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Lithium Ion Battery Questions

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  • Lithium Ion Battery Questions

    I have two questions regarding the 18V lithium ion batteries.

    First, I purchased a few Ridgid tool combos because of the LSA and batteries. I first bought a drill + recip saw combo, and later on bought a drill + driver combo. Out of that I got five batteries because one of those were during a "buy this and get a free battery special" week.

    It turns out I really just used one drill and the impact most of the time. I used to use the recip saw but it just didn't work and anything heavy duty (like a 2x4) it would not cut through and will stop multiple times along the way. I don't think it's designed to cut anything for construction. Light duty stuff, like a 1/2" PVC pipe, yeah. I spoke to the tool service center, the tool works, just can't cut anything worth a damn. They said may be batteries, may be tools, oh well, but the batteries work on my drills, I gave up. I now put that on a shelf and only use it outdoors to cut palm branches that are soft and easy. Anything real, I have my corded Porter Cable sawzall.

    So my recip saw sits on a shelf, one of the drills sit on a shelf. I mostly use the driver, and sometimes the drill. With 5 batteries, I don't ever run out of juice. Actually, I have only used three of the batteries, two of them are still in their boxes never been charged even once.

    So my question is...should I charge all five, and rotate through everyone as I use these batteries? Or should I just cycle through the three I use now and keep two on "stand by". With these two new ones sitting unused does it hurt any?

  • #2
    Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

    Since my first question got lengthy, I am asking my second question here with this post.

    I have replaced my lithium ion battery in the last three years. Each time a different experience.

    First time, it was a defective set of tools. The combo of recip saw and drill. After finding out the recip saw can't even cut through a 2x4, I took it back to Home Depot and said it must be defective. This AFTER I sent everything in to Ridgid for LSA. The Home Depot manager was real nice, gave me a new box and took back the old. No paper work. I had the old receipt, I registered those original tool serial numbers, and now I have a new box of tools. LOL. Took me a while to get Ridgid to update my records to reflect the situation. By the time everything was sorted out, 90 days have gone by and I only had 3 years warranty, not LSA. Even though it's not my fault.

    So after some time one of the batteries gave out. I called up Ridgid and got a rep and she told me good news! Home Depot near your home is now a Ridgid service center. Just take it there. GREAT! I did...and the guy said "WHAT? RIDGID TOLD YOU THAT? NO...YEAH WE ARE BUT WE ARE NOT SET UP YET...NO...TECHNICALLY WE ARE BUT WE HAVE NO MEANS TO DO THIS RIGHT NOW...MAY BE IN SIX MONTHS..." now since I have like 5 batteries, I waited a few months and went back there. This time they are set up. They took my old battery, checked my serial number from my product registration sheet I printed out. They have no way to pull the record, but they took my printout and said they will "send it on". I got a new battery. A month gone by, and my product registration page did not update to reflect a replaced battery serial number. I called Ridgid and they didn't know, I got them to input manually the newly replaced serial number for the battery.

    Now fast forward to yesterday I need a new battery again...well actually my impact driver is bad too, it has gotten to the point when on very light use it will heat up real bad. I took it to the Home Depot Ridgid service "desk" again and they told me they no longer replace batteries on the spot, they will send it in. They took my information, apparently they didn't look at my printout showing my product registration and serial number and my receipts. They just took my information. Then they said the battery will be sent to me by mail, and the impact as well, and it will take 4 to 6 weeks.

    4 to 6 weeks?

    That long?

    So he told me everything is in order. I said is there a repair or claim number? Some sort of receipt that I bought the tools in? Because if something goes wrong I would be left hanging. He did a print screen for me.

    But, it says the tools are going to "TTI for review and approval". I asked the guy, who is TTI? It's not going to Ridgid? He said it's the same company. Is it?

    I don't feel good about this. From my experience I am going to wait 4-6 weeks then I will begin a trace of my tools never landing anywhere...


    • #3
      Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

      oh and if anyone has the same experience as my 18v one hand recip saw that can't even cut a 2x4 without stopping 20 times, please tell me. I would like to use it if it's really supposed to do that. I don't have that many 1/2" PVC pipes laying around just to exercise that saw.


      • #4
        Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

        Regarding charging, and storing lithiums.
        Battery life[edit]
        A lithium-ion battery from a laptop computer (176 kJ)Li+ batteries have a self-discharge rate of approximately 5–10% per month, compared to over 30% per month in common nickel metal hydride batteries, approximately 1.25% per month for Low Self-Discharge NiMH batteries and 10% per month in nickel-cadmium batteries.[111] They last longer[112] if not deeply discharged (depleted) before recharging. The smaller the depth of discharge, the longer the battery will last.[113][114]

        Batteries may last longer if not stored fully discharged. As the battery self-discharges over time, its voltage gradually reduces. When depleted below the low-voltage threshold of the protection circuit (2.4 to 2.9 V/cell, depending on chemistry) it will be disabled and cannot be further discharged further until recharged.[112][clarification needed] It is recommended to store batteries at 40% charge level.[112]

        The rate of degradation of lithium-ion batteries is strongly temperature-dependent; they degrade much faster if stored or used at higher temperatures. The carbon anode of the cell also generates heat. High charge levels and elevated temperatures (whether from charging or ambient air) hasten capacity loss.[51] A test on a Standard (Cobalt) Li-ion cell showed over one year, a fully charged cell kept at 25 °C (77 °F) lost 20% of total capacity. It fared better when stored at lower charge levels and lower temperatures.[113] Poor ventilation may increase temperatures, further shortening battery life. Loss rates vary by temperature: 6% loss at 0 °C (32 °F), 20% at 25 °C (77 °F), and 35% at 40 °C (104 °F). When stored at 40%–60% charge level, the capacity loss is reduced to 2%, 4%, and 15%, respectively.[113] In contrast, the calendar life of LiFePO
        4 cells is not affected by high charge states.[115] They may be stored in a refrigerator.[116][117]

        Charging forms deposits inside the electrolyte that inhibit ion transport. The increase in internal resistance reduces the cell's ability to deliver current. This problem is more pronounced in high-current applications. The decrease means that older batteries do not charge as much as new ones (charging time required decreases proportionally).


        • #5
          Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

          That saw should go through a 2X4 like a knife through hot butter. Buy some quality blades for it and make sure you are using the right blade for the right job.
          SSG, U.S. Army
          K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.


          • #6
            Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

            I am using the right blade. Even a brand new blade.

            I have NOT been able to cut through one piece of 2x4 with that saw. Not once. It stops and stops and after a few minutes I simply gave up.

            Using the SAME blade, my Porter Cable sawzall went through that 2x4 in less than 30 seconds.


            • #7
              Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

              I've cut 4x4 post with my sawsall. Are you turning the switch to orbital rotation? I find that helps in wood. Also make sure the shoe is resting against the surface being cut and rock the tool back and forth about 15 degrees to help cut down on the blade riding on top of the surface instead of cutting down into it. Comparing a cordless tool to a corded tool is unfair as far as I'm concerned as the corded tool has all the advantages even with a dull blade or a blade that has to many teeth. Cordless is for those who don't have access to a plug so the reduced functionality etc is a compromise over easy of mobility use etc.

              I wouldn't give up on the recip saw though, I've had some issues with batteries with mine recently but I've cut 2x10's stacked in pairs, so basically a 4x10 with out issue. I've also done cuts where the blade doesn't exit the other side so full dept and it's performed well. I use dewalt 12tpi for wood.

              I would cycle through all your batteries. Brand new Li-ion batteries if not used could malfunction. I had a new battery, used the tool once and left the battery on a shelf for a year. Went to recharge the battery and use the tool and the battery was no good any more. This was a mastercraft product. Ever since this has happened to me I always cycle through all my batteries. Also if you are storing them for a while, a month or more, do it at half charge. if the battery is fully dead charge it until you see it at half charge and take it off an put it up. Not sure if you are interested but you can buy a Ridgid radio. That thing is great for draining fully charged battery down to half charge as the radio gets used a fair bit even when I'm just working around the house, camping etc, a small batter will last me all day.

              I had the same issue with Home Depot. I was told to go there and get the tool service done. I arrived and the guy at Home Depot looked at me like I was crazy and like he had no clue as to what I was talking about. So I went home and called Ridgid again and the woman gave me her contact info to give the person at Home Depot so she could walk them through the process. When I got off the phone I was pretty ticked by the situation. It's not my job to update Home Depot on the tool return policy at their store for their house brand of tools. Why couldn't Ridgid release a memo to Home Depot with the new changes etc. Why should I be the gopher all of a sudden. As I stewed over it more and more I finally just took the whole kit back and exchanged it for another kit. What a waste, returning a complete X4 kit because of one tool.

              That sucks that your tools never got added back into your LSA after they were replaced. Something which has always been useful for me is I always have a print out of my tools in a pdf file. When I get a replacement I call and get them to update my file and I then do a current print pdf of my most current file. This way I always know I have a record of my tools and everything that is currently covered.
              Last edited by Supermanofsteel; 06-26-2013, 06:58 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

                Originally posted by miamicuse View Post
                oh and if anyone has the same experience as my 18v one hand recip saw that can't even cut a 2x4 without stopping 20 times, please tell me. I would like to use it if it's really supposed to do that. I don't have that many 1/2" PVC pipes laying around just to exercise that saw.

                do you really think that a sawzall wont or shouldnt be able to cut through a 2x4?


                • #9
                  Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

                  If the saw won't cut a 2x4 with a freshly charged battery and new blade then something is wrong.

                  The stop/start sounds like a battery that is exhuasted, but I am sure you have tried more than one battery so must be something else.

                  I would label each of the 5 batteries with a letter, number, or some other mark (you could use a month/year code like D13, 1312, 312, or 1213 for Dec 2013) so I could tell them apart and cycle through them in order. This would help ensure you use them all and one does not get stuck on the shelf and ignored for 6 months.

                  Since you basically use only one tool and have five batteries swap them out once per day/week/month depending on how fast you deplete a battery, even if you have not fully exhausted that battery, and charge the battery just removed as soon as you take it out so that you have fully charged batteries on the shelf, not a mix of charge levels amongst the 4 or them. Of course if you are working a project and deplete a battery in a couple hours swap to the next battery in your sequence and put the first on charge. With 5 batteries you should never run out of power as you said.

                  Not sure what your reasoning is for not using the 2 batteries still in boxes. If you are thinking they have a 'dry charge' like old wet cell (lead/acid) car batteries did back when they were shipped w/o acid in them that does not apply to these types of batteries.
                  "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2006
                  "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"



                  • #10
                    Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

                    This "stop - stop" phenomenon seems to be common on a number of Ridgid tools, at least by the threads that I have read. IIRC, it was first reported with the compact 12 Li-Ion JobMax batteries and much of the thought at the time was it might be the switch. My own JobMax worked quite nicely the first couple of times that I used it, but within just a few months started to act the same way.

                    After some reading and since reading several posts of similar Li-Ion effects on other tools, I'[m of the belief that there's some problems with Ridgid's protective circuitry within the battery itself. This "stop-start" problem seems to be within a number of tools and I'm of the opinion that it's mostly Ridgid, but of course that's primarily what I read only here.

                    I do know that Li-Ion technology seems to be very temperamental and have read troubling reports in everything from laptops to jumbo jet avionics systems with Li-Ion applications. What I don't get is that there seems to be no comments from Ridgid/TTI on this problem. Perhaps they just don't want to bring a rush of requests for exchange or something. Personally, my experience with the 12-Volt Li-Ion tools has been such that I much prefer to just stick with my old NiCad tools.

                    The only Li-Ion tools that I've been happy with are the little Ryobi Tek4 stuff, and the only amp-demanding tool there is the little power screw driver... and when that bogs down on because of torque, it simply stops and depletes the battery.

                    Bottom line for me, is that Li-Ion batteries (as produced by TTI anyway), simply cannot handle high-demand applications and are more suited to longer storage life and low-demand amperage items like radio's, meters, lights, etc.



                    • #11
                      Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

                      Should I try to have it "FIXED"?

                      If I take it to a tool center and put a blade on with a fully charged battery (and yes I have tried different batteries all fully charged), can I insist that it be returned and investigated? See, if I just push the trigger the sawzall will cut all day long through air, and I cannot reproduce the stop/start problem. It is when I am actually cutting materials this happens.

                      Chances are they don't see a problem with it, and return the same tool to me. I just wondered if I may luck out if they send me a different saw. Obviously there are some that work and some don't since not everyone is having the same problem I am having.


                      • #12
                        Re: Lithium Ion Battery Questions

                        Oh by the way, I received in the mail today a new 18V battery.

                        When I go to my product registration dashboard and check the information there has been changed...but I am not sure what it meant.

                        It used to be:

                        BATTERY PACK 18V 1.4Ah LISHEN
                        registered: 11.05.2012
                        model number: 130383028
                        serial number: CS1029
                        warranty : 3 YEAR WARRANTY

                        Now, that line has changed to:

                        BATTERY PACK 18V 1.4Ah LISHEN
                        registered: 11.05.2012
                        model number: 130383028
                        serial number: CS1029
                        warranty : * this field is now blank *

                        Now, I expected this, because the old battery is now gone. I also see a new entry:

                        registered: 06.26.2013
                        model number:130383025
                        serial number: * this field is blank *
                        warranty : * this field is blank *

                        What does the blank fields mean? This replacement battery is no longer under any warranty? I thought there is still a warranty on the balance of the three year period, no?