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Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt #4583306
11/23/17 11:51 PM
11/23/17 11:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
I have owned a set of the Porter Cable 18V tools for some time that originally came with 18V NiCD battery packs. I've been diligent about running the batteries down all the way before recharging, so I'm still getting good runtime from the original batteries 8 years later.



However, it seems like PC released the exact same battery pack in a lithium-ion version a few years ago, and those batteries would fit my tools.




So 18V is 18V right? Even if the chemistry is different, the tool itself doesn't know the difference?

Would the factory charger (meant for NiCD) batteries be capable of charging a lithium battery? (I know PC sells a multi-chemistry charger for this purpose, but I'm trying to see if I can "upgrade" my tools to use lithium batteries at the lowest cost possible)

Re: Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt [Re: Reddy45] #4583360
11/24/17 05:02 AM
11/24/17 05:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 226
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 226
Cincinnati, USA
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I have owned a set of the Porter Cable 18V tools for some time that originally came with 18V NiCD battery packs. I've been diligent about running the batteries down all the way before recharging, so I'm still getting good runtime from the original batteries 8 years later.


Umm, no. That does nothing useful. NiCd do not have a memory effect outside of specific NASA testing that caused the exact same discharge level every time, in satellite use with solar recharging no less. What people more often mistakenly report as "me too" memory effect observations are just worn cells that need a discharge and recharge cycle to get them back to the rest of their (now worn) remaining capacity.

If anything it is worse for cells to drain all the way as they get older because the weakest cell in the pack will get closer and closer to being reverse charged, reach 0V and the user keeps using the tool so current through that 0V cells begins to reverse charge it. 2nd common problem was dumb chargers that overcharged and cooked the cells, though obviously you do not have a dumb charger or you'd never have gotten 8 years out of them, unless you barely ever used them.

[qote]However, it seems like PC released the exact same battery pack in a lithium-ion version a few years ago, and those batteries would fit my tools.

So 18V is 18V right? Even if the chemistry is different, the tool itself doesn't know the difference? [/quote]

Yes, the voltage is fine even considering that both battery types reach a higher peak charge voltage which ends up nearly the same. Your confidence and confirmation that they mechanically fit the same is the issue as far as function goes.

Quote:
Would the factory charger (meant for NiCD) batteries be capable of charging a lithium battery? (I know PC sells a multi-chemistry charger for this purpose, but I'm trying to see if I can "upgrade" my tools to use lithium batteries at the lowest cost possible)


No, you definitely cannot use a NiCd or NiMH charger for Li-Ion. Some Li-Ion generation chargers are backwards compatible but most definitely no older chargers are forwards compatible with Li-Ion.

The two most cost effective options are buy more NiCd packs or buy a new tool *set* including tool, battery(s) and charger. In the short term you could just buy the compatible charger seperately. Sometimes you can find *anything* cheap on ebay or amazon if you are patient, but as far as average pricing goes, by the time you buy batteries and charger separately, you come close enough to the price of a new kit including a tool, to go ahead and get the tool too.

On a side note, what Porter Cable now calls a 20V battery, is the same 18V nominal voltage. They've just marketed it at higher voltage like Dewalt did while both have the same volt range as their older packs marketed as 18V whether Li-Ion or NiCd (or NiMH too for that matter).

Re: Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt [Re: Reddy45] #4583463
11/24/17 09:03 AM
11/24/17 09:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
You need a new charger. Almost sure. The new tools are now brushless.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt [Re: Reddy45] #4583493
11/24/17 09:29 AM
11/24/17 09:29 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
IndyIan Offline
IndyIan  Offline
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,235
Ontario, Canada
I was upgraded for free to Li when one of my Nicads bit the dust on my Rigid drill. They made sure I gave them the old charger and gave me a new one.
Functionally there is no difference between the two with the exception that the Li seem to hold their charge longer just sitting around, and the Li battery has more protection for low voltages. The battery will kick off a bit sooner when the voltage drops than the Nicads would.
I suppose the Li batteries are lighter but on a 1/2" hammer drill it doesn't matter one bit.
I wouldn't "upgrade" until the Nicads kick the bucket.


07 Focus ZXW, 5spd manual, 218km M1 5W30
18 Outback 2.5 CVT 15km 0W20
Re: Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt [Re: IndyIan] #4583534
11/24/17 10:07 AM
11/24/17 10:07 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,943
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Online content
Kira  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,943
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Stupendous, informative thread! Many thanks. Kira

Re: Porter Cable 18V Tools - Upgrade to lithium batt [Re: Reddy45] #4583627
11/24/17 12:23 PM
11/24/17 12:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,080
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,080
Kalifornia Kollective
I like my new Porter Cable "20v" units. Lotta usable power smile


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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