The charge of battery power tools shows no signs of receding at any time soon – both professional users and homeowners are coming around to the benefits of battery, with less noise, lower vibrations and no emissions at the top of the list!
If you’ve taken the plunge and invested in a battery powered tool, there are plenty of ways to get the most of it. We’ve put together an expert guide to understanding and looking after your battery so that it can deliver the performance you need.
Clean power tools will use less battery power
Tools that are kept clean work with less friction, which means that less power is needed to run the tool, and your battery will run for longer. Make sure that all parts of your machine are free from dirt and well lubricated before use.
Don’t use damp or wet batteries
Trying to use a wet battery in your cordless power tool is a bad idea, but if it does get wet or dirty, simply switch off the machine, remove the battery, wipe it down with a cloth, then put the battery somewhere under cover and let it dry. If the openings in the battery or the charger is dirty, clean them gently with a soft brush.
Make sure that the battery’s contact points don’t come into contact with anything metal either as this can damage it.
Charge the battery correctly
The optimum temperature for a battery during charging is between 0°C and 40°C. Batteries may not charge if they are colder or hotter than this. STIHL battery chargers feature an integrated cooling function which actively cool the batteries whilst charging.
Get to know the LEDs on your battery
The LEDs on your battery are designed to show how much charge you have left in the battery, and on STIHL batteries, they can also indicate faults. If the LEDs are red, instead of green, any of the following could be causing a problem.
One red LED means the battery is too hot or too cold. If the battery is too cold, slowly warm it up by leaving it indoors for a while. If it’s too warm, you need to let it cool down.
Three red LEDs continuously lit up means that the machine itself (rather than the battery) is too warm. Allow it to cool down before using it again.
Three red flashing LEDs means that there is a fault in the tool, and it needs to be assessed.
Four red flashing LEDs means there is a fault in the battery which should also be assessed.
Lithium Ion batteries and deep discharge
Deep discharge can causes damage to your battery, and reduces its long-term capacity so you get less charging cycles. STIHL’s intelligent battery system monitors the voltage in the individual Lithium-Ion battery cells so that it is impossible to exhaust or over charge the battery and damage it in this way.
Storing the battery
STIHL advise against storing the battery in the power tool itself. Take it out and store it separately in a clean, dry place out of direct sunlight and ideally in some packaging, such as cardboard, to protect it. It can be stored at a temperature between -10°C and 50°C. If you aren’t going to be using it again for a while, we suggest leaving it with a charge level of 40–60%.