Rebuild Cordless Drill Batteries - Scam ?

saxmaan1September 3, 2008

I need batteries for my drill...would you consider this rebuild option? The only other batteries I can find are aftermarket ones. On ebay, there are many sellers that sell aftermarkets, with high volume, and good ratings. Any advise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rebuild Option

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One of the 2 batteries that came with my 12V DeWalt
drill, would not hold a charge. Dewalt wanted $60 for
a new one!! That's exactly half of what I paid for the
whole drill, 2 batteries, charger and case! I said: NO WAY! So I cracked open the defective battery and found
10 'sub c-cell' nicads inside. I searched the internet
for the solder tab batts. and found them to be not so
cheap either. I kept searching and found a place that
sold me a new battery for $27 plus shipping, so I went
for it and was pleased with the purchase. I don't remember
the name of the place, but if you do a search you
will find many, many places that sell batteries. Keep
searching and you will find a decent price.
Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:34AM
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Been down this road, I ditched my dewalt combo pack and got the sears 19.2V pack. double the tools and the Batteries are 1/3 the price and if you catch them on sale 1/4 the price of contractor quailty cordless tools. For me a home user I didn't need that quality of tool. but that's me.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Take a look at That's where I get batteries for my old Makitas (9.6v black sticks) and they are good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Battery Jack

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:59AM
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No good...$47 plus change for one to get to a 2 battery set up, we are talking about $100 bucks. Does not make sense when the Makita drill cost $120 new about 5/6 years ago.

In reading some other forums, I think going with cheap Ryobis/Skills/B&D/Craftsman is the way to go. And use a corded drill for high torque applications. I just cannot stomach paying $100 for batteries...just cannot.

Is it just me, or is this cordless drill thing a bit of a manufacturer sham...why so expensive. Built in revenue forever. I saw in Lowes the DeWalt XRP battery was $89 for ONE battery....Geesh.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:07AM
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I have rebuilt about half a dozen battery packs with sub-c Ni-cd batteries from Ebay. It's best to not buy the super high capacity batteries if the original ones were lower. The higher capacity ones may get too hot or kick the breaker off in the charger . (Had that happen once) Other than that one I have had good luck rebuilding batteries. I rebuilt my brothers Paslode framing nailer battery the other day. A new battery was about $57 at Lowes. I rebuilt it for a few dollars. Took five 1.2 volt sub-c Ni-cd batteries. Almost all of the Ni-cd battery packs take the sub-c batteries. They are 1.2 volts each. A 19.2 volt battery pack has 16 sub-c batteries in it. If you are not good at soldering a rebuilding service might be a good alternative if you can find one cheap enough.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:17AM
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rdaystrom...Mine is NiMH, but can any type battery go in it? My current battery on the case says Ni-MH. Is Ni-CD better? Plus there wires and a green type of resistor or something, what is this thing? I can solder, but does a regular solder iron and solder work, do I need anything fancy? My batter is 12volts, so I have 10 batteries. The metal tabs seem to be spot welded, does a solder iron work?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:19PM
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How do you get those welds off? Drill them out? I tried for kicks to disassemble one.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Those Ni-MH ones are not too cheap compared with the Ni-Cd.

I think unless you can use Ni-Cd, the economics may not pay off.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Use only the nimh. The component is probably a heat sensor and should be there. Use electronic solder. Smaller diameter is better. Go to Radio Shack and get there best solder for electronics. Batteries come with tabs that you solder together. Bend them however you need to match the battery pack polarity and solder together. Save the end connectors and sensors etc. I saw a pack of 10 quite reasonable. See the link. It isn't all that hard to do. If someone can assist you in holding stuff it would help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nimh sub-c batteries

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Gillete started this type of scam. Sell the razor
real cheap, (or give it away), and you'll get
rich selling the blades.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 7:26AM
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One more question...mine is 2200maH...the link is 3300mah. Not sure what these mean, but is the difference OK?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 11:20AM
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saxmaan1, The maH rating is the capacity of the battery to do work. A battery rated at 2200mah will go dead before a battery with a 3300 maH rating. Now this is what I was talking about earlier. You do not want to put huge capacity batteries in there as it may overheat your chargers. I think 3300 would probably be ok in yours but I would not go any higher. I may be wrong on that point. Smaller battery packs like yours may have no problem. My battery pack had 19.2 volts which required 16 cells. Large battery packs get hotter. I only had a problem with one charger that was flaky anyway. The Ebay search I did for those batteries was just an example. saxmaan1, Keep this fact in mind....The difference between cheapo drill batteries and high quality batteries like Dewalt, Makita, Panasonic, etc. is the capacity of the batteries in maH. Your bargain basement drill may be 19.2 volts but only have 1000mah rating. Whereas the Makita or other good drills may have a battery with a 3200 maH rating. (Over three times the capacity to do work.) So when rebuilding yours a somewhat larger capacity battery would be great as long as your charger can handle it.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:30PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

Like rdaystrom says, a big difference in the drills will be batteries. Other differences will be the motor quality and the chuck quality.

My wife used to complain about my 9.6v Makita and how big it was. So she found some slightly smaller 12v Ryobi for $20. The thing really was junky. Single speed motor, weak batteries, weak chuck. When I showed her the two drills side by side and their differences, she saw what I was talking about. I don't think she has ever used that thing.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 8:27PM
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ma/H is milli amps per hour. This how fast the battery will discharge or give up its charge. Stop by a Radio Shack and see what they have in the way of NiCads for it.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Tried to rebuild a Sears battery pack. Finding the defective battery within the pack was not the problem. These batteries do not have an infinate life. The one that went dead was only the first to go. It was not long before another went, then another. Life is too short. As noted above, look for them on sale.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:58PM
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    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 6:26PM
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I guess I might as well offer my 2 cents on this Old News lol. I have found that Canadian Tire 18 Volt Batteries (replacement) are offered for $30.00 . My 18 Volt unit came with 2 batteries both do not hold a charge now for more than 2-3 hrs . The unit was 8 yrs old and religiously recharged . I was happy with the reasonable price on the replacement battery , since a new drill unit was $120.00 on Sale . I would imagine the U.S. Sears Craftsman Units perhaps offer the same reasonable replacements for their models .

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:55AM
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I still have a problem spending $60. to replace the batteries on $120. tool. I think that this rewards criminal behavior. Maybe that's why I only have one cordless tool which I won't be replacing when the batteries wear out.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:33PM
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Evd: Sorry I'am to cheap , just bought one the original other 2 are good back up .

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:46AM
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ni-mh vs ni-cad ni cad was older technology thats been around for ages its good yes and cheap yes but mi-mh hold better charges longer and take more abuse. as to soldering the tabs dont get a whimpy iron you will heat the battery too much and cause premature failure or it to pop. heat it quick and back off once you have a good flow. i took a old 14.4 znex cordless impact which had mah 1400 to 3300 no trouble in charging

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 6:44PM
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For those who rebuild these battery's I've found that Radio Shack sells solder strips made to melt with just the flame from a match therefor taking a lot less heat to solder tabs on the battery's and for connecting tabs a low cost piece of sheet metal ( can use many things metal to make your own connecting strips . I've used old computer cases to cut these . If you just remember Recycle I'm sure everyone has something old and metal to use .

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:06AM
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I have collected a number of cordless drills and batteries.

Right now my best is a six month old Porter Cable 18V NiCad. The Porter-Cable seems like a nice choice if one wants better batteries than Ryobi, but doesn't want to pay a lot more for DeWalt or other professional brands. My P-C cir. saw cuts better at 18.3V then a two year old Ryobi with 20.4 on the battery (both 18V NiCad.

Older drills with defective batteries (all NiCad) are:

12V Porter Cable, one decling battery
12V Ryobi two bad batteries
14.4V Ryobi two bad batteries
18V Ryobi with one newer battery and two bad batteries.
18V Dewalt This is circular saw, not a drill

My question comes thinking about my two Bosch 14.4V NiCad batteries with a bad drill. Since the two batteries seem fine, I wonder if the cells could be placed in one or two of the bad batteries of a different brand?

Say take ten Bosch cells and put them in the 12V Porter-Cable. And take 12 of the Bosch cells and put them in the 14.4V Ryobi. The Bosch charger is a rapid model, the DeWalt is also, I think the 12V P-C is a one hour charger.

Are the basic cells the same in dimension?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Most NiCads have Sub C batteries of the same dimension. They are soldered together in different configurations but the cells are the same size. They do vary in amp hour capacity though. Do not mix them. Mixing cells of different capacity could cause overheating or worse.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 12:10AM
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I found my idea to move some cells from OK ni-cads to replace other dead cells in other brands harder than I expected.

The Bosch batteries had no torx or screws to disassemble them. I had to use a pvc saw to cut the plastic away. Needless to say, I used full face protection and was very careful. Unlike the Sears, Ryobi, DeWalt, and Porter-Cable, batteries, Bosch cells are not located hortz. but vertical in the pack. The PVC saw has a good feel, I would not use a hacksaw.

Another problem was the lack on info given on the individual cells. Some had a 'C' or 'D' stamped into the metal. Ryobi had 1300 mAh or 1500 mAh listed on the paper coating. Porter-Cable cells read 1.9, printed on the outside of the battery was 2.0 mAH. Some cells had no info.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 3:51PM
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Not worth the risk. I buy all of my Rigid and Ryobi batteries from Gardner. They ship pretty quick and they are new batteries. I've also picked up a few reconditioned pieces of equipment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardner batteries

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I ended up having the nearby Batteries Plus put new cells in my old Porter-Cable 12V drill and battery I got at a yard sale. Why I paid ten bucks for a drill that probably sat unused for years is a mystery. Great bargain, though. Even at ten years of age, the P-C had more punch than my 18V Ryobi batteries. It was $39 for the rebuild after five years of additional use, which was a bit more than my third Ryobi battery, but none of my 12V, 14.4V, or 18V Ryobi batteries lasted more than two or three years.

The life of the batteries was the reason I choose Porter-Cable for my last 18V drill and circular saw package. I already had a Ryobi 18V circular saw, but it had such poor performance it was absurb to include it in the package. The Porter-Cable saw/battery is two or three times as good.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:10PM
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It's not a scam - you can rebuild them as several people here have indicated.... I have rebuilt several of those cordless battery packs for drills, other tools - and even twice on my cordless beard trimmer..

Me, my dad, and my buddies have all run into the same thing... Every single company has a completely different battery for EVERY SINGLE product they sell! Even the same model from 1 year to the next may take different batteries... and the battery packs last maybe 1 year...

I finally swore off of them... As they died - I just finally threw them away. Now - I use my 3/8" Dewalt Electric (Corded) drill... Sure - it's a pain to tote around the extension cord... but it always fits into the plug and the batteries never die....


    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 5:54PM
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double post - sorry

This post was edited by okisteve on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 22:58

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:25PM
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It's great to follow this thread, from skepticism to acceptance of rebuilding batteries. I live in Japan but by coincidence all of my battery tools are US brands, and the shipping for replacement Ni-Cd packs is really steep, not to mention the price. After some research I ordered some sub-C cells from an eBay supplier called thundercells and managed to cobble them into the case for my 18-volt WORX hedge trimmer. The cells had tabs on them, which made soldering fairly easy, but it was still tricky (and be careful of short circuits while working because the cells are partly charged. The rub came because I substituted 2500 maH cells for the original 1300 maH, hoping for longer working time. i found that if I left the pack in the charger until the green light came on, it was only partly charged. Big worry! Then I discovered if I put it back in after a few seconds, the red light came back and it went through another charging cycle. If I repeat this 3 or 4 times, it becomes fully charged. Now I am happy again! I get way more full-power cutting time than with the old cells. Total cost was $23 for the cells including shipping from China, and I'll say 4 hours repair time. This seems to make the reputable rebuilding services a pretty good deal, and if I were in the US I'd use them. However there's another set of cells coming, for my trusty 9.6 volt drill.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Okisteve, sounds like your enjoying your replacement eBay batteries. I was wondering if anyone had experence with the knockoff battery packs from eBay? It looks like buying the cells individually would save me a little cash but not sure if that would be worth it really.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:51AM
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I don't see many on eBay today, but I'd trust the quality is OK based on experience with replacement laptop battery packs. The first few years they were sold the quality was iffy, but now they are as good or better than OEM. No reason to expect any difference with power tool battery packs. Still, if you're handy, rebuilding is a good option. I just did my 9.6-volt pack yesterday and it really kicks now. And it was much easier to do than the 18-volt pack - only took me an hour. But the cells in the original were short sub-C so my rebuilt back is taller and bodged together with tape..Be careful of the cell height if you roll your own.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I had Ryobi 12V, 14.4V and 18V cordless drills. The batteries only lasted two to three years with low to medium use. I love the feel of some of the De Walts, but can't justify the cost with my light usage.

I bought a eight year old Porter-Cable 12V at a yard sale and found the battery lasted a good additional three years. So I bought a P-C 18V drill/saw combo pack with two batteries ($90) about three years ago. I have been very happy with the battery life.

When the P-C 12V battery gave out two years ago I had it redone by the Batteries Unlimited store by me. About $40, not worth it. The battery could not hold a charge after 1-1/2 years. The guy at the store said it would be superior to the original battery cells. Not so.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:02PM
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I must say I have had MY batteries rebuilt many times & the best I got was one and a half years out of the rebuilds.
Until I tried Hoffa's Batteries They Only use SANYO Batteries & I love this because every body else uses Chinese batteries That are PVC wrapped once they got hot the PVC shrinks and cracks that makes a bunch of shorts in the power pack this is wy they do not hold UP. Hoffas Batteries has all paper wrapped cells 2.4 and his batteries he did for me are NOW three years old. I also Just got back a Snap on that is so much better then the original one it blow my mine this is wy we posted this. when a American company Can do a Job Like this, They get my Business .........Great Job Guys.

Tolll Free 1-866-964-6332

This post was edited by purpleheartwood on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 22:46

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:24PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I have had several rebuilt by Battery Specialists and they last longer than the originals. It's $40 for my DeWalt 18V. If you want DIY they sell the batteries separate also, I don't know the price.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Should have my sub-c's in shortly to rebuild my packs. Hopefully it'll work out like I imagine it should.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:26PM
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