Lithium ion (LI) batteries burst into the cordless-tool market in 2005 when Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation introduced its 28v power-tool line. Since then, the industry has exploded with products featuring this revolutionary power source for cordless tools. Not only do LI batteries provide more power and weigh less than their nickel-cadmium (NiCd) counterparts, the battery packs last twice as long. LI batteries are low maintenance: they have no memory, and no scheduled cycling is required to prolong the battery's life. They also have a slow self-discharge.
The new technology has allowed tools with increased power, lighter weight and greater portability. Although the new LI-equipped tools cost more than NiCd tools, the efficiency and productivity gained may make the purchase worthwhile. Here are some of the hottest new cordless tools showcasing the power of lithium ion.
-By Katie Honnette