Dewalt battery life?

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 02-05-2011 03:44 AM 21696 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 2990 days

02-05-2011 03:44 AM

Just threw one of my batteries on the charger and got the rapid blink that says the battery pack has gone bad. This has happened before, but I usually just remove it and put it back to charge and it works fine. Not this time.

I went back and looked through my records and saw that I purchased this particular battery with my drill in June of 2009. Is the expected life really so short? I have a set of 14.4v batteries from my older drill, and one’s kicked the bucket but the other is still good. Those guys must be 7 or 8 years old.

Dewalt says they warranty their batteries for 3 years. Has anyone ever sent one back for replacement? If so, do you recall how long the turnaround on it was?

16 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 02-05-2011 05:04 AM

I own a complete set of DeWalt 18 volt cordless tools and 6 batteries (2 chargers). Some of these batteries are over 5 years old. I’ve never had a battery failure problem yet.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2841 days

#2 posted 02-05-2011 05:22 AM

Battery replacement has made me swear off cordless tools. I have an old B&D 18V (and I mean OLD) that still has the original batteries. It’s been great. In the meantime, I’ve had three other 18V drills. All of them are sitting now, unused, because I’m sick of replacing batteries every year. Two of those are Craftsmans and one is a Ryobi. I have spent so much on batterys for them it’s ridiculous.
I thought about buying another B&D. A buddy bought one a couple of years ago though, and has had the same one a year battery replacement luck that I’ve had out of the others.


View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3040 days

#3 posted 02-05-2011 06:31 AM

Try cleaning the contacts before you give up on the batteries, I had to do that on one of mine, it worked but isn’t a sure thing. Otherwise I haven’t any of my batteries die, 18v DeWalt.

View cabmaker's profile


1730 posts in 2807 days

#4 posted 02-05-2011 06:48 AM

`I dont know if it means anything but I have had problems with the 14.4 not meeting their expected life (whatever that is). I never had trouble with the 12 or 18 s. Good luck with it. BTW I still use corded drills when I can.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3540 days

#5 posted 02-05-2011 07:18 AM

If it’s NiCad you can always try to ZAP it…

be careful though

-- Childress Woodworks

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2879 days

#6 posted 02-05-2011 07:59 AM

Cant speak for Dewalt but I have some 18v Ryobi tools and I have gone through 4 batteries in as many years. The last two that I bought lasted maybe a year. One thing I think may have cut the life is that my shop is in my garage and they were kept in there over winter. I heard that the cold temp can hurt them.

I told myself I was not going to buy another set of batteries BUT Ryobi now offers a 2 year warranty on there regular batteries as well as the option to buy another 2 year extended warranty. I decided to buy another set and the extra 2 year warranty was less then 15 dollars. So as long as its a good warranty I should be good for at least 4 years…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2990 days

#7 posted 02-18-2011 08:31 PM

Well, I sent my problematic battery in to Dewalt earlier this week, and they just told me that they can’t find anything wrong with it so they’re sending it back. They checked it in three chargers and it worked fine in all three, charging to and holding over 19V. I’ve got about 6 months of battery warranty left, so I’m just going to use this battery as much as possible during that time to try and get it to fault again within the warranty period.

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2692 days

#8 posted 02-18-2011 09:24 PM

I live in Ottawa Ontario Canada and there is a company here that specializes in batteries.
They will actually take your battery pack, open it up and change the cells.
They say that their cells are superior to the original and it is 1/4 the cost of a replacement pack.
Perhaps there is a battery place near you.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3107 days

#9 posted 02-18-2011 09:45 PM

Based on Dewalt’s findings, could it be the charger? Not sure about the dust quantity in your shop, but you might want to clean the charger’s contacts and see if it blinks on any other batteries you use on it.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2990 days

#10 posted 02-18-2011 10:15 PM

The charger works fine with the other battery that came in the set with the problematic one. I have another charger that I’ll try when I get the battery back.

View paulpablo's profile


1 post in 2017 days

#11 posted 11-15-2012 06:12 AM

I am replying to this question a couple of years after you posted it, vrtigo1, but i am getting disgusted with battery life and charge life, on my dewalt 18 volt batteries. They last, like someone said, about a year, one they replaced that was just barely within warranty. Others just dead. Give me Milwaukee or give me electric.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2187 days

#12 posted 11-15-2012 08:48 PM

I think a lot of these battery powered tools are really vehicles to sell batteries. I don’t trust the chargers either – had one blow up and that was the end of that drill/batteries. Now I always buy two of the same thing so that I have 2 chargers and lots of batteries – as the old Who song says “won’t get fooled again !”.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View JAAune's profile


1798 posts in 2315 days

#13 posted 03-03-2015 12:28 AM

It’s the chargers that are suspect on many cordless tools. They charge batteries too fast and hot and heat kills battery life. Some people suggest taking the batteries off the charger as soon as they are charged so long-term overheating doesn’t occur.

Fiddling with the above is too much of a pain so I just use a Festool (going on 6 years daily use and still strong) and don’t worry about it. Batteries stay on the charger until I feel like taking them off.

If you don’t use cordless tools frequently, I’d recommend corded tools or at least a lithium ion tool. NiCads discharge just from sitting around.

-- See my work at and

View MrUnix's profile


6714 posts in 2197 days

#14 posted 03-03-2015 01:02 AM

NiCd will self discharge faster, but also have almost twice the cycle life of Lithium and NiMH.. plus they are WAY cheaper. and can operate in temperatures where the others can’t. Batteries for my Makita (NiCd) cost me about $15 a piece (and are almost twice the capacity of the originals that shipped with the tools).


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View klassenl's profile


185 posts in 2657 days

#15 posted 03-03-2015 01:45 AM

Over the years as an electrician I have found that 3 years is a good life for a cordless drill. I had Bosch drills for 10 years and they lasted about 3 years. The Makita that I currently use will be ready for replacing at 3 years. Oddly, with the Bosch drills it was the batteries that were worn out or they began eating brushes. With the Makita it will be the motor.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

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