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The Benefits of Lithium-Ion Batteries

DCB204 1-Pack

DCB204 1-Pack

DeWalt and Lithium-Ion Technology

In our
Introduction to DeWalt Tools, we discussed who DeWalt is as a company, and the different things they do to make themselves a leader in tool manufacturing.  The DeWalt name has been a major force in the tool industry for generations, creating a solid reputation from scratch.  From humble beginnings, DeWalt strives to make quality, American-made products for its end users.  Whether it’s their tools, or tool accessories, you can expect nothing less than the best from DeWalt.  As a proud seller of DeWalt products we at KL Jack & Co appreciate DeWalt’s philosophy and enjoy representing their many fine products. DeWalt are specifically designed for hard work and are constantly advancing technology to better handle the toughest jobsites, allowing confidence and efficiency on the job.  Being “Guaranteed Tough,” DeWalt tools hold up to the harshest conditions, in every environment.  Their tool accessories are no exception to that.  The DeWalt 20V MAX* XR Lithium-Ion Batteries are created with the leading battery chemistry and technology, and are built to handle the toughest jobs.  These XR Lithium-Ion batteries are have been developed to withstand 33% more workload than previous battery models, which means they allow you to “charge less and work more.”  DeWalt 20V batteries like the DCB203 and DCB204, exhibit the extra run-time capacity, as well as a 3-LED Fuel Gauge System that let’s you know exactly how much battery life is left.  Having no memory effect and essentially no self-discharge lets the user achieve maximum productivity with less downtime. Designed with a focus on ease of use and reducing user fatigue and with weights ranging from only 1.0 to 1.5 lbs. the 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah and 5.0Ah 20V MAX* XR batteries allow for maximum runtime in a lightweight form factor.  With their easy, slide-on base-plate and their compatibility with DeWalt’s entire line of 20V MAX* Tools, the batteries are extremely easy to use for multiple applications.

What’s The Big Deal With Lithium-Ion?

Lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density, a slow loss of charge, and a no memory effect, which makes them the most popular and most common of rechargeable batteries for portable, consumer electronics.  Now what do those things mean? High energy density for lithium-ion batteries, refers to the amount of energy a battery cell can hold in volume, thus relating to its overall runtime.  DeWalt 20V MAX* XR batteries have been specifically optimized for high capacity, or energy density, so that they can run for longer periods of time. Lithium is what allows for the battery’s high energy density because it is the lightest of all metals, and has the greatest electrochemical potential (twice as much as the standard nickel-cadmium battery).  Slow loss of charge is simply that, the battery is slow to lose its charge during operation. Lithium-Ion batteries lose roughly only 5 percent of its charge per month, compared to a 20 percent loss per month for nickel-based batteries. Now memory effect is a common trait among nickel-based batteries, when they begin to hold less charge over time.  Having no memory effect means that you don’t have to completely drain the battery before recharging them, like you would for other battery powered electronics.  Lithium-Ion batteries can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles better than nickel-based batteries simply because of their differentiation in chemical make-up, thus allowing for no memory effect.  Due to its chemical makeup, it’s almost better to avoid completely draining the battery because that will completely ruin the battery overall.  Because of the lack of memory effect, there is no harm in leaving a partial charge when recharging the battery.

          But all of these great advantages doesn’t mean that lithium-ion batteries don’t have some limitations.  Of course they do, it’s just a matter of finding your way around them and making sure they don’t become long term problems.  A couple common concerns for lithium-ion batteries is aging and heat.  Degradation due to aging can be noticeable as soon as one year after leaving the factory from which they came, whether being used or not.  That’s why it’s important to make sure of the manufacturing date, to ensure that your new battery is, in fact, new.  Degradation can also be caused by exposure to excess heat.  Heat can cause batteries to degrade at a much faster rate, than they normally would.  Batteries often fail from aging after two or three years, but that is not limited to just lithium-ion batteries; this can happen to other battery chemistries as well.  A great way to avoid, or at least limit these problems is by storing the batteries in a cool place.  Manufacturers recommend storage at temperatures of 59°F (15°C), and at a partial charge of about 40%, in order to slow the aging process.  Another downfall for the lithium-ion battery is their cost.  These batteries tend to run a little expensive due to their energy density, and their need for an on-board computer for self-management.  You also have to keep in mind that lithium-ion battery technology is constantly changing, so it’s good to stay on top of those changes, but can also be frustrating when batteries become obsolete so quickly because those changes.  However, these batteries are definitely worth the investment, because of their ampere per hour (Ah) ratings, and their lack of memory effect.  If you maintain proper owner maintenance by keeping them in a cool place and monitoring their charge, and stay on top of changing technologies, that will definitely help to keep your investment secure. In short, think of your DeWalt Li-ion battery as a very powerful motor compressed into a small space. With more energy comes more heat, that’s physics. Store it in as cool a space as is practical and your investment in a professional grade tool will be rewarded.

So Where Does That Leave You?

DeWalt’s Lithium-Ion 20V max XR Batteries are a great investment, not only for their ease of use and compatibility between all DeWalt 20V tools, but also for their advanced lithium-ion technology.  You can be sure that you are getting exactly what you pay for, and a DeWalt “Guaranteed Tough” product.  Available in 2, 4, and 5Ah, to make sure you get the proper amount of run time for whatever project you’re working on.  Plus, we offer great combination packs that include tools, batteries, and chargers (to learn more, give our sales team a call)! And while, yes, you may be faced with some limitations due to aging, degradation, and cost; in the end, as long as you make sure you are using the battery properly and to its full potential, the batter will pay itself off well before it reaches it’s end of life.  Lithium-ion technology is extremely hard to beat, when putting it up to standard nickel-based batteries, because of their energy density and rechargeability.  You can be sure that at KL Jack, that we want only to provide the best products at the best price. Stocking DeWalt products has allowed us to do just that.


Work better, with DeWalt Li-Ion Batteries and KL Jack!


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If you’d like to learn more about lithium-ion batteries, check out our article sources below and
battery term glossary!


Article Sources