Panasonic Cordless Drills - Now Junk?

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I've been a fan of panasonic cordless drills for years. The first one I owned was a 12v; it was subjected to a lot of use and served very well, great balance, good battery life, torque, chuck, everything. I think I used that drill for at least 5 years before the batteries started losing it. So I bought a new 12v panasonic, 12v because my old charger was acting funny and I could keep both drills and all four batteries going with the new charger.
But now, after maybe 2-3 years of very light use, the new batteries are useless. I'm really amazed. I have the habit of draining the batteries all the way down so that they don't built up "memory". That didn't help anything. Also the drill makes some pretty whiney sounds now. The thing has hardly been used compared to my old timer panasonic.
This is a real bummer - panasonic cordless drills have been about my favorite tool to work with for all these years. I can't seem myself buying another one since the batteries have become so flimsy.
Has anyone else noticed the same thing?
The other crazy thing is that I've also been a panasonic telephone fan for even longer, at least 20 years. But they are terrible now. I've bought and returned at least four cordless models and one $100 corded model in the last two years and have returned them all. The voice quality at transmission is terrible - people say "what's wrong with your phone?" when I call them. I'm nursing along my old panasonics...but what a shame. All the focus is on "features" - but they forgot the main feature of a telephone has to do with hearing and talking to the person on the other end of the line.
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You think yours is bad... I bought craftsman 19.2V,
and it was dead after 1.5 year of light use...
Corporations today stand for making cheap cr@p at China and selling it in US, with customer support in India... So that CEOs can have another yacht...
I would not be buying cr@psman cordless drill either...
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one word.... BOSCH
cordless drill either...

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cordless drill either...

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OK, I'll check those out then, if I'm not able to replace the batteries at a "battery replacement store", if I can find one (another poster told me such exist).
I've had many Bosch and Milwaukee tools over the years and they have been champs in general. I've not bought any tools from them for years; it sounds like they are still holding the quality line? Good.
snipped-for-privacy@removethis.carolinabreezehvac.com says...

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They do it because 99.99% of consumers care about low price points more than quality and support.
cordless drill either...
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Mike J wrote:

You'd have a yacht too if you made 25K an hour.
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When they are all made in China, I shop primarily on features and price, not on brand reputation. This I apply to power tools, I still buy Craftsman hand tools.
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I agree that a lot of stuff seems to be degrading in terms of build quality, and that part of that might be the fact that 99% of everything is built in china these days. But in this case I think it's more of a design failing.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.stopthespam says...

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If you can open the pack you can solder in new ones, use good heat sinks, batteries can be damaged soldering them. Running dead can reverse cell polarity you may only have a few destroyed cells, but changing all cells is smart. Sanyo and Panasonic make the best cells.
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wheel wrote:

That memory advice is not all that good these days. Battery design is changing and you should follow the instructions with the battery/charger. Some have a built in recondition cycle. Some batteries will last longer not recharging them.
One issue is the more powerful batteries. Higher voltages call for more cells in each battery. Batteries as they are designed today are dead when any one cell dies, so they are more likely to die earlier.
It is time for some standard replaceable cell for all makes and voltages and "smart" chargers that charge each cell for maximum life.

I just bought one of their 5.8 gig phone sets and it has been great.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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As every year passes new more Amp capacity batteries come out . We have 4x the amp output of cells by reducing membrane size as 15 yrs ago, and batteries are the same size. New batteries dont last as long, they are more fragile. Dont run a battery dead just till the drill slows . Running it dead will explain short pack like. 1.2v per cell is figured discharged
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Interesting. So it could be that I killed these batteries prematurely by squeezing ever erg of power out of them before recharging. Many times I clamped the trigger "on" to run them down to zilch...
@hotmail.com says...

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wheel wrote:

Maybe, but I did not want to say that you did. Only that it could have. Hard to tell now.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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@hotmail.com says...

Right, that's why I said "it could be that I killed these batts..." You were clear in what you said.
I have sonicare toothbrush that I "killed" by running it down each time to the bone, according to what might be my mistaken or archaic notion of 'memory'. That toothbrush seemed dead to the world. Sonicare told me to just keep in in the recharging cradle for a long time and it might come back. In fact, it did. So I'll just try recharging these panasonic ones over and over and see if they restore at all.
Replacement batts are about $65 each at best!
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My Makita 9.6V sticks are $29.xx at Home Depot or Harbor Freight.
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Jim Yanik
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The worst thing you can do to a nicad is run it till the drill stops, run only till it slows. Letting it rest a day is better, and dont use a hot pack or charge a hot pack , its all chemical reaction and care is needed for long life
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net says...

These are Ni-MH actually; have no idea if that makes any diff...
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That a good dream but it won't happen. Look for drills with batteries that have screws where you can take them apart and replace the batteries yourself from an electronics store. A Black and Decker 12.0 V drill is one example.
If companies were really concerned about the customer they would have NiMH batteries in them.
Have a good day.
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Take the battery packs to a battery store that does rebuilding,have new cells put in. And NiCds should be stored in a charged state,but will self-discharge regardless.
If all you do is light use,get a corded drill.
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Jim Yanik
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