The convenience of cordless power tools can’t be beat, even in the woodworking shop. No cord to contend with, no need to have a bunch of outlets in your shop other than one for the battery charger, which makes for ease of movement around the shop.
The advent of the lithium-ion battery makes this even easier. Quick charge time, the power of 20 volts to run your tools for the most common usage in the shop and in the home, and reusability all speak to their value and usefulness of them.
What Are Lithium Ion Batteries?
Lithium-ion batteries are a relatively recent technology that replaced the nickel-cadmium battery for cordless power tools. They are rechargeable and, in short order, with a little time on a charger, will be powered up and ready for use again.
Li-ion batteries, as they are referred to, house cells with voltages of between 1.2 volts and 3.6 volts. Cells are combined within the housing of the pack to configure the different voltage ratings of the various batteries needed to power a brand’s tool line. The higher the voltage, the greater the power, and the greater the cost per battery.
Power tool manufacturers make their own battery packs, which communicate specifically with the motors of their tools so that they achieve the most efficient and effective cordless power tool performance.
Li-ion batteries are built to be compatible with specific chargers, too. Each has slots that fit tightly together, maximum charge efficiency.
Craftsman 20V Batteries
When Sears closed 235 stores across the United States in 2015, Stanley Black & Decker ended up purchasing Craftsman Tools two years later. Stanley Black & Decker also owns DEWALT, as well as the eponymous Stanley Tools, Black+Decker Tools, and others, including Porter Cable and Irwin Tools.
Craftsman’s manufacturing footprint extends to its factory in Fort Mill, South Carolina, where its 20V power tool line is made with parts from all over the world. This includes lithium-ion 20V battery packs. As of this year, 2022, Craftsman has been establishing a new US factory in Fort Worth, Texas, for the manufacturing of select sets in its line of power tools.
To be clear about 20V batteries, though, the maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. The nominal voltage is 18. Nominal voltage refers to the actual voltage available to drive its line of 20V power tools in actual usage – drilling, cutting as with a circular saw, or reciprocating saw.
According to Craftsman and from its website, we see its claim that the 20V Lithium Ion Battery pack provides up to 1.5x the runtime of a standard 20V MAX* lithium battery. Again, though, keep in mind that the nominal voltage during actual work is 18V.
The Craftsman 20V battery pack is obviously compatible with the Craftsman line of cordless power tools. Craftsman also claims its high-performance cells provide improved power and long cycle life.
How Long Does It Take Fully Charge a Craftsman Battery Pack?
Both Craftsman and our own experience with its battery packs and tools tell us a normal charge time is around 60 minutes from an almost spent battery to a fully charged battery. This assumes you are using the Craftsman dedicated lithium ion charger built specifically for Craftsman lithium-ion batteries.
Craftsman also offers a quick charger for its 20V lithium ion battery that will complete the job of fully discharged to fully charged in only 30 minutes
Each charger uses LED lights to inform you when the battery pack is ready for action once again. A red light indicates the battery is still charging and not full; a green light indicates the battery is fully charged and ready for you.
Just set a timer, give it either 60 minutes or 30 minutes and then return to check the LED lights – red light, green light. Remember, too, that the age of the battery and consistency of the current from your outlet to the charger will affect the actual recharging time.
If during recharging, the red light on the charger begins to blink, this can be an indication that there is a problem with the battery pack. Remove the battery from the charger and reinsert it to test, and if the light is still blinking, this may tell you it’s time to purchase a new battery.
Just to double-check, though, try another battery on the charger. If the red light is blinking with the second battery, it may be the charger and not the batteries; if the red light is not blinking, it’s the first battery, and it will need to be replaced.
Remember, too, to remove your battery pack from the power tool you are using it with to avoid any self-discharge. If it’s not connected to anything, the self-discharge is very minimal at worst. If you’ve taken the time to recharge a battery pack, don’t waste any of the pack to prolong its usefulness until the next charge is needed.
It is very important not to let a fully discharged battery pack sit overnight or longer without recharging, as that will end the battery’s life for you, and you will not be able to recharge it.
How Long Does a Full Lithium Ion Battery Charge last?
Generally speaking, you can expect a full charge on a lithium-ion battery to last for between 2 – 8 hours, depending on the tasks of the power tool you are calling on it to perform. A constant stream of work that taxes the tool, and thus the battery, will drain the battery faster, of course.
Do Lithium Ion Batteries Self-Discharge?
It’s clear you are not using your lithium-ion battery 24 hours per day and that there will be periods of non-use when the battery is just sitting waiting for the call to action.
Batteries will gradually self-discharge during idle times even if not connected to any tools. Manufacturers will typically suggest a self-discharge rate of between 1.5 – 2% per month. Both temperature and the battery’s state of charge will have an effect on that rate.
How Long Does A 20V Lithium Ion Battery Last?
- EXTENDED RUNTIME: CRAFTSMAN battery is made for heavy duty jobsite applications
- IMPROVED POWER: Premium grade high energy cells
- LONGER LIFE: Resulting in an extended battery life
- BATTERY CHARGE FEEDBACK: 3 LED State of charge indicator
Lithium-ion batteries have an average lifespan of between 2 – 3 years or between 300 – 500 charge cycles. By definition, a charge cycle is from fully charged to fully discharged to fully charged again.
Each cycle takes a small toll on the battery cells, and the cumulative effect of repeated cycles is to wear the cells down. Eventually, they outlive their ability to take a new charge, and the battery needs to be replaced.
If by the end of the 2-3 year expected lifespan, the battery has not undergone 300 – 500 charge cycles, you still may notice a decline in the battery performance.
We suggest you use a cork bulletin board in your shop where you can pin either notes or purchase receipts so you can keep track of the ages of batteries, chargers, and power tools for the purpose of budgeting appropriately for anticipated replacements of your woodworking shop inventory.
As you’ve read, we’ve given you two answers to the main question:
- A Craftsman 20V battery pack will last between 2 – 8 hours per full charge;
- A Craftsman 20V battery pack has a life expectancy of between 2 – 3 years, or 300 – 500 full charge cycles, whichever comes first. There may be a little bit of life left in the battery, but its performance will be ever-diminishing and probably quickly.
Craftsman 20V batteries come in two sizes/ratings: 2.0 Ah and 4.0 Ah. There are some aspects of each that you should consider before you make your purchase. Here’s a video that will highlight some of them.
Li-Ion batteries will take good care of you if you take good care of them. Don’t let a fully discharged battery sit even overnight, especially if you have been using it for some time. It will make it more difficult to get it fully charged again.
But if you do take good care of yours, you can expect many charge cycles ad 2 – 3 years of service.
Last update on 2023-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API