Learn how to convert an electric screwdriver to lithium ion batteries with your own hands

electric screwdriver is so tightly squeezed into the life of modern man that no repair or construction work at home and at work can do without it. The main convenience of the tool is in its mobility, which is provided by a removable self-contained battery. That’s why the device in question is called a “cordless electric screwdriver”. Often in operation the question arises about how to convert the battery of an electric screwdriver, because nickel-cadmium batteries have a big disadvantage compared to lithium batteries. it is a low life. In order not to buy a new electric tool with a lithium battery, you can upgrade the old battery by replacing the nickel-cadmium banks in it.

Portability of an electric screwdriver is achieved by using an independent power source. As such source is a rechargeable battery, the principle of operation of which is similar to the usual battery for a watch or remote control. Only the battery for power tools has a voltage several tens of times greater than that of an ordinary finger battery.

The battery powers the electric screwdriver motor. As the electric motor armature rotates, torque is transmitted to the gearbox. The gearbox lowers or increases the rotation speed (depending on the mode set) of the working organ, the chuck, in which the bits are fixed. The independent power source as a battery in an electric screwdriver is a key element, without which the work of the device would not be possible.

Often owners of inexpensive screwdrivers are faced with such a situation as a rapid discharge of the battery. The reason for this is the material of manufacture of an independent power source. There are three main types of batteries for an electric screwdriver:

  • Nickel-cadmium batteries are the most basic, inexpensive, and short-lived. Another disadvantage of this material is a small charge reserve
  • Nickel-metal hydride. an improved modification of cadmium batteries, which have increased resistance to frequent charges and discharges (but they also discharge quickly). Exposure to low temperatures has a negative effect on the source’s runtime
  • Lithium ion batteries are a new era of batteries that not only hold a long charge (slow consumption due to high capacity), but can also last for at least 10 years

Often owners only realize after buying an electric screwdriver that comes with a nickel-cadmium battery that they “should have chosen a power tool with a lithium battery”. The reason for buying a power tool with a nickel cadmium battery source is also easy to explain, since a device with such a battery is several times cheaper. If you don’t believe me, you can compare on screwdrivers at Cylinder online store.

Easy battery replacement

To see if you can get by with a simple lithium battery replacement, just look at the batteries installed in the battery of an electric screwdriver. Often this information can be obtained from the characteristics of the instrument. Modern screwdrivers usually have lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. If so. You’re lucky and it doesn’t require a lot of work.

In such a case, the most obvious solution would be to look at the lithium batteries that make up the block and choose either exactly the same model or an analog with similar characteristics. You are very lucky, if the cells are installed in battery compartments and not soldered to special rails. That way you can get away with “little blood” and just replace the “tired” cells with new ones. In most cases, however, the cells are soldered and you will need basic soldering skills to make a new assembly. It is very important to observe the polarity and properly connect each element. Fortunately, there are a lot of manuals on the internet for soldering battery assemblies for a variety of different screwdriver models.

By the way, often the malfunction of the electric screwdriver battery is associated with the failure of individual cells, so in certain cases it is sufficient to identify faulty cells by measuring their voltage under the load fork and carry out selective replacement. Although obviously the best solution would be to completely replace all the cells.

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Unfortunately, if your electric screwdriver is quite old, there is a high probability that it has nickel-cadmium batteries (Ni-Cd). In this case, the obvious choice would be to replace the batteries in your electric screwdriver with a lithium 18650. Li-ion has a higher power capacity, so that in the same volume of the battery case you can install a high-capacity assembly, which also has a long service life.

make, electric, screwdriver, battery

Battery types

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd). This is an old type of battery that began to be widely used back in the mid-twentieth century. Nickel-cadmium batteries have two distinct advantages.

One is the high number of charge/discharge cycles of modern devices that can reach up to 1,000. The battery can therefore have a shelf life of up to 20 years. The second advantage is the ability to work in various temperature conditions.

But these batteries also have several significant disadvantages, among which the most significant. High weight and the so-called “memory effect”. Add to that the fact that the production of these power sources for tools pollutes the environment.

The “memory effect.”. is a loss of capacity. If the battery is constantly recharged, it “remembers” that the capacity has not been fully used. And the next time it’s turned on to work, it only gives energy up to the “remembered” limit.

Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh). The first new type of battery appeared in the early 1970s. It was a breakthrough. NiMh batteries now weigh considerably less than nickel-cadmium batteries and have almost no “memory effect. Their production does not pollute the environment.

But the drawback is that nickel-metal hydride batteries have fewer charge/discharge cycles and it is not recommended to work with them at minus temperatures.

Please note! NiMh and NiCd batteries can only be recharged after the battery is fully discharged. Frequent recharging reduces battery capacity.

Lithium-ion (Li-Ion). New generation batteries were first introduced in 1991. Sony brought them into mass production. They are very good at holding significantly more charge than previous generations of batteries. They have no “memory effect”, so they can be charged at any time, not just when the battery is completely discharged. Weight and size are reduced by 40% compared to NiMH or NiCd batteries, especially important for cordless professional tools, including cordless drills, which are used intensively by craftsmen throughout the working day.

Battery type NiCd NiMh Li-Ion
Specific energy capacity 45-65 Wh/kg 60-70Wh/kg 110-230 Wh/kg
“Memory Effect.” available available no
Number of charge/discharge cycles than 1000 300-500 600
Self-discharge per month 10% 7-10% 3-5%
Storage conditions Fully discharged Partially discharged Fully charged
Charging conditions After fully discharging the battery After the battery is fully discharged At any time

Tool manufacturers continue to improve lithium-ion batteries and battery chargers on their own:

  • Metabo is the first company to develop new technology that allows you to cool the battery while it is charging, thus speeding up the whole process by 30%. If the battery heats up less during recharging, the time it takes to fully charge the battery is reduced. Metabo launches universal quick chargers for NiCd / NiMH and Li-Ion battery packs. They have different charging times: fast devices have about 15 minutes, but to charge the battery with a universal device will need to wait for about half an hour.
  • Makita also improved its lithium-ion batteries. Since 2009, they have had a built-in chip that captures all the data: frequency and intensity of use, number of charge/discharge cycles, residual capacity, and so on. Thanks to this information, the unit automatically selects the best charging conditions for that particular battery. This has increased Makita battery life by 280%!
  • Ryobi launches ONE series cordless tool. Ryobi ONE batteries fit all products in the series, so you can use one battery for your electric screwdriver, sabre saw, and any other Ryobi ONE tool. Their capacity is 1.7 Ah, and their voltage. 18 В. And Ryobi ONE chargers and batteries can be purchased separately from the tools.

In our online catalog you will find cordless drills and other tools with all kinds of batteries. For example, a Makita 6347 DWDE has a nickel-metal hydride battery, a DeWALT DW 907 K2A has a nickel-cadmium battery, and the Bosch GSB 36 V comes with two Li-ion batteries.

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A new round of development. Scientists predict that magnesium-sulfur (Mg/S) batteries are capable of surpassing lithium batteries. Even now there is research and active development of scientists in this area. After all, in theory, magnesium-sulfur batteries are capable of producing energy density of more than 4000 Wh/L, when the energy density of Li-Ion reaches 230 Wh/kg. The main problem is that no electrolyte has yet been found that can stabilize magnesium and sulfur.

Portable power supply from an electric screwdriver battery

Hi all.

To dilute my reviews, I’m adding a DIY post. Specifically, a small case for a battery from an electric screwdriver, which allows you to use this battery as a standalone 12V power source.

Actually, the idea came to mind after looking at a range of products Miwaukee. They have a Miwaukee Power Source. That is the case with a connector for a battery M12. Planned to do this for a battery from BDCAT (review), but in fact fits other Chinese batteries.

I have been drawing for a couple of days, the hardest part was the lock. Redrawed it 3 times until it fit the dimensions (the Chinese seem to make standards “by eye”) Next I drew the case for the battery. Shape. triangle, the battery holds three 18650 cells. In general it turned out like this.

Loaded it into the slicer for 3D printing and adjusted it. Printed it with a default of 0.2mm layer, about 2 hours. It is better to print standing up, without supports. Fill it up as you want, you don’t want 100%, about 40%. 50% (the wall is thin). Printing result. For comparison, next to the battery, I printed several cases at once, for experimentation. The battery case does not fit tightly, with a slight stretch. The lock is fixed with a slight click, as in the case of an electric screwdriver. I made the contacts from a piece of tin (tin cans, beer cans, which are not aluminum, can be made from a piece of wire) If you do it right. on the contacts appears voltage. Mark for convenience and. Originally the idea was for a soldering iron TS100, from 12V works. In the photos saw the heating from 50 ° C to 250 ° C current consumption up to 2A Soldering iron works quite adequately. The battery has overdischarge protection, so you can use it safely. Additionally in the bottom I installed a USB step-down (12V. 5V) In the bottom made a place for the cable, but if you want you can finish drawing and the cover as the body of the board, for a particular version. You can charge your phone)))

If you want you can cut any connectors/outlets/cables for convenience. It is reasonable to install the cigarette lighter jack, but this will increase the size of the Holder. It is convenient to use Chinese batteries because they contain at the same time and the charging board with a circular jack.

How to restore the battery capacity of an electric screwdriver: reflashing nickel-cadmium batteries

This technique is acceptable only if the battery cells are not dried up. otherwise there is nothing else to do but send them to the scrap yard. Unfortunately, to be sure of the integrity of the electrolyte in these batteries can only be tested. if this method of charging does not work, it means that the cells are dry. If it helps, you are lucky. Concludes this method of solving the problem, how to restore the battery of an electric screwdriver, in charging its elements with a high current and voltage. It looks like this.

  • Take apart the battery and check the charging of all cells (jars).
  • Next, we connect a powerful charger to the cells. The car battery will also do, if it is equipped with voltage and current regulators. Set it up. as a rule, each battery cell of an electric screwdriver has a charge with a voltage of 1.2V and a small amount of current. For each battery you need to supply voltage at least three times higher.
  • Charge, but do it briefly. apply current for no more than 3-5 seconds. After that check the charge with a multimeter. If the voltage at each cell has increased to 1.4 volts or slightly lower, then Focus is successful, and the battery can be assembled and used further.
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How to repair the battery of an electric screwdriver photo

If some batteries can not be recharged in this way, simply unsolder them and discard them. Replace them with new batteries. Once again I remind you that this method allows to get rid of the memory effect of Ni-Cd batteries. completely “dead” batteries cannot be restored this way.

Use a powerful charger

Remember the huge garage battery chargers? Such a unit can help, but there is a nuance: it can not quickly charge the battery, but in a relatively short time can transfer enough energy to successfully start.

The main thing to do is to set the charger to a high current of up to 10% of the battery capacity. For example, the battery capacity of 55 ampere-hours should be charged with a current of 5.5 amperes. In these conditions the car battery will be recharged in just 15 minutes.

Important! Charge the battery by disconnecting it from the car’s onboard power grid. In addition, this method of recharging negatively affects the life of the battery.

Wind turbine

Old cordless electric screwdriver is suitable for creating a simple model of a wind turbine, which will look like a weather vane. You need to disassemble the tool and disconnect its contacts, remove the mechanical elements.

How To Make Rechargeable Screwdriver From DC Motor at Home

Insert the shaft of the electric motor into the cartridge, clamping it securely. Bolt a plate of metal no thicker than 1 mm to the gearbox, which will later serve as the basis for mounting the blades of the wind turbine.

For the manufacture of blades great suit a plastic tube, sawn lengthwise into 2 parts. Put a clamping collar on the shaft located between the gear and the chuck. The motor and chuck are securely attached to a base made of plywood.

Provide protection of the wind turbine from precipitation by placing the working elements of the device in an empty aluminum container.

After making the vane, attach the generator to its end, connect the wiring to the motor. A multimeter is used to check the power of the wind turbine by rotating the blades.

Choose a battery according to

Types of batteries we have already compared in detail, and you can well decide which one you need, depending on the nature of the planned work. But there are two other main characteristics of batteries, by which the choice of an electric screwdriver is made:

Screwdriver battery capacity can be from 1 Ah to 7 Ah. Means how many amps are expended in an hour of operation. As a result it turns out that the tool with a 1 Ah battery will drive screws for about 2 hours without recharging, which is average. 4-5 hours, the highest capacity batteries provide 8-9 hours of operation.

That is, the higher the capacity rating, the longer the device will work without a break to charge or change the battery.

Battery voltage determines the class of the tool and its power:

  • Up to 12 volts. screwdrivers with low power. Used for infrequent and uncomplicated housework;
  • 12-18 volt voltage. the most common. They are excellent screwdrivers, designed for home craftsmen and professionals alike. They are used in repair works, installation of partitions;
  • The most powerful. 36 volts. Apparatuses professional, with them you can twist the longest and thickest screws, dowels, screws and self-tapping screws. And also to work on very hard surfaces (metal or wood), to screw in screws and drill holes.

When choosing a battery by voltage, look carefully in the data sheet of the electric screwdriver, what voltage the manufacturer recommends for this model. If you have a 12 volt battery, you should not use a 18 volt model. The engine is not designed for this voltage, it could break down.

If you have any questions after reading this article, feel free to leave your Комментарии и мнения владельцев below. I am happy to answer them!

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