Cordless power tools are renowned for their convenience and portability. They typically operate on a rechargeable battery pack. With proper care and storage, you can extend the life of your cordless power tool and your DIY investment.
Keep the Battery Properly Charged
Be sure to change the battery in the cordless power tool as soon as you feel a slight decrease in power; this is especially important if you use your tool infrequently. Most batteries last longest if recharged when they reach 70 per cent capacity. It is also imperative to charge the battery before it is completely discharged. With most rechargeable batteries, draining it to the point where the tool no longer functions can damage it. The exception is nickel cadmium battery packs, which users should completely discharged once a month to retain the charge memory.
Avoid Overcharging the Battery
Likewise, never overcharge a battery, as this can shorten its life; this occurs when you charge a fully charged battery. Still, it is a good idea to charge the battery overnight to achieve optimum run time and life. Most battery chargers indicate when the battery is fully charged. Popular rechargeable power tool battery types include nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, and lithium ion. Lithium ion battery packs prove superior; still, nickel cadmium batteries have a higher capacity than nickel metal hydride batteries.
Proper Storage and Use
Store batteries in a dry, controlled environment, as they perform better at room temperature and are likely to last twice as long as those stored in a cool, hot, or damp location. Storing batteries at a constant high temperature significantly reduces their run time, lifespan, and charge capacity. Thus, never store rechargeable batteries in a hot car, attic, or overheated storage area. If unavoidable, be sure to let overheated batteries cool to room temperature before charging or using. Still, infrequent users of their cordless power tools should consider removing the battery pack. Lastly, store the tool itself in its original carrying case or a cushioned bag to prevent both aesthetic and mechanical damage.
Regular Use and Adjustment
Battery life decreases with a lack of use. Therefore, aim to use your cordless power tool, whether it is a cordless drill, screwdriver, or other power tool, on a regular basis. Still, be sure to use the right tool setting for the job application at hand. Generally speaking, higher torque settings run down the battery at a quicker rate.