Old cordless tools - dump them?

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Forum topic by opalko posted 01-02-2014 07:55 PM 1182 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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135 posts in 2456 days

01-02-2014 07:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cordless battery drill-driver

What do other LJ’ers do with their cordless tools like cordless drills & saws when the batteries go dead for the final time and the only batteries available are aftermarket ones?

I have 2 cordless Bosch drills, a 14.4V and an 18V that never let me down when there were still batteries available from Bosch and a tidy little Makita saw that was the same way. Well, Bosch & Makita quit making the batteries some time ago and I’m leery of buying any of the odd looking ones off of eBay.

Do you just buy new tools with new batteries and toss the old ones in the trash?!

Happy New Year!

22 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 08:29 PM

Well, you can get the batteries rebuilt. It’s annoyingly
not cheap but the rebuilt ones will be superior to
the old OEMs when they were new because the
battery cell technology for Ni-Cads has improved.

I have an old 14v Bosch and it’s a really nice drill
with dead batteries. I like the weight and the
balance and the chuck. I haven’t bought or
rebuilt any batteries for it but I think about it from
time to time. These days I can get a pair of
lithium ion batteries that will work with it
(including charger) for about $100 on ebay. It’s
the old 3650 style Bosch format which I believe
is still used in Asia on tools sold there today.

You may want to consider the innovations that have come
along, but also the corners being cut these days
with the use of plastic gears and stuff like that.

It’s got so a lot of manufacturers give you a free
drill for buying into their battery format. Do a
little research and you may find that the “free”
drill is a lower quality tool that looks almost
exactly like another, pricier one with the same
battery format in the product lineup. Bosch
does this for sure with its 18v lithium format.

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 3513 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 08:54 PM

+1 Loren.

I have an older 14.4v Bosch and a 18v Milwaukee. Both well balance and built like tanks. I had the batteries rebuilt last year for both although I can still get batteries for the Milwaukee. I also have a dewalt 18v that will be tossed when the batteries go.

I do believe that a well built tool just feels good in your hands, always performs like the day you bought it, and never disappoints you. Maybe just a matter of personal taste. No real cost savings.

I’m leery about anything on ebay. If the batteries die prematurely will the seller still be around to stand behind the products they sold?

-- Nicky

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3069 days

#3 posted 01-02-2014 09:03 PM

Many of the battery cells used in OEM batteries and
battery rebuilds are Panasonic. That’s just because
they have a dominance in the market for battery
cells. There may be some inferior cells made in
China or something (Panasonic cells probably are),
but there’s just as much demand for quality batteries
in Asia as in the West so I’m not that concerned

Of course the manufacturers would be happy to
have us all buy the newest format.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1908 days

#4 posted 01-02-2014 09:06 PM

I take those old drill motors out of the housings and use them to build different machines.

Right now I am working on a router lathe.

One old deWalt motor to turn the workpiece and another to turn a 3/4” x 30” long chunk of all-thread which is attached to a nut on the router housing. As the screw turns, the router is drawn slowly along to smoothly cut what I need.

Both motors are driven by an old 600 watt computer switching power supply.

At least that is the plan.

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

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2653 days

#5 posted 01-02-2014 09:07 PM

Not to harp on an old idea, but this is easily avoidable by skipping the cordless stuff all together…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Pezking7p's profile


3097 posts in 1072 days

#6 posted 01-02-2014 09:08 PM

I wouldn’t buy old batteries unless they were lithium. NiCd or NiMH batteries (for the most part) will self-discharge in a month or two. Once they are out of juice, they start to die. The longer they sit, the less charge they’ll hold and the quicker they’ll self-discharge.

Basically, old batteries are usually crappy batteries unless they were kept on a charger. Lithium ion batteries will hold a charge much much longer (years), so it’s not a concern if you have lithium batteries.

Having said all that, I’d have the batteries rebuilt if you like the tools you have and they work well. New cordless tools are wicked expensive. You may only save $50-$100, but that’s money that could be put towards other stuff you need more.

-- -Dan

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1707 days

#7 posted 01-02-2014 09:14 PM

Cordless tools are just way too convenient to do without, IMO. I’ve replaced most of my corded drills and saws with cordless, but I bought new technolody that will probably be around for many years to come. I personally wouldn’t rebuild old NiCad batteries—the value proposition just isn’t there for me.

-- John, BC, Canada

View jonah's profile


687 posts in 2719 days

#8 posted 01-02-2014 11:52 PM

If you don’t want to either get your current batteries rebuilt or buy new ones, you should just give the tool away.

On the plus side, cordless tools just keep getting better and better, so whatever you buy now will be more powerful, lighter, and more convenient than what you had. I recently replaced an old 12V DeWalt drill and impact driver with a new 18V Ridgid set, and the Ridgids are far more powerful yet weigh about 2/3rd as much. A win/win in my eyes, especially with the warranty covering the batteries.

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


269 posts in 1044 days

#9 posted 01-03-2014 12:06 AM

Same here. I have a 14.4V Rigid drill that I like a lot, but I’d have to go to ebay to get new batteries… or buy the cells and make them myself. Some of the new ones are pretty nice, though, and the Li-ion ones are so much lighter. I’ll probably buy a new Rigid, but I won’t get rid of the corded ones… they still have their place.

Rigid has a lifetime warranty (including batteries) now…

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View MrRon's profile


3891 posts in 2664 days

#10 posted 01-04-2014 10:04 PM

I’ll give you 5 bucks for your old 12V drills; no Skil, HF, only good makes. I use the motors and gearboxes for building models.

View Bluepine38's profile


3336 posts in 2506 days

#11 posted 01-04-2014 10:33 PM

After the batteries went south on my crapsman cordless and were too expensive to replace, I switched to
Milwaukee, they will keep making batteries that fit for a long time, I have the 18 volt set.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1294 posts in 1369 days

#12 posted 01-04-2014 11:09 PM

I have used the C-man 19.2 line up for 10+ years. Usually when the batteries start to go I look out for a sale. a new drill with bat and charger is a better deal. for the price I feel there is no better bang for the buck, and the batteries are the same format as they were when I got the first one. The biggest problem is now I’m vested so it would be hard to change. 2 sawzalls, 5 and 7 1/4 saw, 1r-angle drill, 6 drills, 1 H-drill, 2 impacts, 1 dustbuster, 8 chargers, 23 nicad batteries, and 4 LIO batteries.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2729 days

#13 posted 01-04-2014 11:54 PM

I have several Makita 18v Lithium tools…2 drills, an impact driver, circular saw and a jig saw. I have been using the same 4 batteries for the last 4 or 5 years…love em…
There is an battery store down a ways from my house that advertises rebuilt power tool batteries. I stopped in one day and asked about the rebuilt ones and was told that they do not rebuild the lithiums…just the N types.

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 1858 days

#14 posted 01-05-2014 02:33 AM

MalcolmLaurel – Ridgid only has a Lifetime Warranty on the tools from their professional plumbing line. These are the only tools that are still manufactured by Ridge Tool Co.. All the others have a 3-year Limited Warranty and/or Lifetime Service Agreement. These tools are licensed by Ridgid but are manufactured by other companies (ie. One World Technologies). So, if you buy a drill from HD and it goes bad, you have to send it in for servicing, but only if you registered the tool warranty.

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5955 posts in 1749 days

#15 posted 01-05-2014 03:08 PM

Voltman rebuilds them…. Better than new, as they use cells of newer manufacture.

OEM battery packs have likely been sitting on a warehouse shelf for eons.

As Loren noted, it’s not cheap, but it will bring a smile to your face to see an old and faithful friend come back to life.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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