What type of battery is best for an electric screwdriver

Nickel-cadmium batteries

This type of battery is the most common, although it is over 100 years old. NiCd batteries have good capacity and low cost.

Nickel-cadmium batteries have the following advantages.

  • Durability. With proper operation, the battery can last 8-10 years.
  • Ability to work at low temperatures. The battery power is practically not reduced, which allows using the tool in the winter outdoors.
  • High degree of reliability and unpretentiousness to working conditions.
  • The battery can withstand a thousand charge-discharge cycles.
  • The battery can be stored for a long time in a discharged state.

Since NiCd batteries are not “afraid” of full discharge, you can work with the tool until it stops completely, that is, until the battery is deeply discharged. Only then can you put it on charge, without fear that the battery capacity will decrease.

However, nickel-cadmium batteries are not without their drawbacks. Toxicity of internal battery filling causes disposal problems.

In some European countries, the operation of nickel-cadmium batteries is prohibited in order to preserve the environment.

Batteries of this type are quite heavy when compared to other types of batteries. In addition, they have a “memory effect”. This phenomenon occurs in a nickel-cadmium battery when it is prevented from fully discharging. If you turn on such a battery for recharging, then it will “remember” this value and during further work it will be discharged exactly to this mark. This will lose a significant portion of the battery’s capacity. The figure below clearly demonstrates how the “memory effect” appears.

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Replacing batteries with similar ones

On some units, you can see the mounting screws that need to be removed. But on most battery packs there are no self-tapping screws, since the body is glued together. To open such a block, you will need to carefully insert a screwdriver into the gluing place (shown by an arrow in the photo) and press lightly so that the walls of the case are detached. The same actions need to be done around the entire perimeter.

After opening the block, you will see the batteries in it.

  • You need to solder quickly, not allowing the battery to heat up, as it may become unusable.
  • For connections, you need to use the “native” plates, desoldering them from the old batteries (they have the desired cross-section and resistance).
  • It is important to correctly connect the plus and minus of the battery. The elements must be connected in series: the minus of the previous battery must be connected to the plus of the new one, and the minus of the new battery to the plus contact of the next battery.

After connecting all the elements, it is necessary to equalize the potentials on all batteries, since they are different. Carry out one charge-discharge cycle: connect the charger to the battery overnight, then let it cool down for a day and measure the output voltage in turn on all the cells. If everything went well, then on all batteries the indicator will be the same. within 1.3 V.

Now the battery needs to be discharged by inserting it into an electric screwdriver and loading the latter to the maximum. The main thing is not to overheat the engine of the tool. Give him a little rest. Bring the battery to full discharge. Repeat this procedure 2 more times (full charge and full discharge).

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Nickel metal hydride batteries

NiMH batteries have been designed to overcome the disadvantages of nickel-cadmium batteries. The positive characteristics of NiMH batteries are as follows:

type, battery, best, electric, screwdriver
  • have smaller dimensions and weight;
  • have low toxicity;
  • The “memory effect” is poorly expressed;
  • have high capacitive characteristics;
  • resistant to mechanical damage;
  • increased number of charge-discharge cycles (up to 1500).

However, NiMH batteries have their drawbacks:

  • it is forbidden to use them at negative ambient temperatures;
  • The battery tends to discharge quickly;
  • shorter battery life when compared to nickel-cadmium batteries;
  • high price;
  • takes a long time to charge;
  • The battery does not “tolerate” deep discharge.

Thus, although NiMH batteries were designed to compete with nickel-cadmium batteries, they are significantly inferior in performance to the latter.

Lithium-ion batteries

Li-Ion batteries significantly outperform other types of batteries. The advantages of lithium-ion batteries include the following:

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  • almost complete absence of the “memory effect”;
  • You can recharge the lithium-ion battery at any stage of discharge, without fear of loss of capacity;
  • no power loss at low battery charge;
  • the effective service life is 5-8 years;
  • low self-discharge;
  • takes little time to charge;
  • there are no toxic elements;
  • high power with small dimensions.
  • sensitivity to impacts (may explode with strong impacts);
  • the battery does not tolerate full discharge and overcharge. this causes the battery to fail;
  • discharges quickly at low temperatures;
  • high price;
  • service life is lower than that of nickel-cadmium batteries.

It is difficult to say unequivocally which battery is better. Basically, you must decide for what purpose you are going to purchase an electric screwdriver. If for home use, which implies infrequent switching on with long interruptions in work, then you need to choose a tool with a nickel-cadmium battery.

This can be explained by the fact that during long-term storage without recharging the NiCd battery does not lose its properties, provided that it has been completely discharged.

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Lithium-ion batteries are the professional choice. They are designed for continuous, long-term and uninterrupted operation. The recharge time of the battery is also important for a professional tool. But it’s worth remembering one rule: a lithium battery cannot be brought to full discharge.

Replacement with lithium batteries

Replacing NiCd cells with Li-Ion is also not difficult. It is known from the school course that if the batteries are connected in series, then their voltage ratings will be summed up. For example, your electric screwdriver runs on a battery with a voltage of 14.4 V, which means that it can be replaced with four 3.3 V finger batteries. This voltage will be enough, because the lithium batteries do not “sag” too much when starting the device.

It is recommended to buy batteries from well-known manufacturers, for example, Sistem A123. The LiFePO4 battery of this company has a capacity of 2400 mAh, sufficient for the normal functioning of an electric screwdriver. If you buy batteries via the Internet, then they will cost you less. around 900 rubles for 3 pieces.

When buying batteries, pay attention to whether there are copper strips on their contacts. If they are, then the soldering process is much easier.

You will also need to purchase soldering acid instead of alcohol flux. In this case, overheating of the batteries will be minimized. The soldering iron must have a power within 65W.

You can learn more about how batteries are replaced with lithium batteries by watching this video.

How can you replace the “native” battery in an electric screwdriver

If the batteries in your electric screwdriver are worn out, they can be easily replaced. There is such a thing as battery interchangeability. For example, under the PowerPlant brand, batteries are produced that are compatible with most popular brands of power tools. They cost much less than the “native” batteries and are quite efficient.

But if this option does not suit you, then the batteries themselves in the unit can be replaced with new ones. To do this, you will have to disassemble the battery pack and remove the elements that make up it.

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Which battery for an electric screwdriver is better to choose

The cordless electric screwdriver is a rather convenient and demanded tool. The independence of the power supply makes this device mobile and allows you to work in hard-to-reach places. But despite all the advantages, the rechargeable battery (AKB) is the weak link in an electric screwdriver. Therefore, when choosing a power tool, you first need to understand what types of batteries exist, what is their difference, the pros and cons of different types of batteries.

Which battery is best for an electric screwdriver

The battery is an essential element of any electric screwdriver. Its technical characteristics affect how powerful the tool will be, how long it can work and how comfortable it is. For this reason, in order for the choice to be really high-quality, it is necessary to understand the design features of the battery, which is what today’s article will be about.

What types of batteries are there

The battery should be chosen based not only on the available amount, but also on the expected frequency of operation with an electric screwdriver. At the moment, the following types of batteries are distinguished with which the tool is completed:

  • Nickel-cadmium. this type of battery is obsolete, but this does not prevent them from successfully competing with more modern devices. It is popular for its affordable cost. Compared to metal hydride, nickel-cadmium is almost 2-3 times cheaper. When compared with other types, the difference in cost is even more noticeable. The main negative quality of this type of battery can be called the “memory effect”. If you do not follow the charge / discharge cycle, then the capacity of the battery can be significantly reduced, to the point that it will fail.
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride. These batteries also have the disadvantage of a nickel-cadmium sample, but this is largely minimized. The “memory effect” is present here, but it is expressed much less. These batteries are good for their increased capacity and significantly reduced self-discharge. Compared to nickel-cadmium products, this type of battery is more expensive.
  • Lithium-ion. there are simply no shortcomings of the previous two types. However, there are still weaknesses. Li-on batteries cannot be completely discharged or, conversely, recharged. They will simply be destroyed (even explode). As a result, the technical requirements for the device itself increase. Advantages: high specific capacity, compactness and light weight, better coefficient of electrical density, no memory effect. Disadvantages: does not tolerate negative temperatures well, the battery cannot be restored, it is expensive, you can only use the factory charger.
  • Lithium polymer is a modern development based on li-ion technology. It is worth noting that such batteries are practically not used in electric tools, since they are characterized by high cost. The main distinguishing feature is that the standard electrolyte is replaced by a gel-like polymer. This made it possible not only to increase the capacity, but also to manufacture batteries of any shape. Like other products, this type has its negative qualities: a relatively short service life (about 2 years or 500 charge-discharge cycles) and high requirements for use. As noted, such types are practically not used in power tools, due to the high cost.

Features of choice depending on the scope of use

When choosing a battery, one should make a start not only on its type, but also on the purpose and to what extent the electric screwdriver will be used.

For example, if a tool is selected for production work or is needed by a person who regularly makes repairs, it will require trouble-free operation of the power tool for a long time. It is important that the battery is not afraid of high or low temperatures, different weather conditions. Great if you can charge it quickly.

In such conditions, it is best to choose a nickel-cadmium battery. This is the kind that is usually installed on powerful professional screwdrivers. In order for the tool to work truly offline, many craftsmen purchase additional and spare batteries. Thus, there is no need to stop work to recharge the battery.

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In the case of household use of an electric screwdriver and with small loads, you can build on two options. If you want the battery to last about 6 years and during this period did not create any difficulties, professionals recommend the nickel-cadmium type. Li-ion is optimal if the master is able to comply with the charge-discharge conditions. Such batteries are installed in low to medium power tools, and they can be charged regardless of how discharged they are. An additional benefit. lithium-ion products are more compact and lighter, which has a positive effect on work performance.

Battery capacity. what it affects

If the indicator is higher, then the electric screwdriver can work longer. The number of hours during which the battery will provide the maximum discharge current depends on it. Measurement unit. mA / h.

The lowest capacity indicator is inherent in nickel-cadmium products. The largest indicator is lithium-based batteries. Do not think that the battery charge of the former will not be enough to meet household needs, unless, of course, this is the construction of a house.

You can choose one or another type of battery, taking into account the operating conditions of the instrument. If the priority is low cost and durability, then nickel-cadmium products are chosen. Lithium-based batteries are great because they have more capacity.

What type of battery is best for an electric screwdriver?

This type of battery for an electric screwdriver is considered the “oldest”, it was invented over a century ago. They are the most common today. Ideal for household class models.

Can be stored fully discharged

type, battery, best, electric, screwdriver

Average battery life 1000 charge / discharge cycles

Susceptible to the so-called “memory effect”. It manifests itself when the battery is put on charge before it is actually discharged. In this case, the device controller perceives the initial capacity of the battery set to charge as “0” (ie, completely discharged). In the future, the battery will be discharged at this “new level”. Thus, the capacity of a fully charged battery will spontaneously decrease if this type of battery is used incorrectly.

Cadmium is a harmful chemical element and, in order not to harm the environment, its disposal must be carried out in compliance with all the necessary requirements.

A modern type of battery that is widely used in household and professional power tools.

High rates of charging / discharging cycles of the battery

Poor tolerance to negative temperatures

Deep discharge of the battery must not be allowed (manufacturers take this fact into account, install a special controller that “turns off” the battery before the battery is completely discharged)

Do not allow long-term storage of the battery without a charge (it is enough to check the charge occasionally and, if necessary, recharge)

Li-Ion batteries are more expensive than Ni-Cd batteries

Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride)

It appeared in production relatively recently, in 2005, since then it has been widely used in cordless power tools, and manufacturers continue to modernize this type of battery. Currently used, including a more modern (and technologically advanced) type. LSD Ni-MH, but not yet widespread enough.

Have 20% more capacity with the same dimensions of the Ni-Cd battery

Sufficiently high coefficient of resistance to frost

Practically free from the “memory effect” (it is allowed to charge an incompletely discharged battery if it has been stored in this state for no more than several days)

Battery life up to 1000 charge / discharge cycles

2. Determining the battery capacity

type, battery, best, electric, screwdriver

Here the basic rule applies: “The higher the capacity of the battery, the longer it will work without recharging.” However, it must be remembered that a more powerful battery requires a higher energy consumption.