questionsshould i buy ni-cad or lithium cordless tools?

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Not even a contest. Lithium. Run far, far away from Ni-Cad, that's decades-old battery technology.

vote-for13vote-against

without a doubt lithium.

ni-cd has a problem with "memory" so you want to fully discharge and recharge the battery from time to time... and they are shipped completly discharged...lithium on hte other hand is shipped with a half charge (ask the physcicts why) and each cell usually has technology on the cell to help with the charge/discharge cycle to get maximum life out of the battery. It depends on use case also, Lithium has a very steady discharge rate except at the very ends of the charge/discharge cycle. ni-cd has a steady drop off till you are empty (or you hit the memory).

I'm going to look up this website I heard about that should answer any battery question you might have... will post a link if I find it before I go to sleep.

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of course that was easier than I thought... try this site to answer ANY battery question

http://batteryuniversity.com/

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Lithium only... Its in your iPhone, iPad, etc.. Tools will last longer, batteries will live longer etc.

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lithium. since you specifically mention tools i'll give you a different reason: weight. when standing at the top of a ladder trying to get that screw to go in the extra weight of half a pound gets to be extreme after screw number twelve (okay, maybe after number two depending on the job). also lithium seems to take longer to discharge and less time to recharge. from my set the lithium also comes with "smart" chargers that warn you when the battery is too hot to charge/cracked/etc so you won't blow it up, unlike the others.
for what it's worth: get an extra battery. i usually find that one runs down just as i'm getting into the progress is being made point, and the other will charge in about the time it takes to drain the first. (usually cheaper as a two pack too). for what it's worth my 4pc porter cable set (lowes-$150) works lots better than my black and decker 4pc set (lowes-$130 years ago).

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Now that you are getting Lithium, never let it go dead. You can not 'short charge a lithium battery. The worst thing you can do to a lithium battery is let it go dead and store it that way. I can not remember exactly but the best storage charge of a Lithium is 70-80%

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@caffeine_dude: that said, most lithium and li-ion batteries have a reserve capacity to keep them from being completely discharged. In fact, li-ion batteries need to be run down to "dead" every now and then and recharged fully to keep them going.