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Penny wise, pound foolish

The Power Tool Institute, an industry group comprised of portable and stationary tool manufacturers, cautions tool buyers to only buy batteries manufactured by their tool’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

“When it comes to buying power tool batteries, going cheap can have potentially disastrous consequences for contractors and business owners,” according to a statement from the industry group. “The costs related to a single fire caused by a counterfeit or knock-off battery will quickly reveal the lower initial purchase price to be no bargain at all.”

The group explains that each OEM has its own proprietary control circuity for the total system, which encompasses the tool, battery, and charger, so the three components communicate properly.

“This circuitry design is not available to third-party component suppliers. And the differences between the inner workings of these power tool systems make it virtually impossible for any other battery to match the OEM, no matter what the package claims,” the group says.

“For all these safety and compliance considerations, batteries are not cross-compatible (unless specified by the power tool manufacturer). When buying aftermarket batteries for power tools, it is important to consult with the power tool owner’s manual and purchase only the batteries recommended by the manufacturer.”

This article was originally published in the September 2022 issue. 

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