Before we get into the best way to maximize the performance of your cordless drill battery let’s take a quick look at the three main types of batteries that are most commonly used on cordless power tools today.
The main three types of batteries are:
- NiCad or Nickel Cadmium.
Nickel Cadmium rechargeable batteries contain tobxic heavy metal (cadmium) and also hold less charge and power than either of the other two battery This is old technology folks.
- NiMHFor most electronic devices it is better to use NiMH batteries than NiCd batteries. However, If you are choosing a battery to drive a high torque power screwdriver or cordless drill (that’s us!), then Ni-Cad can outperform NiMH. This is why you should always look for:
- Lithium-IonThis is the latest and greatest type of battery and the ONLY one you want powering your cordless drill.
What are the advantages of Lithium Ion batteries compared to other rechargeable batteries?
- They have a higher energy density than most other types of rechargeables. This means that for their size or weight they can store more energy which equates to:
- Less Weight
- More Power
- Lithium-ion batteries will also retain their charge for a longer time than other types of rechargeable batteries. (even after months of storage)
So in summary; lithium-ion batteries are smaller, lighter, have a higher voltage and hold a charge much longer than other types of batteries.
Do you fully charge your battery before use?
Not with the Makita LXT series and Lithium-Ion technology.
You can prolong the battery life by completely charging and then fully discharging it, at least once a month. Exceptions to this rule are the Lithium-Ion batteries, which do not experience the memory effect.
Ensure that the contacts of your cordless Drill Battery are as clean as possible as this would ensure a good charge. Make sure that all the contact points on both battery and charger are clean and in good condition.
The Temperature is probably the most important element and the right temperature is set by the manufacturer. Follow these and make sure that in general, you do not let the charging unit overheat.
Make sure the charger and the battery are stored in a clean and dry place that is free from dust and in an area that is well ventilated.
Do not charge your drill battery in a thunderstorm. Especially when it is in the toolshed, which more often than not is out the back away from the house.
Do not let the battery stay in a discharged state for long. Use the battery at least once a month. Again, this is not so much the case with the LXT series from Makita which utilizes the latest in Lithium Ion Technology but it is still a good precautionary step.
If you don’t plan on using your tool for a month or so, take out the battery and store it in a cool and dry place. Make sure it is adequately covered, either placed in the box it was bought in, or wrapped so that it is protected from the elements.
Also when not in use click the rotation direction switch by the trigger to neutral. This aids in battery storage.
The best way to maximize the life of your battery and get the most from the cordless drill is to follow the instructions and manufacturers recommendations at all times. Use some common sense and make sure you keep the battery and charger clean and in good condition.
These factors will keep your lithium-ion battery and the cordless drill it is powering running in peak condition for the longest period of time, and only then can you really get the most out of your cordless drill battery.