Monday, October 19, 2009

Update on Black & Decker Firestorm 18V Batter/Charger issues

A while back I wrote that I suspect that my charger for my Black & Decker Firestorm 18V cordless drill had died. In searching the web, I found a couple of interesting things related to this. First, the original Black & Decker chargers are junk. If you let a battery get too low, it will fry the charger when you try to recharge. It burns out the circuitry. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but that's what happens. The very thing it is supposed to do actually kills it. So I killed my charger, thereby creating a large black and orange paperweight if I didn't find a work around solution. I have the old "post" style batteries, and those chargers aren't made any longer, or so I was told.

The solution was simple, elegant, and incredibly effective. Upon searching the web, I found that the Dewalt Charging system for their 18V cordless drills are the same as the Black & Decker - meaning their batteries are the exact same dimensions. Meaning one battery can fit and charge in the other's chargers. But it gets better.

The DEWALT DW9116 7.2-Volt to 18-Volt Pod Style 1 Hour Battery Charger is amazing in how it works! It fits my batteries perfectly, and within an hour my batteries were fully charge and ready to turn screws, saving me about $100 on a new drill set. But not only does it charge my batteries, but it is a smart charger. It can detect when a cell is not working properly and can then condition it. It also senses when the battery is full, and it stops charging it, or keeps it on a trickle charge so it doesn't burn the battery out. The only, and I do mean ONLY drawback to this new charger is that it doesn't fit into my drill case. But that is a small price to pay for a functioning tool! Consider me very happy with DeWalt, and less than impressed with Black & Decker.

1 comment:

Timothy Griscom said...

B&D and DeWalt are the same company.