Power Tools Battery - Battery Life and Length of Charge
Choosing the right battery tool
You’ll need a power tools battery if you’ve decided to dispense with that tangle of power cables we all know so well. In other words, cordless power tools are convenient, but they need an alternative source of power. Unfortunately, when you lose the cables, you also lose some of the tool’s power. Some cordless power tools are very underpowered, and this makes them difficult to use. This difficulty sometimes outweighs the convenience gained by choosing a cordless model.
However, battery technology for cordless power tools is improving all the time, so underpowered models will soon be a thing of the past. But for now, it’s a question of choosing the right power level for your needs. Although it’s now easy to find cordless power tools batteries with up to 24 volts of power, you need to consider the life of the power tools battery and the length of charge it can hold. If a power tool battery can’t hold a charge for very long, you’ll have to stop halfway through your job in order to put it back in the power tools battery charger. If you’re working intensively over a long period, a short charge-time will make you take a lot of unnecessary “breaks” while you wait for the charger to do its work. As with the underpowering problem, the inconvenience may outweigh the convenience gained by choosing cordless.
When you buy a cordless power tool, always check the length of charge and the battery life. The length of battery charge (also known as the battery’s storage capacity) is measured in amp-hours. The amp-hour rating is the number of amps that can be delivered for 20 hours before the voltage drops to a certain level. The amp-hour ratings on a normal power tools battery could vary from around 1.2 to around 3.5. Obviously, the higher the amp-hour rating, the better.
The battery life is usually measured by the estimated number of recharges. The manufacturer may also give a figure for the total hours you can spend using the tool before the battery needs replacing. For example, a manufacturer might state: “ Battery life: 1000 recharges for 30,000 hours of use.” This would mean that you can recharge the battery a thousand times before needing a new one. It also means that each recharge allows you to use the tool for roughly thirty hours.
Where possible, buy your power tools battery and its charger from the tool’s manufacturer. Manufacturers design their batteries and chargers to work with the power tools, so you avoid compatibility worries if you buy everything from the same source.