Thanks everyone. I hate it when a manufacturer wrecks the quality of a
line of products.
I didn't know that there are battery replacement stores I'll try to dig
The advice as to discharge of battery levels is good.
My strategy (for years) has been to totally discharge a pack
overnight/s using a standard 40Watt/240Volt lamp connected
across the 'flat' battery. Recharge and allow to float for a
minimum of 4 hrs.
When I can,I use my PV array to recharge because of the
better DC line.
Works for me :- )
As an aside,, I hear the comments regarding Chinese
manufacture and disagree in general. Their strategy (cheap)
is different to that of the US one where 'cheap' means
manufactured by an OEM offshore under Licence.
The Chinese produce some very high quality reliable products
with sound engineering.
Unlike the Russian attempts and the early Japanese attempts
at entering Export markets,, the Chinese are providing good
quality stuff at a competitive value.
They also have their 'lower end' products buuut are offering
At the end of the day the purchase remains as a personal
Not all that is foreign is "junk". IF that were the case
their is no way DeWalt would have gained any foothold in
this countrys Battery Drill market. I personally would not
buy one but thousands do !
I agree with you on the country of manu issue; I'm not sure that that's
the issue here. I think the design is funky, or the manu materials
choices are bad; and I'd expect that to be from the parent company.
Are you sure that the discharge to the bone philosophy is good for all
types of rechargebles? These are Ni-MH; not Ni-Cad.
...... ummm on reflection I did not make my point clear at
all :- (
I was referring to the advice (somewhere) of not running the
drill/torch/engraver/vacuum cleaner untill the battery pack
is so discharged it will no longer generate even an audible
action from the tool.
When the motor is obviously under stress from poor supply
voltage THAT is the time to recharge.
For cadmium batteries the light bulb process is Good to
Go,,for hydroxide packs?..I do not know, never owned one or
studied the technology,, sorry <shrug>
IIRC,you run them down to 1V per cell,then recharge.
When you run them ALL the way down,some cells will (generally)be flat
before others,and then the cells get reverse-charged,damaging them.
That's why they match cells in a pack during construction.
Discharging to 1v vs 1.2 v can reverse polarity on a old pack. RC car
hobbiests that spend 10+$ a single cell and want performance for races
use very expensive chargers-conditioners that optimise performance. Tool
owners risk more damage on a complete discharge, and Tools dont have
smart electronics yet .
This may be greatly due to companys profit margins on new packs. These
days the replacement packs subsidise the tools.
A slower charge is better as in your car lead acid battery, a 200A
charger cooks cells. Although chemistry is different for Nicad and NiMh,
as cells membranes get thinner with higher Amp capacities cells get more
I have a 1986 Makita pack that functions and I used commercialy, and 5
more pre 90 packs. Battery life is more dependant on the user than the
pack. Not using or charging a hot pack, 24 hr rest, not over discharging
or charging till voltage drop and heat is generated are some of the
most important things manufacturers wont tell you. Their big profit is
in you buying a new pack.
A fast 15 min charge just does not go with my logic . Sanyo and
Panasonic make the best batteries. A 1 hr charge has the logic of being
more " cell friendly" than a 15 min charge, regardless of the Tool
makers instructions. My Makitas are 1 hr. B&D 4-6.
I'd been thinking about reverse voltage, but I don't know much about it.
From what I know, if one battery in a pack is lower charge than the others,
then it is possible for that cell to "reverse polarity" in the pack if the
pack is discharged too low. Good reason NOT to fully discharge.
I was surprised to hear a construction worker prefer Panasonic
cordless over a DeWalt, Makita, or Bosch. Panasonic cordless drills
are now made in Mexico. The batteries should last over 1000 charges,
but toward the end they hold less power. The batteries cost almost as
much as the entire drill. I have a corded Milwaukee drill and it is
very high quality, lots of power, and costs much less than any
cordless brand. You can see comparison ratings in Consumer Reports.
What I've read is that the faster charge rates are more likely to "gas" the
batteries. Putting electricity into a wet system breaks water down to
hydrogen and oxygen.
Slow charge does much less gassing. Fast charge gasses otu the water, and
kills the cells. I loved my old Skils, they had an overnight charge stand.
I think that NiCds are designed to be for fast-charge or for extended
'overnight' charge,and then there are cheapo NiCds.
I note that Digi-Key has NiCds expressly for staying ON the charger while
not in use.
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