POWER to the People
Manufacturers of tool technology place a continued
emphasis on batteries that promote
lightweight performance and flexibility.
By Anna Wells
It’s not uncommon to find an industrial worker with a power tool in their hands a dozen or more times per day. Whether it’s a task involving assembly or maintenance,
power and speed are important – but perhaps most critical is
the assurance of knowing the tool is ready to go at a moment’s
notice. With reliability being top of mind for most users, power
tool manufacturers place continued emphasis on improving the
batteries that make a cordless tool go.
Making A Battery Better
Rechargeable battery technology has changed tremendously
over the years as industry experts have sought ways to eliminate
the cord or air compressor to make these types of tools easier and
more effective to use in tight spaces. But the challenge for developers is in increasing the performance and run time of batteries
without adding weight to the tools, something power tool manufacturers have spent countless development hours addressing.
According to Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., its line of
REDLITHIUM™ batteries provide up to 40 percent more run-
time, 20 percent more power,
and 50 percent more
recharges than conventional
lithium-ion batteries. As a result,
Milwaukee® 18V and 12V cordless
drills, impact drivers, saws, and specialty tools achieve more work per charge
and more work for the life of the battery.
“The most important thing to our users is
productivity: time equals money,” explains
Paul Fry, VP of Cordless Product Marketing,
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. “It may seem
simple, but one of the user’s
favorite features on all of our
cordless tools is the onboard
fuel gauge, which helps
them monitor the charge
precisely so there’s less
downtime on the job.”
LEADER of the (Battery) Pack
Lithium-ion battery technology is everywhere, from cars and
forklifts to mobile devices and, of course, power tools. But it
wasn't so long ago that the more common battery of choice,
nickel-cadmium, reigned supreme and it wasn't until the
1970s when lithium-ion became commercially available.
According to Battery University, the online educational plat-
form of battery testing leader Cadex Electronics, the energy
density of lithium-ion is typically twice that of the standard
nickel-cadmium. "Lithium-ion is a low maintenance battery, an
advantage that most other chemistries cannot claim," says BU.
"There is no memory and no scheduled cycling is required to
prolong the battery’s life. In addition, the self-discharge is less
than half compared to nickel-cadmium, making lithium-ion well
suited for modern fuel gauge applications. Lithium-ion cells cause little harm when disposed."