Purchasing Lithium Ion Power Tools
Nearly all cord-operated tools, from jig saws to drills and cut-off wheels, also have a lithium ion battery-operated counterpart. Oftentimes, lithium ion power tools are sold as either 12-volt or 18-volt varieties, with the 12-volt tools being less expensive and less powerful. Tools rated at 12 volts are generally considered the right size for light duty, occasional jobs around the house; 18-volt lithium ion power tools are more expensive, more powerful and more common with professional contractors because they tend to see heavy daily service. When purchasing these tools, consider buying an additional battery so that one can remain charging while you use the other.
Using Lithium Ion Power Tools
Lithium ion power tools don't work any differently from corded hand power tools except that they will discharge, sometimes within 20 to 30 minutes of continued use. If you need to use the tool throughout the day, you may want to keep a small bank of lithium ion batteries at your disposal to replace discharged batteries.
Caring for Lithium Ion Power Tools
Lithium ion power tools require the same care as ordinary hand tools, with the exception of keeping the lithium ion battery pack charged. When you're through with the tool, remove the battery if it is fully discharged and recharge it. If it is not fully discharged, keep the battery with the tool until you can no longer use it. Like your cellular phone, lithium ion batteries can grow a 'battery memory' and take on only a half-charge or less if you continually recharge half-discharged batteries. For the tool itself, apply a few drops of household oil to the moving parts regularly to keep them in good working condition. Keep them in a dry environment to prevent corrosion to the battery terminals and the tool's metal parts.
Disposing of Lithium Ion Batteries Safely
Lithium ion battery packs should never be disposed of in ordinary trash receptacles. When the lithium ion battery will no longer hold a charge, recycle the battery at the store where you purchased the power tool or at another battery recycling station. Many stores offer battery recycling, particularly hardware and electronics stores that sell lithium ion batteries.