of a quality tool overcomes the pain of shipping a few batteries back now and then.
Dave
Note: The tools are abused a great deal by novices regularly. They don't know when to stop and change batteries when they become hot to the touch!

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Can't comment on 18 volts, but I've got a 14.4 V Milwaukee whose batteries seem to have fairly short duty times before re-charging is needed. I hope this is not a sign of a soon-to-come failure. Drill is only a little over 1 year old (August 03).
Like you, I really like the drill, it is much more solid than the PC that it replaced (that had dead batteries which would have cost as much as a new drill).
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Now we'll just use some glue to hold things in place until the brads dry +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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What is your usage profile? These batteries should be good for about 300-400 recharge cycles. If you are in the trades and using them daily for several hours then 18 months is not at all unreasonable. If you are using them in your shop a couple of times a week a weeks for an hour or two then you should be concerned.
I have been selling Milwaukee tools/batteries for several years and frankly, outside of Makita, I have seen fewer complaints of Milwaukee battery tools than just about any other brand. Dewault seems to be the worst for customer satisfaction and Milwaukee and Makita are about the best so I am a bit surprised about you post. G O Scott, Flyfisher
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I'm not showing the original post here but I assume that it's about Milwaukee batteries dieing a premature death. I've had exactly the same problem. I use my cordless tools on a regular basis but I'm far from a heavy user. My batteries are probably about 18 months old also and they hardly take a charge anymore. I'm looking into having them rebuilt with high-capacity NIMH cells. The cost is about the same as new batteries and they'll have a higher capacity and no memory problems. Frankly, I can't understand why Milwaukee doesn't use NIMH cells to begin with.
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Jeff P.

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On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 20:30:12 GMT, "Jeff P."

=================My Milwaukee drill is only a 14 v ...and I am not a heavy user either. although I did "loan" it out to my son who does construction work when his Big Yellow drill was in the shop for a month or so...
BUT to be honest my drill has to be getting close to 10 years old and the batteries have never given me any hint of turning "south"... .
No Clue on what type batteries it uses...
Bob G
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wrote:

Milwaukee is coming out with a 28 V lithium ion battery and several new tools which will take advantage of the higher voltage. Their web site says the tools are about a month away from being available.
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Jeff - where do you get that done ?

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http://www.primecell.com /
Navigate your way down to the "Cordless Power Tools - Upgrades" and check it out. I can get an 18v battery rebuilt with 3300mAh NIMH batteries for $76.50. Amazon is selling standard 18v NiCads for $79.99.
--
Jeff P.

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