Power tools are popular gifts for Father’s Day. They’re always the right size. Dad may appreciate a power tool more than a necktie or some cologne – and it’s more useful, too. Plus, dad will always think of his kids when he uses it on a project. It’s the gift that acts as a constant reminder throughout the years. 

However, one critical aspect of tool-buying for dad often gets overlooked: buying a battery or two to go along with the tool. True, many tools come with a rechargeable battery already included. But if it doesn’t, he’ll need a battery to operate the tool. Even if it comes with one included, dad will eventually be in the market for spare or backup batteries to ensure future projects receive the power needed to get the job done! 

There are many choices when buying backup or replacement batteries, and they are not all created equal. The Power Tool Institute (PTI) urges consumers to buy safe and smart replacement batteries – meaning those manufactured by the individual tool’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM). When shopping for a battery for dad’s new power tool, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure he gets the most out of his new gift. 

Only use a battery that has been recommended by the tool manufacturer. Knockoff or counterfeit batteries are out there that might seem like a bargain at first glance. But look a little deeper, and you’ll see their purchase is no bargain at all.

Consider that an OEM battery is seamlessly compatible with dad’s new power tool and charger, and has undergone rigorous testing to back it up. A knockoff or counterfeit battery’s potential consequences include poor performance and shorter tool life or even overheating and complete failure. Even worse, the battery might burst, causing a fire or explosion resulting in personal injury and/or property damage. 

What may look like a well-made counterfeit or knock-off battery seems reassuring, but what really matters is what’s on the inside. Each OEM has its own proprietary control circuity that is not available to third-party component suppliers. It is virtually impossible for any knock-off battery to match the OEM battery. What seems to work well out of the box may deliver dire consequences later.

Remember not to buy on price alone. Purchasing a battery online from an unknown seller can leave you with an unsatisfying – and potentially dangerous – experience. Pay close attention to the packaging, too, because makers of these knockoffs sometimes use colors and typefaces similar to those of the recognized brands specifically to confuse buyers. Purchase batteries from authorized dealers and be suspicious of any price that seems too good to be true. It probably is.