Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rebuilding cordless drill battery

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rebuilding cordless drill battery

    I had a perfectly good 13.8 Volt Craftsman cordless drill, one good battery and two that would no longer take a charge. I objected to the obscene cost of a new battery (last time I checked it and sales tax would have been over $50.

    So, I got a Harbor Freight 14.4 Volt battery for $10 and used the cells out of it to rebuild one for the Craftsman. It works like a charm!

    If you value your time, I wouldn't recommend it, though. The Craftsman cells need to be arranged just so or they won't fit. I estimate it took me two hours to cut apart the H-F unit and re-solder everything back together.

    I used 0.005" brass shim stock for straps to connect the cells. The added thickness on each end of the cell made the pack too thick to fit, so I used a burr to shave off a few high spots in the original case.

    Would I do it, again? Probably so. It's satisfying to beat the system.

    Regards,

    Orrin
    So many projects. So little time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Orrin
    . It's satisfying to beat the system.

    Regards,

    Orrin
    Heh! Yeah that is a sweet feeling.....

    I did that a couple times with some batts already on hand, one a HF to HF, and another a Hitachi with HF's. One was a bit time consuming, the other I just removed one cell and it went right in.

    With the cost of so many of the 12-14v cordless being so cheap it really doesnt make much sense I guess to do something like this, but........" It's satisfying to beat the system."
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm in the same spot. I have 9.6V and 13.8V Sears drills, with dead batts. When the 9.6 died, I found that I could get the 13.8 with two batteries for about $9 more than the replacement battery alone... which, btw, would have been a special-order item.

      Same thing happened when the 13.8 died, except that time, I went to Horror Fright and bought one of their $16.95 "over the left shoulder and no bad feelings" specials. That was last year, and it's still cranking. I really detest this "disposable tool" mindset, but money does indeed talk.

      I did open up the battery case on the Sears 9.6, and found that I could get those cells from a local supplier - I think they're called "Sub-C" - but there was no savings: The replacement cells were about $7 each. I still intend to see if I can fit some AA NiCads in there - although as Orrin wrote, it'll be a real shoe-horn job. Something for a boring Winter evening.

      Pete in NJ
      Pete in NJ

      Comment


      • #4
        rc car packs are a great source for sub C cells.

        Usually 6 cells per pack. The one's arranged in two three cell sticks as opposed to side by side will have tabs welded on for easier soldering. Price anywhere from $15 per 6cell pack up to $80+ for matched racing packs.

        In my experience better quality RC car packs cells typically last much longer than your average HF or equivalent cells.

        Comment


        • #5
          I need to do this on ALL of my dewalt 18 volt packs, but it seems that the cells cost dang near as much as a replacement pack....especially when you compare to the people on Ebay selling XRP packs at 95/pair.

          Comment


          • #6
            I replaced packs for my DeWalt 14.4 with ebay NiMH packs at a pretty reasonable price, far less than the OEM NiCad. That drill has been beat to hell and still goes, dropped off ladders, immersed in water in a flooded basement. 9 years, not too bad.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

            Comment


            • #7
              Have any of you tried any of the battery specialty houses either local or on the net?
              I have had good look with a place out of Florida, www.beiterbattery.com
              they had some good deals on some odd motorcycle sealed batteries I was using, also the local Batteries Plus place seemed to have good deals on the individual cells that make up the battery packs.
              Sears has sales on their batteries ocasionally, and imho, their price is a heluva lot lower than the price Ryobi wanted for the same friggin battery.
              I believe Ryobi makes most of their cordless drills, or at least they used to.
              Robert
              grumpy old fart
              www.wirewerkes.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Same thing happened when the 13.8 died, except that time, I went to Horror Fright and bought one of their $16.95 "over the left shoulder and no bad feelings" specials. That was last year, and it's still cranking. I really detest this "disposable tool" mindset, but money does indeed talk.
                I did even better than that. When I bought my H-F 18.0 Volt cordless the store had run out of spare battery packs for it; however, the last time I paid them a visit they had identical 18.0 Volt drills on sale for $13!

                Now, I have two packs plus a spare drill motor. That extra motor might come in handy because I smoked the old one a few times this autumn while driving 3" X #10 deck screws. For some reason, under certain conditions the motor would smoke before the slip clutch would torque out.

                BTW, the 13.8V Craftsman performed almost as well as the 18.0V H-F unit.

                Orrin
                So many projects. So little time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  how long do those batteries out of HF drills hold a charge?

                  Might not be bad for the dewalt, seeing as I never use it for the full length of a charge anyway. And the wife is sick of me using her drill.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My Norelco beard trimmer would have shot craps about 8 years ago (it was prob. 8 years old at the time) but its still going strong after tearing into it to replace one of the cells, had to make a special screw driver cuz Norelco doesnt wnt you fixin them...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
                      My Norelco beard trimmer would have shot craps about 8 years ago (it was prob. 8 years old at the time) but its still going strong after tearing into it to replace one of the cells, had to make a special screw driver cuz Norelco doesnt wnt you fixin them...
                      LOL

                      I generally just break it open and tape it back together.

                      -Snowman
                      "never been a watch maker"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I save the duct tape for things like my sandals and shop saftey glasses

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re charge retention on the HF cheapie drill... it's been very good, so far. The drill lives in the garage, it's been at least a month since I charged it, and I've used it half-a-dozen times in that month, for everything from spin-polishing a small part, to building an outboard-motor stand. I used it yesterday and it still has more torque than I can stall. But NiCads tend to die suddenly - one day they work, a week later they hold a charge for a couple of hours, then bupkis. I've never had any luck "re-forming" them by repeated deep-discharge, either.

                          BTW, I noticed one post about using NiMH batteries to rebuild a battery pack - were those used with a NiCad charger? And if so, did the charger and the batteries behave OK? Reason I ask, NiMH has a higher nominal voltage than NiCad, and the little AA charger on my desk has different settings for the different types.

                          Pete in NJ
                          Pete in NJ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was trying to find the place where I got them, but no luck. I got a couple of boxes of 25 tabbed, SC size (sub C) nicad cells for about $25 each a while back. I've rebuilt all three battery packs for my Milwalkee 14.4V cordless with them.

                            Yeah, I think the battery retailers have gotten wise to the value of the sub-C cells, and many have begun to jack up the prices on them. $7 each is ridiculous. They should be closer to $2 each. If you look around, you can still find them.

                            -Mark
                            The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              how long do those batteries out of HF drills hold a charge?
                              I can't answer that, for sure. Since I got my HF drill I've been using it rather regularly so I don't know if they are prone to self-discharge on the shelf.

                              Under heavy usage, the HF battery seems to do as much work as my Craftsman before needing recharging.

                              Orrin
                              So many projects. So little time.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X