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Cordless Drill Batteries


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Hi all,

Could someone tell me what sort of life cordless batteries have?

I bought an Atlas Copco 14v cordless drill (I think thats what its called) about 2 years ago.
I don't use it that much but the batteries seem to last less and less compared to when they were new.

I'm assuming they will eventually get to the stage where I need to buy new ones. Would this be normal?



Established Member
12 Jan 2003
Reaction score
are the batteries ni-cad or lithium-ion ??

as a general rule of thumb, ni-cads tend to accumilate "memory" and thus start to supply less "useable charge" to the user. (you know..... if you use them but don`t dis-charge them completely before charging again).

lithium-ion batteries were origonally developed for uses such as laptops and mobile phones, but are now becoming ever increasingly used instead of ni-cads. They don`t develope "memory" and generally last longer in-terms of charge retension than ni-cads. (I don`t think that they can supply the sample current capacity though???? i.e. per unit weight, but I`m not sure).

anyhow for a pro workshop (being used every day), and being treated well (not being thrown about, generally looked after) 2 years is quite good life-time and you should probably look at getting some replacements. (I know for a fact that site-work means considerably less life-time!!!!!).

symptoms for a bad battery would include:
1) not holding charge properly (i.e. go flat very quickly)
2) excessive heat generated (by-product of electro-chemical reaction that supplies the current)
3) loss of power in the drill i.e. less torque
4) shortened charging times

a little tip is not to leave batteries charged if they aren`t going to be used for a while (i.e. more than a week). I have been told that this can effect the charge storage of a battery.

If the batteries in your case are ni-cads, try discharing them COMPLETELY i.e. running down completely flat, you may need to get a car-bulb and connect it across the terminal of the battery to do this to ensure that it is COMPLETELY flat (check it with a multi meter). Then charge it (on slow charge if available) and repeat a few times.
charge-discharge-charge-discharge being careful to completely discharge the battery.
SOMETIMES this can unlock the charge "memory" of the battery (an old cam-corder trick)

hope this helps!!


I guess that batteries, like everything else wear out eventually, and have to be replaced.

I do know that these type of batteries like to be continually drained and recharged, to get the best out of them.

I left a screwdriver for 3 months last year, and when i came to use it, the battery was dead as a dodo, and would not recharge itself.
( i talked my daughter into a new one for xmas)



Stevenprigg, Jabby

I dont know which ones I've got. I do know that they take about 30-45 mins to charge. I didnt think they were the ones that you have to run down first. I'll check all this, refer back to these replies,and hopefully will be more the wiser.

Many thanks