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Battery life

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  • Battery life

    I just purchased a Ridgid cordless drill with the 18v Lithium Ion battery. The one thing I noticed is that the battery life is not as long as I thought it would be, and secondly, and most confusing is, as it is used, I can notice a slight drop in power, but then it just dies. My previous cordless drill was a Craftsman with a 12 volt Nickel Metal Hydryde (or maybe Nickel Cadmium) and it would last longer, but it would become noticeable slower as it was about to die...turning very very slowly, not just die like the Ridgid. I am not sure if this is a feature to protect the battery, or something that is unique to Lithium Ion batteries?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Battery life


    Welcome to the Ridgid forum!

    From my experience with Li-Ion batteries in general (computers, radios, lights) and specifically with the 12-volt Ridgid compact drill-driver, there is little to no "slow-down". One minute you have power and then you don't!

    Ni-Cads on the other hand, have a tapering off effect and, they handle heavy loading much better. However, they don't store well and start loosing power almost as soon as they come off the charger. But that said, they do store much better than Li-Ion in the winter cold. Li-Ions do not retain their power very well when the temperatures are cold.

    My experience with my 12-volt drill has been that it holds the charge very well most of the year and seems to be almost endless on the "occasional use" that I use the tool. BUT, the darn thing doesn't handle the load that semi-heavy torque gives it. I've never had a Ni-Cad fail on me that way, but I have one 12-V Li-Ion that died, the second it was put under stress. It's still holding a charge, but the charger see's it as defective! I suspect that there is some protective circuitry built into the battery itself, to prevent overloading and it probably has blown on my particular battery.

    In any case, Li-Ion's do not appear to "taper off" like NiCads. They should provide a longer battery life, both in usage and in storage, unless it is very cold. Hopefully the latest circuitry allows them to handle "load" a bit better than my 2-year old 12-volt.

    I hope this helps,



    • #3
      Re: Battery life

      Thank you very much, that does help. Maybe the length of charge will improve after a few charge/drain cycles. I am very happy with the drill otherwise, great power when it is fully charged, and as light or lighter than my old 12 volt NiCad


      • #4
        Re: Battery life

        I used my brothers Makita Li-ion drill/driver when I helped him rebuild part of his deck. My experience was that the batteries power did taper off some before the power was fully drained from the battery. Granted the slowdown wasn't as obvious as what happens with my NiCads but there was a definite improvement in how well the drill ran when a fully charged Li-ion battery was put in.
        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


        • #5
          Re: Battery life

          Originally posted by guzman View Post
          The one thing I noticed is that the battery life is not as long as I thought it would be, and secondly, and most confusing is, as it is used, I can notice a slight drop in power, but then it just dies
          Ridgid lithium batteries are available in two 18V models: 1.5 Ah + 3.0 Ah. The battery endurance you noticed between your old Ni-cad and the Ridgid lithium may have been due to the size of the battery supplied in your kit: the smaller 1.5 Ah battery has less endurance compared to the larger 3.0 Ah. My Ridgid Ni-cads are probably too old for me to accurately compare to my new lithium batteries


          • #6
            Re: Battery life

            I am not sure what size my batteries are...probably the smaller ones, they are quite slim....the back says 26 Wh


            • #7
              Re: Battery life

              26W = 18v 1.5AH lithium ion battery 1/2 the size of the
              3AH 18v lithium ion battery

              I believe all the kits come with the smaller 18v lithium ion battery
              And then you have to go to E-bay to find the larger 18v 3AH rated lithium ion battery.

              Just for your information the 18v nicad batteries come in various Amp Hour ratings: 1.9AH and 2.5AH

              When the nicad batteries discharge they slow down and of you push them you can damage them!
              When the lithium ion batteries discharge, when they reach a designed level then STOP! if you also try to squeeze that last screw out of them you'll destroy the battery!

              It is too bad RIDGID did not design the LED fuel gauge in them as they have in their 24v lithium ion battery..It sure saves the battery when you know its condition.

              Cactus Man


              • #8
                Re: Battery life

                Thanks for all the responses guys, that really clears things up....a very helpful forum here!