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Joeviking14
18 volt rechargable batteries

Are 18 volt batteries interchangeable by brands?

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

While 18v is 18v, no matter who's making the battery, manufacturers use proprietary attachment mechanisms, making each battery brand specific. And, while most are using lithium-ion technology these days, you need to make sure that the charger you have will charge the batteries, or rather the replacement batteries, you are buying.

To answer your next question, no, the tool doesn't care what the cells are made of (NiCad, Lipo, etc. ), so long as the required voltage is correct. That means you can replace old battery tech (NiCad ) with new tech (lithium ion ), so long as you have the correct charger for the battery you are buying. Using a Nicad Charger on a new tech battery won't work, the charger's electronics won't likely do it, and if it does, it is an extreme fire hazard.

dj1
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Tool makers would drive themselves out of business if they had universal rechargeable batteries (one battery fits all).

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Internally, the batteries are the same, except that some are NiMH and some are Lithium Ion. The cells are 1.2v each and are about the size of a AA battery. Its the package they are in and the location of the contacts that varies from brand to brand.

Within the brand, most batteries of the same voltage are interchangable, that is if you have several 18 volt tools from one manufacturer, they will all accept the 18v batteries from that manufacturer, even the Lith Ion will interchance with the NiMH of the same voltage.

For example, all the 18 volt tools sold by Ryobi will accept any of the 18v Lithium Ion batteries or 18v NiMH. Same for Black and Decker. But the Ryobi batteries will not fit into the Black and Decker tools and visa versa.

dj1
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Keith, you're basically right about what you said. Manufacturers are guarding their market and replacement market as well.

However, while all batteries may look the same internally, they vary widely in power and torque when compared to batteries with the same features.

I use Makita with 18 Lith batteries, and they outlast and out power the other drills with the similar batteries.

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries
dj1 wrote:

However, while all batteries may look the same internally, they vary widely in power and torque when compared to batteries with the same features.

I use Makita with 18 Lith batteries, and they outlast and out power the other drills with the similar batteries.

You're getting off topic, however make some good points. Battery cells are made by the millions, then graded by how good they are. The cream of the crop are used by the big name brands, you're paying for the name, you're paying for the quality, and they give you cells that are premium. As you go down the scale in brand name, Ryobi being one of the lowest you get cheaper and cheaper cells that are not as good as the premium cells. This is part of the Makita out lasting other brands on a single charge. Then you get into the mechanics of the tool, gear ratios, electronic braking, regenerative braking, etc., all of which affect how long a tool can go on a single charge.

Basically, there are only one or two battery manufacturers out there, let's say it's Panasonic and Sanyo. You can bet that they'll be keeping the premium cells to put their name on. Cells that are still great, but not quite to Panasonic or Sanyo's specs will be packaged as another brand, the next lower spec cells will be branded to another company, and so on, and so on . . . So, this is a big reason that a Makita, and other name brands will have a longer runtime than a Ryobi.

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

dj1, there is actually less difference between the batteries of different brands than you might think, especially with Lithium Ion. There are only a couple of manufacturers of the cells used.

The reason one brand may run longer on its batteries than another is more due to the quality of the tool itself. For example, Makita uses ball bearings in its tools so there is less friction. This makes the batteries seem to be more powerful and last longer, but it is simply less power robbing friction in the tool. Lower cost brands like the ones I use have mostly sleeve bearings in them. They have lower performance and a shorter battery life, but for homeowner use, that is fine. The pros have to use the higher priced tools because their income depends on it.

The lower priced tools are a trade off, but the tools do perform adequately for my needs. Any more performance is just gilding the lily, like a **** plated hammer.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

We had a place locally that would rebuild tool battery packs using generic cells, but this was the old NiCd types, IDK about Li.
Casey

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Let me add this to my argument that it is the tool and not the battery.

18v 4AH Lithium Ion battery: Ryobi-$100, Makita-$100.

18v 3/8" drill, basic model 2 speed, Roybi-$69, Makita- $169

I rest my case.

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries
keith3267 wrote:

Let me add this to my argument that it is the tool and not the battery.

18v 4AH Lithium Ion battery: Ryobi-$100, Makita-$100.

18v 3/8" drill, basic model 2 speed, Roybi-$69, Makita- $169

I rest my case.

As you said earlier, the tool works for you, and that is all that matters. Something to consider, however, is tool quality and what that means when you are using it. The best analogy would be using a knife in the kitchen, is it easier, better, safer, more enjoyable to use a sharp knife or a dull one? The sharp knife is better, is it not? The quality of the cuts, the ease of use, the accuracy, the enjoyment using it . . . The same can be said for better quality tools, in how they fit your hand, how they perform, etc. I'm willing to bet that if you, personally, put your Ryobi up against the Makita or other better brand name, that the $100 tool price difference will seem like chump change that you'll gladly hand over.

A real world case for you, I have Senco nail guns, always ready to go, never have any issues with them, always perform excellently, always a pleasure to use. When I was in need of a 1/4" crown stapler for a couple small projects, it wasn't worth the $200+ to buy a Senco, I opted for a Chicago Pneumatic (Harbor Freight ) for $50. The CP is EXACTLY what you would expect it to be, a cheap, inaccurate, misfiring, binding, piece of garbage, not enjoyable at all. The caveat here is that I knew this going in and also knew that I could put up with it for the couple of projects I had for it and won't be using it again except for the rare occasion, if this were not the case, I'd have bought a Senco.

Not trying to bust your chops on your choice of tools, again, if they work for you, great! Just don't be afraid to try other brands because they cost a little more, you could be depriving yourself of actually enjoying the use of your tools. :cool:

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

I did have a Makita, a 12v drill. It had as much power as the 18v Ryobi I bought to replace it when they obsoleted the battery and its battery went south. It wasn't as well balanced as the Ryobi, but none of the tools of its vintage were, the new Makita's are much better. The fact is that the Ryobi is comfortable enough, has enough power and battery life and is just fine with me. I went with Ryobi because of the time, it had a lot of tools that used the same batteries. I believe the One+ system they came up with was the first to do this, all the other brands soon followed with their standardized batteries.

Ryobi has now entered the yard and garden with the same philosophy with their 40v line of tools. I have a few of them and they are quite adequate for me, but I'm not a professional landscaper. Echo is starting to copy the Ryobi concept but with 58v tools. I am sure they are better, but I am already invested with the Ryobi system. I have the chainsaw, trimmer/edger and polesaw attachment for the trimmer/edger. Now if they could just make a Mantis type tiller in 40v and maybe a 40v, 54" ZTR riding mower. :)

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