FREE Delivery On Orders Over £49

Next Day Delivery

Finance Available From From £150

FREE Delivery On Orders Over £49

Next Working Day Delivery

Finance Available From £150

Why Lithium Batteries Die in Winter and How to Prevent This

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 1st Jan 2021

It is widely known that lithium batteries perform worse in cold weather. But why is this? This Toolstop Blog explains why batteries die in the cold and what you can do to prevent this from happening. We will go over the correct way to store lithium batteries in winter so you can get the most out of them.

It is widely known that lithium batteries perform worse in cold weather. But why is this? This Toolstop Blog explains why batteries die in the cold and what you can do to prevent this from happening. We will go over the correct way to store lithium batteries in winter so you can get the most out of them.

Lithium-Ion Batteries and Winter – How to Keep Working in the Cold

Why do Batteries Die in the Cold?

A massive issue for most users of cordless power tools in winter is the lithium ion batteries packing up or refusing to take a charge.

In this quick guide, we’ll look at why this happens and what you can do to make sure your batteries still power you through the day, even in freezing temperatures.

Lithium-Ion Batteries and the Cold: Why Do They Die?

Batteries serve two basic purposes:

  • Store energy
  • Release energy

Why do Batteries Perform Worse in Cold?

So, we charge ’em up and we slot them into our tools, and we expect them to release the stored energy to power the tool’s motor. However, temperature plays a massive role in how well the battery is able to fulfil its purpose.

If the temperature within the battery gets too high, the lithium-ion cells get damaged, don’t hold as much charge and basically naff you off.

However, as many of you may be experiencing during the cold snap, the batteries either don’t charge properly, or simply don’t work, when exposed to very cold temperatures! This is an issue particularly with alkaline batteries, but the cold also takes its toll on lithium-ion packs.

For example, you may find that when you’ve been working with your lithium-ion powered tools on a freezing cold day, you struggle to get them to charge, and the charger may even refuse to charge them!


Storing Lithium Batteries for Winter

What steps should you be taking to keeping your lithium-ion batteries working in tip-top condition during winter?

Lithium-Ion Batteries and the Cold: 5 Tips to Keep Them Working

#1 – Batteries generate heat internally when they’re put to use. So, one quick and easy tip to make sure the battery is warm enough to accept a charge is to pop it in your drill and spin the chuck. A little bit of use will generate heat within the battery, taking it to within the safe charging threshold.

#2 – Keep them in your pockets. When you’re working outside in the cold, slip the battery off the tool and pop it into your back pocket between applications. Your body heat will help keep the cells warm enough, preventing the colder air temperature from putting them to sleep.

#3 – Don’t leave them in the van overnight. Invest in an inexpensive tote bag and load your batteries into it at the end of the day. Bring the tote into your home overnight, preventing the packs from experiencing a chilly night in the van!

#4 – Use gel hand warmers. These are really inexpensive, so buy a load of them and drop one in each tool case (activating the gel first) when you get in the van. The warmth from the hand warmer will keep the inside of the tool case nice on toasty when you’re working on freezing cold job sites. Simply “recharge” the hand warmers at night, and repeat the following day.

#5 – Use the right batteries. Yes, there are loads of “knock-off” imitation lithium-ion batteries for each manufacturer. But it’s always a good idea to use original batteries with your cordless tools. And stock up! The more batteries you have, the less the cold weather will be an issue for you, just follow the steps above the make sure all your batteries are ready to use on a cold day.

As a side note, we found this anecdote about Bosch’s CoolPack batteries very interesting, watch it here:


Lithium Batteries in Cold Weather


How do you keep both yourself and your batteries working in cold weather?


Power Tool Batteries at Toolstop:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

Explore the Toolstop Blog...