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Old 12-24-2007, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Cordless Drill Batteries(rebuild )

My 9.6V Makita finally died and I was hesitant to replace it because it was such a good reliable tool for so long. It had gotten to the point that the replacement battery was worth more than a new drill. I bought a Dewalt 14.4 with two batteries and have no regrets at all. I work my tools pretty hard
I was following this thread and thought I would add this project here for inspiration on a frustrating subject( failing batteries in cordless drills )

So , I have an ever growing pile of dead or near dead Nicad batteries for various drills RC toys etc...blah blah blah..

The one that ticks me off the most is my 3 year old Porter Cable Drill/driver , at the time 14.4 volts was fine for my applications and still is for that matter . So I go to order 2 replacement batteries for the thing , they cost almost $ 90 bucks each , I need two because that way with the two hour charger , you really never run low on power because the other one is charging . now , I paid about $ 175 bucks for the thing 3 years agao and a new one today cost roughly the same with a little more voltage . I only look stupid when it comes to math , but I am not paying no $ 180 bucks for two replacement batteries , and the drill is in great shape and fits my needs now. After some research , I have deceided to go the way of rebuilding my battery packs , a few screws and the pack opens up to a dozen Nicad cells wired in series or 1.2 volts x 12 =14.4 , I go to price these little suckers and find out I can buy 24 of them for $ 1.65 each , they are Sanyo 1.9 m mah 1.2 volt rechargables , so for $ 20 bucks each , and a bit of soldering I will have replaced the critical componet of this tool, the housing is molded plastic and will remain in a landfill for 400 years , what's to replace with that ? .

Ok, so here is the certified good stuff:

This took about 2 hours total, once I had the batteries in hand, I had to use duel soldering irons to bring the temps up to make the solder adhere quickly, some short pieces of 12 gauge bare copper wire, and some electrical tape, the whole project cost me 36 bucks, instead of 180 + shipping. Score one for the little guy! , I will take the difference in cash, spend it on grain, and brew some beer. In addition, for all you tree huggers out there,it's a fairly green project, I will recycle the old NiCad batteries and not throw away a perfectly good appliance

Removing the cover

[/b]New batteries aligned and ready for tape

After soldering the new ones in

Install and clean up the solder joints

The Rub:

I charged both of them and they took the charge really well, the power seems incredibly strong, but this was a simple project with a high level of satisfaction.

Just thought I would share

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Old 12-24-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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Nice job, I will have to take a look at my pile of junk 18V Dewalt batteries.

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Old 12-24-2007, 02:23 PM   #3
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Nice job- If my 18v DeWalt batts ever go bad, I'll do the same. I've been using them every day for 4 years and they're still going strong.
I assume you got the replacements at a place like Batteries Plus???
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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My drill was a gift a couple of years ago. Unfortunately it is a ryobi which only home despot sells. They no longer stock the batteries for it becasue they have "upgraded a few times since.

Where do you get the batteries? Just any nicad rechargebles?

Bristle Bros. Brewing
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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Very nice!! Job well done. I have a couple of new DeWalts and a couple of dead ones...I'm not a tree hugger per se, but I surely know how to solder... to save $$$.

Yesterday I took up the carpet and padding in the basement so I can lay tile. My wife wanted me to pay someone, but I enjoy this type of work and consider it fun all the way to the bank.

Question: I presume you also soldered the bottom of the batteries since they are in series right? But you didn't show a picture...I guess when I take them out I'll find out, huh? DOH!!!

To the poster before me...check eBay for replacement bulk.
HB Bill

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Old 12-24-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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Maybe I'll crack the cases on my Makitas. I purchased a Rayovac replacement for $27, but I wouldn't mind having multiple batteries again. The 3" saw is awfully handy for overhead work, but it eats power.
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:35 PM   #7
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I use to build my own custom batteries for RC cars back when I was into them...

Just use caution when soldering the cells together and use just enough heat to get the solder to flow, over heating the cells can damage them. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, batteries plus will rebuild batteries for you and they have the proper spot welder to do this.
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:42 PM   #8
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My Dad and I used to do the same thing all the time. He was a self-employed carpenter at the time and used the hell out of cordless drills. 15 years ago, cordless drills were much more expensive and the batteries weren't nearly as good. So, we rebuilt the batteries once every other year or so. Works like a charm!

Nice job, mrb.

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