DeWalt’s done some great things with their cordless tools lately. They just introduced an upgraded lithium-ion battery pack for a new range of tools, but designed the plugs for compatibility with the older generation (which, while clever, isn’t what I’m after here). Most importantly, they’ve built fans into one of their 24V NiCad battery packs as a means of extending life.
Anyone who’s extended their flashlight’s run time by a few minutes by warming the alkaline batteries (with a source no warmer than the nearest armpit unless you don’t like your eyebrows) knows that temperature affects battery life — but in an interesting twist, heat recharges alkalines slightly, but discharges NiCads. So, even with the extra current draw from the fan, this battery’s life is increased over standard models. The amp-hour rating is higher even before the fan’s considered, but that’s no surprise given the battery’s larger-than-normal case.
If longevity is a concern in your line of work, and you happen to use DeWalt 24V tools (there are plenty), this’ll keep you in the game. The battery is $119 shipped from ToolUp.com.