Ni-Cad Battery Rebuild

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Review by C_PLUS_Woodworker posted 05-11-2011 02:57 AM 7378 views 17 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ni-Cad Battery Rebuild No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

One of the things that really gets to me with the current trend to Lith-Ion batteries is that so many perfectly good tools are being trashed because buying a new drill with a new charger and 2 new batteries is not much more money that just buying replacement batteries. I personally just cannot chuck a perfectly good tool because of a battery issue, regardless of the price differential on a new tool. It goes against everything I am and how I feel towards tools that have served me well.

Example: I have a PC 9866 12V Drill/Driver that I bought in 1999. This has been one of my favorite tools since I got it. Always works, always works the way it is supposed to, comfortable, damn near indestructible and always a pleasure to use. I have done so many projects with this drill. And, yeah, I admit to feeling very warm towards it being in my hands. A good honest tool, and much better than most of the drills/drivers out there today.

One of the batteries began to not hold a charge. Oh, Man, I am going to lose this great drill. So, I checked around for months as to options. Buy a new drill? Pick up some used batteries? Get out of the NiCads and into Lith-Ions?

I finally decided to have MTO Battery @ Battery Rebuilders rebuild the weak battery. I was to send them my old battery and they would rebuild it.

This entire process was slick as a whistle. Paid for the rebuild on-line prior to shipping and had the battery back in about a week. Very quick turn-around.

I know it is my battery cuz it had my initials on it prior to shipping.

MTO offers three rebuild services:

$30 “This service will offer equal to or better than brand new replacements.”

$35 “We use extra insulators and double thick nickel straps to allow higher amp draw and heat resistance. This rebuild service is specifically designed for customers that use saws and other high current devices frequently.”

$45 “This is one of the best services we offer with roughly 1.5x the run time as standard NiCad battery”

Since it was the first time doing this, I elected to go with the $30 rebuild.

I have had the rebuilt battery back for almost a month. Charged it as per their instructions. Have used it almost every evening driving a few long screws and just checking out how the rebuilt battery is working.

It is working great. I cannot stop the chuck with handsqueeze on the original battery, and when I try to stop the chuck on the rebuilt battery, it feels even stronger.

I know a lot of you are probably thinking that Murphy’s Law will now kick in and the drill itself will go out on me. Well, at least I can live with that better than tossing a great working tool.

I can find absolutely no reason not to give both the process of using rebuilt NiCad’s …..... and MTO Battery Rebuilders 5 Stars. And I think I am a tough grader.

Best to all.

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602 posts in 3681 days

14 comments so far

View psh's profile


79 posts in 3769 days

#1 posted 05-11-2011 03:33 AM

Useful info, thanks!

-- Peter, Central VA

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4239 posts in 4349 days

#2 posted 05-11-2011 06:46 AM

Great to know. Thanks a bunch.

View Ken90712's profile


17877 posts in 3962 days

#3 posted 05-11-2011 11:07 AM

Wow! What a great review! Very interesting. I have 3 drills at home at 2 at work. My Dewalt Batteries seem to last forever and have yet to go bad. They’re the expensive ones so this would be well worth it. I have the Ryobi 18 Volt drill as well. These batteries constantly go bad. I suspect that’s why they sell them two for $39.99. I might have them try one of my weak ones and use the 45-dollar service and see how well it improves it.

The one thing I have noticed is that the Dewalt 18 Volt skill saw will cut wood very well. The Ryobi 18 Volt skill saw could barley cut a piece of paper. I hate that thing. Shows the Amperage or battery in the Dewalts are just better made and of higher quality.

Great post Thx.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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Craftsman on the lake

3336 posts in 4211 days

#4 posted 05-11-2011 01:08 PM

I got a pair of Bosch drill/drivers lithium combo on sale but still it was pricy.

That said I’ve had a Craftsman 18v tool that i bought discontinued at Sears marked down to 29.95 from $99 a few years ago. It still works but I went to buy a replacement battery. The cost? $28. Too bad, It’s been a good working rugged tool. I just can’t bring myself to pay the same for the battery that I did for the drill. oh well.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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2131 posts in 4518 days

#5 posted 05-11-2011 01:21 PM

Thanks for this info. I’ve bookmarked the web page for future reference. I have a Craftsman 14V drill that has been a workhorse for years. I bought another one a few years ago on Ebay, that had a bad battery. Picked up an aftermarket battery for it and now I have two good drills. Got the aftermarket battery for a decent price, but I think this rebuild is an even better deal.

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3263 posts in 3449 days

#6 posted 05-11-2011 05:53 PM

Craftsman, this is still a good buy on batteries. What you need to ask yourself is do you want to spend $30 for a battery or $130 for an equivilant drill. You just got a bargain on a drill. If the drill motor is in good shape it might be worth a few more dollars. On the other hand, I have a friend that was using a 12V Dewalt XRP. He abused it by his own admission and it was squawking and smelling bad. I told him he could have that model repaired. He called the service center and the man there confirmed he could get it rebuilt. The cost is $75 for the drill rebuild. The man then said I want you to think about this. How old is the drill? if it is 5 years old then the batteries are about to give it up. they are designed to last 5 years. (I personally don’t know how they design something to last 5 years but anyway they seem to have done that.) The service man went on to say you will spend $65 each for the batteries. What is the cost of that drill today? My friend said I have found them at Home Depot for $129. He said now you have to decide do you want to spend the money for the new drill and batteries or do you want to rebuild that old drill for $75 and buy 2 batteries for $130. I just asked my friend if he could pick up a drill for me while he was there. LOL

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5688 posts in 4082 days

#7 posted 05-11-2011 06:38 PM

I had a Ryobi 18v nicad drill and it constantly had batteries that would go bad. I gave it to an electrician doing some wiring on my house and he was very appreciative to get it since the employees were rough on tools. At least I found an appreciative person who could use it. I bought 2 Makita 18v lithium drills since I had a Makita 18 v jig saw and 18v circular saw that has been exceptional tools and has interchangable batteries with the new drills. I like the lithium since the can sit for months without losing any noticable charge and the Makita tools are solid and extremely dependable.

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6155 posts in 3587 days

#8 posted 05-11-2011 08:31 PM

Nice environmentally friendly method. Let’s put an end to the disposable lifestyle!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View JSilverman's profile


89 posts in 3387 days

#9 posted 05-11-2011 11:48 PM

totally agree with the sentiment. I have a Panasonic 9.6 v drill that I bought in 1990… the batteries have been replaced twice but the drill seems indestructable… next time I need batteries I will check out your supplier! thanks

View adrocker's profile


6 posts in 3465 days

#10 posted 05-12-2011 03:36 AM

great timing! My craftsman drill batteries are dying and I just can’t bring myself to replace a perfectly good drill.

View Jonwilliam's profile


43 posts in 3389 days

#11 posted 05-12-2011 05:25 AM

I’ve rebuilt a handful of Milwaukee 18v batteries myself using a tutorial found at I used NiMh batteries that I ordered from a site that sells batteries for RC cars. It was a little cheaper doing it that way vs sending them in plus I learned how to solder correctly so for the experience it was worth it. Even said I do have a milwaukee m18 lithium drill that crushes that old nicad milwaukee drill… I just dropped the old batteries at home cheapo for recycling.

Caution: instructables can get addicting…

-- -semper fi

View legoman's profile


5 posts in 3361 days

#12 posted 05-14-2011 10:26 PM

This is a great idea! Thanks for the info ….

However, I have an old Ryobi 12v drill/driver that works great but the batteries wouldn’t hold a charge anymore. I took them to HD for recycling, but still have the drill. The batteries have been discontinued, but does anyone know where I could find a substitute battery or buy an old battery cheap to have reconditioned? I bought an M12 and love it, but I like the idea of having a backup—or I would donate the Ryobi to the local not-for-profit trades school.


-- i have a small addiction to tools ...

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19242 posts in 4449 days

#13 posted 06-20-2011 06:22 AM

I was going to rebuild some Rigid 14 volts but I found new ones on Amazon cheaper than the rebuild outfit was gong to charge. Lucky break, eh? But I still have the old batteries ;-(

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

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4920 posts in 3822 days

#14 posted 05-10-2012 02:10 AM

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