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Old 12-18-2011, 04:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Cordless tool batteries

My dad has thrown out enough cordless drills and their batteries that'll about fill up a household municipal trash can. It's the same failure every time: shorted cells in the Ni-Cd battery packs because he apparently doesn't use them often enough (and yes I am aware Ni-Cd batts shouldn't be thrown in the trash ).

I've been trying to locate models that use Ni-MH batteries, these don't seem to have the issues sitting around like Ni-Cd does, however there seems to be almost none that use Ni-MH anymore ???

My question is, are newer Li-ion packs OK if not used for long periods? Anyone have Li-Ion tools (batteries) that are some years old but are only used a few times a year and still work fine? (yeah I know, probably a long shot here lol)
Or alternatively, has anyone ever put Ni-MH cells into a unit's Ni-Cd battery case and have the charger still work properly with the Ni-MH cells?

Super high power isn't a concern here, just looking for something that doesn't require you have to rig up a bunch of jumper clips and crap to "zap" the damn battery every single time you go to use it after it's sat for a month.

Appreciate any info.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Getting in on this post cause I too would like to see what others say. Fucking sucks to throw out a perfectly good cordless tool just cause the batteries are shot and it's not worth the cost of getting new batts.

A good and cheap place to look for NIMH cells would be in the R/C world. They sell some 7.4v stick packs for dirt cheap sometimes! Disassemble and reassemble into your stock drill pack. Dunno about the charger issue though.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah the R/C world is sportin' some excellent cells, I think "average" ones would work good enough here though (at least as long as the charger doesn't error out on them).
I got some old GPs laying around from my E-Maxx I could try... They're pretty well-used and worn out though.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My 18V Makita has Ni-MH packs, but I think all the new ones are Li-Ion. They have their own set of issues, but chargers are smarter for them, and they should last awhile.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Our Cornwell tool guy has a place that rebuild battery pack's with new cell's in NJ. I can see if I can get the info if you guys want.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Appreciate the offer.

I've actually determined that the charger for this last drill here (a Craftsman 19.2V model) uses a rather low-tech temperature cut-off approach to terminate the fast-charge cycle (a little thermal circuit breaker thingy taped to a cell inside the batt), so i think a swap to NiMH should work no problem. Having found a fairly cheap source for what I hope will be good quality cells, I'm gonna give it a shot.

I will post back with results.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Appreciate the offer.

I've actually determined that the charger for this last drill here (a Craftsman 19.2V model) uses a rather low-tech temperature cut-off approach to terminate the fast-charge cycle (a little thermal circuit breaker thingy taped to a cell inside the batt), so i think a swap to NiMH should work no problem. Having found a fairly cheap source for what I hope will be good quality cells, I'm gonna give it a shot.

I will post back with results.
Don't you hate that charger??? After drilling with a battery a long time and it's hot you can throw it on the charger and it immediately says full charge.
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't you hate that charger??? After drilling with a battery a long time and it's hot you can throw it on the charger and it immediately says full charge.


(sorry, can't help it lol)

I wondered if you were to drain a battery real fast and hard if it could falsely trip that thermal switch and you not be able to charge the thing for awhile lol. Fortunately I don't think it gets used that hard real often (plus the NiMH cells should last a little longer per charge than the NiCd as well). I bet if you throw the battery in the freezer next to the air vent for a bit, it'll reset itself after 10 mins or so.

I was actually surprised to see it setup like that. Most nickel-type battery chargers use the delta dropoff (I think it's called) in voltage to terminate the fast-charge cycle. NiMH cells have a somewhat lower amount of dropoff than NiCd cells, and is where my initial concern came from (would a NiCd charger see the lesser dropoff and know the cells are full).
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Old 12-25-2011, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lithium ion requires special charger and a battery cutoff. If you run them too low it will ruin the battery and same if you dont charge it right. That being said we have a millwaukee 1/2 inch drill and 1/4 impact gun at work. The combo comes with the charger and the batteries automatically shutoff when they get low. The lithium ion has alot of power and torque. I did 2 sets of double beadlocks with the impact before the battery turned off. The other nice advantage is the weight. The lithium ion is alot lighter than other types and makes the drill/impact nice to use.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Rigid Tools. Lifetime warrenty on the batteries!!!! Screw all that other P.O.S. cordless crap..
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I got this hunk of shit. The drill is not too bad but the batteries suck. Have returned it a couple of times and both time one battery will go bad after a couple charging cycles.



http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/....aspx?ID=26270

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Old 12-26-2011, 06:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I got this hunk of shit. The drill is not too bad but the batteries suck. Have returned it a couple of times and both time one battery will go bad after a couple charging cycles.



http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/....aspx?ID=26270


I have the blue version of that drill. 18v Li-ion.

The first thing I noticed is the batteries go flat when not used for a couple weeks. However, they charge fast, and work hard right until they are flat. Also found they won't charge when they're cold... so my tools and charger had move out of my unheated toolshed and into the house.

One battery (1.5ah) died. I think it was from leaving it on the charger for several days.

I also have the flourescent flashlight - which I have used a lot.

I could use a cordless impact among other things, but I'm reluctant to load up more tools that use $100 batteries.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok here's another question. All the new drills and things are coming with Li-ion batteries now, and I have a couple great drills, but almost all the batteries are junk.

Does anyone see any reason I couldn't crack open the battery case on one of the dead ones, pull out the stock guts and replace with smaller, lighter RC Li-Po stuff of the same voltage? I'd have to use a different charger of course, but I have a very nice charger for my RC stuff that'll do Li-Po batteries, and I hardly ever use it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ok here's another question. All the new drills and things are coming with Li-ion batteries now, and I have a couple great drills, but almost all the batteries are junk.

Does anyone see any reason I couldn't crack open the battery case on one of the dead ones, pull out the stock guts and replace with smaller, lighter RC Li-Po stuff of the same voltage? I'd have to use a different charger of course, but I have a very nice charger for my RC stuff that'll do Li-Po batteries, and I hardly ever use it.
I know Milwaukee has retrofit Li-ion batteries for their old 18V stuff... Not sure about anybody else...

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Old 12-27-2011, 08:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok here's another question. All the new drills and things are coming with Li-ion batteries now, and I have a couple great drills, but almost all the batteries are junk.

Does anyone see any reason I couldn't crack open the battery case on one of the dead ones, pull out the stock guts and replace with smaller, lighter RC Li-Po stuff of the same voltage? I'd have to use a different charger of course, but I have a very nice charger for my RC stuff that'll do Li-Po batteries, and I hardly ever use it.
You would need a low-voltage cut-off (LVC) of some sort to avoid the batteries getting destroyed by over-discharge (or at very minimum, one of those cheap LVA beeper things), but having that, I see no issue. You'll probably want to actually go a couple volts lower with the LiPos than what it was as NiCd so you don't chance burning the motor out with hard use (a 14.8V LiPo pack with it's lower resistance is bound to maintain a higher voltage while sucking 30 amps off it than a 18V NiCd pack will).
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Rigid Tools. Lifetime warrenty on the batteries!!!! Screw all that other P.O.S. cordless crap..
Uh huh. And having read the experiences of several people about trying to actually get replacement batts from Ridgid, I'm not jumping on that bandwagon.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Rigid Tools. Lifetime warrenty on the batteries!!!! Screw all that other P.O.S. cordless crap..
There are always one of these clowns in every tool thread. Why do you drive the ford in your sig, a Hyundai has a much better warranty?
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I was at a high end tool seller yesterday, they are one of the few places that sell Panasonic cordless tools. I still have nicad and Nimh batteries in my 12 volt Panasonic impacts and drills. As everyone else is doing Panasonic is phasing everything else out in favor of lithium ion. Lithium ion may be lighter, but in many cases they don't hold a charge when not in regular use, and they SUCK in the cold. I once sent out a bunch of 24v Dewalts to get new cells installed, and they totally sucked, the company was called Battery Rebuilders LLC. I wish there was someone out there that was rebuilding battery packs was putting OEM or better quality cells in them. I am down to 3 batteries for my panasonics and the newest are 7 years old, the oldest is 9. Rather than reinvent the wheel with trying to adapt Lion batteries we need to find a guy that is putting high quality cells in old battery packs.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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You could put NiMh batteries in a NiCd pack but the charger wouldn't charge them properly. As a company that goes through mass amounts of drills and batteries, I think the problem lies with the basic chargers and people not cycling their batteries properly. I use the knowledge I have from the RC world and never have issues with battery packs. And my personal tools are lithium ion and they kick ass over the NiCd, I have no storage issues with them, probably use them twice a month for mini projects. I would never buy another NiCd tool again.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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why toss the battery when you can revive it... I personally have never done this to a NiCad but have had a buddy do it.... it works....

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Nicad batteries often die in such a way that they won't take a charge and have zero voltage. This usually means they're shorted out by crystal dendrite growth. Here's a method of bringing them back to life by zapping those shorted crystal dendrites away with too much current and/or voltage. We'll use a welder as a power source. You could also use a car battery, a DC powersupply, or almost anything with some voltage. Charged-up capacitors are popular for this because you can get a very fast pulse out of them and still limit the power. it's a lot safer that way.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #21 (permalink)
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There are always one of these clowns in every tool thread. Why do you drive the ford in your sig, a Hyundai has a much better warranty?
You don't think that its a smart decision to pick a tool that the manufacture will stand behind? I think good homework before a purchase goes along way. So far in about 4 years Ridgid has send me 6 free batteries due to warrenty replacment. All I had to do way pay shipping one way to send them the old battery total process took less than a week on each exchange. I had one drill fall approx 25 feet to concrete completely destroyed the drill. I laughingly mentioned it on one of the battery exchanges and they told me to send it in also. New battery and drill in a week.

What do you think by your reply that Ridgid doesn't make quality tools? To me it appears that they have sat back and looked at the short comings of other manufactures and stepped up with some new ideas that so far seem to work.

If a battery is enough for you to take a cordless tool out of service due to battery cost it sure is something to consider.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:46 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Uh huh. And having read the experiences of several people about trying to actually get replacement batts from Ridgid, I'm not jumping on that bandwagon.
Ive had no problem. As long as you send in the paperwork right after purchase of the tool. I can give you the number and address of the authorized repair/replacment shop I have used.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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why toss the battery when you can revive it... I personally have never done this to a NiCad but have had a buddy do it.... it works....



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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4junkie
just looking for something that doesn't require you have to rig up a bunch of jumper clips and crap to "zap" the damn battery every single time you go to use it after it's sat for a month.
Milwaukee claims their M12 Red Li-ion is better in the cold, but I don't have any of the red batteries, so I can't comment. I do know that my V28 sucks in the cold, and oftentimes one or both wall chargers just seem to shut off in the cold. I have to remove and reinsert the battery to get it to come to life again.

I thought I had read where the V28 batts are supposed to be able to vibrate and warm themselves up, but maybe I was on crack 'cause I've never seen 'em vibrate, nor does this seem all that plausible.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:43 AM   #24 (permalink)
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^ missed that.... but gotta say it works and isnt very difficult... and no issues with charging for a couple of months now.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:17 AM   #25 (permalink)
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You don't think that its a smart decision to pick a tool that the manufacture will stand behind? I think good homework before a purchase goes along way. So far in about 4 years Ridgid has send me 6 free batteries due to warrenty replacment. All I had to do way pay shipping one way to send them the old battery total process took less than a week on each exchange. I had one drill fall approx 25 feet to concrete completely destroyed the drill. I laughingly mentioned it on one of the battery exchanges and they told me to send it in also. New battery and drill in a week.

What do you think by your reply that Ridgid doesn't make quality tools? To me it appears that they have sat back and looked at the short comings of other manufactures and stepped up with some new ideas that so far seem to work.

If a battery is enough for you to take a cordless tool out of service due to battery cost it sure is something to consider.
Yes I will say I don't think Rigid makes quality tools. I don't think replacing 6 batteries in 4 years is a sign of a quality tool. I think it is a sign that they make a shit tool for very little cost and are able to stay in business because most people don't bother with the warranty because after a while they realize that the tools aren't very good and buy better. Go to a job site, a fab shop, anywhere where people make their living with tools. See how many guys are using Rigid cordless tools, or any of their other bullshit tools. Are you smarter than all those other guys?
I couldn't begin to count how many hundreds of guys I have worked with and around throughout the last 30 years. In all those years 1 guy showed up with a Rigid cordless set. He was brand news to the industry and bought the Rigid days before beginning the job. He had a direct comparison every day how his Rigid stuff compared to Makitas, Dewalts, and Boschs that most of the other guys use. Within a month he showed up with Makita kit.
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