BATTERY & CHARGER FACTS for NiCd Batteries
1. How long does it take to charge my battery?It depends on the type of charger you own. The basic cup charger, sku# FS18C, takes 8 hours to charge a drained 18v battery to full charge. The B&D model FSMVC charges a drained 18v battery back to full charge in about 2 hours, and the FS240 takes 1 hour.
2. Are the batteries charged when the tool is new out of the box?
No. There is a minimal amount of charge in the battery when the tool is brand new. You should place the battery on the charger for a minimum of 8 hours before the first use to ensure that there is a full charge.
3. Is there a break-in period with my battery?
Yes, the battery will actually increase its runtime capacity during the first few charge cycles. We recommend that it will take up to 5 recharge cycles before the battery’s runtime is a maximum capacity.
4. Should I completely drain my battery before I put it back on the charger?
No, you should stop using a battery as soon as you feel or hear a substantial decrease in power from the tool. Completely running down a battery may damage it. For example, never tape the trigger to run down the battery.
5. What is memory, and do Black & Decker batteries have it?
Our battery runtimes are not affected by battery memory. Memory is one of many conditions which cause a loss of run-time, or the ability of the battery to operate as long over many charges. Memory is created from repetitive light use in the exact same application (i.e. Cordless Phones, Video Cameras, Electric Shavers, etc.) Our products rarely see light use or the exact same loads because of variability from the user, the accessory size, as well as material differences. Therefore, Black & Decker batteries do not develop a memory condition which is more common in some other battery powered devices.
6. Does it hurt Black & Decker batteries to leave them in the charger?
No, all Black & Decker chargers have a maintenance mode which allow batteries to remain in the charger, maintaining a fully charged pack until the user is ready to work. However, if you are not planning to use the battery for a month or longer (like over the winter season if an outdoor tool), we recommend that you take the fully charged pack off the charger, store in a cool, dry location, and unplug the charger. This will help to save electricity.
If the batteries are stored outside of the charger, they will discharge naturally, 15-20% the first 24 hours, 7-10% the next day, and about 1% every day thereafter. If the battery has been removed from the charger, be sure to allow a full 8 hour charge prior to use again.
7. What can I do to improve the run-time of my battery?
If no permanent damage has been done to your battery, you may be able to improve its run-time. The correct procedure for charging your batteries is as follows:
- Discharge the battery under normal use. Remove the battery, once you feel a loss of power from the tool. Do not tape the trigger on.
- Let the battery sit out of the charger for at least 2 hours until the battery is at room temperature.
- Place the battery in the charger overnight to allow for a full charge on each individual cell (A minimum of 8 hours at room temperature). This may have to be repeated a few times if the battery has been sitting in a charger for a long period of time. If there is no difference in run-time, there is either permanent damage or the battery has reached the end of its usable life. In either case, the battery should be replaced.
8. Does the outside temperature affect batteries? How?
Definitely. If the batteries are too hot (105°F or higher) or too cold (below 40°F), the batteries will not take a full charge. Attempting to charge batteries outside the 40°F-105°F range can result in a permanent loss of run-time. When batteries are being charged and discharged, a chemical reaction is taking place, and if it is too hot or cold the chemical reaction is disturbed causing a loss of run-time.
9. Where should I store the battery?
Batteries should be charged and stored in a cool (40°F to 75°F), dry location.
10. Should any special precautions be taken when transporting or traveling with batteries?
Transporting batteries can possibly cause fires if the battery terminals inadvertently come in contact with conductive materials such as keys, coins, hand tools and the like. The U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) actually prohibits transporting batteries in commerce or on airplanes (i.e. packed in suitcases and carry-on luggage) UNLESS they are properly protected from short circuits. So anytime you transport individual batteries, make sure that the battery terminals are protected and well insulated from materials that could contact them and cause a short circuit.
11. Different tools come with different battery runtimes even if they are the same voltage.
For example, Black & Decker’s 18 volt line of lawn and garden tools (string trimmers) use higher capacity (Amp Hours) 18 volt batteries than Black & Decker power tools (cordless drills). Even though the 18v outdoor tool battery and the 18v power tool battery are interchangeable and will work in either tool, the performance of each of these tools is dependant on the capacity of the battery. Therefore, if you own both 18 volt outdoor tools and 18v power tools, it’s a good idea to mark which batteries came with each tool to ensure that you are optimizing your runtime and performance.
12. How long should I expect my 18v battery to last?
That really depends on a number of conditions, including usage frequency and care taken with the tool and battery. On average, the useful life of an 18v NiCd battery is 150-200 full charge cycles before the user will feel that the battery should be replaced.
13. What should be done with batteries once they have reached the end of their useful life?
RECYCLE THEM. DEWALT is an active participant with RBRC (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation), the organization which is the international leader in the collection and recycling of rechargeable batteries. Old batteries can be disposed of at any Black & Decker/DEWALT Service Center, or for other locations and information go to the Customer Service page.