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Storing tools in cold weather

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  • Storing tools in cold weather

    Hello all, I was out working in my garage today (in Fargo, ND), and I started doing some rearranging of my power tools. I just wanted some opinions on this: How cold is too cold for corded/cordless power tools? I don't have an insulated garage, and I'm sure it gets down to zero degrees in there occassionally during the course of a normal North Dakota winter. Thoughts?

  • #2
    I live just outside Edmonton, where it is frigidly cold. There's no way I'd consider storing my cordless 18V drill outside in the garage, insulated though it is. I store mine in its case, in a spare closet in my house. Same for the batteries and charger. Batteries are easily affected by those kinds of harshly cold temperatures; I wouldn't want to lessen a battery's life just because I left it out in the cold.



    • #3
      I live in Michigan and keep and use mine in an uninsulated garage and have yet to suffer any tool problems. I have read that storing your batteries in frigid conditions may shorten their life expectancy but my only alternative would be in the basement and that would totally defeat the convenience of owning cordless tools. By the time I ran and got the batteries I could have plugged in a corded tool and had the task accomplished. I just make sure that I put a good charge on them at least once a month. If I used my cordless tools to make my living, I would probably adhere to the advice of storing them inside but if it shortens the battery life from 10 to 8 years that is a level of risk I’m willing to accept.



      • #4
        having been a former contractor including sheet metal we used to have caddy with all suppllies drills,chargers,batteries to take into workplace(s)/jobsites.
        this caddy was left in the service truck when not in use 24/7.
        You know the Canadian climate in Southern Regions
        The makita drills were the older styles with same plain black nicad batteries.
        We caried 6 to 8 batteries.
        Between the the 7. drill and 9. drill.
        We only had 1 battery failure/trouble.
        And it was about 5 years old and tortured.
        This we found remarkable almost unbelievable.
        These batteries even were dropped in projects(usually off/when on 5' or 6' step ladder so the bottom plastic black cover had to be re-cemented on.
        Our only priority was attempting to leave the batteries in a fully charged state when stored after last use.
        Sometimes the charge was discontinued if not fully finished if quitting time or jobsite work done.
        Yet the beasts played on faithfully.
        Using a black and decker full set now 18v Firestorm with 5 batteries and am seeing what they do with regard to similar treatment.
        They were bought cheap but have done well with no issues surprisingly as Firestorm cordless sets are not known for real "contractor acceptance" or maybe shall I say "perceived high quality"
        Thou retired from business now as work in plant maintenenace I am leving the batteries in cold location when not in use or go home.
        So far no issues.


        • #5
          Hmmmm...these last two replies are surprising to me, since AFAIK batteries are supposed to be kept out of cold. But I guess if you two haven't run into any problems, maybe I need to re-think it.

          I still think that it can't hurt to keep the batteries at room temperature in your house *if possible and convenient* [img]smile.gif[/img]



          • #6
            There have been a number of threads on batteries and charging and storage condition of them here in the past couple years. Try a search on 'battery charging'.

            In general I believe most manufacturers will tell you that you should charge a battery when it's temperature is somewhere between 50 and 90 Deg F, and the closer to ~70 F the better. Charging can be accomplished at higher/lower temps, but at reduced efficiency and possibly with some long term affects on the cell chemistry.

            My shop space is not heated unless I am in there, so most times it's cold. I leave my batteries in the shop unless the temp is expected to go below 30 Deg F, then I bring them indoors. Same goes for glue and finishing products, but I start bringing those items into a warmer area when the temp drops to around 50 F overnight.