Power Tool Brands Don’t Make Their Own Batteries

Power tool brands might make their own battery packs, but they don’t make their own batteries. Panasonic might be the only exception.

I spent the past two hours or so disassembling 18V 3.0Ah and 4.0Ah Ryobi cordless drill battery packs and examining datasheets, at least those I could find online.

All major power tool brands build their 18V (or 18V-class) battery packs with (5) or (10) 18650-size rechargeable Li-ion cells.

Bosch, Milwaukee, and Hitachi all use Samsung INR cells, Dewalt uses what appear to be Sanyo cells, and Makita uses what appear to be Sony cells. I haven’t taken a look at other battery packs yet.

A lot of power tool brands use the highest performance Li-ion cells available, although not necessarily the highest capacity ones, at least not yet. I have not disassembled other brands’ battery packs yet, but I anticipate that homeowner and DIY-grade brands use lower performance cells.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as there aren’t any good reasons why power tool brands would not use off-the-shelf Li-ion cells manufactured by major battery suppliers and OEMs. Even so, this isn’t something that most power tool users ever really think about.

While I can’t speak for power tool brands’ product managers and engineers, these are likely some the more significant factors that determine which batteries brand’s select to build their battery packs with:

Cost. When you’re talking about 5 or 10 battery cells per battery pack and tens of thousands of battery packs per year – if not more, cost is a very important consideration.

A product engineer or manager for a homeowner brand will not select a top-dollar Li-ion cell for their battery packs; they will select the cells which meet or exceed the needs of their tools. Cost is perhaps a more important factor for lower-cost tool makers than higher-end brands. It’s not feasible to sell a cordless tool kit for $65 if the battery costs $50 to manufacture.

Maximum discharge rate. One brand’s latest 18V battery packs are built with cells advertised as having a 20A max discharge rate (22A on paper), and their previous battery packs were built with cells rated with a 25A max discharge rate (23A on paper).

A homeowner brand will not equip their tools with Li-ion batteries rated for 20A+ max discharge rates, and pro-grade brands will not equip their tools with cells rated much lower than that.

As a reference reminder, a Black & Decker power tool battery with a 2.0Ah rated capacity can deliver a 2A discharge rate for 1 hour. Thus, a 20A discharge rate would deplete the battery charge in 6 minutes.

When is the last time you saw a consumer-grade cordless rotary hammer? Angle grinder? Band saw? Consumer-grade cordless tools don’t have the same power requirements as pro-grade tools, and so they don’t require top-dollar battery cells that can deliver the highest maximum discharge rate.

Minimum operating temperature, or rather minimum operating temperature and battery performance at those temperatures. The best rechargeable Li-ion batteries I have seen thus far can deliver 60% of their rated capacities at -4°F, and 80% at 32°F at a 10A discharge rate. A 10A discharge rate would deplete a 2.0Ah battery in 12 minutes at room temperature (100% capacity).

Battery packs that probably won’t be used outdoors in all weather conditions don’t need cells with good cold weather performance.

Life cycle. Samsung’s recent INR batteries maintain 60% or greater charge capacity after 250 charge cycles. More life cycles means longer usability and less frequent replacement schedule.

Minimum/standard capacity. A 2.0Ah battery won’t necessarily deliver 2.0Ah charge capacity under load. 2.0Ah is the nominal capacity, but during high drain discharge, the actual capacity might drop.

Charging time. Higher performance batteries can usually be charged at higher rates, although active cooling is required to achieve the maximum charging rate.

There are of course a lot of other factors involved in selecting battery cells, but it seems that these are the 5 most significant ones that separate cells suitable for homeowner-grade power tools and those suitable for pro-grade tools.

Although power tool brands aren’t responsible for a lot of what they boast, a lot of engineering does go into battery pack design.

For instance, Dewalt’s 20V Max 2.0Ah battery pack is built with a rather sizable aluminum heatsink, and Milwaukee’s M18 battery pack looks to have the most built-in electronics.

Samsung, Sanyo, and other cordless drill batteries for Milwaukee manufacturers are constantly working to develop new and better battery technologies. Except in a few cases, their off-the-shelf batteries are accessible to any and all power tool brands. In other words, if one brand came out with 3.0Ah compact and 6.0Ah extra capacity battery packs today, all others could follow within a reasonable amount of time.

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Best Practices for Drill Battery Life

1. IS IT BETTER FOR TOOL BATTERIES TO BE COMPLETELY DISCHARGED BEFORE CHARGING?
No. Just the opposite. You should stop using a battery as soon as you feel a substantial decrease in power from the tool. Completely running down a Hitachi power tool battery may damage it. Do not tape the trigger to run down the battery.

2. WHAT IS MEMORY, AND DO TOOL BATTERIES HAVE IT?
Memory is one of many conditions which causes a loss of run-time. Memory is created from repetitive light use in the exact same application (i.e. Cordless Phones, Video Cameras, Electric Shavers, etc.) Our products rarely see light use or the exact same loads, due to variability from the user, the accessory size, as well as the material. The same variability which causes different run-times prevents our cells from developing memory. Power tools are considered high-drain applications. Memory typically develops in lower-drain rate applications, such as cordless phones, laptops, because the rate at which the battery is draining is continuously the same. Power tools draw higher currents and have sporadic drain rates minimizing the opportunity for the battery to develop a memory.

3. DOES IT HURT TOOL BATTERIES TO LEAVE THEM IN THE CHARGER?
No. The drill chargers have a maintenance mode which allows batteries to remain in the charger, maintaining a fully charged pack until the user is ready to work. If drill NiCd batteries are stored outside of the charger, they will discharge naturally, 15-20% the first 24 hours, 7-10% the next day, and about 1% every day there after. NiCd batteries lose the bulk of the capacity when outside of the charger in the first 3 days. In fact, it is better for the battery to leave it in the charger to be sure it goes through Equalization and Maintenance Modes. One of the benefits of  tool Lithium Ion batteries is that they have limited self discharge. Storing tool Lithium Ion batteries outside of the charger will not result in loss of charge. Learn more about technology.

4. WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE THE RUN-TIME OF MY BATTERY?
If no permanent damage has been done to your battery, you may be able to improve its run-time.The correct procedure for charging your batteries is as follows:
1. Discharge the Panasonic cordless drill battery under normal use. Remove the battery, once you feel a loss of power from the tool. Do not tape the trigger ON.
2. Let the battery sit out of the charger for a least 2 hours until the battery is at room temperature.
3. Place the battery in the charger overnight to allow for a full charge on each individual cell (A minimum of 8 hours at room temperature).
If there is no difference in run-time, there is either permanent damage or the battery has reached the end of its usable life. In either case, the battery should be replaced.

5. DOES THE OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE AFFECT BATTERIES? HOW?
Yes. If the batteries are too hot (105 deg F or higher) or too cold (below 40 deg F), the batteries will not take a full charge. Attempting to charge batteries outside the 40 deg F-105 deg F range can result in a permanent loss of run-time. When batteries are being charged and discharged, a chemical reaction is taking place, and if it is too hot or cold the chemical reaction is disturbed causing a loss of run-time.

6. CAN THE DEWALT CHARGER BE USED WITH A GENERATOR?
Yes. All DEWALT chargers, excluding the DW9106, have been designed to handle the variations in voltage and current delivered by generators.

7. SHOULD ANY SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS BE TAKEN WHEN TRANSPORTING OR TRAVELING WITH BATTERIES?
Transporting batteries can possibly cause fires if the battery terminals inadvertently come in contact with conductive materials such as keys, coins, hand tools and the like. The U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) actually prohibit transporting cordless drill batteries for Ryobi in commerce or on airplanes (i.e. packed in suitcases and carryon luggage) UNLESS they are properly protected from short circuits.So anytime you transport individual batteries, make sure that the battery terminals are protected and well insulated from materials that could contact them and cause a short circuit. For more information consult the U.S. DOT website

8. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE WITH BATTERIES ONCE THEY HAVE GONE BAD?<br>
RECYCLE THEM. TOOL is an active participant with RBRC (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation), the organization which is the international leader in the collection, transportation and recycling of NiCd cells. Old batteries should be disposed of at Tool Service Centers.

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General Care of Cordless Drill Batteries

It may sound obvious to keep your Ryobi power tool battery charged, but unless the drill is being used regularly, then most people forget about it until the next time they need to use it.

That is not a good thing in terms of ensuring a long life. Batteries need to be charged and used regularly as that will help keep them functioning to their maximum capacity. Ideally a battery will charge best when it is around 70% of its capacity.

The Complete Discharge Theory

You may have read that you should not charge a battery until it is fully discharged. That is not actually true. You only need to do that about once a month and at all other times you can charge it as and when you may need to use it.

Always allow your battery to FULLY charge – When you do have to give it a quick charge, then leave it plugged in until it is fully and completely charged.

There is often a strong temptation to stop the charging, especially if you are in a hurry to finish a job, but it is strongly advisable to wait a few minutes and make sure the battery is 100% charged. That practise alone will really add a lot of life to your Metabo drill battery pack.

It is why we here at Tool and Go recommend always having 2 batteries. You can be using one and allow the other spare battery to fully charge. If you are someone who uses power tools every day, I am guessing you already have worked out that having two batteries is just a great idea.

Lithium-Ion batteries should in theory work forever because they work on the movement of ions. However, like any product, their general treatment and care, temperatures and aging process will also have an impact on these type of cordless drill batteries for Milwaukee.

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Choosing Between Corded And Cordless Power Tools

If you have a need or requirement for a power tool in your workshop you are going to have to decide whether to buy a corded power tool or a cordless that runs off batteries.

A corded tool obviously needs to be plugged into a power outlet to function and you are limited by the length of the power lead.

In contrast, a Ryobi cordless drill battery works on portable rechargeable batteries. Because cordless power tools are portable and hence can be easily used anywhere, the possibilities of the jobs you can attend increases a lot. Also, the battery packs are light and easy to handle. Having a cordless power tool now has less disadvantages than the traditional corded tools.

So, if you are now consider buying one, look for a tool that has some or all of the following features:

-Preferably 18v (this range has the largest variety of add on tools)

-A well known brand (like Makita, Dewalt, Hitachi or Bosch)

-12 month or more manufacturer warranty

-In drills, always get a multi speed all steel motor/gearbox

-Buy a kit with at least two batteries and a charger

-A hard case to protect your tools in transit between jobs

What Else Should Your Kit Have?

Try and get a kit with starter accessories (grinding blades, drills and sanding disks). This makes that first job easier with everything on hand to get started

These days a lot of work sites are not allowing corded tools so all portable power equipment has to be a battery operated cordless motor tool.

The most common range which is somewhere in the range of 18 v (Makita, Bosch, Dewalt, Panasonic, Hitachi all have 18v ) should be enough to handle construction site and workshop jobs. Also look for a tool that has a reverse direction feature. This will help you in removing a drill bit from say concrete when the SDS drill can sometimes jam. It can also be used to loosen screws and bolts when in reverse.

If you wish to use larger drill bits with your Panasonic power tool battery, you should choose a tool that has at least a half inch (13mm) adjustable chuck as that will allow you to use drill bits of any size (most larger drills have reduced shanks to compensate the ½ chuck).

A good power tool kit would come with two batteries so that one can be in the charger while the second battery is being used in the tool.

Lastly, you should always choose the tool that feels right for you whether it is corded or battery powered. Hold it in one hand and see if it comfortable when holding it. If it’s unbalanced and difficult to handle, you will not be able to use it well on the job for extensive periods. See if its handle feels comfortable and easy to grip. The trigger should also be easy to squeeze. Also look for a strap in a cordless power tool, which you can wrap around your wrist while climbing ladders and holding timber and attachments.

With all the benefits of corded and cordless tools make sure its a tool that can make you money on the job and will be reliable r the life of the cordless drill batteries for Hitachi.

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How to Change Drill Batteries on a Cordless Black & Decker

One of the conveniences of cordless power tools is that you can use them where there is no power. Cordless tools operate using rechargeable batteries. Black & Decker manufactures a full line of cordless products including power tools and lawn equipment. Changing batteries on a cordless Black & Decker depends on the type of tool you are using. Most Black & Decker products either have tabs on the side of the battery or have a retaining handle which secures the Black & Decker drill battery to the tool.

Press the release button on the side of the battery near the base of the tool with your fingers. Most Black & Decker power tools and some of its yard trimming products use this type of battery.

Hold the tool in one hand and pull the battery out with your free hand. Take a fully charged battery and insert it into the tool. The battery only goes in one way. Press the bottom of the battery until it snaps into place.

Pull the lever securing the battery forward on Black & Decker mower batteries. Some lawn tool products also use this type of method to secure the battery.

Lift the battery straight out and set a charged battery into the mower or yard tool. Pull the retaining handle back over the battery.

Insert batteries into their respective charger and plug the charger into the wall socket.

•Although most of the line of power tools do have replaceable batteries, not all cordless products have removable Milwaukee power tool batteries. Battery-powered tools and equipment that do not have rechargeable batteries usually have a plug-in adapter for charging.

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Reanimate Old Drill Batteries

I was in dire need for a Dewalt battery for powered drill, but my good one was at my local Makerspace and I could not be bothered to drive over there at 0100 in the morning.

I remembered that I had bought one some 15 years ago in a supermarket. After I dug up my basement looking for it, I found it in the store-room with a dead battery.

I will show now what I did to reanimate it, for fun and… fun.

Step 1: Take Apart the Battery

The battery pack was held together with 4 screws. After loosening them, it fell apart into three pieces:

Old batteries (dump)
Top cover with contacts (need new wires to go to the new battery)
Llower case (needs holes for battery wires to go through)

Step 2: New Energy

I decided to use a lipo battery pack as my new power source. My drill originally had a 12V power source, so I needed a 3 cell LiPo pack.

I had an old cordless drill battery for Panasonic with a broken cell sitting on my desk for ages, and took the occasion to finally rip it apart to build a new battery out of it.

This is quite easy, but I found no instructable detailing how its done.

Step 3: Build Top Case Connector

Easy step, find a matching battery cable, solder it to the contacts in the top case.

Maybe your drill is old enough that it doesn’t matter, but watch out for polarity anyways!

I want to have the battery connector outside of the plastic case, thats why I left the cables that long.

Step 4: Lower Case

Now I had a problem. I needed to drill holes to get a working battery for my drill. The Hitachi cordless drill battery was empty (after sitting on my desk for month).

Adjustable desk power supply to the rescue!

I put 2x two holes next to each other, broke out and filed of the middle to have two long holes.

Step 5: Assembly

The battery fits nicely. The reason why I wanted to put the wiring on the outside is:

I need a easy way to access the balancing port for charging and use of a lipo warner (recommended)
I want to be able to disconnect the lipo from the contacts

Happy drilling!

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Right Way to Take Care of Your Laptop Battery

You probably know a few tricks for extending your laptop’s battery life—whether it’s dimming the screen or switching off Wi-Fi—but there are plenty of other ways you can and should look after its long-term health too. Here’s how to get the most juice out of your laptop by following just a few simple rules.

Every laptop battery degrades over time, but you can help to make sure it stays in fine fettle to a ripe old age by heeding the advice we’ve laid out below. With some care and attention you can make sure your laptop needs replacing before its battery does.
Temperatures and cleaning

Operating temperatures can have a big impact on battery life: check the manufacturer’s guidelines for the ‘safe zones’ for your laptop, which are usually different depending on whether you’re storing your computer or actually using it. For an accurate read of how hot your laptop is, OS X users can turn to Temperature Gauge, which will set you back five bucks but give you more temp info than you’ll know what to do with. Windows users might want to look at Rainmeter, a free system monitor that displays all kinds of visually pleasing goodies—temperature included.

Generally speaking, room temperature (or as close as you can get) is ideal. That means you shouldn’t leave it lying in a packed trunk in the height of summer or on the window ledge of your skiing chalet. If you’re at an uncomfortable temperature while you’re working, then your laptop’s battery will be too, so make adjustments accordingly.

Watch out for excessive heat, which is particularly unhealthy. If you have a tendency to use your laptop whilst wrapped up in bed or stretched out on a sweltering Caribbean beach then the battery’s going to give up the ghost sooner. Keep it cool and on a flat, stable surface as much as possible, and make sure the cooling vents are clear and unobstructed. Invest in an extra stand or fan tray if necessary.

For those of you with a removable laptop battery, take it out and clean the metal contacts at either side once every couple of months with a dry cloth and alcohol solution—this helps to keep the transfer of energy to your computer as efficient as possible.
Keeping the juices flowing

To ensure the battery in your laptop has a long and healthy life, avoid leaving it constantly charged. It’s important that the electrons inside are kept moving on a regular basis—think of it as being akin to getting up to exercise rather than sitting at a desk all day. Broadly speaking, the less frequently you use your laptop, the less frequent the discharges need to be.

Ideally, you want to be draining your laptop’s battery to around 40-60 percent at least once a week. On top of this, fully discharge it and recharge it once or twice every year. In other words—as far as the electrons inside your Dell laptop battery are concerned—the routine should be regular weekly appearances at the gym and a 5k run in the summer.

The reason behind this is that a full charge puts your battery under more stress. If a laptop is plugged in all the time, the battery is working harder than it would be if it was slowly cycling between 40 percent and 80 percent. Some experts recommend removing the laptop battery entirely when the computer’s plugged in to avoid overheating, particularly for intensive tasks. Letting your battery run all the way down every so often also helps calibrate it, making for more accurate power display readings.

There are rules for long-term storage too. If you’re going somewhere without your laptop for more than six months then it’s a good idea to store it with a 40-50 percent or so of juice left. Leave it fully charged or fully discharged and you run the risk of causing damage to it while the computer is in hibernation.
Power settings

A few little tweaks to your laptop’s power-saving settings can make a significant difference to the level of juice you have left at the end of the day, and the less work your battery does, the healthier it will stay. Open up your laptop’s power saving settings (Control Panel >> Hardware and Sound >> Power Options for Windows users, System Preferences >> Power Saver on an Apple machine) to make changes.

The basic settings cover the screen and computer state, while the advanced settings link on Windows lets you adjust power-saving options for the hard disk, Wi-Fi adapter and USB devices. If you’ve never delved into this screens, try reducing the time it takes before your laptop goes to sleep and switches the screen off.

Your laptop manufacturer may have added a special utility or two for battery management, so have a poke around in the pre-loaded applications list to see what you can find. If you want to keep your laptop on for as long as possible, reduce its workload as much as you can: lowering the screen brightness, shutting down unnecessary applications, limiting your browser tabs and unplugging devices you’re not using can all help. For Mac, you can also download Battery Health for free for deeper insights into how much juice you’ve got left, while Windows users can turn to BatteryCare for similar services.

Again, any way in which you lessen the amount of work your Acer laptop battery is doing can help to prolong its performance in the long term. Finally, be wary of using a charger or plug other than the one supplied by the manufacturer, as anything less than optimum compatibility has the potential to cause damage.

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How to Maintain Your Cordless Drill Easily

Whether you are a general contractor building and a room addition or a do-it-yourselfer installing speaker wire for your new surround sound system, the cordless drill or driver is a vital part of your equipment. Furthermore, reliable cordless machines can be a significant investment, and great care should be taken of one of your most valuable assets. High-quality products are typically very resilient to long term use, but even the toughest of drivers can break down quickly if regular maintenance is not performed.

Cordless drills differ from electric (corded) ones in that there are more parts which require proper attention. For example, cordless product batteries need their care to preserve the service life of the Panasonic cordless drill battery. These batteries can be expensive and need to be charged and stored properly to deliver enough power to the machine for the most rugged projects. The following information will help drill owners be better informed on how to preserve and even extend the life of their cordless models.

»Oiling Your Machine: Like other mechanical tools, your cordless drill has lots of moving parts inside and out. One of the most important parts of routine product maintenance you can perform is regularly oiling the metal parts of the machine. More specifically, oiling the chuck, which is the part that holds the bits.

»Most modern products come with a keyless chuck, but some products, like hammer drills, come with keyed chucks. Keyed chucks provide a better grip on bits. Especially when using a vibrating or hammer function on your machine, keyed chucks prevent the pieces from loosening over time. The following steps should be considered when oiling your cordless drill:

1.Using a standard metal lubricating oil, spread the oil on the inside of the chuck where the drill bits would go (make sure the chuck teeth are completely open).

2.Tighten and loosen the chuck three to four times to evenly spread the oil throughout the inside of the chuck.

3.Using a rag or shop cloth, apply the oil to the outer surface of the chuck. This will ensure oil is spread thoroughly between the chuck and the hand grip.

4.If the chuck is keyed, follow the above steps with the addition of lubricating the vital teeth around the outside of the chuck. This will reduce wear on the teeth of the core and the chuck.

»Cleaning Your Instrument: Penetrating through a surface is almost always a messy job as the drill bit grinds through the material. Going through wood, drywall, and concrete, for example, can leave your machine quite dusty. The dust particles from drywall gypsum, for instance, are excellent and can easily work their way into the motor events of the drill. Overtime, these vents can become clogged with particles and dust, causing the engine to overheat and eventually burnout.

Only blowing the dust out of these vents will ensure the motor can breathe properly. It’s a vital step to keep it running smoothly.

You can use a blow tool if you have an air compressor, otherwise, an air duster or compressed air canister will also work adequately.

»Keep Your Drills in a Dry Place: These are very powerful tools, but that power is based on a vast number of small intricate motor parts, gyros, gears, and even small chipsets which can control speed and torque ratios. Always make sure your drill is stored in a dry space. Humid conditions can cause water vapor to get into the product, rusting the motor parts and the chucks of the machine. The battery can also be adversely affected by moisture and cause corrosion around the metal contacts that connect the battery to the drill.

»Temperature Requirements: Your product can also be affected by the temperature it is stored in, especially the battery. As best one can, the drill and batteries should be stored at room temperature (72F/22C) with a buffer of plus or minus 10 degrees. Freezing temperatures can cause icing of the motor and compression of the gears, effectively burning out the motor and gears. Excessively warm temperatures can significantly reduce the life of the power tool batteries, especially lithium ion batteries. There are some machines which are now equipped with cold weather lithium ion batteries for outdoor winter use. However, these batteries also need to stay out of hotter temperatures.

»Keep Your Drill Off of the Ground: This is another key to keeping your cordless drill clean. There is a high likelihood you will eventually use your project for an outdoor project. Grass and dirt can easily find their way into the casing when left on the ground. Moreover, wet grass and dirt can significantly damage your machine. Wet blades of grass can easily distribute water in through the motor vents, potentially causing a short in the drill or even electrocution. Leaving products on the ground can also be a safety hazard – especially on a job site where there is frequent foot traffic. Individuals may trip on the machine or even damage it.

»Use Sharp Drill Bits: The machine’s power is only as good as the bit’s ability to penetrate a surface. Using dull bits will not only fail to get the job done, but it can also burn out your machine’s motor very quickly. Dull bits will cause longer work times while simultaneously increasing friction and ultimately resulting in undue stress on the motor. Ensure your bits are sharp before starting on a project and make sure they are the correct bits for the surface through which you intend on AEG cordless drill battery. Do not use wood bits to go through concrete, for example.

»Drill Bit Safety: Dull bits can also present safety issues. If the pieces are not sharp enough, they can become jammed into the surface. The resulting torque can cause the drill to spin; injuring our hands and wrists. The machine may even fall out of your hand and onto the ground below. This can be especially dangerous if anyone is below you or if you are on a ladder, it may cause you to lose your balance.

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How To Store A Battery When Not Using It

First of all, it’s best to keep using the battery for cordless drill. Use your tool at least once in 20 days. However, this is not always possible. Storing the battery the right way is also essential to its health and overall  life.

When putting away cordless tools for a long time:
1.Put the battery in a cool and dry place and away from dust.

2.Put it in the original plastic case it came in. Put in a box or wrap it in a soft cloth.

3.Do not store Li-ion batteries fully charged or dis-charged. Store them at 30-40% charge level. Do the same for Nickel based batteries, though it does not make too much of a difference as they lose their charge fairly quickly anyway. Many manufacturers will recommend that you discharge your Nickel based batteries completely before storage. Follow the manufacturers instruction if your battery for power tool comes with them.

4.Fully charged NiCd batteries lose charge quickly. 20-30% in 24 hours. 10% the day after that and 1% for every day after that. Be ready to charge your NiCd and NiMh batteries after a long period of rest before you can use them again.

5.Li-Ion batteries retain their charge for longer. Specially if they are kept in a cool place.

6.NEVER put your batteries in the refrigerator or the freezer. This can damage them permanently. Technically, NiCd pwer tool batteries can be stored at a temperature ranging from -20°C to 45°C. But freezing is still not recommended due to the possibility of ice build up. For a Li-Ion battery 15°C is about the ideal storage temperature. But as long as things are not overtly hot, they should be fine.

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Ways to Take Better Care of Your Laptop Batteries

You likely spend more time on your laptop than with your significant other, your dog or — at the very least — your plants. So there’s no reason you shouldn’t treat it with the same tender loving care. Here are a few tips to ensure that your gadget’s battery has a long and happy life.

(This guide is focused on lithium-ion laptop batteries, which is what most modern laptops are packing. If you want to learn about how to care for other types of batteries, check out Battery University, a dense database of such things.)

1. Don’t get too attached.

When you plug your laptop in for the first time, you should make sure to fully charge it once to calibrate it. But after that, aim to keep it between 40 and 80 percent. Apple’s customer care says you should do this to “keep the electrons in it moving occasionally.” Wired has a better explanation of whyhere. But the bottom line is, doing this can help prolong your battery life by as much as four times.

I know that’s easier said than done. Just remember to keep an eye on your battery percentage (usually shown in a corner of your screen) throughout the day. If you leave your laptop at home, then shut it down, close it and keep it unplugged on a desk, not a couch.

You should also fully charge and discharge your computer’s battery at least once a month. Set a reminder on your phone or something. You forked over what I assume to be a ton of money for this thing, so paying attention to it once a month shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Stay cool.

Most modern laptops are made with lithium-based batteries, which should be stored in temperatures between 50 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You might not always be able to keep tabs on that sweet spot, so to make things a bit simpler, room temperature is fine.

That being said, there are a few ways you can make sure your laptop isn’t constantly having menopausal hot flashes. You should start by minding its air vents. Most MacBook vents are located on the back of the laptop, near the top of the computer. Whenever you prop your laptop up on your bed, couch or lap, you’re likely blocking the airflow. This, in turn, causes the computer to overheat. And overheating will screw up your Compaq laptop battery life.

That’s not to say you should be completely paranoid about keeping it on flat, cool surfaces all the time. But maybe consider moving it to a desk before you fall asleep or head to work.

3. Update, update, update.

Most companies are constantly looking for ways to improve battery life via software updates. In fact, it was one of the main things Apple touted in its OS X Mavericks release last year. You may fear change, but change can extend your battery life. So make sure you have the latest software installed on your computer.

4. Don’t just leave it there.

Maybe you’re in trouble with the law and need to disappear for six months. We understand how these things go. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for correctly storing your computer. You should store it with a 50 percent charge in a consistently cool area. Storing the computer with a fully discharged laptop battery for Fujitsu might ruin the battery forever. And storing it with an absolutely full charge might cut the battery’s lifespan short.

Simple enough? Now go, be a better laptop owner. Your machine is counting on you.

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