Maybe some power tool users are tired of getting the third degree about using third-party replacement batteries. But they should consider that they might be headed for third-degree burns—or worse—if they keep it up. Battery safety is paramount for contractors and there is simply no adequate replacement for using the original tool manufacturer (OEM)’s batteries and chargers to keep power tools operating efficiently and safely.
Efficiency and safety are critically important for professional contractors. A job that takes too long due to tool failure impacts the bottom line. A job site going up in flames impacts even more than that.
For these and more reasons, the Power Tool Institute (PTI), the leading industry organization for power tool safety resources, has made battery safety one of its most important initiatives, even creating a website dedicated to the topic. (https://www.takechargeofyourbattery.com/.)
Today’s cordless power tools are much more complex than ones from even 10 or 15 years ago. Most rely on built-in electronics that let the battery and tool “talk” to one another in real-time. There are also communications that happen between the battery and the charger. These communication pathways are often proprietary and not available to third-party battery makers. When a tool and its battery aren’t communicating, bad things can happen.
At best, users run the risk of poor performance and shorter tool life. The battery can also overheat, causing complete failure. Even worse, the battery might burst, causing a fire or explosion resulting in personal injury and/or property damage. Either way, in addition to the damage to the event itself, a contractor will also be looking at damage to its reputation and expensive insurance premiums.
Batteries can also catch fire on the charger when you are not monitoring or managing cell temperatures properly. For these reasons, all power tool manufacturers recommend that to only use OEM batteries.
If the risk of failure or reduced performance and life aren’t enough, there are other possible consequences of using third-party batteries. For one, the battery, tool, and charger are no longer a UL or CSA-approved system. The testing each tool goes through is dependent on testing an original manufacturer battery along with it. Third-party batteries are not always held to the same standard, which can again, result in fire, property damage, or personal injury.
So before purchasing a non-OEM battery, be sure to consider all the factors, not just price. Purchasing a battery online from an unknown seller without having any verification of the seller’s qualifications or experience, or of the battery’s construction, testing, or certification, can leave you with an unsatisfying— and potentially dangerous—experience.
If you have questions regarding whether your battery is a genuine OEM product, contact the power tool manufacturer. For more information on battery safety, visit www.TakeChargeOfYourBattery.com.
With the vision to unify and educate others about power tools, since its founding in 1968, the Power Tool Institute (PTI) has established itself as the leading organization for building global understanding of power tools and for maintaining high standards of safety in the industry. Its members represent market-leading brands in the areas of portable and stationary power tools. PTI’s members commit themselves to improving the industry and being the premier resource for power tool education. For more information, contact PTI 216-241-7333 or [email protected]. On the Web: www.PowerToolInstitute.com and www.TakeChargeOfYourBattery.com.