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Unbreakable Breaker
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I have 2 cordless drills, and the batteries have both died. One is 18v and the other 12v. I am very handy at making battery packs, but I haven't done it in a long time and everything I find online for batteries is CRAZY expensive. I'm looking for 1.2v ~1700mAH batteries. Everything I'm finding that isn't junk is in the ~$3.15/ea range.
Is it better to build my own battery packs or buy the crap packs I know will die in a year or so?
I need 25 batteries between the 2 setups, and 35 if I fix both of my 12v packs. That starts reaching the $100+ range.
I'm also pretty sure I'll want to go NiMH instead of NiCd for battery life and no memory issues.
Just looking for opinions and ideas. I love DIY projects I just don't want to throw away money. Figured I'd ask the guys I trust!
 

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You did not state what brand the drills and batteres are. If you have a Craftsman I would toss it in the trash. They do not hold a good charge and do not have the power of good units. Dewalt is way over priced and I consider most of their tools junk. B & D are all junk. along with all the cheap improt brands. Milwuakee and Bosh are the only 2 brands I will use in my constructio business. I hate Makita but thier belt sanders are light well ballanced and run for ever. If you can make your own batteries that is great but does not solve the problem. Why are your batteries going bad so fast. My guess is that they are cheap tools. Buy good tools and you will spend less in the long run.
 

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Unbreakable Breaker
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Rstocker, I would love to buy a Bosch or Milwaukee, but I'm not sure the funds are there for it. The ones I see are in the couple hundred dollar range for something of decent size. If you know of a good deal, please let me know!
1 of the drills I have (the 12v) is a craftsman, and it's been very reliable so far. I used it for 4 seasons of autocrossing (used to remove and re-tighten lug nuts) as it was much easier on 95 degree days than a manual wrench. It's about 7 years old now. The other was a cheap 18v throw away I bought just to have around about 4 years ago. I didn't pay much for it, so I got my moneys worth. Just wondering if new batteries would be the way to go or just buying a new one would be easier.

I'm just wondering if any of the other DIYers around here have tackled this before. Sounds like a pretty slim segment that actually play with batteries so far.

Mine don't get frequent use, but they are mighty handy when you need them! I get tired of lugging cords and extensios around for small house projects, though I do like the torque of the corded. I would prefer a nice 18v+, as they seem to have a little more 'oomph'.

Thanks for the responses so far guys. I'll look into the bosch and Milwaukee, just afraid they are more $$ than I have budget right now.
 

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There is a battery shop near me - Battery Giant - that rebuilds battery packs. It's not cheap, but the rebuilt units have worked better than the original batteries. Cost me $30 for a 9.6V pack. Maybe this is a possibility near you if you're happy with the drill.
 

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Rstocker, I would love to buy a Bosch or Milwaukee, but I'm not sure the funds are there for it. The ones I see are in the couple hundred dollar range for something of decent size. If you know of a good deal, please let me know!
1 of the drills I have (the 12v) is a craftsman, and it's been very reliable so far. I used it for 4 seasons of autocrossing (used to remove and re-tighten lug nuts) as it was much easier on 95 degree days than a manual wrench. It's about 7 years old now. The other was a cheap 18v throw away I bought just to have around about 4 years ago. I didn't pay much for it, so I got my moneys worth. Just wondering if new batteries would be the way to go or just buying a new one would be easier.

I'm just wondering if any of the other DIYers around here have tackled this before. Sounds like a pretty slim segment that actually play with batteries so far.

Mine don't get frequent use, but they are mighty handy when you need them! I get tired of lugging cords and extensios around for small house projects, though I do like the torque of the corded. I would prefer a nice 18v+, as they seem to have a little more 'oomph'.

Thanks for the responses so far guys. I'll look into the bosch and Milwaukee, just afraid they are more $$ than I have budget right now.[/QUOTE

I have picked all mine up at swapmeets and yard sales. I by batteries on line. You can get some fantastic prices. I never pay more than $50 for an 18 V.

I have several Ryobi cordless drills. I keep them on my boats. They work well and do hold a charge. They are very inexpensive. I gave my son a Craftsman a few years ago and it never has held a charge. I use power tools evey day. The B and M brand batteries last longer than anything else I have used. They are built much better. They have better berrings and the moters have better windings. More torque as well. Last Christmas Home Depot had the 18V Bosh drills with 1 battery and charger on sale for $100. Look on line. There are many good woodworking tool sources and some have fantastic prices. TV's were cheap then. Things have gone way up this year. I am not finding any good deals on anything.
 

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I know what you mean ...it's kind of like purchasing a new HP printer for $90 and then spending $45 for a darn ink cartridge ...its stupid

I have an old 14.4 Ryobi drill (love it) that ive had for years ...back when the quality was bit nicer. I like 14.4 because it has decent torque but isnt as heavy as an 18V. Ive experienced the same problem ....one battery will not hold a charge and the other holds a bit of a charge. My brother took the batteries, tore into the casing and took some cells out of another (bigger) battery pack to reassemble things. It seems to work ok ...but not like new. I believe that if you recharge the pack "before" you tear it apart ...then check the voltage on each cell ...you can tell which are bad and which are still good.

Maybe one of those battery shops could rebuilt the cell better ....ill have to check into that. Even if the cost is the same as new ....if it lasts longer ...thats better.
 

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You did not state what brand the drills and batteres are. If you have a Craftsman I would toss it in the trash. They do not hold a good charge and do not have the power of good units.
I have to respectfully disagree. After years of pulling out the Makita with a dead battery, I bought the red Craftsman 20 volt lithium battery drill, circular saw, and flashlight combo w/spare battery. ($250ish). The best tools I have. The drill is as powerful as a plug in type, and the saw is scary powerful. I can pull em outta the cabinet after a month or two and the battery is like new. The power of lithium batteries. I've had these tools for 3 plus years and they are still like new.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. After years of pulling out the Makita with a dead battery, I bought the red Craftsman 20 volt lithium battery drill, circular saw, and flashlight combo w/spare battery. ($250ish). The best tools I have. The drill is as powerful as a plug in type, and the saw is scary powerful. I can pull em outta the cabinet after a month or two and the battery is like new. The power of lithium batteries. I've had these tools for 3 plus years and they are still like new.
I've only used my new 19.2 V C3 Craftsman set a little bit but so far so good.
If you read the reviews online these tools are getting very good reviews.
There's chainsaw coming out this summer for the C3 line, it would be nice
haul around in the back of the golf cart. My brother has the Ryobi chainsaw
he says it's great for limbing on small jobs. Dewalt has gone to Mexico, Makita
and Milwakee has gone to China. So I figure check out the reviews and weigh
that against cost and the C3 line at Sears stacks up near the top.
 

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I have a bunch of the 18 volt dewalt tools, What I've learned about them is that the batteries that come with them don't last (they are all black) the replacements are alot better (they are black and yellow). The other thing is that the tools that come in the kits are not the same quality as the tools you buy seperatly. It is their little scam, you want the drill, then you see that the 8 pcs kit is only $200 more, so you buy the kit. The problem is that the drill is not the same drill. Even if it seems the same, I have 3 diferent 1/2 inch hammer drills! All in all I'm happy with these tools though I won't buy Dewalt corded tools anymore they keep burning out. The other problem I have with the cordless tools is they don't have enough options. It would be great to get a cordless weed wacker or dust buster that used the same batteries. Ed
 

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Unbreakable Breaker
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Discussion Starter #14
Have you tried zapping the cells to bring them back?
I haven't seen that before, but my neighbor has a welder. I'll probably hit him up this weekend!
 

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hello,
just thought i might suggest, call batteries plus they rebuild the battery packs for about half the cost. i used to build packs for remote control cars, its such a hassle really, and you have to worry about over heating. i use milwaukee and they rebuilt mine for $45, i think, that was two years ago, 18 volt.
 

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Ok, I have 2 cordless drills, and the batteries have both died. One is 18v and the other 12v. I am very handy at making battery packs, but I haven't done it in a long time and everything I find online for batteries is CRAZY expensive. I'm looking for 1.2v ~1700mAH batteries. Everything I'm finding that isn't junk is in the ~$3.15/ea range.
Is it better to build my own battery packs or buy the crap packs I know will die in a year or so?
I need 25 batteries between the 2 setups, and 35 if I fix both of my 12v packs. That starts reaching the $100+ range.
I'm also pretty sure I'll want to go NiMH instead of NiCd for battery life and no memory issues.
Just looking for opinions and ideas. I love DIY projects I just don't want to throw away money. Figured I'd ask the guys I trust!
Take your dead batteries to be rebuilt or swapped at Interstate battery outlets
 

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I follow discussions on flashlight forums. They frequently mention batteryjunction.com They have about any type of battery you may need and the prices seem pretty good.

--Rick
 
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