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January 2013

Cordless Clipper Battery Charging (Do's and Don'ts)

When we buy a new cordless clipper, most forget to read the fine print in the instruction manual, or forget to read the manual altogether. We look at the convenience of things we get for our shops and cordless clippers are at the top of the list. 

Even though the manual says you can leave the handset in the charging stand all the time, or the batteries never obtain a memory and can’t be over charged, don’t believe it!

We summerized what we’ve learned with external batteries, internal batteries, and charging techniques that saved us from experiencing dead batteries and burned up handsets over the years. Take caution over convenience and you’ll be OK. 

No matter what the manufacturer states, or what kind of battery you have, there is a chance you will have trouble with it if you over-cook the battery with charging. You will get a longer battery life and running time of your clipper by a simple technique change, It involves a little more work, but its worth it to have your clipper running when you need it.

This new technique can be applied to cordless trimmers, as well as A5 cordless clippers.

Charging

When you get your new cordless clipper chances are the batteries will have a charge in them. How much we don’t know, but I think the first initial charge of a battery is important to the life of the battery. So I ran the charge out of the battery by running the clipper until it was completely dead. You won’t hurt a thing by running your clipper without a blade on it. My clipper ran about 10 minutes and the motor slowly came to a stop. If you have external batteries, do this for each battery. Dont rely on a button on your charging stand that says it will deplete the charge in the battery. It most likely doesn’t drain it like running the clipper would. 

Now put the battery or clipper in the charging stand (or hook up the power cord) and start the intitial charging. This first charge is very important, only charge the battery(s) until the indicator says its fully charged, then stop charging the battery. Even though the manual says the charger will automatically stop charging when its fully charged, dont believe that. Take the battery completely out of the charger, you know that stops the charging. If charging continues, it can over-cook the battery causing cell damage and it may not hold a charge very long. With your batteries all charged up, your ready to start grooming. 

Running Your Clipper

You use your clipper now as you would any clipper. Lets say you’ve been running it for a while and your done with the job your using it for, What do you do now? You want to put it back on the charger like the manual says you can do, should you? I wouldn’t. Replacing the handset or battery back in the charger after short runs where the battery doesn’t have the charge depleted is what causes “memory” in your battery. That battery was designed to let that clipper run for a long time, but you can teach the battery that it only needs to run for short periods of time. I’m assuming the battery cells adjust themselves to run for short periods because they start to act that way.  This is why you think the batteries aren’t holding a charge very long or are bad. Once they get trained this way (memory), there is no training them to hold a charge longer, at least in my experience. 

Here is what I started to do with my cordless trimmer when I first got it. It has an internal battery, a charging stand, and a power cord that attaches to it so it can run on house current. In the five years I’ve used it before writing this article, I’ve have had no problems with battery life, charging, or any hot handset problems.  

•  I set up the intial charging like I stated above. I ran the clipper until the battery was dead then charged it until it was fully charged and stopped the charging process.
•  I ran the clipper for several grooms and never put it back in the charger. I wanted to run the clipper until there was no charge left in the battery. This actually took a long time to complete, I was surprised how long.
•  When the charge was gone and the clipper stopped during a groom, I hooked up the power cord and finished the job. If your using external batteries, change the battery and finish the job, then charge the dead battery. Keep the fresh battery in the clipper and use it until the charge is completely gone before changing that one.
•  I left the power cord hooked up to the clipper until it was completely charged, then disconnected it. I never leave the power cord hooked up, or the handset in the charging base when I’m not using it. I only charge the battery when there is no charge left in it, then only charge it long enought to get it fully charged again.

If you change what your doing now, and do what Im doing, you may not have battery problems anymore.

Have a great day grooming, and read those labels!

Jeff