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POWER TOOL BATTERIES !!! How long can I / should I expect them to last?

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Forum topic by gator9t9 posted 1932 days ago 5210 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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gator9t9

294 posts in 2336 days


1932 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: drill-driver

Hi all …
I have been away for a couple yrs….I hope to be back with a vengence and it is nice to be back and see all that has been
accomplished in the interim ….Some lovely woodworking all around I see …good work all ….

As my garage shop has been unused for awhile …so have my tools ….last week
I began work on a new gate for my cedar fence…..I noticed the batteries (pod style) for my Makita
18 Volt cordless driver drill model 6343DWA did not seem to hold a charge ….This tool was bought as
a construction set ..I think i got it from Amazon about 5 yrs ago….it came with 6.5in cordless circular saw and
rechargeable flashlight …and i love the whole set …..or at least until i found the batteries (it came with 2 batts and charger) would not hold a charge ..so I began the quest on the internet to find replacement batteries and I did find them at Tool Mart for 64.99…each ….I bought one …to make sure it was the correct battery ..I am waiting for it now
My question is …...How long can one expect these batteries to last ???? This whole set is useless without batteries ….and I think 65- 100 dollars for batteries is outrageous ….I know …NOW that Lithium Ion is the way to go …..but I dont really want to throw this whole set away and have to buy new power tools every 5 yrs ….....
Any one else had this problem ? Should i send all three tools back to Makita ….and tell them I will never buy their tools again or …should i just chalk it up to a sign of the times . and expect this from all BRANDS ..and remember what PT BARNUM said ….”Let the Buyer beware and a sucker is born every day” ......

Thanks for listening …..

Mike
gator9t9

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."


26 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14724 posts in 2307 days


#1 posted 1932 days ago

I’ve used them for years in the trade, sometimes on a daily basis for months at a time. They last 2 or 3 years for me. You have just discoverd the great bug-a-boo about battery tools. It usually makes more sense to buy a new set on sale than to replace the batteries:-(( They should be charged at least once a month even when they are not in use.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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gator9t9

294 posts in 2336 days


#2 posted 1932 days ago

Thanks Topa…..

I have 2 other Drills ….so I was not forced to go an buy new . it makes me mad cause i dont want to just throw these tools out …......and i love the smaller Circular saw for those tight places … tho the circular saw only had the power to go SLOWLY thru a 1/2 in sheet of ply ….
So let me ask you this Mr Topamax …..what would you recommend i buy to replace the Makita set ??
Thanks ,,,,,,
Mike
gator9t9

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View LesB's profile

LesB

1063 posts in 2074 days


#3 posted 1932 days ago

Join the club. Batteries usually last from 3 to 5 years. They have a finite number of recharges in addition to which not using them regularly also causes them to fail faster. The batteries do best when cycled from charged to discharged on a regular basis. Some companies advertise 1000 charges but there are lots of variables that change that. Also some of the early rechargeable batteries needed to be taken through a full discharge and recharge periodically or they developed a short cycle discharge memory and will not fully charge. New batteries and NiCads do not have that problem.
For tools in the Makita and Craftsman price range it is almost easier to buy new tools that come with new batteries; especially if the tools are used a lot and also show some wear. In your case it might be better to buy the batteries because you tools haven’t had much use. New batteries for my Porter Cable 14v drill are $75.00, for about $160 I can get a new drill with two new batteries…go figure (-;

-- Les B, Oregon

View gator9t9's profile

gator9t9

294 posts in 2336 days


#4 posted 1932 days ago

Well if that is true about an average battery life of 3-5 yrs …then I guess i better start saving for all the new tools i am gonna be buying in the next 2 yrs ….lol as I have probably 8-10 other cordless tools that have yet to quit charging ….so i will look on the bright side and think ….yeah …NEW TOOLS >....of course i still have all my corded tools also from yrs ago tooo ,.....and they have more power anyway ….

Mike
gator9t9

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14724 posts in 2307 days


#5 posted 1932 days ago

Since you have already bought one battery, you may as well stick with what you have and buy another if you need it. If you can wait for the recharge, you are set. I went to Rigid because of the sale they had on at the time. I think Rigid will give you a lifetime guarantee on everything including the batteries ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14724 posts in 2307 days


#6 posted 1932 days ago

OOps, forgot. I have a pile of tools with very short life batteries. They are specialty itmes like my Mikita 90 degree angle drill and the small saws, I just put up with the short charge cycles until they totally quit. I don’t use them very often. I have my Ridgids for production work.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2623 days


#7 posted 1932 days ago

There are folks that will rebuild your battery packs like these guys and they can up the charge while they are at it too.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View dustmaker's profile

dustmaker

38 posts in 2079 days


#8 posted 1932 days ago

I have a Batteries Plus store close and they charge me $5.00 to refurbish a battery. If they can’t refurbish it they will put new cells in it for $39.95. So it pays to have them fixed when they quite holding a charge. At least that is the prices here in my area they may be different around the country.

-- Dustmaker, Kansas

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5010 posts in 1940 days


#9 posted 1932 days ago

The new Rockwell cordless tools have been advertised as having lifetime free battery replacements. All you pay when a battery goes bad is the shipping charge. This sounds like a pretty good deal to me, especially if the new Rockwell cordless tools are of similar quality of their corded tools in the past.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5010 posts in 1940 days


#10 posted 1932 days ago

Gator,
here is the link to the free battery replacement from Rockwell.
http://www.rockwelltoolsdirect.com/free-batteries-for-life.html

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View marcb's profile

marcb

762 posts in 2305 days


#11 posted 1932 days ago

I just can’t buy Rockwell tools as it pains me to see that name used by a company with now connection to the Rockwell of old (old Delta/Porter Cable owner) I feel the same way about Oliver, but all that’s out of my league anyways. From their website “Rockwell tools are a part of the Positec Group of companies which have been designing, engineering and manufacturing tools since 1994.”

So no connection. The old Rockwell corded hand held tools where Porter Cable stuff.

Personally I gave up on cordless tools a long time ago. But I just work around the house, not on a job site. You can buy a lot of good extension cord for what replacing 1 cordless tool costs ;)

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2280 days


#12 posted 1932 days ago

thats why I sold all my cordless tools and got corded versions of the circular saw – still have a codrless drill though (which doesnt hold a charge much).

rockwell does offer lifetime bettery replacement, if I’m not mistaken – Ridgid offers the same thing (better check though). otherwise – yeah, getting new batteries gets expensive.

I actually stopped at battery plus store for something else, and got to talk to the guy there about their powertool battery services, and he told me they do offer that, but I’m better off buying a new battery from the big box store…

I used to be a contractor so I was on construction sites all day long where cordless was the only way to go, but now that I’m woodworking in my garage – I like using corded tools more, and not have to worry about when I last charged my battery, or if I’m on vacation, or not in the garage… will they lose the charge and all… food for thought.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112014 posts in 2208 days


#13 posted 1932 days ago

I would say 1 – 3 years of daily use.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

529 posts in 2113 days


#14 posted 1932 days ago

Batteries are tricky, I’ve found that some are better then others, and in my experience it’s not always brand specific. I’ve had Porter-Cables that lasted very well, and some that didn’t and so on. The type of battery can also determine the life of the battery. Lithium Ion batteries are some of the best, hold a charge well and tend to not wear out. The down side, they are kinda pricy. One thing you might try with your old batteries, since they are already dead and you’ve got nothing to loose, is what’s refered to as a deep discharge. Hook it up to a small light buld and just let it run till it goes completely dead and then recharge it from that state. That can sometimes “reset” the battery “memory” and allow it to hold a charge better. The other thing I do to prolong the life of my batteries is to remove them from the charger as soon as they are fully charged. That goes for anything with a rechargeable battery (cell phone, laptop, etc.), if the charger keeps pumping juice into the battery it can damage them and shorten their life.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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Chris Wright

529 posts in 2113 days


#15 posted 1932 days ago

Another thing to look into is to see if Makita or some other company produces a Li-Ion battery replacement for your tools. I know Ryobi makes a Li-Ion battery for most of their older model battery tools. Maybe someone makes one that’s compatible with your Makita.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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