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Makita makes it easier to say goodbye to NiCad batteries

comments (1) January 15th, 2010 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

As if longer runtime and lighter weight aren't good enough reasons to toss your NiCad and NiMh batteries in favor of a Li-ion upgrade, Makita is now offering some free tools to entice buyers to choose their Li-ion cordless tools.

For instance, buy a 6- or 7-piece 18v LXT cordless kit and you mail in a redemption form to receive a free impact driver, hammer-drill/driver, angle grinder, reciprocating saw, 6 1/2-in. circular saw, or blower - all of which are shipped to you as a bare tool (not battery pack/charger) that is compatible with the same battery system and voltage.

This may be a good solution for those buyers who are interested in a 4-piece cordless kit, but they really wish they could get that 5th tool that isn't included in the standard set.

To see which purchases qualify, and what tools are up for redemption, visit Makitas promo page.

For more on Li-ion battery technology, check out my article: What You Need To Know About Li-ion

posted in: Blogs, saws, miter saws, drills and drivers, circular saw, grinders and polishers, combo kit
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Comments (1)

Wintersun Wintersun writes: Lithium-ion batteries will provide more total power than a comparably sized NiCad and are friendlier to the environment but they also produce less peak power to a drill motor. Lithium-ion batteries suffer from thermal runaway which is why they can sometimes burst into flames - like the millions of Sony laptop batteries that were recalled. This is prevented by special circuitry that limits both how fast the current can be drawn from the cells and how far a cell can be discharged.

The effect is easy to see with the new Lithium-ion powered drills that also have a LED light. When the battery power is cut to the motor it is also cut to the LED light and with high torque cutting like a large bi-metal hole saw in wood the result is a strobe like effect with the LED flashing on and off repeatedly.

For this reason is greatly improves performance of the Lithium-ion powered drill to use a high efficiency hole cutter and not a bi-metal hole saw. The new large gullet hole cutters from Bosch, Blue Boar, and Milwaukee need 1/10 as much power and this makes a big difference in the draw from the Lithium-ion battery cartridge. It also helps to use the right torque range and I have found that drills with 3-speed gearboxes will outperform their 2-speed counterparts for this reason.

I have no idea how the manufacturers actually measure the power provided by their drills and as their is no agreed upon approach, much less an independent testing lab, the numbers are only a general indication of the power available. I have noticed that a 550 inch pound rated drill from a manufacturer will produce more than four times as many holes per battery charge as a 400 inch pound rated drill where its battery is quickly drained. There is not direct correlation between the ratings and real world performance.
Posted: 11:08 pm on May 30th

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