Author Topic: A Li-Ion powered C-12  (Read 6407 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

A Li-Ion powered C-12
« on: October 10, 2007, 02:28 PM »
Just felt like posting a new thread after reading the wish for a LED on the C12.

I  have a Makita BDF440SE which is a great piece of machinery, well balanced, long lasting Li-Ion batteries, fast charging and a very useful LED light.
However I was choosing between the Makita and the Festool C12 which I like for its ingenuity, compactness and versatility. Also, it balances well in the hand. But the Makita won me over for a few reasons: Li-Ion batteries, LED light and my colleague got one as well so we can share the charger out on jobs. The charger shakes hand with the battery and knows the charging history thereby optimizing the charge for the battery, individually. Neat. 

I could still see myself toting a C12 but not until they bring it up to date with the improvements that some of the competition already implemented, some suggested improvements for a C12 would be:

Li-Ion batteries, fast charging and virtually no drain. It is nice to know that you can pick up the machine after a few weeks of vacation and know it has not drained. Charger like the Makstar charger for Makita, preferrably smaller. Li-Ion technology is well implemented today and has been in use for several years in many applications. It is tested - and in our case to the max, using them six days a week all year round. I will not get another NiCd or NiMh piece of machinery again. We have one of the larger Festools at work but nobody touches it, slow to charge and clunky. People keep reaching for my Makita instead.

LED light, before I didn't realize how useful it can be - today I swear by it! On the Makita the light stays on for 16 sec (I think) and then fades out. Sweet. Used the LED today working my way down a dark, steep basement stair after having used the LED on the job as well.

Perhaps a tad more torque - but I think I could live with what the C12 offers.

Also Festool could bring forth a "mini" version similar to the the Bosch GSR 10.8V Li-Ion which is also popular out on there - works fine and is much appreciated for a relatively high power in very small package. By the way, the Bosch also sports LED.
 
Please please with sugar on top Festool... ...and if you need a guinea pig to evaluate your machine - drop me a line!  ;)

regards, Henrik, Stockholm, Sweden
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 02:33 PM by pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Christian A.

  • Posts: 77
  • Austria
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 10:26 AM »
Hi Henrik,

owing both - a Makita BHP 440 and a Festool CDD 12 FX AS/ES-Set I feel the desire to share my views.
First, if I could keep only one of them it would be the Festool CDD (or the C12) without a doubt. It's compactness and versatility due to the various chucks and adapters are extraordinarily important to me. In fact, those features have enabled me to complete challenging jobs in tight spots I could not have reached with most other cordless drills.

Li-Ion batteries, fast charging and virtually no drain. It is nice to know that you can pick up the machine after a few weeks of vacation and know it has not drained. Charger like the Makstar charger for Makita, preferrably smaller.

Fast charging is definitely not limited to LI batteries. Acutally, my Makita's and Festool's charge times are identical. It takes 45 min to charge the Festool 12 V 2.0 Ah NiCd battery (charger ECU 45) and also 45 min to charge the Makita 14.4 V 3.0 LI battery (charger DC18SC). And, as you might know, NiCd charge times can be noticably shorter. For example, the Festool CDD I use was also available with a 15 min charger.

I'm often not at home for several weeks but self-dischargement has never been a problem in my case. This applies to the Festool CDD with NiCd, to the Makita LXT with LI as well as to my trusty old Makita 7.2 V with 1.2 Ah NiCd batteries. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Li-Ion technology is well implemented today and has been in use for several years in many applications.

I'm not much of a battery expert - maybe Rick C. can enlighten us here - but according to my knowledge, the great performance of LI at one specific application doesn't necessarily mean that this type of battery is also suitable for other items. Just to illustrate what I try to express, a digital camera or a flashlight consumes power in a rather steady manner. A cordless drill on the other hand might draw little power when drilling 3 mm holes in soft wood but lots of power when driving a large screw in hard wood. This is, as far as I know, of course, one of the reason why we should be carful at generalizing experiences.
BTW, I'm very interested in the long term performance of LI batteries. My 7.2 Makita's 10 year old NiCd batteries are still quite usefull. I wonder if I will be able to state the some about my LI batteries in 9 years because, in general, LI batteries tend to irretrievably lose their capacity rahter fast - even if they aren't used at all.

LED light, before I didn't realize how useful it can be - today I swear by it! On the Makita the light stays on for 16 sec (I think) and then fades out. Sweet. Used the LED today working my way down a dark, steep basement stair after having used the LED on the job as well.

Also Festool could bring forth a "mini" version similar to the the Bosch GSR 10.8V Li-Ion which is also popular out on there - works fine and is much appreciated for a relatively high power in very small package. By the way, the Bosch also sports LED.

As mentioned above, I own a Makita BHP440 that has a built-in LED. I also had the Bosch GSR 10.8 V-LI that I eventually returned (but that's a different story).
If these tools didn't have LEDs I certainly wouldn't miss them.
The problem most of the drills with LEDs seem to have from my point of view is that the beam doesn't brighten up the acutal working spot (where the drill/driving bit "meets" the workpiece) but a spot - in case of the Bosch - several centimeters below. As consequence, under bad circumstances, the working spot might be even darker due to shadow caused as a result of the LED.
Without any doubt, I am somehow picky and pedantic. But if a manufacturer incorporates a certain feature it should perform as a such but not as a "bug".
 
I hope to meet a German Festool employee at the end of this month and will certainly ask him about the use of LI batteries within the Festool product range.
However, in my opinion, the biggest advantage of LI is their relatively compact size and low weight. Those elements are quite important to me but with the CDD, the C12 (and somehow also the TDK) Festool has been proving that they don't necessarily need LI batteries in order to develop and produce very compact cordless drills with an excellent power-weight relation for more than 10 years.

Greetings from Austria,

Christian
This message was written by Christian Aufreiter, student and hobby woodworker living in Austria.
NO AFFILIATION with Festool and Christian O., who is another member of this forum.

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 12:52 PM »
Interesting input Christian, gruezi!

I too had the Bosch for a while but decided to pass it on.

Apparently YMMV on charging times and I know the Festool is fast charging but in my experience the NiMh and NiCd based machines have had their shortcomings in battery sustainability where as the Li-Ion has yet to fail me.

I am no battery expert either but this I have learnt from a friend who knows some more:

NiMh has more capacity per weight than NiCd by a factor two or three to similar size NiCds,  i.e. lighter batteries with same performance.

Disadvantages for NiMh batteries as compared to Nicd are: fewer life cycles, shorter run time, higher selfdischarge, voltage drop at near-discharged levels. Also NiMh are the worst of the lot in cold weather performance - making them unsuitable for cold weather applications. Not a problem in the shop / warm garage but definitely a problem in the field.

Advantages for NiCd over NiMh are: performs better in cold weather, actually lower self discharge level than NiMh, longer life cycle and no voltage drop at low charge level. Disadvantages: NiCd batteries are susceptible to "memory effect" if often charged below full level. And they are heavy.

Li-Ion has the best energy to weight ratio of the three, i.e. lightest of the three. They have no memory effect, very low self drainage and work much better in cold temperatures than NiMh and NiCd. Also the life cycle is higher (more cycles) than for both NiMh and NiCd and they charge rapidly.

Though the technology has not been out as long as for the other two the only caveat I know of is that you should not CHARGE the Li-Ions in cold temperatures (subzero celsius), avoid extreme heat exposure and you should store the batteries near or at full charge level if not using them for an extended period. Common sense and this is something that goes for most batteries, including NiMh and NiCd. And apart from that I see only benefits.

Also, I have been using the Makita for very serious plug cutting (up to 35mm - in Oak) as well as using the 42.5mm hole cutter for preparing locks, in three layers of 22mm Oak - no problem at all, all this in cold weather. This is something my friends CDD12 is not capable of. This is part of what I do and for over a year I have mostly been abusing the one battery and on the odd occasion I have had to resort to the spare battery it has always been up to serious work. This goes in conflict with your claim that Li will lose power rapidly when pushed hard. Maybe it is the Makstar charger which does handshake with the battery and analyze previous charging patterns to optimize charging that contributes to the longevity? Also, as I mentioned earlier the Li-Ions should not be stored empty/discharged. If stored fully charged they have the highest shelf life of the three battery types mentioned here.

Also, when a tool is used hard everyday I don't see it as a problem if I had to buy one or two new batteries after two years of good service - it is just maintenance and Makita Li-Ion batteries are not that expensive. I just hope the Makita will last that long, it does get dropped every now and then. ;)
 
The LED on the Makita I still hold as very usable to me it is not a gimmick- the Bosch had a very narrow beam but the Makita proved itself again today and made some doorpanel mounting much easier in the dark with a wide beam. :)

For what I do I could really use the CDD12 with the Centrotec kit and I do think I will get one as soon as the batteries are either Li-Ion or Li-Po or something that is better than the current technology.

Regards and sorry for the long posting; Henrik








« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 01:14 PM by pingvinlakrits »
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 12:59 PM »
Also, I would like to add that digital cameras certainly do not consume energy in a steady manner - far from it.

The difference between flash / no flash / automatic zoom / preview / screen or LCD finder etc makes a night and day difference. I have worked both as a photographer and with cameras (various camerashops) since 1989 and have seen the "progress" of camera evolution and all kinds of batteries from Mercury, Silver Oxide etc right up to LiPo batteries.  My favourite camera is my Hasselblad SWC/M, no batteries there. :)

A flashlight on the other hand has a steady manner of energy consumption for sure.

Regards, again, Henrik
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 11:15 AM »
Just did a little reading and apparently NiMh and NiCd loses between 1-5% per DAY in self discharge, depending on ambient temperature. The cooler the better but in normal room temp the selfdischarge is relatively high.

This is one of the reasons why I think NiMh is an inferior technology to other solutions today. I have my tool at work where it gets used everyday and where I NiMh could suffice but at home where I have my backup tool it means I would probably have to charge it up before I get to it, so to speak.

Also for the average, but discerning, user who does not use the tool everyday but appreciates the finer (Fes)tools in life there is a significant advantage of knowing your tool is ready to perform - even if your daily chores have prevented you from finishing that project of yours for two weeks.  ;)
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline morlitule

  • Posts: 1
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 10:22 AM »
Everyone seems quite excited with Li-Ion technology (fast charging, slow auto-discharge, etc)... but does not take into account for the aging effect which is particular to Li-Ion technology. Quoting wikipedia:

"A unique drawback of the Li-ion battery is that its life span is dependent upon aging from time of manufacturing (shelf life) regardless of whether it was charged, and not just on the number of charge/discharge cycles. So an older battery will not last as long as a new battery due solely to its age, unlike other batteries. This drawback is not widely publicized"

And also:

"The capacity loss begins from the time the battery was manufactured, and occurs even when the battery is unused. Different storage temperatures produce different loss results: 6% loss at 0 ?C (32 ?F), 20% at 25 ?C (77 ?F), and 35% at 40 ?C (104 ?F). When stored at 40% - 60% charge level, these figures are reduced to 2%, 4%, 15% at 0, 25 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively.

High drain applications such as powertools may require the battery to be able to supply a current of 15C - 15 times C - the battery capacity in Ah, whereas MP3 players may only require 0.1C (discharging in 10 hours). With similar technology, the MP3 battery can tolerate a much higher internal resistance, so will have an effective life of many more cycles.
"

And finally:

"Li-ion batteries are not as durable as nickel metal hydride or nickel-cadmium designs...."

Apparently, Ni-MH are not subject to such "permanent" performance degradation. So, I would personally prefer Ni-MH over Li-Ion. I am not a professional carpenter but merely an "advanced" hobbyist, so I opted for long lasting tools. Professionals would probably prefer highly efficient tools that will last 1-3 years and then buy new ones (I bet) because the "return from investment" has made him/her recuperate his/her investment.

_Michel M.

ps: by the way, I am a male and "Michel" is a name for males in french. It's not "Mich?le".

Offline Eli

  • Posts: 2501
  • A Yankee in Kangaroo Court
    • Metafizix
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 05:48 AM »
Oui Michel bien sur.  ;D
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 03:46 PM »
morlitule: bonjour monsieur :)

ALL batteries age, not just Li-Ion. For their respective life span / expectancy Li-Ion batteries make good sense and is in my opinion the best compromise there is today. There is no perfect battery today.

The advantages for Li-Ion are higher than the drawbacks as compared to the alternatives - see what is posted before.  If you did some more reading in on the topic you would also see that Li-Ion deteriorate at a slower rate than the others, the one thing to remember is not to store the battery depleted. I am not bashing WikiPedia as a whole but if you present numbers to back up your theory you need something more substantial, the Wiki-snippet you post does not say over what period of time the deterioration figures are and how it compares to NiMh or NiCd. The shelf life of Li-Ion batteries is better than the competition by years when it comes to non rechargable batteries and when the Li-Ion rechargeable battery is charged (which it should be before storage anyway) the performance drop is significantly lower than both NiMh and NiCd. As previously stated in my posting before. When stored charged the Li-Ion depletes at a much slower rate as opposed to the alternatives.

The notion that Li-Ion batteries are not as durable as NiMh or NiCd I oppose - my opinion is that they are very durable, at least on par with the competition. That is based on daily, heavy, use of products with Li-Ion, NiCd and NiMh batteries on various construction sites over the years. Li Ion machines can be plucked from a very cold container without performance drop and just a few weeks back my Makita took a major plunge (3.5m / some 11 feet) and landed on the battery on stone floor - just climbed down the scaffolding, picked it up and kept going. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, Li-Ion based gear deliver the goods in all climates from tropical to arctic - better than the competition.   

Li-Ion is not perfect but I would take it over the alternatives every day. Read the last posts over again to see why I feel the Li-Ion option is better, in a nice cosy workshop where you work every day of the week I would be happy with the NiMh alternatives but having worked with both under various conditions I will not go back. 

Figures are readily available and my info comes from a battery technician, working with both Li-Ion and NiMh.

best regards, Henri(k)
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2008, 06:02 PM »
So, now it seems as Festool are actually really releasing a Li-Ion battery powered T12 and T15. Due out in fall 2008.   ;D

It will be interesting to see what they are capable of, I hope they have improved the ergonomics - which are not first rate  - and that they have included a LED light, something other manufacturers have and something I have found useful on numerous occasions.

What sucks is that I just got a C12, a few weeks ago and I would not have bought it if I had the slightest clue there was a Li-Ion in the pipe. I asked numerous Festool dealers and two of them said they were "working on it" but as many other manufacturers do Festool kept the secret in the dark.  >:(

One can only hope that they will provide Li-Ion batteries for the C12 as well with time.
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.

Offline jonny round boy

  • Posts: 3227
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2008, 06:29 PM »
One can only hope that they will provide Li-Ion batteries for the C12 as well with time.


I'm no expert on battery technology, but I don't think a 12V li-ion battery is possible. The nominal voltage of a Li-ion cell is 3.6V, so the nearest available voltages to 12V would be 10.8V or 14.4V. This is my very limited understanding, though - if anyone wants to correct my assumption, please feel free to do so!


Edit: Festool UK told my dealer (who was there for training last week) that the Li-ion drill they have been working on, and which was due to be released sometime this year, has been delayed, apparently due to safety concerns following the Sony laptop/Nokia phone battery incidents & recalls.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 06:32 PM by jonny round boy »
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline Steve Jones

  • Posts: 405
  • Austin, TX US
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2008, 08:00 PM »
Another non-expert on batteries, but a couple of points may be worth adding to the mix.

Sears on their craftsman line have added the Li-Ion batteries as an OPTION to the standard line up of 19.2v tools - for $100 you get one battery and one charger - the new charger will hande both Li-Ion and Ni-Cad, the old charger will not handle the Li-Ion - which seems to imply (which is logical) that you don't have to redesign the tool - it's a DC motor - it won't be affected by what chemicals are producing the juice - you just need a new charger.

The reason I mentioned Sears (not reccomending the stuff) but they do list (marketing people, so they're known liers, take with a pinch of salt for rough guidance only) the advantages (in real numbers).

* Over 295% better performance
* 40% longer shelf life
* 20% lighter weight

(one is tempted to add "cool! longer shelf life is exactly what I need, the shelves I make with the old batteries fall down within two weeks")

Steve Jones

AdapTableTool, Inc.
adaptabletool@gmail.com

Offline Chris Hughes

  • Posts: 570
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2008, 08:29 PM »
  As to number of cycles ie. the life of a battery; I don't worry about it.  I have had two panosonic 15.6v for two years and they have made me a lot of money.  That being said I will move on to LI technology sometime this year and make more money.  To me the most important factor after reliablility is wieght, period.  The math is simple, a tool has an expected lifespan and after that time if my tools last a little longer thats bonus.  Then upgrade, smaller, lighter, more power.  Chris

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 641
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 08:37 PM »
My local Festool dealer had something interesting to say about Festool drills. When I asked him about anything new, he said that his Festool rep told him not to order any new drills for awhile. The assumption we drew was that there must be some kind of new drill on the horizon?....
CT-26, CT-MIDI, C-18, RO-150, RO-90, OF-1010, OF-1400 (x2), MFK-700, MFK-700EQ/B, EHL-65, DTS-400, LS-130, MFT/3 (x2), MFT/Kapex (x3), CMS-OF, KA 65 Conturo, Sprinter full of Systainers

Offline SRSemenza

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 8614
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 11:55 PM »
One can only hope that they will provide Li-Ion batteries for the C12 as well with time.


I'm no expert on battery technology, but I don't think a 12V li-ion battery is possible. The nominal voltage of a Li-ion cell is 3.6V, so the nearest available voltages to 12V would be 10.8V or 14.4V. This is my very limited understanding, though - if anyone wants to correct my assumption, please feel free to do so!


Edit: Festool UK told my dealer (who was there for training last week) that the Li-ion drill they have been working on, and which was due to be released sometime this year, has been delayed, apparently due to safety concerns following the Sony laptop/Nokia phone battery incidents & recalls.


Hi,


     Milwaukee has a new compact LI IOn drill out that claims to be 12v   ???



Seth

Offline DaveM

  • Posts: 26
Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2008, 12:11 AM »


I noticed a 12V LI ion Ridgid drill at the BORG last week.  If these other companies can do it, why not Festool with the C12?

DaveM

Re: A Li-Ion powered C-12
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2008, 11:18 AM »
Hmm, I did not know about the nominal voltage of Li-Ion.

I too have heard there is a 12V Li-Ion from Milwaukee, so what gives?

I would not mind buying a new charger of they could fit the C12 with Li-Ion. It should be possible - and ought to be done!  ;)
Festool:  CS 50EB precisio set, Domino DF500, DF XL 700, OFK500 edge router, OF1010 router EHL65 planer, CTL Mini/Midi Vac, CTL 26 vac MFT800+1080 tables
DSC-AG Grinder,  RAS 115
Rotex 150, ETS EC 150/5 RTS400
Drills: T18, BHC18, CXS.
SysLite KAL II, SYS Rock.
Sys- and Sortainers galore.

Line up has been reduced with the introduction of Mafell/Metabo tools. Red Green and Blue do mix well in the shop.