Rebuilt/Refurbished Batteries?

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 09-13-2013 11:39 PM 2130 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14940 posts in 2930 days

09-13-2013 11:39 PM

I have a collection of Ni-Cad 18 and 14.4 volt batteries that no longer hold a charge well. The local Interstate Battery store will rebuild these for $39 and$29 respectively. Anyone have experience with rebuilt batteries? Sounds worthwhile to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

34 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2578 days

#1 posted 09-13-2013 11:41 PM

I didn’t know they could be rebuilt. Sounds good to me.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2532 days

#2 posted 09-13-2013 11:50 PM

Good topic! I was also unaware batteries could be rebuilt. I’m “watch”ing this topic with interest to see what LJs experience has been. Thanks for the post.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 09-13-2013 11:52 PM

I was at the local battery store about 2 weeks ago getting a new generator battery and noticed a sign saying they rebuild power tool batteries. I inquired and was told that most of the time they come out better than new. I told them I would bring in a battery from my Makita but discovered they do not rebuild lithium batteries.
They said the average fee was from $25 -39 but only Nicad

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3539 days

#4 posted 09-13-2013 11:54 PM

If you’re comfortable soldering, you can order nicad battery cells and rebuild them yourself. There are a few guides online that are quite good. I was about to take that particular plunge when I had to move suddenly and had a lot less need to use my drill and impact driver.

$39 seems expensive to me, considering it probably costs what, $45 for a new battery? When I looked at it a few years ago, it was going to be around $12 for the cells for my 12V batteries. An 18V battery is just more of the same size cells.

At $40 a pop, you’d be better off buying new ones and recycling the old ones.

View johnstoneb's profile


3072 posts in 2413 days

#5 posted 09-13-2013 11:55 PM

I have had Interstate batteries rebuild a pair of 18v Ni-cads for me. They are holding up well I’m into my second year with the rebuilds. I found out from Interstate batteries that to make Ni-Cads last run them down completely (I use a talilight bulb to drain the last power out of the battery) charge them up and remove from the charger.
It seems to be working.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11166 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 09-13-2013 11:56 PM

I had a couple Makita 12V batteries rebuilt and they actually hold a charge longer than before. They seem to deliver more power, too.
I believe may costs were $35 per. So, sounds like a good deal for you.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3539 days

#7 posted 09-14-2013 12:01 AM

Did some quick googling and it looks like it’d be around $30 for the cells for a new 18V battery.

You need 15 of these per battery:

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2753 days

#8 posted 09-14-2013 12:20 AM

I’m with everyone else, good to know and curious as to the outcome.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2727 days

#9 posted 09-14-2013 12:22 AM

Andy, I use to rebuild my Milwaukee batteries, but the price was too good to pass up letting someone else do it.
A 90 day warranty and these are still going 4 years later. 14.4V, 2.4Ah. plenty of power and they don’t overheat like the originals.
You might want to look at the recall sites…. I got new batteries for another of my Milwaukee’s free.. 2 for 1. and a 12V DeWalt that the charger went out on.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2930 days

#10 posted 09-14-2013 01:44 AM

Thanks for all the input. Considering the price of new batteries and the scarcity of the 14.4s that I have, I think I’ll give the rebuilds a try.

FYI There was a big price difference between Batteries Plus and Interstate Battery for rebuilding batteries.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2677 days

#11 posted 09-14-2013 02:11 AM

I used to work with an older gent from the Philippines. He was an elecronics expert and he would rebuild all our 18v Dewalt tool batteries. Whenever one died, he’d go to the flea market and buy up a bunch of old rechargable tools or kitchen gadgets (you know, the type with the batteries built inside) for a buck or two each. He’d then open them all, check the cells and put the good ones in the Dewalts. The company would repay him the few bucks he spent and we never bought a new battery for the 12 or so years he worked there.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3539 days

#12 posted 09-14-2013 02:29 AM

It’s crazy that (at least for Dewalt batteries) the new 14.4V batteries cost more than the 18V ones. If I were you, I’d replace the 18V with new ones and rebuild the 14.4V.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2930 days

#13 posted 09-14-2013 02:34 AM

My 14.4s are Black & Deckers.
I can’t replace the 18 Volt batts for $39 locally.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6278 posts in 3593 days

#14 posted 09-14-2013 03:49 AM

Some NiCad’s are better than others. I think it’s worth it to replace them . Replacement NiCad batteries seem to always be better grade than the ones that come with the tool.

Just a little FYI ,
Lithium is a totally different system. Many warnings are places on Lithium batteries because they can be hazardous if not charged correctly. If overcharged they could catch fire and or turn into a fiery blow torch. also if Lithium are discharged under a given Voltage per cell they could be rendered useless. I fly RC electric Planes and I once charged a Lithium for my RC airplane in my truck. Big mistake! I set the charger up on the wrong setting and destroyed a laptop and some of the interior of my truck. You better know what you are doing when it comes to Lithium. I learned the hard way! $4000 in damage. Glad I had insurance!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View jonah's profile


1972 posts in 3539 days

#15 posted 09-14-2013 12:35 PM

The B&D 14.4V batteries are exceedingly cheap online. They are $30-$35 on Amazon. The rebuilt battery from your local place will probably use higher capacity cells than the (relatively cheap) new B&Ds, but if you want the peace of mind of a brand new battery, you can get one for the same price as a rebuilt one.

The 18V B&D batteries are similarly cheap, $35 each on Amazon.

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