Every craftsman is confused with the voltage differences available in cordless tool batteries. Let’s first get familiar with battery basics.
What is voltage and current?
Voltage in a battery conveys how much energy the cell can generate in idyllic conditions. It defines the maximum energy a battery can supply to produce electric current. Voltage is the battery’s power and current is used to describe the power movement through a circuit.
When you perform a research on batteries and in comparison, of cordless tools, consider amp-hours and voltage. Voltage is a unit that measures the energy in a battery and an ampere is the unit used to measure current. High voltage batteries work with potent cordless tools. They supply energy to applications needing most high torque.
AH ratings determine battery discharge speed, which differs in respect to manufacturers and applications. Ratings are general indicators used to compare similar products. Heavy duty applications will gain from batteries having high AH rating, which allows you to work with the tool for long duration without a need for frequent recharging.
Cordless tool comparison
Battery voltage differences can affect the performance of cordless tool. However, first you will need to understand the distinction, so as to determine the right option. For example, Cordless grinder, which operates on 20V batteries, will perform efficiently, when you use it for heavy duty applications. In addition, if it is associated with 5AH ratings, you can use the tool for long duration without the battery getting discharged. However, high voltage tools are costly.
Types of batteries
Cordless tools can use three kinds of batteries. The NiCd or nickel-cadmium batteries were first launched for public use. NiMH or nickel-metal hydride batteries entered the market shortly. Both technologies enable users to recharge and possess similar benefits.
Users can use NiCd and NiMH batteries to its full capacity without any concern of damaging its performance. NiMH batteries store energy more effectively, than NiCd batteries.
Advanced battery technology gave Li-ion or Lithium-ion batteries, which has high storage capacity in comparison to NiMH and NiCd. During storage Li-ion batteries get discharged more slowly in comparison. Negligible maintenance is needed and you can recharge them after using it for short time without damaging performance.
When you go shopping for cordless drill…….
Cordless drill power depends mostly on the voltage, which ranges from 10V to 24V. You can get information about the tools voltage printed on its battery. While selecting consider the purpose –
Light duty tasks
For driving screws or drilling small holes in materials like, plastic, softwood, hardwood, and plaster board, you will not need much energy. Such light duty tasks can be conducted with cordless drill driver having low voltage – 12V.
Heavy duty tasks
In addition, to the materials mentioned in light duty tasks heavy duty tasks include ceramic and metal. These need more power, so select a tool with high voltage – 14V
Is the tools weight significant?
Obviously, high voltage tool will weigh more, which cannot be an issue if you are going to employ the drill occasionally. If you are planning a project, which need working for lengthy period then weight matters. Heavy tool can cause fatigue on your wrist and arm. Therefore consider the type of project you will be working with, for tool selection.
Drilling or screw-driving in awkward areas like the roof rafter, where the cordless drill will need to be held over your head can become strenuous, if you are using a heavy device.
What is your budget?
High voltage battery is more expensive. Users prefer the 12V or 14V cordless drill drive because it offers good amount of torque, which is much affordable than the 18V tool including heavy price tag.
Even consider how you will use it in future. Low voltage tool will save money but in future, when you need to perform heavy duty tasks, you may not be able to achieve it with this device.
Do you own another cordless tool?
Cordless tools having same voltage and brands can possible share batteries. For example, if you already own a 14.4V cordless impact drive from a popular brand then select a drill drive of the same brand and voltage. Thus more batteries can be shared between both tools.
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How to take care of cordless tool battery?
Totally draining a battery depends on kind of battery technology used. Old NiCd and NiMH batteries depend on memory to preserve their charges, so deep discharges enable the battery to store large energy capacity for long time period.
Modern Li-ion battery has short discharge time, which keeps battery running for long. After every session charge them without damaging performance. The battery should not get completely discharged.
Any kind of batteries you use, voltage difference plays vital role in unit’s performance.