How to Restore Makita NiMH Batteries

Written by james stevens
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How to Restore Makita NiMH Batteries
Modern battery packs have revolutionised power tools. (boy with a drill two image by Paul Moore from

Makita makes numerous power tools for both the professional tradesman and the home handyman. Modern battery technology provides battery packs that produce energy similar to the wired variety. Makita first produced battery packs using nickel cadmium (NiCad) cells and then introduced nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells. While NiMH cells do not present the same problems as NiCad batteries, they can suffer from voltage reduction. Voltage reduction occurs in NiMH cells as a result of not discharging and recharging the battery properly. When the output voltage of the battery drops, the device it powers is underpowered. Restoring a Makita NiMH battery is simple.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Battery charger

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  1. 1

    Discharge the Makita NiMH battery fully. Turn on the device and operate it until it stops completely. Turn off the device.

  2. 2

    Let the Makita NiMH battery rest for 15 minutes. It must cool down, as continuously drawing energy heats a battery.

  3. 3

    Turn on the device. You will find the Makita battery has recovered power -- the device won't run at full speed, but it will still operate. Wait until the device stops again, and turn off. Let the battery rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. 4

    Turn on the device. The battery still has some energy, although it's weak. Allow it to run until it stops. Turn off the device, and let the battery rest for a few minutes.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process until the device doesn't operate when you turn it on. Your Makita NiMH battery is fully discharged. Let the battery rest until it's completely cool.

  6. 6

    Insert the battery into its charger. Turn on the battery charger. Let the battery charge until full. This takes a while, as the battery is completely discharged. Remove from the charger. Now the battery is fully restored.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not leave a fully charged battery in the charger.
  • Discharge the NiMH Makita battery every two or three months to optimise its performance.

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