Rebuilding Batteries

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Forum topic by Estley posted 03-30-2008 06:05 PM 57299 views 3 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Estley's profile


66 posts in 4143 days

03-30-2008 06:05 PM

Hey guys, I have two Dewalt 14.4 batteries that need to either be replaced or re-built. Does anyone here have experience with re-built batteries? are they worth it, or should I just send them to the recycle center and get fresh ones?... By the way, for those of you who do re-build where’s a good place to send them?

45 replies so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4233 days

#1 posted 03-30-2008 06:24 PM

Never done it.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4181 days

#2 posted 03-30-2008 06:31 PM

To be honest I have never heard of anyone rebuilding them. Tool suppliers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot maintain recycling centers for returning these batteries. New ones cost $74 at Lowe’s (I bought one last month). It would be difficult to get one rebuilt for this price.

But here is a link that I found

Hope it helps.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4244 days

#3 posted 03-30-2008 06:54 PM

You might check with an Interstate Battery Shop, not people that just sell batteries. The local shop in Bloomington, IL rebuilt some for me for $25 a pop.
I looked into rebuilding my own some time back and found it expensive to buy the individual batteries for the pack. I talked to an engineer for the battery company (Quest) I buy my rechargeables, AAA and AA, and he said he had the same problem at home with a drill, I had a Ryobi drill , at the time, and he said it was cheaper to just buy a new drill. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Coffinmaker's profile


15 posts in 4162 days

#4 posted 03-30-2008 07:00 PM

There is a guy on Ebay that swears you will send you the plans on how to re-build almost ANY battery but I havent never heard of anybody ever doing it.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4347 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 08:29 PM

They should just be normail off the shelf batteries inside.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View AWood's profile


53 posts in 4105 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 09:25 PM

I went looking myself and found the labourand materials was not feasible. I had 4 dead Sears 15.6 batteries; I went on E-bay and bought 4 identical volt batteries made by
Sears for almost nothing.. ”. . Well anyway I knew the battery cases had 4 screws holding the cases together. Sure enough the ones from the internet did not match the contacts. I simply opened them up and put the good batteries in my old matching cases. What I have done with all my cordless battery chargers is plugged into standard wall plugs. I control the power going to them by a simple rotary power timing switch. I have the” timer” next to my bench and I simply crank the power to them for 45 minutes whemever I am in the shop This intermittent charging eliminated the problem of burned out batteries. I have a ” steady steam of power” and I haven’t lost a battery in over a year. I have a Dewalt 9 volt that I replenished in the same way. I certainly have seen alot of Dewalt batteries on the internet. Good Luck.

-- AllWood

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4103 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 10:34 PM

Check out these guys. They have really good prices. I bought the
Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries for my drill, about half price of the NiCads that it came with and I’m really happy with the power they have.

View Suz's profile


51 posts in 4115 days

#8 posted 03-30-2008 10:39 PM

I had two Milwaukee 18V batteries rebuilt by MTO Battery rebuilders.
I think they are better than original and I’m happy with them.
However, after figuring the cost of shipping and the rebuild, it’s almost the same cost as buying new batteries.

On a side note, just after I had my two of my batteries rebuilt, Milwaukee had a recall on batteries and I got two new ones to replace my other two batteries. So, now I have four new batteries.

-- Jim

View che's profile


123 posts in 4385 days

#9 posted 03-31-2008 02:55 AM

I don’t have any experience with any of the re-builders but I looked into doing it myself a couple of years ago and decided that it wasn’t cost effective. Believe it or not if you price 15 (for 18V) good quality cells it is only slightly cheaper than getting a new battery. Figure in shipping, cost of my time and lack of warranty and it was a non-starter.

If your going to stray from OEM batteries please do your homework. Some batteries are designed to preform like a Formula 1 engine. Some batteries are more like a small economy 4 cylinder engine. The high performance battery will generate more power but won’t last as long. The economy battery may last for ever but good luck drilling hard maple with a 2” bit.

One other thing. NIMH batteries are not inherently better than NICAD. NIMH is a little lighter for the same capacity, which is why the auto industry is interested in them, but an 18V 2.4AH battery pack will deliver the same power (voltage) for the same amount of time (Amp-Hour) regardless of the chemistry.

-- Che.

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4426 days

#10 posted 03-31-2008 07:13 AM


I’ve done exactly what you a contemplating doing. Rebuilding a DeWalt 14.4 volt battery pack. Before I lay out the facts I’ll give you the final answer so you can quit reading and move on:

It’s not worth it.

Here are the facts for DeWalt 14.4 v drill battery packs:

- the battery packs are based on nicad battery technology.
- the packs are built up from series connected sub-c cells
- nicad batteries are 1.2 volts per cell as opposed to the typical 1.5 volts per cell for alkaline
- to get to 14.4 volts you need 12 cells (12×1.2 = 14.4)

  • you notice pretty much all of the nicad battery pack voltages are some multiple of 1.2, like 7.2 (6×1.2) 9.6 (8×1.2) 12 (10×1.2) 14.4 (12×1.2) 18 (15×1.2) and so on. That’s because they’re all built up from a series of 1.2 volt nicad cells

- nicad sub-c cells are around $2.50 – $5.00 USD

Sanyo Nicads
Powerstream Nicads

- you need 12 of them per battery pack so you are looking at $30 – $60 in raw nicad batteries per pack
- when you open up the battery pack you will notice the factory cells are resistance welded together (a good thing).
- you will also notice the factory packs the batteries in with near zero wasted space.

You probably dont have a resistance welder that will work to spot weld the tabs of one battery to the post of the other battery. Too bad, that means you are going to have to solder the tabs together and possibly have to use some jumper wire. This is bad because the connections are not as good and the soldered connections take up more physical space. You have a poorer solution that you have a hard time fitting back in the case.

But if you decide to keep going make sure you buy the batteries with tabs, you’ll need the tabs, top and bottom, to solder together.

If you are determined you can make it work. It is possible to get the batteries soldered together in way that is reasonably sound and will eventually fit, with a little filing and pounding.

Hopefully you made sure the batteries bought are suitable to use with your factory dewalt charger with similar charging characteristics. That way you can just drop you newly rebuilt pack onto the factory charger, otherwise you’ll need to find or build a new charger.

Oh, and don’t forget, when you cracked the case you might have split the plastic, but even if you didn’t you’ll have to find a way to epoxy it all back together and not leave any bumps or changes in shape so it will still fit and lock into the tools handle.

And finally nicad batteries require controlled disposal, dont just throw the old ones in the garbage.

So, if you went through all that fun you can actually rebuild a tool battery pack. And it will work, and it will have performance similar to a factory pack. But unless you’ve got a secret stash of sub-c cells, the right tools, patience and general handy skills, you wont save much, or any, money, and you’ll likely end up with a sub par result.

So I’ll say again:

It’s not worth it.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4342 days

#11 posted 04-01-2008 04:14 AM

guy on that rebuilds tool batteries … link...

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4113 days

#12 posted 06-26-2008 04:02 PM

I just use Batteries Plus….

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4007 days

#13 posted 06-27-2008 07:02 PM

I’m a little Sheepish about it – but I buy Ryobi drills because they
work fine and the batteries are cheap and easy to get… as in
1/4 the price of other batteries.

I owned a nice Bosch drill that was nicer in terms of ergonomics
but I just couldn’t stomach the ongoing maintenance costs
of “professional” brand batteries.

On rebuilding batteries:

I’ve read about it and apparently its commonly the case that only
a few cells are bad. if you can open the battery case and swap
out the bad cells then you don’t have to replace them all.

You can sometimes bring a dead battery back by putting it in
the freezer. When you take it out and charge it up it works
again – can’t say for how long. Batteries can sometimes be
rescued by freezing them and charging several times before they
burn out for good and need to be recycled or rebuilt.

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4174 days

#14 posted 06-27-2008 07:10 PM

I gave up on portable drills the first time I went and saw how much the batteries cost LOL. I don’t do much work in the woods and my corded drill is always powered up and ready 2 go.

Anyone want a Dewalt 14.4V drill without batteries?

-- Scott - Chico California

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 4174 days

#15 posted 06-29-2008 09:33 PM

I haven’t tried this yet, buy planning on it. I too have a dewalt 14.4 with one bad battery.
In the april 08 edition of FWW, there was a short article on rebuilt batteries. They tested 2 different rebuilt batteries one from and
They both were as good or better than new ones. the price with shipping included was $40 per battery. for a Dewalt this may be the way to go, seeing that their drills cost $150 plus and batteries are around $70.
I’m going to try it soon on my bad battery and will post something here when i do.
and chico, i’ll take the 14.4 if you don’t want it.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

showing 1 through 15 of 45 replies

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