One of the nice things about the 'old' Ni-Cd batteries is that their performance doesn't drop as much, or as suddenly, when they get cold- at least when compared to some other types of batteries. (Remember the brief fling with NiMH? Those batteries simply turned into bricks at about 30).
By now several of you should have had the chance to run your new Lithium-Ion tools in some reasonably cold weather. How are they performing? Do they seem to lack power or have short run times? Do you feel it necessary to take special measures to keep them warm?
My 18 volt Milwaukee compact Li drill kit has a "battery fuel" gauge on the batteries, with a button that you press to see how full the battery is. Anyway, A few days ago I needed to take a gable vent off, which involved taking out 6 construction screws and putting them back in. It was on 3 (out of 4) when I started, and I even brought the drill in a warm place while I did my work, When I went to put the louvered vent back on, my drill was dead after I put one screw halfway in. By the way, it's pretty cold here. Li is lighter and more powerful (could have zipped in many dozen screws in warmer weather)
That drill has the same amount of power up until the battery becomes too discharged, and the drill's electronics senses it and shuts off. The last light blinks telling you it's time to charge up.
That's one reason I haven't been in any hurry to switch to the new battery technology. I don't want to have to babysit my batteries and worry if they are warm enough all winter long. That and I can get two Dewalt 18V XRP NiCadís for the price of one of their newest batteries.
I really haven't been that unhappy with the older batteries performance so, I have no pressing need to switch to the new ones at this time anyway.
#197675 - 12/13/1008:13 PMRe: Cold Weather and the new Li-Ion Batteries
I can't say about the cold but I have noticed that my abusive techniques are not as well received by the li batteries. They shut off! I have been converting since I bought my De Walt 18v impact but I can clearly see that I am going to need to keep a few good nicads around for when I need to "push" my XRP a bit with a big hole saw or auger bit.