In the previous ten years, battery-powered tools have made significant progress. Using lithium-ion batteries instead of nickel-cadmium ones enhances performance and runtimes, as opposed to the older batteries. Even in the workplace, “cutting the cord” is becoming more and more commonplace. Extension cords and generators are no longer necessary for professionals to transport to the construction site. However, how long are Lithium-ion batteries expected to hold up?
FRAMING THE LITHIUM-ION LONGEVITY QUESTION
Even so, the switch to cordless convenience can be costly because of the high cost of Li-ion batteries. Of course, the astute professional will think about the long-term financial implications of switching to cordless tools before making the purchase. How long can a battery be unused? How many times can a battery be charged? What makes Lithium-ion batteries unique? When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, how long do they last?
During our research, we spoke to product managers and executives from Bosch, DeWalt, Metabo HPT (previously Hitachi), Makita, Milwaukee, and Ridgid to get some responses from the manufacturers. While there are some discrepancies in the replies, the major issues are generally agreed upon.
HOW LONG DO LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES LAST IN STORAGE?
Battery storage was our first choice. A battery’s useful life is one thing, but what about batteries that are just lying around? After all, you never know if picking up that “old” pack at the flea market will change your mind.
The shelf life of a battery pack is affected by a variety of external factors. In what state of charge was the pack stored? Will the battery be kept at a higher or lower temperature depending on the user? In which one of these locations will you keep your battery? When it comes to internal electronics, who made them and how effective are they at regulating the flow of current?
Of course, if a battery pack’s charge capacity falls below a particular level, it will no longer be able to charge. Although some dead batteries can be “resurrected,” this is the end of the battery’s useful life. Depending on the production methods and components as well as those external circumstances, this may take a long time to happen.
Having said that, it appears that the average shelf life of a battery pack has been established. You should expect your batteries to survive anywhere from three to six years on a shelf if you keep them properly. What is the most important thing to remember? Ensure that your batteries are not exposed to excessive heat. For Li-ion batteries, extreme heat is their greatest adversary.
HOW MANY CHARGING CYCLES CAN YOU EXPECT TO GET?
Several factors influence the answer to this question. The type of battery and its capacity, as well as the temperature in which it is being stored, all play a role.
The number of charging cycles a battery may withstand before failing is also influenced by user behavior. Whether you want to believe it or not, your battery packs aren’t a substitute for a hammer. Blunt force injuries to your Li-ion batteries will shorten their life expectancy.
So, how long do Lithium-ion batteries last in terms of charging cycles? However, despite the above-mentioned circumstances, most of our manufacturers say that consumers may anticipate to obtain around 1,000 charge cycles out of any given battery.
What Exactly is a Charging Cycle?
The definition of a charging cycle varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Running a battery down and then recharging it is the norm for a single charging cycle. When charging a battery, however, most batteries count one full charging cycle every time you plug it in. Even if the battery only needed a little juice, this happens all the same.
In order to account for this, Makita claims to have a “smart” mechanism in place. Their batteries and chargers communicate in such a way that they are able to determine the charge level and temperature of the battery they are using. The charger then controls the voltage, current, and temperature of the battery to recharge it. This method extends the battery’s lifespan. Additionally, it extends the battery’s charging cycles. That’s just one of the many reasons you should only use batteries and chargers that come directly from the manufacturer.
Most manufacturers tend to believe that a device may withstand between 1000 and 2000 charging cycles before it needs to be replaced. The equivalent of charging your battery every day for up to six years is akin to this. Expectations should be kept on the lower end of the spectrum, which is why we propose doing just that.
HOW LONG DO LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES LAST COMPARED TO NICAD BATTERIES?
Over the past decade, NiCad batteries have been extinct. Even yet, for some, it acts as a sort of reference point. Compared to NiCad batteries, Li-ion batteries are smaller and lighter. Additionally, as it depletes, Li-ion doesn’t experience voltage reductions in the same way as other types of batteries. That said, what about durability?
In storage, both types of batteries will self-discharge. NiCad, on the other hand, self-degrades at the rate of 1% to 3% every day. If you didn’t use your NiCad battery, it was usual to see a recharge every several weeks—even if you hadn’t even opened it!
Lithium-ion batteries have a significantly slower rate of self-discharge. In fact, it’s almost imperceptible. The design of the pack has a significant impact on the rate at which this discharge happens.
Unlike NiCad batteries, Li-ion batteries employ far more cutting-edge technology than ever before. The analogy is inappropriate and outdated, to say the least. Manufacturers of lithium ion batteries often include safety against overload, over-discharge, and overheating. They all work to keep the battery safe. Their lifespan is also extended. These safeguards were often absent from NiCad and NiMH batteries, which were commonly used in portable electronic devices.
You had to recharge your battery packs numerous times during their use, despite the fact that NiCad batteries were meant to withstand 1000 charging cycles. There was also the “battery memory effect” to contend with. We guarantee this is the last time we’ll bring up antiquated technology.
IN THE END
So, how long are lithium-ion batteries good for? Most battery manufacturers want their batteries to last at least three years or 1,000 charging cycles, which is the bare minimum (whichever is less). This said—we advise “put your warranty where your mouth is”. A 2- to 3-year guarantee is offered by Bosch, DeWalt, Metabo HPT (Hitachi), Makita, Milwaukee Tool, and Ridgid on its lithium-ion batteries. It’s a good indication of what they’re hoping to get out of those packs.
If you take good care of your batteries, you should be able to get at least that much use out of them.
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