Replace battery for Ryobi drill or buy new drill?

My Ryobi cordless drill-driver's nicad batteries won't hold a charge. I see 9.6 volt replacement batteries (generic) with shipping for around $30. For that price I can get a new Black & Decker Model # XD1200K drill/driver or a new Sears 12.0 volt Companion Cordless Drill / Driver. I just use it for light household projects. Would either of these two new ones be a better choice than replacing the Ryobi battery? Would anyone recommend a different one in this price range? Thanks.
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If you can replace the drill for the same price of a couple of new batteries go with the new drill. You at least get a new and typically longer warranty with a new drill.
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Skill 14.4 with carry case 58.00 I have enjoyed mine for a few years now

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You may be able to "recondition" your batteries. I've seen it suggested that you freeze your battery, or charge it for a long time, or other such suggestions. (I'm not going to list them all here.) You'll have to do a Google Search.
You're unlikely to get a lot more out of your batteries, but you might get some more.
Puckdropper
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wrote:

It's ALWAYS best to get a new tool if you can, simply because the technology advances and parts wear out. I can't remember the last time I ever replaced batteries, when they go, the tool goes and I replace with an upgraded model.
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The makes logical sense unless you have multiple tools that run off of the same batteries.
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On Sun, 11 Nov 2007 14:14:01 -0600, "Leon"

If they're still making the series, just go get a new drill out of the set then.
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wrote:

Check Ebay - be certain you have the exact part/model number. My drill/driver can use either of two battery packs, but only one of them fits in the original charger.
I just purchased a couple of NOS (new, old stock) batteries for my Craftsman drill/driver - $21 delivered, which is about half the price of one refurbished pack (old case, new cells) and 1/3 of what Sears wanted (when they were still stocked).
I also got another drill/driver (same model) in excellent condition for $13 delivered. Why? Drill bit in one; screwdriver bit in the other.
John
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4ax.com:
*snip*

That's quite convienent until you're up on a ladder or something. I picked up a set of hex shank drill bits that work nicely for using just one drill/driver.
Puckdropper
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It's interesting what happens if you want a replacement battery... but if you are not hung up on the fact that it is not made by Ryobi. I have the older 12V style that the BORG stopped carrying batts for, so I was pretty much on the hook to replace the whole unit, or go to ebay.
I searched the part number for the batt of ebay (advanced search, search within title and description) and came up with dozens of hits. It turns out that there are aftermarket replacement batts that use totally different types and capacities of battery cells than the original which is now ca. 5 years old.
Instead of NiCad, I can now get NiMH. I can choose between battery capacity that is the same as the original, about 1.5x the original, about 2x the original, etc. If you are willing to put the money into the older tool, you will have a battery pack that totally kicks butt! Way better than the original. You may have to check, but in my case, the aftermarket NiMH batts were able to work perfectly with the original NiCad charger.
I've done this twice now with different sellers, over the course of about 3 years. I have been extremely satisfied with the results.
I had also heard that you can buy just the replacement cells (sub-C sized?) and fix a dud battery pack yourself, if you can solder and have basic electrical skills. I went as far as opening up a dead batt pack and was not able to remove the glued-in cells. I didn't try very hard... if I was motivated, and had all the parts in hand, I know I could do it and be successful at it. Something to consider. If you open up the dead batt, and find the size of the individual cells (they probably look like a small C cell, with a solder tab) you should be able to find replacement cells on ebay for very cheap. I have not done it yet - that will probably be my next go-round.
The cost to buy a souped-up aftermarket batt was about 2/3 the cost of a whole new drill, charger, and 2 batt set. I think it's well worth it, because this particular drill fits me really well, I'm used to it, and it's exactly the right weight and balance for me. I would expect the cost of just replacing all the cells inside the old batt pack would be much cheaper - probably on the order of 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of the whole shebang. It would be cheaper yet if you just replaced the weak cells a few at a time (but you would have to replace them with exactly the same type - you couldn't improve the performance with partially new fancy cells mixed with old cells.) Make sure you shop around! Don't buy retail.
Let us know what you end up doing and how it works out. If you end up rebuilding a batt pack, I'd be most interested to hear how it worked out / see some pictures.
--
Bob the Tomato

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I have an "old" 12 volt Makita. After about 15 years of intermittent use one of the batteries started to short the charger. The local BORG wanted almost $50 for a new one and some of the E-tailers wanted about $30 plus shipping. One day I was at HF and saw a replacement 12v for their grease gun. It looked like it just might fit. Th insert portion was right but it would not quite go in far enough. I could have carved away some of the drill handle and made it work, which I didn't want to do. After some study [the HF unit was put together with screws] I decided to chisel the old battery apart. With a little judicious moving and re-soldering of just the two top cells I now have a new battery for $12 and my time. I didn't bother to re-glue it as the clip that holds it in the drill also holds it together.
Chuck P.
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