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Ever use your charger to charge power tool batteries?

Old 07-11-2011, 04:26 AM
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Build Review Ever use your charger to charge power tool batteries?

Just curious if anyone has used their multi-charger to charge various power tool battery packs (for drills, weed whackers, hand vacuums, etc). If so, I'd love to hear your experience and recommendations. If not, does anyone foresee a problem doing so--provided you follow the type, rating and other battery criteria...and find a mechanical way to attach alligator clips to the typical surface-flush contacts on the packs?

I'm considering buying a basic charger, LN-5014, to use in conjunction with my solar panel that charges a 12V marine cell. If I can power my various tools off the sun, that would be a +1 on the coolness factor. But I would prefer to hear some guidance from the experts before I dive in.

Oh, it may be obvious to just use a 120V inverter and the OEM charger, but a couple of my chargers have failed. Generally, they are incredibly poor quality and bad for battery life to begin with and don't have the versatility of a multi-charger with precise charging control for multiple types and ratings of batteries.

What do you think? Thanks in advance for any feedback!

<<< Dan >>>
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:16 AM
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Chances are your charger cannot supply the current required to drive the tools safely.

Further, the load generated by the power tool will likely screw with the chargers brains if a relatively 'smart' charger.

The short of it is that's a kinda bad idea.
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:16 AM
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I see that you are trying to charge the tool batteries, and not trying to run the tool directly.

Yes I have done it. I used to use 7.4 & 9.6 V, Makita tools. I had a factory made cap that fit on the top of the battery packs. I just set the charge rate, and the charger would turn off when the battery peaked, worked very well.

I used this in my truck when I could not plug in the 110V chargers.

If your charger can handle the type of battery cells in your tool, and the total voltage, you should be alright.

Be careful with the polarity and don't short circuit anything, or there will be smoke.

The idea of using an inverter and then using the OEM charger is possible but you lose power in efficiency losses (heat) that could have been used to charge the battery.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:21 AM
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I find that my hobby chargers do a pretty good job of getting a quick charge into the device. Marrying your cordless device only takes a little imagination. You can make up charging interface using the original charger for the device by gutting it and adding banana plug leads to mate with your hobby chargers. Fig 1 shows a number of such “conversions”. One for a 12 Volt Skil drill battery, another employs a “U” shaped wood block with brass contacts added shown with a Makita drill battery. Even our common clothes pin can be pressed into service by adding a couple of spring contacts to match with the battery.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:17 PM
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I have used an R/C charger on several power tool batteries. It seems to work very well. The attachment of the charge leads is the difficult part. The best part is using the cycle feature to discharge and charge a pack to see if it is up to spec. For attachment solutions, I have used non conductive clamps (Plastic) to hold the leads on the tabs.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:51 PM
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Yep I use them all the time for my power drills and such. They work very well and provide more data.
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