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Rejuvenating or reviving cordless drill battery?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Anyone has done this? Both of my Craftsman 16.8 volt cordless drill batteries are dead, cannot recharge, one stays on 8 volt and the other one stays on 2.4 volt. I googled and on youtube someone used welder machine to demonstrate "Zap" the battery, however, I don't have access to a welding machine, or any high current DC power, wondering is there any other way of doing it, maybe with the car battery when car is running?
post #2 of 26
buy a replacement battery
post #3 of 26
If you wanted to try you could use an electrolytic cap out of an old amp or anything with a meaty power supply. Charge up the cap and then discharge to the NiCad. However I believe this is a very temporary fix and I'd wear protective clothing. The only real fix is a new battery..
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Replacement battery ain't cheap, costs about $65, no way I pay that much for the battery, I'd rather buy a new drill with that money.
post #5 of 26
This is the reason I try to stay away from the battery powered tools.
Sure, they're pretty handy in the short term, but always have a corded back-up.

Also, I'd be leery about "amping" those batteries.
Besides the gases produced, you could be looking at a decent explosion of the battery pack resulting in an acid bath.

Look at it as an excuse to buy more tools.
post #6 of 26
There are plenty of places that will rebuild your batteries for a fraction of the cost of a new battery.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
I tried to use car battery to "Zap" the drill batteries, it seemed to have some effect, before none can be charged, now one battery started charging and is still charging now, I just measured, it goes up to 17 volts while before it was only 8 volts, charger light is still in red, so I guess it is not fully charged yet, now sure how well it can hold the power after fully charged.

I also got a new 18 volt drill combo (one flash light included) and one additional battery for $30 from Harbor Freight, great deal, I don't care how long it can last, as long as it can last through my basement build, then I am happy, at this price, I consider it is dispensable

I do own a corded dual mode (rotary and rotary hammer) Craftsman drill though, sometimes I feel it is little too strong in a way that it won't stop in time after I released the trigger, just wants to keep drilling the screw further down into the wood, often ruin the screw head and drill bit.
post #8 of 26
I almost exclusively use cordless tools for everything; I've pretty much stuck with 18V Dewalt tools. I'm pretty hard on my tools, I use them for work as well as around the house and I usually get 1-2 years of use from each one.

With the exception of the batteries that comes with the tools, I buy all my batteries on Ebay, most of which I paid around $40 each for new 18v Ni-cads.

Here is one example
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by theWalkinator View Post

I do own a corded dual mode (rotary and rotary hammer) Craftsman drill though, sometimes I feel it is little too strong in a way that it won't stop in time after I released the trigger, just wants to keep drilling the screw further down into the wood, often ruin the screw head and drill bit.

IMHO, the best thing to use for driving screws is an impact driver; they stop when you let go of the trigger and give better control. Although newer drills will have brakes as well. My newer dewalt drills stop immediately when the trigger is released...I still prefer my impact driver for screws though.
post #10 of 26
Have you tried using a cordless with an adjustable clutch? For my money that beats an impact any day for small screws (including up to #10/#12 screws; I just mean smaller than lag bolts).
post #11 of 26
That dragged me out from lurking a pet topic :
Cordless tools - the charger determines battery life and is the expensive bit , value is relative but a cordless drill is three tools a charge battery and drill/driver , so take what you are willing to pay and multiply by three. Best chargers on the market Metabo , Bosch and Milwaukee/AEG. These pulse chargers easily triple battery life over cheap boil chargers (including DeWalt ones). And yes a good cordless will outlast a multiple of budget ones , over ten years out of my 9.6 volt 1.2 ah Bosch on one battery (industrial tool that outperformed most cheap 18v tools).
Would chose an impact driver over a drill/driver , small corded drill for drilling , I frame using screws so the speed is a big plus.
Another clarification , I have noticed a lot of people trying to use impact hammer drills in cordless drills (especially with tapcons) give up , if you have concrete at home invest in a rotary hammer , the difference is a hot knife through butter compared with beating your head against concrete.
If you are saving labour DIY why not invest in tools you will have the use of for years ?
My five cents worth after a few years selling both DIY hardware and industrial tools and supplies.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonahBones View Post

That dragged me out from lurking a pet topic :
Cordless tools - the charger determines battery life and is the expensive bit , value is relative but a cordless drill is three tools a charge battery and drill/driver , so take what you are willing to pay and multiply by three. Best chargers on the market Metabo , Bosch and Milwaukee/AEG. These pulse chargers easily triple battery life over cheap boil chargers (including DeWalt ones). And yes a good cordless will outlast a multiple of budget ones , over ten years out of my 9.6 volt 1.2 ah Bosch on one battery (industrial tool that outperformed most cheap 18v tools).
Would chose an impact driver over a drill/driver , small corded drill for drilling , I frame using screws so the speed is a big plus.
Another clarification , I have noticed a lot of people trying to use impact hammer drills in cordless drills (especially with tapcons) give up , if you have concrete at home invest in a rotary hammer , the difference is a hot knife through butter compared with beating your head against concrete.
If you are saving labour DIY why not invest in tools you will have the use of for years ?
My five cents worth after a few years selling both DIY hardware and industrial tools and supplies.

While I certainly agree that chargers play a huge role in battery life, IMHO usage also plays a role; I never drain my Ni-cad batteries until the drill stops.

As far as Dewalt chargers not being the greatest, I can only speak to my own experiance. i think getting 1-2 years out of a battery that gets charged/discharged (on average) 5-10 times a week is pretty good. I should also point out that I have around 10 batteries, so they do get rotated through my equipment regularly..

I agree 100% about using a real hammer drill for concrete, I switched years ago to an SDS type drill for concrete and it makes a huge difference! Of course not everybody is going to buy or even needs one of these, but once you use one......
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sokoloff View Post

Have you tried using a cordless with an adjustable clutch? For my money that beats an impact any day for small screws (including up to #10/#12 screws; I just mean smaller than lag bolts).


From my personal perspective, I feel I have more control using an impact driver for any type of screw (sm or lg) with or without a clutch in the drill.

If I am driving small #8 screws I use my Rigid 12v impact driver which gives me even more control....

To each his own......
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Is the clutch the same thing as the torque adjustment? Yes, the cordless drill that I have does have the adjustable torque, 12 settings actually, the corded one does not, I think it is controlled by the trigger, the harder you pull the trigger, the torquier (is that even a word?) it gets, so usually at the end of drilling is the torquiest, even I released the trigger in time but the inertia force is still making the drill to go few more rotations. I guess I just didn't know how to control the torque of mine corded drill.
post #15 of 26
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't know how to use your drill!

My point was just that, as far as driving screws goes, an impact gun is actually designed for that; it has an "impact" that makes stripping screws less likely (in my experiance). it also requires less work to drive the screw in, of course with a small screw, there isn't to much effort involved so the difference is less noticeable.

With a corded drill(especially one without a brake) you will have more speed and maybe a bit more torque, but I think that just makes it more likely to strip the screw out, especially with a slightly worn bit... For me personally I'll use an impact driver.
post #16 of 26
Not sure if Ridgid still has this deal from December 2007 . But 2 years ago I bought a 18v cordless hammer drill for my son with lifetime a replacement, even covering the batteries. They have replaced them twice for free and and I'm about to go back and get the charger and 1 battery replaced.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javatime View Post

Not sure if Ridgid still has this deal from December 2007 . But 2 years ago I bought a 18v cordless hammer drill for my son with lifetime a replacement, even covering the batteries. They have replaced them twice for free and and I'm about to go back and get the charger and 1 battery replaced.

As far as i know, they still have limited lifetime warranty on their tools if you register them online. I've gotten a couple 12v lithium batteries free as well.
post #18 of 26
fastners 'camming' out is as much an issue with quality of driver and fastners. For industrial use driver bits are hardened and/or tinite (ceramic coating not just gold paint like cheap stuff). Canadians screw better than anybody Robertson square driver screws and drivers , excellent quality.
I remember when the first DeWalt impact drivers came out they were amazing , far greater driving capacity without camout , use to demonstrate them driving slot head screws into hardwood.
With proper electronic chargers battery can go on charge at any time , without memory effect , remember not to fully discharge ni-cad as the cells are damaged.
Torque not adjustable per se , a clutch will limit torque and torque lower at low speeds, both types of drill have variable speed triggers , corded often have speed control as well , once again quality varies.
Panasonic was the other brand , the best batteries by a mile especially with NiMH.
DeWalt and Makita produce good product but all companies have there strengths and weaknesses , the biggest problem is finding a salesperson who bothers to learn the detail.
Almost as much technical detail in tools as there is in home theatre !
post #19 of 26
I have just had my drill battery recharged with Lectane (Lectane.com). $45 +S&H. Lectane is a new type of electricity that flows in pulses and their process reverses the chemical build up. So far - 3 months - my drill works great!
post #20 of 26
Why do I think this first time poster works for Lectane?
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemer533 View Post

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't know how to use your drill!



My point was just that, as far as driving screws goes, an impact gun is actually designed for that; it has an "impact" that makes stripping screws less likely (in my experiance). it also requires less work to drive the screw in, of course with a small screw, there isn't to much effort involved so the difference is less noticeable.


With a corded drill(especially one without a brake) you will have more speed and maybe a bit more torque, but I think that just makes it more likely to strip the screw out, especially with a slightly worn bit... For me personally I'll use an impact driver.

Totally agree. I tried building a porch with my 9.6v dewalt and nearly gave up. Then I bought an 18v Makita set with an impact gun. I've done so much with that impact gun, I amaze myself. It instantly became my most favorite tool.
post #22 of 26
CS you do realize that this conversation ended 10 months ago?
post #23 of 26
Quote:
CS you do realize that this conversation ended 10 months ago?

Obviously not... Didn't check the dates. Only saw it was bumped to the top.

Still a great drill though.
post #24 of 26
Agreed, I've used my Makita 18 impact so much it is starting to show the abuse I've given it. I saw that they have released a new version which is brush-less and supposed to have 50% longer battery life so I bought a "reconditioned" bare one from Amazon and have started to use that. It looked brand new to me. I see that they have sold out their supply of reconditioned and now you pay 40% more for new.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkaret View Post

I have just had my drill battery recharged with Lectane (Lectane.com). $45 +S&H. Lectane is a new type of electricity that flows in pulses and their process reverses the chemical build up. So far - 3 months - my drill works great!

Amusing to see this thread resurrected; especially with a post like this.... good grief! rolleyes.gif
post #26 of 26
Also, I stand by my original statements, 2 years later cool.gif

I still think impact guns are the way to go... in fact I've been also using my impact drivers with a chuck accessory to use as a drill. Its nice in certain situations that don't require high horsepower drilling...

I also still agree with Big's original statement; buy a new battery!biggrin.gif
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