Here are four essential battery maintenance tips every cordless drill owner should follow, regardless of how often they use the tool.
Nothing kills your lithium-ion battery like heat does. Heating is unavoidable with power tools, as the longer you use the drill, the warmer it gets. Charging also heats up the battery to high temperatures, which in the long run impacts its life and performance.
The best way to deal with this problem is to turn off charging and let the battery cool down before you start using the machine again. While the latest battery chargers are equipped to shut off automatically once the battery is charged to full, it is advisable to unplug the battery from the charger once it’s fully charged.
Also, most advanced drills are designed with auto shut-off upon reaching a certain temperature. If your tool does not have this capability, give it a break if you feel it heating up. And, remember to store the spare battery in a cool place.
Do the opposite when working in cold weather: bring the battery up to an optimally warm temperature by placing it in the sun or in front of the blower.
While batteries are designed to dispel moisture to protect the cells from water damage, you must do your bit by storing your drill battery away from any source of water or moisture. On the rare occasion when you encounter rain while working, stash away the spare batteries to avoid them getting wet.
Turn this simple precautionary measure into a habit that anyone who uses your equipment must follow, no matter what.
As with any other battery-powered tool, it makes sense to charge the battery of your cordless drill before it dies out completely. Experts recommend replacing the battery when 20-25% charge is remaining and storing the spare batteries at 50% charged. This is to do with the chemistry of lithium-ion batteries, which are said to function best when used and stored at half charge. This practice is also said to extend the life of the battery.
You can’t minimize the vibration that occurs when you use a cordless drill. What you can do is use and store the batteries properly so that they won’t suffer damage when not in use or during transit. Particularly when transporting your cordless drill and its batteries, make sure that the equipment is properly held in place so that they won’t bang into each other on the ride.
Your lithium-ion battery can probably stand the vibration from the drilling, but it won’t withstand the knocks and thuds of a bumpy truck ride.
Lastly, you might want to know are cordless drill batteries interchangeable? Well, you can’t use the battery from brand X on a drill from brandY—manufacturers design the tools that way. But you can always interchange batteries between similar products from the same manufacturer.
Ideally, it makes sense to buy a cordless drill set that comes with an extra battery, or add a spare battery when placing your order.