Oh, they *certainly* do. Most have a small microprocessor in them, as
well. LiIon has a nasty habit of letting out the magic smoke (and
fire). A decent appliance will have a "gas gauge" chip built into the
battery to remember its charge state. It's quite difficult, to
impossible, to do this in the appliance.
No, the problem is *not* just during charge. It's possible to put the
protection circuits into the tool but not advised. Each cell should
Oopsie. Too many negatives. Nevermind!
The company I used to work for put the "gas gauge" in the "tool" but
the battery still had overload protection. You're right. The battery
supplier wouldn't have supplied the pack without at least the minimal
I really wish you people would learn something about the products you
are criticizing before you criticize.
DeWalt makea a line of 18v tools. For those tools they have NiCd packs
and LiIon packs. The packs are interchangeable in the tools and the
most recent chargers will charge either and NiMH as well.
But the packs fit tools that were not designed for lithium ion and
there's a possibility that someone will try to charge one in an older
charger that was not designed for lithium ion, so the packs have to have
the protective circuits that are necessary to keep them from blowing
somebody's ass to Hell. That adds to the cost of the packs.
The 20v tools have a differently SHAPED battery pack that is different
so that nobody can put one in a tool that was not designed for lithium
ion or in a charger that was not designed for lithium ion, and so the
packs don't need to have the protective circuits and can thus be made
and sold at significantly lower cost.
Saying "therei's no reason the packs couldn't be made interchangeable"
just displays ignorance of the the fact that deWalt makes packe that ARE
I think the bigger problem was the 12V size drill/drivers. 3 3.6V cells
gives you 10.8V and not 12, and that would make a pretty big difference in
the minds of the assuming public. It happens that 5 3.6V cells equals 18V,
so there was no loss there, but the manufacturers are at least being
consistent in their exaggerations.
It's horsepower and CFM all over again.
My partner and I quit DeWalt cordless tools years ago account poor
battery performance, primarily that they didn't seem to last more than two
or three years. After which I acquired a Makita 18v kit whose batteries
lasted seven or eight years.
More recently one of two plumbers who did some work for me plugged his
well-used DeWalt charger with battery into a nearby GFI receptacle. Some
time after they left I discovered the GFI had tripped. Didn't surprise me.
Dave in SoTex
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