It doesn’t matter what tool you are using, if it has a battery you are going to want it to run as long as possible between charges. Proper battery maintenance will allow you to have a battery that runs longer and will increase battery life.
Cordless drills come with either the typical batteries or Lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. Either way, the battery requires proper care and handling. There are many different cordless batteries available in the market. One must keep in mind that the higher the voltage of the drill, the stronger it is. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you get maximum performance out of your battery.
- Break in your drill battery. All batteries need to be fully charged before being used the first time. To achieve the maximum rated capacity, it is best that the battery is fully charged and discharged three or four times.
- Non-Li ion batteries suffer from the memory effect. To avoid the battery from becoming useless after a month, it is best that you fully charge and discharge the battery at least once every two or three weeks.
- All batteries have at least two contacts. One is positive and one is negative. Some batteries have three contacts but the third contact is for the charger to check the voltage during charging. For battery contacts that are dirty, it is suggested that you clean them with a cotton swab and alcohol. This will help you maintain a good connection between the battery and your cordless drill. It will remove any corrosion that has taken place on the battery terminals.
- Exercise your battery. Try using your cordless drill battery every two or three weeks. Not using it for more than two to three weeks is not recommended. However, if you are not able to use it the drill this often, remember that when you use it, the next time you’ll have to charge it the way you charge a new battery. (See step 1).
- If you use the drill rarely and will not use it for a month or two after a job is done, it is best that you store it properly. It is advised that you keep it in a clean, dry, cool place and avoid placing it near heat or metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li ion batteries will automatically discharge in storage. For sealed lead acid batteries, you require a special trickle charger for storing. Do not store sealed lead acid batteries for more that three months if you do not have the charger. This is due to the reason that sealed lead acid batteries must be kept fully charged even in storage.
Try referring to the manual that came with the drill for more battery performance maximization options. A cordless drill is one of the most convenient tools you can own. Try to clean it along with the battery before storing it away.
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