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  • Battery life indicator

    A good friend of mine recently bought a Skill 18v. combo kit. The Skill is like a homeowner class vs the Ridgid would be a contractor class.One thing I thought was pretty neat though was on the batteries. There is a button you press and LED's will light up to show how much of a charge is in the battery. Much like a fuel gauge on your vehicle.

  • #2
    Yes, I have seen many features on the Black & Decker & Skil tools that would be nice features on the contractor grade tools from any of the major tool manufacturers. While I know that the contractor-grade tools are built better and stronger I do think that some of the more user-friendly items are being implemented by the home-user grade tool manufacturers.

    I wonder if we will see any of these show up on the "better" tools or not?

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    • #3
      Most of those features are pretty useless. Makita had the "fuel gage" on batteries a while back and dropped it. Most "fancy" features on home owner models are not attactive to contractors. The "gel" grips on B&D tools that are out now make me laugh.

      You can tell a battery needs charging by its performance and with a 30 minute charger you can afford to wait. It's poor planning for both batteries to be dead at the same time, but with a double-30 minute charger, you can stay busy for a little bit. 10 minutes of charge will probably get you through until the other battery is full.

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      • #4
        "Pretty useless" is being too nice. So called "battery remaining capacity gauges" are nothing more than re-calibrated voltmeters. They are based on the assumption that remaining capacity will be more or less linear to terminal voltage over a given range. That is only true if a battery is "at rest," which means that it has been sitting with neither load nor charge for several hours, and then it is still only really valid for lead-acid batteries. The voltage curve for NiCads and NMHi batteries is nearly flat over its useful range until it falls over a cliff at the end.

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