The days of tangled cords and long extension cables are now in the past. Unlike corded drills, cordless drills allow more mobility and are much easier to use. Although, as the case with most battery-powered appliances, the efficiency of a cordless drill is reliant mostly on its battery life. Which begs the question: how long do cordless drill batteries last?
The longevity of a battery depends on its quality and size, but the use and management of the battery also have an impact on its lifespan. Let’s explore more to find a precise answer.
How Long Do Cordless Drill Batteries Last?
The average life cycle of a battery is around 800 to 1,000 charges. The length of this cycle is dependent on the use of the cordless drill. For an average user, it can last up to three to five years, if maintained properly.
Picking the right kind of battery depending on your preferences is as important as the use and maintenance of the battery.
Types of Cordless Drill Batteries
Here are some of the most common types of cordless drill batteries.
Nickel Cadmium Batteries:
Life Cycle: 1,000+ charges
- Has a longer life cycle
- Is cost-effective
- Cannot be damaged easily
- Has a lower capacity
- Is toxic and not environment-friendly
- Before recharging the battery must be cooled.
Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries:
Life Cycle: less than 600 cycles
- Is environment-friendly
- Costs less than Lithium-ion
- Has a higher capacity than Lithium-ion
- Is temperature-sensitive
- Lack of use has an impact on battery life
- Continuous discharge can reduce the lifespan
Life Cycle: Less than 1,900 cycles
- Light in weight and small
- Stores a larger amount of energy
- It has a very high capacity
- Is sensitive to heat
- Is costly in comparison to other battery types
- Temperature rise while charging may cause the battery to explode
Lithium-ion batteries provide a large amount of power from a small battery and have a longer life cycle, making them more preferable to users.
Cordless Drill Battery Maintenance
The battery of your cordless drill is what makes the drill function effectively. Proper maintenance and treatment are important as batteries are usually expensive to replace. A typical drill battery costs around $40. Save money and maximize the lifespan of your cordless drill’s battery by following the tips listed below.
Charge and Use Battery Regularly
Cordless drill batteries function at full capacity when they are charged and used regularly. Batteries tend to lose their charge if left inactive and uncharged for too long. To increase battery life, it is best to maintain battery charge above 70%.
We also recommended letting the battery reach full charge before it is unplugged, as it adds to the lifespan. This, of course, does not mean that the battery must continuously be plugged to the charger.
Overcharging damages most batteries, although, some batteries, like Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries, are made to be kept in their chargers. Be sure to read through the booklet of your cordless drill carefully and follow the guidelines.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the appropriate use of chargers. In the past, you could use different chargers to recharge different battery types. Nowadays, though, most cordless appliances have chargers that are designed for specific battery types. It is best to stick to the manual of your cordless drill to avoid damaging the battery.
Once your battery is charged and left idle for too long, it begins to gradually lose its charge.
You must only discharge the battery once a month, while at other times you may charge it as usual. Specifically, for Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries, the charge should normally be kept above 20%. These batteries should be discharged only once a month, while lithium-ion batteries should only be partially discharged.
Keep a Spare Battery
Having two batteries is convenient, especially if you use your cordless drill regularly. It allows you to use one while the spare battery can be fully charged. You can also avoid completely draining the lifespan of one battery this way.
Storage of Cordless Drill Battery
By keeping the battery in a cold, dry place, you can further maintain its life. Do not store in warm or wet areas. Changes in temperature can also affect lifespan.
It is best if the battery is protected against moisture, so be sure to keep it in a case or with padding. Most batteries come with some form of protective covering; do not throw it out and use it appropriately. Protective covering prevents battery terminals from shorting out.
Make sure to charge your battery up to at least 40% if you don’t intend on using it for a while. Avoid keeping other hard objects next to the battery as collision with them may cause damage and reduce the lifespan.
Myth Busting: Does removing the battery from the drill improve the lifespan? It does not make much of a difference for the lifespan of the drill, whether you remove the battery or not.
Most cordless drills have settings that allow you to adjust the speed of the drill. Working at a lower speed is best to maintain battery life.
The voltage of a battery tells us the power the battery can provide us. Make sure you have the right battery voltage depending on the kind of work you intend on doing using your cordless drill.
For light work it is best to use a battery between 7-15 voltage; 12-18 voltage battery is best for medium-level work; while 18-20 voltage is best for heavy work. Battery lifespan drains quickly if, for instance, you use a smaller voltage battery for heavy work.
User behavior also impacts battery life. Always handle your equipment with care. Try not to drop the battery as cracks and blunt force can be damaging. Also, be careful when putting the battery inside the cordless grill.
So, how long do cordless drill batteries last? Cordless drill battery life depends mostly on how you manage your battery. Proper maintenance and use of the battery not only helps cordless drills live to their full potential but it also makes them safer to use.
Your cordless drill is as good as the battery that runs it. Try to incorporate these tips into your daily routine to maximize the battery capacity.