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  • Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

    I see where DeWalt has come out with a Li-on battery to fit their standard 18 volt Ni-cad tools. They are available at toolup.com. The batteries are about $130 each. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not. Most of my cordless tools are Dewalt. When the batteries die I may just purchase a Li-on to compare the difference in run time and speed of charge. The reason I think it's not a good idea from their standpoint is the tools far outlast the batteries. Making the new technology incompatible with the old tools would "encourage" people to buy the tool and the new batteries. I do own some Ridgid tools. Aside from plumbing tools, I have a shop vac and a random orbital sander that lies R.I.P. in it's case, which Home Depot chose not to exchange for a new one. I bought a Dewalt to replace it. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

    Milwaukee has now done both in an attempt to upgrade people to Lithium Ion. Initially they added V18 batteries which worked with their NiCd tools and the new charger could charge all NiCd, V18 & V28 batteries. The tools were basically the same as previous NiCd tools which were powerful but didn’t live up to the full potential available with lithium technology.

    More recently Milwaukee reworked all the 18 volt tools and created the M18 Lithium tool line. These tools outperformed almost all the competition including some tools with 24 volt or more power. Now people are mad the new batteries are not compatible with previous versions of their tools. Even though they can still get lithium power for these tools in the form of the V18 batteries.

    You can't win, people will complain either way.
    Jay
    Ohio Power Tool - Ridgid
    Coptool - Power Tool Blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

      [quote=killavolt;198729]I see where DeWalt has come out with a Li-on battery to fit their standard 18 volt Ni-cad tools. They are available at toolup.com. The batteries are about $130 each. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not. Most of my cordless tools are Dewalt. When the batteries die I may just purchase a Li-on to compare the difference in run time and speed of charge. The reason I think it's not a good idea from their standpoint is the tools far outlast the batteries. Making the new technology incompatible with the old tools would "encourage" people to buy the tool and the new batteries[quote]

      The DW 18V Nano Li batteries "rejuvenated" my older NiCad power tools. They are expensive but the 18V Nano kit includes a Lithium charger. The DW 18V Nano batteries attach securely to the older NiCad power tools but they are smaller overall than the NiCad batteries so they will look a bit odd. Over the holidays, HD had special price on the DCX4230 hammer drill+impact for $299 which was less than two Nano kits....A 10% coupon made things even better.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

        If you guys are buying Nano for $130 you are getting ripped off. Call Sylvain at 1 877 987-2819 , this is a guy I found on eBay, he has a real brick and mortar store in Ontario and he is an authorized dealer. His price is $89 CAD which is $74 USD for 18v Nano. Shipping is $17.

        Also mr OhioPowerTool.com (Jay6) posted in his blog:

        Obviously there is no money in making batteries that would essentially work with decade old NiCd tools.
        This is a cash grab by TTI and nothing more. I bet they also weened from eMoli and probably use Sony cells in M18 to compete with Makita et al. Dewalt released new tools that have better specs but still accept both old NiCd and new nanophosphate batteries.

        Makita couldn't do it due to their old battery form factor (10 18650 cells wouldn't simply fit), but Milwaukee could do that but chose not to.
        Also I looked at M18 tools and they look like glorified Ryobi.

        I higly recommend upgrading to Dewalt li-ion, batteries are rated for 1200 recharge cycles (real test value, not marketing fluff), have 2x maximum discharge current compared to Milwaukee, Ridgid, Bosch and Makita. Shop around, prices vary greatly. I bought my 36v packs for $100 and they retail for $200 here in Canada.
        Last edited by DRC-Wartex; 01-05-2009, 09:37 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

          Thanks for the heads-up on the price on batteries DRC-Wartex. Truth is I just picked a site and a price off of it. I actually saw worse ($169.00USD) but $74USD is sweet. I have paid more for 18 volt Ni-cads at Home Depot. I know, I know, I'll buy the battery and then I'll have an extra when I go out and buy the new tools designed around the battery.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

            Believe me I wish every brand's batteries were compatible with all their own tools, life would be so much simpler for everyone. Also I shared your view that this was a profit driven decision by TTI, more so when these first came out however the new M18 tools are more powerful and lighter than the equivalent DeWalt Nano tools in almost every head to head. Obviously I would think DeWalt would try to make the best tools they can but perhaps it is limiting to make tools/batteries that need to work with all previous models?
            Jay
            Ohio Power Tool - Ridgid
            Coptool - Power Tool Blog

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

              I just want to add my a quick comment. I know power tools. I must comment on Makita LXT it blows all other cordless away. I could go on and on but just go try one. I am not sure why people keep pushing Bosch. They make a good jig saw, I will give them that. Milwalkee had a good recip but try the Makita recip with AVT. This will show you what new technology does. Not enough talk about the best product on the block. Take it from a dude that uses tools daily. Li-ion is where you want to be

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                Originally posted by Jay6 View Post
                Believe me I wish every brand's batteries were compatible with all their own tools, life would be so much simpler for everyone. Also I shared your view that this was a profit driven decision by TTI, more so when these first came out however the new M18 tools are more powerful and lighter than the equivalent DeWalt Nano tools in almost every head to head. Obviously I would think DeWalt would try to make the best tools they can but perhaps it is limiting to make tools/batteries that need to work with all previous models?
                First generation of nano tools are just old tools with a new casings (except for Dc411 grinder, Dc927 drill and DC827 impact), so dewalt is not "making" them crippled in any way. Also, certain old tools have motors that are nearly 2x more efficient compared to new Makita LXT, for example DC390 18v circular saw yields 75 cuts with a 2.4 Ah battery and Makita BSS610/611 55 cuts with a 3 Ah battery.

                2nd generation (DC927, DC827) use frameless motor and are much lighter. Dewalt is coming out with new tools across entire 18v line by the end of 2009, more compact and powerfull drills.

                New M18 are NOT more powerful than dewalt, this is a _lie_ pushed by TTI. The recip saw doesn't even have an adjustable shoe - what a joke! The fact is that cells that are used in TTI products have a maximum discharge current of 14 amperes. In 3 Ah packs those are paralleled yielding ~30 A. Dewalt cells have 70 A (100 A peak) continuous discharge, and they are also paralleled in 2 banks, yielding 140 A current. That means any milwaukee tool will simply stall at equal loads and equal RPM because the current limiter in the battery will kick in. Dewalt DC925 hammerdrill will beat any milwaukee 18v drill any time at equal 450 RPM.

                I record my tests on video and will buy one XC kit and film the comparison.

                Until companies wake up and realize manganese-based cells are yesterday's technology, dewalt will win in power competitions. Due to patents, to day there is not a single power tools manufacturer who can beat Dewalt's batteries in longevity, safety and power. The only edge that others has over Dewalt is battery capacity (2.9 vs 2.2 Ah).

                I haven't taken apart an XC battery yet but I'm almost certain it has either 1.5 or 1.1 Ah Sony or Moli Energy cells in it (2 banks, giving 3/2.2 Ah capacity). The only way Milwaukee can increase tool performance right now is build motors that push the battery to the max, which in turn shortens it's life.


                Also A123 (company who makes cells for Dewalt) has a new M1 Ultra (it's lithium iron nanophosphate doped with cadmium aka LiFePO4 - unconfirmed) cell that has even higher discharge currents than existing M1. I don't know yet if they will be used in power tools, but if they are, it will push other brands about 2 years back.

                There are hundreds of battery tests done by RC enthusiasts, and Dewalt (A123) wins over others every time, power and safety wise. While some of their tools are not the best, their battery technology is FAR superior to anybody else.

                Also A123 cells are being used in future electric cars. Chevy is pumping money into A123 right now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                  Originally posted by RUDOLPH/LIBBE COS. View Post
                  I just want to add my a quick comment. I know power tools. I must comment on Makita LXT it blows all other cordless away. I could go on and on but just go try one. I am not sure why people keep pushing Bosch. They make a good jig saw, I will give them that. Milwalkee had a good recip but try the Makita recip with AVT. This will show you what new technology does. Not enough talk about the best product on the block. Take it from a dude that uses tools daily. Li-ion is where you want to be
                  People keep pushing Bosch because they make heavy duty tools and use more powerful batteries than makita. Both use Sony batteries but Bosch uses a "V" modification which has more power and less capacity. Bosch also had balls and R&D to launch a new 3-cell 10.8 volt line with some excellent tools, which were quickly copied by Milwaukee, then Ridgid and now Makita (except for seesnake and M-Spector - big respect to TTI/Emerson R&D for those).

                  Milwaukee has antivibration as well in their latest recip, but AFAIK Makita AVT is faster. It does have one problem tho (I had it and sold it), the rubber grip on the blade change mechanism overheats and melts away.

                  PS: I also know power tools. Inside and out. Makita has some great LXT tools, but most of them are underpowered (bandsaw, rotary hammer, circ saw, grinder). I forgive them because they led the industry into Li-Ion era and are working on correcting the problems.
                  Last edited by DRC-Wartex; 01-08-2009, 01:27 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                    Originally posted by killavolt View Post
                    I see where DeWalt has come out with a Li-on battery to fit their standard 18 volt Ni-cad tools. They are available at toolup.com. The batteries are about $130 each. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not. Most of my cordless tools are Dewalt. When the batteries die I may just purchase a Li-on to compare the difference in run time and speed of charge. The reason I think it's not a good idea from their standpoint is the tools far outlast the batteries. Making the new technology incompatible with the old tools would "encourage" people to buy the tool and the new batteries. I do own some Ridgid tools. Aside from plumbing tools, I have a shop vac and a random orbital sander that lies R.I.P. in it's case, which Home Depot chose not to exchange for a new one. I bought a Dewalt to replace it. Any thoughts?

                    I'd recommend the nano batteries for your older tools. I recently picked up the DC927/827 combo kit for $299 for a friend of mine who I'm doing a job with. He has an extensive set of 18v XRP tools but the nicad batteries were all starting to show signs of significant degradation. Dewalt's old 18v tools are still perfectly capable tools. Some models are a bit dated but many still outperform new lithium only tools. The nano batteries work great and breath new life into the tools. The drills and saws now have much lower power drop off as the battery drains so it will quite litereally make them work better than new. They don't look pretty in the old long battery base but they work perfectly.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                      Check out new tools in 14.4 section. Those are available in EU but are coming to USA

                      http://dewalt.co.uk/productvirtualtour/nano/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                        You would be better off with the Li-Ion batteries due to the fact that the Ni-Cad loses about 10% of its power each week just sitting in the case or in your truck. The Li-Ion has no power degradation problems and will last for the advertised 2000 charges if used to its full charge every time. Don't drop the battery in the charger after every use, use it up until it dies!

                        Roger

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Li-on battery swap for Ni-cad

                          Originally posted by SailCat View Post
                          . Don't drop the battery in the charger after every use, use it up until it dies!

                          Roger
                          Congrats, worst advice ever. NEVER fully drain NiCd or Li-Ion, ESCPECIALLY Li-Ion. Read any manufacturer power tool manual. Li-ion will last a lot loger if you top it up rather than deep cycle. NiCd will grow dendrites and lose capacity if deep-cycled.

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