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  • #16
    Originally posted by Beagle View Post
    Milwaukee's 12v line seems to have good reviews. I've been eyeballing their 12v stuff just because it's cute and the battery discharging is a good excuse for a beer. I think Milwaukee is still interested in the professional level / exceptional quality expectation type user. DeWalt and Makita seem to have adopted the big box store consumer price point mentality from their accountants. My old DeWalt hammer drill was a beast, but was killed by fire. Literally. The new one took no time at all in showing me brush problems. It wound up in the toolbox for misfit tools. I don't have a lot of patience for having to repair a tool before I can repair or build whatever it was that made me get the tool out.

    Voltage doesn't necessarily equate to power, wattage does. Nobody advertises that way though. To me, none of the "voltage" stuff is really as relevant as how much current the pack can deliver. One guy can take the nominal charge (3.6v for most lithium) with 5 cells in series and call it 18v, another can might call it 20 (4.1 or 4.2v peak charge x 5s). None of them really say how many amps it can deliver, either continuous or burst. That's the number that interests me... and why I don't use the 1.5aH packs on my sawzall. All of this modern junk is still a ton better at saving time and labor than when I was a kid (Armstrong).
    I have several 12v Milwaukee tools, I really like them. What my non-scientific test has found is that 12v / 18v 12v is great for short-duration things. Milwaukee has batteries in a variety of amp hours - in both 12v and 18v - the 18v lasts longer. I can use a 1" hole saw on either, but the 12v isn't likely to get all the way through 1 hole whereas the 18v will.... that said if you're punching 100 1/8" holes, you'd far rather use the 12v because it's quite a bit lighter.

    Not on the same vein, but the 12v system comes with two battery styles - the larger capacity battery is foot-shaped, and that is really handy for setting the tool down. You'd think, at first glance, it wouldn't really matter - but I can assure you, it is quite handy is many situations.

    I bought my first 2 18v tools. they seem fine, but they're new so I'm sure I'll revisit this eventually

    nice thing about 12v tools - you have a portable jump-starting station wherever you go...
    Doing it all wrong since 1966

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    • #17
      Deboss talks Milwaukee..

      Tim
      Melbourne Australia

      65 Hardtop Impala, 70 GTS Monaro, 93 "80" Landcruiser

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      • #18
        Deboss.... the key here is he bought them with his own money and is still using them 3 years later... that would not be true with my Makita stuff.... I've gone through 2 drills (smoke escaped both), and the 3rd one now has about 30 thou of play in the main shaft bearing... my Makita sawzall let the smoke out the last time I used it and now works at about 50% of its pre-smoke power. I take 'responsibility' for the first drill - I was drilling large holes in metal while wearing gloves... which were covering the vent holes on the back of the drill - it got hot then said fu
        Doing it all wrong since 1966

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        • #19
          Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post

          I have several 12v Milwaukee tools, I really like them. What my non-scientific test has found is that 12v / 18v 12v is great for short-duration things. Milwaukee has batteries in a variety of amp hours - in both 12v and 18v - the 18v lasts longer. I can use a 1" hole saw on either, but the 12v isn't likely to get all the way through 1 hole whereas the 18v will.... that said if you're punching 100 1/8" holes, you'd far rather use the 12v because it's quite a bit lighter.

          Not on the same vein, but the 12v system comes with two battery styles - the larger capacity battery is foot-shaped, and that is really handy for setting the tool down. You'd think, at first glance, it wouldn't really matter - but I can assure you, it is quite handy is many situations.

          I bought my first 2 18v tools. they seem fine, but they're new so I'm sure I'll revisit this eventually

          nice thing about 12v tools - you have a portable jump-starting station wherever you go...
          https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...7285_200697285

          I'm thinking very hard about the 12v combo... tiny 1/2 hammer drill (?!! needed one last week), tiny impact with "stop breaking my drywall screws" mode, 2.0 Ah + 4.0Ah batteries. My super cheapy Ryobid impact found legs and walked off, and the store is on the way to a place I'm going today. 48watt hours in the 12v 4.0Ah battery is pretty close to a 3.0Ah 18v battery capacity. Either of which will generally last longer than my attention span.
          Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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          • #20
            Kind of off the subject but has anybody converted one of their battery powered tools with dead Nicad batteries to lithium batteries? I have a very heavy duty 1/2" 18v Makita that I bought in 2007 that still looks brand but the batteries died in 2011 so I bought new 1/2" 18v Bosch that came with 3 litium battery packs. I'd like to convert the Makita to lithium batteries if isn't too complicated and doesn't cost too much.
            Last edited by dieselhead; June 24, 2020, 05:30 PM.

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            • #21
              my Makita 1/4 drive 18v. had this in it for 3 years..

              2nd use with the Milwaukie.... poof...
              Doing it all wrong since 1966

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              • #22
                Originally posted by dieselhead View Post
                Kind of off the subject but has anybody converted one of their battery powered tools with dead Nicad batteries to lithium batteries? I have a very heavy duty 1/2" 18v Makita that I bought in 2007 that still looks brand but the batteries died in 2011 so I bought new 1/2" 18v Bosch that came with 3 litium battery packs. I'd like to convert the Makita to lithium batteries if isn't too complicated and doesn't cost too much.
                pretty much every battery pack has round batteries in them - so if you can get them apart in a manner where you can reassemble them, then odds are good you can swap the batteries. That said, NiCad has different charging requirements compared to Lithium so you'll need to be sure your charger doesn't cook them
                Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                • #23
                  The tool doesn't care too much about battery chemistry. If you can find an adapter on Ebay or Amazon, they will probably work.... the 3D printing community is good about building Frankenstein adapters so you might check Youtube or Thingiverse to see if somebody has already done one. That's the way to go if you can find one. I haven't gone to the 3D printing extreme yet. Yet. There are STL files available for many different housings where somebody has already done all the hard work and you can just print it out. You still have to use nickel strip or something non corrosive to make the connections but they spell it out pretty well.

                  I made my own adapter because I'm an idiot and glutton for punishment, but I really enjoyed the learning part. I made one up from scraps of wood after taking meaurements of everything I could think of with some calipers. When it fit close to what I wanted physically, I made a silicon mold of it and poured it in liquid casting plastic. It was not cost effective, but I learned a lot from the experience. I guess I could rationalize that since it kept me out of the bar, it was cost effective.

                  Replacing Nickel Cadmium or Nickel Metal Hydride cells with Lithium Ion cells

                  Short version: New tools are probably cheaper than building or converting the battery packs of one or two packs that can then be used safely. Youtube "Lithium fire" for some background of what all can go wrong.

                  Longish not really complete version:

                  I'll share what little I know about the pack building if you are thinking about changing out the cells. It really just scratches the surface. I find new things out all the time. There are a lot of considerations that need to be worked out before jumping into it. Lithium batteries can be quite dangerous if mistreated.

                  NiCad cells are usually a lot smaller dimensions than Lithium cells because they have to pack a lot of them in to get the same voltage. NiCads are usually 1.2v cells nominal charge. A typical 18650 (18mm x 65mm) is 3.6 or 3.7 volts nominal charge depending on the chemistry. You can usually get 4 or 5 Lithium Ion batteries in series into the pack for a 14.4 or 18v pack. You might have room for 8 or 10 cells and then parallel the two 4 or 5 series cells for twice the capacity. Getting them into the pack is the easy part.

                  Bonding the Lithium batteries together electrically in series and or parallel is where the first real problem is. You are not supposed to solder them together although plenty of people do and a lot of cells get ruined that way. You really should spot weld them and use nickel strips of suitable thickness for the currrent (amps, not amp hours) the pack is capable of delivering. Spot welder setups are not terribly expensive if you decide to get into this as a serious hobby. For one or two packs, it's not worth it. You can build a quick and dirty one, there are plenty of youtube videos on the topic.

                  Power tool Lithium battery packs typically have an on board battery management system (BMS) to balance the cell charge, prevent undercharge, overcharge, possibly overcurrent, and temperature protection for the pack. This is all mostly to keep them from burning down your house. Multiple packs in parallel will more or less self balance, but a series pack needs to have the cells balanced to the same voltage.

                  There are several Lithium Ion chemistries, they are all generically lumped into the term Lithium Ion for consumers but they have different compounds. Lithium Iron Phosphate for example, are usually 3.2v nominal instead of the 3.7v of, say, a Lithium with Cobalt Oxide chemistry, and are a lot more tolerant of user abuse / neglect. Power tool batteries are spec'd out as high drain batteries usually capable of 15-20 amp bursts (per cell) where computer battery packs might have 5 amp drain - that's part of the building process too, sourcing out the right cells. This is sometimes called a C rating, basically it's charge and discharge characteristics.

                  That brings you to the charger part, which has some specific requirements. The pack's BMS might already handle the charging needs, but a Lithium cell wants a constant current/constant voltage charge. It will start out with say, 1 amp constant charge until the voltage reaches a plateau of say, 4.0 volts, and then it will back off the amps until the battery gets to 4.1 volts (or maybe 4.2, depends on the BMS or the charger and the battery type).

                  I ended up looking like an RC hobbyist almost, all the battery junk but none of the RC toys to put them in. and there is a wealth of information they bring to the table. This is a rabbit hole I ended up going down and the things I ended up spending money on were cells, capton tape, shrink tubing, nickel strips, cell holders, and a bare bones spot welder. I built a carbon filter fan driven fume extractor for soldering. I spent money on CC/CV chargers, several kinds really, for different projects while learning. I think of it as a hobby and whether or not I can do it. If I were smart about it, I would have just bought new tools.
                  Last edited by Beagle; June 25, 2020, 06:55 AM.
                  hauen and dieselhead like this.
                  Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                  • #24
                    Thanks for all info Mr. Beagle. It sounds like an almost impossible project, for me anyway.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by dieselhead View Post
                      Thanks for all info Mr. Beagle. It sounds like an almost impossible project, for me anyway.
                      Maybe not impossible, somebody may have already done the work... Can you post a picture of the Bosch battery and the Makita battery?

                      huh. I did some looking and it seems like there are adapters for everything but Bosch Li-Ion female (battery) to Ni Makita male (tool).

                      https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1815758

                      has the Bosch battery modeled already, but no Makita upper. I'd be thinking in terms of soldering some 12 gauge copper from the Makita pins to a couple of nickle tabs in the Bosch plate and then screwing that plate to the bottom of the Makita tool. Hang in there, somebody is always working on some new Frankenstein!

                      On the other hand, if you still have the Makita 18v charger, there's a lot to be said for Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH) - they are miles better than Nickel Cadmium (NiCad, NiCd) but not quite as energy dense as Lithium Ion. My old DeWalt stuff never developed a "memory" either, you don't necessarily have to run them all the way down before charging. You can also charge NiCd and NiMH from the same charger. One of the reasons they changed the battery shapes was to keep people from trying to put a Li-Ion battery on a charger meant for NiCD and NiMH - they're not really compatible. Anyway, you can buy them for the Makita on Ebay for pretty cheap, a lot easier than all of this fooling around! For me, it's kind of a game to see what kind of numbskull things I can get up to.

                      I think the smartest thing to do would be buy a couple of Ebay NiMH batteries for the Makita and head on down the road... It would be great to use the same battery and one charger for everything but sometimes it's not worth the hassle to get there.

                      No thread derailment would be complete without changing topics yet again in the middle of SBG's Makita rant. I pulled the trigger on the Milwaukee M12 12v hammer drill and impact. They are adorable. Literally fit in my hand. Batteries on the charger, I'll start a new thread for them.
                      Last edited by Beagle; June 25, 2020, 12:30 PM.
                      dieselhead likes this.
                      Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                      • #26
                        "You can also charge NiCd and NiMH from the same charger."

                        Thanks, didn't know that.

                        "I think the smartest thing to do would be buy a couple of Ebay NiMH batteries for the Makita and head on down the road."

                        I can take my Makita battery packs apart and replace the batteries with NiMH batteries if necessary, just need a spot welder.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by dieselhead View Post
                          "You can also charge NiCd and NiMH from the same charger."

                          Thanks, didn't know that.

                          "I think the smartest thing to do would be buy a couple of Ebay NiMH batteries for the Makita and head on down the road."

                          I can take my Makita battery packs apart and replace the batteries with NiMH batteries if necessary, just need a spot welder.

                          Quick and dirty - you may want to check the channel because he has a couple of different versions. It's hammer effective, but not very elegant. Everything looks like a nail when you are as dumb as a hammer. I won't say how I know that. Or is that, if you can't fix it with a hammer, you have yourself an electrical problem... hmmm.



                          oh yeah, I don't think NiCD or NiMH batteries are as fussy about getting soldered on. Lithium batteries don't take the heat well.
                          Last edited by Beagle; June 26, 2020, 11:18 AM.
                          Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                          • #28
                            Milwaukie seams to be moving forward, smaller with just as much power.

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                            • #29
                              First impression (literally) - The 12v Milwaukee impact with 2.0 Ah batter is much lighter than 18v anything else and hurts much less when falling off 8 foot ladder onto your skull. Five stars for impact resistance when then hitting the ground. I couldn't count the stars I saw, but I'm pretty sure there were less. I'm not re-testing with the bigger battery (intentionally anyway).
                              Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Beagle View Post
                                First impression (literally) - The 12v Milwaukee impact with 2.0 Ah batter is much lighter than 18v anything else and hurts much less when falling off 8 foot ladder onto your skull. Five stars for impact resistance when then hitting the ground. I couldn't count the stars I saw, but I'm pretty sure there were less. I'm not re-testing with the bigger battery (intentionally anyway).
                                your commitment to science is admirable.

                                that said, one 2 1/4" hole let some smoke out of the 18v Milwaukie. Of course I didn't stop, I needed the hole.... it still works today, so it must be good.
                                Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; July 5, 2020, 09:51 PM.
                                Doing it all wrong since 1966

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