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Currently, Amazon is selling the Makita BL1830 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Battery for a reasonable $67.70 with free Super Saver shipping. Makita claims that charging it at any time won’t affect the battery’s performance, and that a “built-in memory chip memorizes the usage history and communicates with the charger to to maximize battery life using 3 Active Controls (Current, Voltage & Thermal).” Sixteen contact terminals keep power fluctuations at bay in high-vibration work environments.

Reviews [What’s This?] on Amazon generally indicate that the Makita battery holds a charge extremely well, but that the battery life can wear out too soon. Others recommend sticking with Ni-cads or just protecting the battery from cold weather. What are Toolmongers’ suggestions on the best batteries for your cordless tools?

Street Pricing [Google Shopping]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


12 Responses to Dealmonger: Makita 18-Volt Li-Ion Battery

  1. fred says:

    I have made the Makita LXT line one of our standards and therefore buy the batteries in 10 packs. I think that the best deal I got for a 10 pack came out to around $70 each – so the Amazon price looks very good. I see the 10 packs advertised on-line for even more:


  2. Will says:

    I recently stumbled onto a slick web site http://www.camelcamelcamel.com It allows you see a chart of an item’s Amazon price over time if it is already in their database, and popular stuff like this is. If an item isn’t being tracked, your search causes the item to automatically be added to the database. You can also set an email alert for when the price reaches a certain point.

    I know some of these features are available elsewhere, but the site is well designed and the features are easier to use. Heck, there is even a firefox addon.

    Also note there is camelbuy.com (bestbuy) and camelegg.com (newegg) for the techmongers.

  3. Note from editor: User comment above by @Will checked out and is not spam. Ok to click!

  4. MeasureOnceCutTwice says:

    I’ve used the LXT for around 3 years now – a combination of long stretches of sitting with occasional use intermixed with a few sessions of hard use with repeated rechargings throughout the day. (Typical home toolmonger use). They never seem to self-discharge (at least not so that I can notice), and they still have great capacity. So much better than my old nicads that they are well worth the price. I’ll never buy a nicad tool again if I can help it.

  5. HammerDrill says:

    I don’t under this claim …

    Makita claims that charging it at any time won’t affect the battery’s performance, and that a “built-in memory chip memorizes the usage history and communicates with the charger to to maximize battery life using 3 Active Controls (Current, Voltage & Thermal).

    I was under that you did not have to worry about this sort of stuff with Li-Ion batteries, so why does Makita have this memory chip feature?

  6. Jim says:


    Below is some additional information from a Makita Press release. It does not completely answer your questions, but does provide additional insight.

    The third paragraph is interesting. Since Fred has standardized on the Makita LXT platform and buys batteries in 10 packs, I can only assume he has one or more of the Battery Diagnostic Systems and can help explain how it interacts with the memory chip.


    Makita LXT Lithium-Ion Batteries and Optimum Charging System produces 280% total lifetime work with 2-3x more battery cycles than the traditional Ni-Cd batteries. Makita’s LXT Lithium-ion batteries provide the pro user with many benefits, including 1,400 battery life cycles, longer run time, weighs 40% less, 5x lower self-discharge to keep cells active and ready to use any time, a built-in memory chip to communicate with the Optimum Charger for more work, built-in shock absorbing features to protect the battery, sixteen firm holding contact terminals for constant high power, and work in conjunction with the Optimum Charger for maximum battery life.

    The new 45-minute Optimum Charger communicates with the LXT battery throughout the charge cycle using the built-in memory chip in the battery and the built-in CPU chip in the charger to recognize the history and battery condition to select the optimal charging method. The optimal charging method uses Active 3 Controls for current control, thermal control and voltage control. The charger also has a built-in fan to cool the battery to produce more lifetime work.

    Makita has better technology with a new smart Battery Diagnostic System (sold separately) that enables users to understand the battery condition to maximize battery life. This new system is ideal for large pro and industrial users with many batteries. This system is able to indicate how the battery was used and can optimally refresh each cell for more lifetime work, determine the battery life expectancy based on how many times the battery has been charged or gone through a cycle and can log each battery to keep a permanent record.

  7. Will says:

    Thanks for mentioning that Audra, I hope it helps some people stretch their tool budget (and maybe even help with dealmonger posts)

  8. fred says:


    We have about 60 batteries in various stages of cycle (on the shelf, in the charger, in a tool and in use) – but I’ve never heard about “a new smart Battery Diagnostic System (sold separately)” from my supplier – and a quick look at Makita’s web site failed to turn this up. After several years of use – we have not had a battery fail yet from normal usage. Of course we’ve had some evaporate in the sunlight _ and maybe even the moonlight – along with the tools to which they were attached. Nonetheless, I’d be interested to hear more about the diagnostic tool – and plan to try to check it out. Thanks for this insight.

  9. Jim says:


    Introduce yourself to Brad Wheeler at Makita in CA. I believe he is the cordless tool Product Manager. I have crossed his path at IWF and communicated with him a couple times via email. He has always been very helpful.


  10. fred says:


    Thanks for the lead

  11. Rick says:

    I have had this battery from a tool kit die in one year. The replacement also died in one year. Give me back my nicad.

  12. Chris says:

    I’m on my first set, first year, of three L-ion’s, and still run the NiCads too(since the 90’s). I’ve paid close attention to not letting the Lions stay out in the cold, or letting the Nicads overheat.
    I’m not seeing a huge difference in run time between the two. Coming to the end of year one on the lions, they already appear to be dying. Given there average higher cost, and having to always bring them inside from cold weather(which can kill them instantly), I’m going to have to agree with Rick.
    Lithium ion technology appears to be a fraud.
    Give me back my Nicads…

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