A tool's productivity is often of greater concern than the battery chemistry that drives it, but the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery platform merits closer consideration.
Li-ion batteries, widely used in products like cell phones and laptop computers, are now able to support high-amp-drawing power tools.
In cordless power tool applications, Li-ion batteries offer several advantages. More-compact battery cells yield lighter-weight battery packs, and Li-ion batteries allow for more charging cycles than NiMH or ni-cad batteries for longer battery life. Li-ion batteries can also be charged at any point in their cycle. They require less time to fully charge; they store a charge longer than ni-cad or NiMH batteries when not in use, and there is no power drop-off as the battery discharges.
Though Li-ion tools have premium price tags, as Makita product manager Rod Dick notes, “The true cost of batteries extends beyond the cash register. Extending battery life improves investment value and increasing run times similarly increases jobsite productivity. These factors make the true cost of ownership very attractive.”
—This story first appeared in PROSALES magazine.