Battery maintenance article: helping your batteries live a long and productive life

Heat. Heat is a big battery killer. A battery heats up as you use the tool; that’s normal. But it overheats, however, as you overuse the tool. You should back off a bit and your drill batteries — along with the rest of the tool–will last longer. That doesn’t mean babysit your tools, it just means don’t drill a 1-inch hole in 6-by with your 12-volt drill.

Another heat source comes from storage, especially for users in hot climates. Leaving your cordless tools and batteries baking in your truck box, on the deck, or on a roof all day will shorten the battery’s overall useful life and diminish its ability to take a full charge. This is especially true for high-drain tools like recip saws or rotary hammers. Park in the shade if possible and take tools out of direct sunlight when possible.

Cold. The other end of the spectrum is freezing temperatures. Ni-MH’s chemical reactions stop working at 14 degrees F; Nicad gums up at minus 22 degrees F. While cold won’t damage your battery like a heat wave, keeping the cells temperate will help you work better. It takes a battery an hour to assume the ambient temperature of its environment, so store your batteries inside when you can. If it’s just as cold inside, Panasonic says leaving Ni-MH batteries in the charger warms them up in a few minutes and you’re good to go. For a sluggish Nicad tool, warm the batteries inside or in your truck. Putting the tool in there too, will also loosen up the frozen grease in the gear housings.

ReCharge. Who wouldn’t love a totally cordless world? As batteries and tool engineering improve, so do the chargers that gas up the battery cells. Makita and Panasonic chargers are especially advanced. They have a light signaling everything: battery too hot, charging complete, trickle charging, even a dead battery light. Both companies offer the following tips for optimizing the charge and caring for your battery charger:

* Charge the battery at between 50 and 104 degrees F, when possible.

* Charge the battery before completely discharged. A complete run down can cause cell polarity reversal, which kills your batteries completely.

* Never charge a fully charged battery.

* Never charge from a generator.

* Charging a battery where it’s cool decreases charge time. If a charger location is too hot, the charger senses a hot battery and limits or cuts off current. offers a wide selection of replacement cordless drill batteries for the leading manufacturers of cordless drills including Aeg, Black & Decker, Bosch, Chicago Penumatic, Craftsman, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Natinonal, Panasonic, Ryobi and more. If you need assistance locating your cordless drill batteries,

We specialize in substitute batteries(laptop battery, Digital Camera Battery, power tool battery) and battery packs for laptops, camcorders, digital cameras, PDAs, mobile phones, and power tools, etc. as well as battery chargers!

Filed Under: Ryobi Power Tools


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