I maintain & repair houses houses on a daily basis.
I've been using Dewalt cordless tools for many years and I like their
tools. Unfortunately, I'm only getting about 2 years of useable life
per battery. I'm really tired of the very high cost of replacement
Does anyone make a generic 18V battery that will fit Dewalt tools?
The local battery-packaging places can rebuild existing packs w/
equivalent or better cells than OEM; typically for 1/2-2/3rds the cost
Not used any DW, all I have are red (Milwaukee). 2-yr lifetime seems
quite low to me; I've one pair that are at least 8 that are seemingly as
good as new still...
re: "Another thought...the limited lifetime would make me suspect
cheap charger(s) maybe."
Wouldn't that mean the chargers supplied with the DW tools are
actually detrimental to the batteries, assuming of course, that the OP
is using the DW chargers that came with his DW tools?
Planned obsolescence on DW's part?
Are they purposely limiting the life of their batteries?
B) Unlikely (imo)
C) See B)
What is more probable (again imo, keep reading :) ) is they're
relatively inexpensive tools and one of the places manufacturers cut
cost is in less sophisticated chargers. Of course, they may use less
expensive batteries in the packs, too.
Milwaukee chargers (at least for the packs I've experience with) are
processor-controlled and shut off when the pack is fully charged; that
feature isn't present on some (many?) of the more inexpensive tools.
There's also more sophisticated charging rate control and so on in some
chargers as compared to others.
I've not researched DW; I'd expect their high end stuff is similar to M
but I _think_ they have a fairly wide range of products in their lineup
so if OP has less expensive group might be an issue.
Again, it was a thought of possible contributing cause...
As far as I know, DW doesn't have high-end and low-end tools in the
manner that I think you mean.
For example, they have "standard" drills and they have impact drills,
but these are different tools, not high-vs-low end.
They have different lines of batteries (XR, XR2, XR+) but the chargers
are all the same, at least within the 7.2 to 18V range. I can't speak
to the 36V tools since I don't own any - yet. <g> The different
batteries (XR, XR2, XR+) have different run time specs.
Yes, their chargers do shut off once the pack is fully charged. See
here for info on their chargers as well as some charging "best-
My favorite charger is this one - it runs on the battery when not
plugged in to an AC outlet and charges the battery when plugged in. I
swap my batteries in and out to keep them exercised, typically running
the device on the battery until the reception begins to weaken.
I often plug my GPS into the CD-player port and listen to MP3's. My
kids use it with their iPods at picnics, camping, etc.
OK, assuming OP's gear is in the same series and not something much
earlier w/ less sophistication that should remove that as a likely culprit.
It leaves the other points of how to best handle/charge/use the battery
packs addressed therein as things for OP to consider.
At this point I've no additional input; don't know that my Milwaukee
reds would have lasted OP any longer than his yellow DeWalts lasted him,
only that I've gotten significantly longer than 2-yr life from every
pack I've had. As the brokers are required to say, "past results do not
imply future performance". :) (Or known as $0.02, ymmv, etc., ...)
On Wed, 1 Jul 2009 10:18:41 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
I'm using three Dewalt 18V chargers and one Dewalt 36V charger.
I've started writing the date on batteries on the day I put them in
service. I'm alarmed at the rate these 18V batteries are dying. I
have not had any 36V volt batteries die yet but I've only got about
1.5 years on those so far.
See other note above...
Still no real data/information to go on -- models would be good; what
does DW indicate about charging cycles/battery life? Are these the "top
of line" DW tools or a more modestly-priced tool?
I've no really current knowledge of what DW has out there now for
cordless; all I have of the brand is a 10+ chopsaw and a 40+ circular
saw (both of which I like very much; what current versions of the same
are I also have no clue altho the chopsaws still superficially _look_
the same on the shelf.
Estimate batteries are charged 75X per year.
The current tools were a combo 4 pack of XRP tools in a hardshell
case. It does not appear to be current stock:
DC385 recip saw
DC390 circle saw
and a light
See answer in subthread above to DerbyDad...in short, if following "best
practices" as someone else notes, seems short lifetime to me but I've no
firm solution nor would my experience be certain to translate to yours.
The DW site info seems to contradict the hypothesis of a fundamentally
weak concept; one could always, I suppose, question the implementation
as opposed to someone else's. No data or reason to think it so, though.
I haved used PRIMECELL.COM thewy do a excellent job. Rebuild for 18
volt pack is under 50 bucks and you will likely see 3 times the
anyhow this is from their website./.........
Please notice that we do not offer new battery packs for cordless
power tools. We specialize in rebuilding and upgrading your
existing equipment for superior performance. The battery you send to
us is the battery that will be serviced and returned to you. Our
upgrades may be used with any of the chargers sold for use with the
original battery. FOR ANY BRAND NAME - Price is based on Battery
Drills, Hammer Drills, Screw Drivers, Saws, Wrenches, Nail Guns,
Grease Guns, Sanders, Grass Trimmers, Lights, Grinders, All Other
Cordless Tools and test equipment. For Ace, Aeg, Amstron, Battery
Barn, Blue Point, Bobs Tools, Builders World, Cox, Chicago Pneumatic,
Disston, Duracraft, Eureka, Fromm, Black and Decker, B&D, Bosch,
Craftsman, Delta, DeWalt, Festool, Grainger, Grizzly, Hilti, Hitachi,
Hoover, Jepson, Lincoln, Mac Tools, Master Mechanic, Max USA, Metabo,
Miller, Makita, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Panasonic, Proto Zip,
Paslode, Premium Gold, Puckett, Ramset Redhead, Roto, Ryobi, Skil,
Singer, Signode, Snap On, Senco, Sun, Shop Vac, Tajima, Tanaha,
Tillman, Tough Test, Ultralast, US Power, Wahl, WEN, Wirsbo
Cordless Power Tool Batteries - we make them work like they should.
We do not offer new tool battery packs. Our quotes are for rebuilding
your old battery pack. (It must be sent to us.)
If you are considering the purchase of new battery packs from the
original manufacturer.. remember this: If your tool is 5 years old...
it is likely that the existing replacement packs are also 5 years
old. They stopped making the battery packs... when they released the
new model, and the gadgets that go with it.. If you do not care
about the gadgets that draw most customers into the "buy a new one"
trap - then you are our intended customer. Our purpose is to provide
improved performance... for use by those who require only the best.
It is not our intention to compete with low cost replacement
batteries. Remember that the poor quality battery problem will
continue... it is sold to you along with the new gadgets and doo-dads.
If you do not require more than a casual use of your cordless tools,
then you should probably search for the lowest price.
Others claim that batteries without screws cannot be rebuilt - NOT
TRUE - WE REBUILD BATTERIES WITH SEALED CASES.
When rebuilding your old battery - we only use factory fresh cells,
that exceed the original specifications. There have been considerable
increases in the capacity of all rechargeable cells, and they continue
to improve every day. Your power tool has never had it so good.
Battery packs for cordless tools may be viewed as three categories.
They are typically graded by voltage and capacity. The voltage
indicates how many 1.2 Volt cells are used. (10 cells = 12 V). The mAh
or AH refers to how much energy can be stored. (2.1 AH is the same as
2100mAh etc) The higher the number, the better the ability to provide
continued use without recharging. The physical size of the cells, and
if they are NiCd or NiMh ... determine what can be used as a
replacement. Battery capacity measurements are based upon finished
product testing with top quality cells. Often times cells may be
marked with capacity ratings that are misleading - some perform better
- others less - we test to make sure.
Standard capacity packs: They are usually sold in pairs, in kits with
do-everything attachments. They were made at minimum cost, with small
size cells, that provide little operating time. These batteries often
spend more time in the charger, than they do in the tools. The
batteries are usually only 1.0 AH cells, we rebuild them with the
highest available capacity. (depending of the model the upgrade can be
1.3 AH or higher. The result is usually a 25 to 35% increase in run
Extra, XR or Maxi etc. battery packs. These are large capacity NiCd
packs, they are usually 1500 to 1700. We only replace these with 2.1
to 2.4 AH cells for a 40% increase in run time.
NIMH -Maximum capacity packs: NiMh batteries are usually available in
two battery sizes. Small packs were 1.5 AH and large battery packs
were 2.2 AH to 2.6 AH We rebuild the small case with 2.1 AH and the
larger packs are improved to 3.3 AH. Either rebuild usually adds 50%
more run time.
Our price to rebuild Tool Batteries is based on the voltage and cell
type (NiCd or NiMh). FOR ANY BRAND NAME. The brand name or model
number does not change the price.
"Think Better than New." (not cheaper than new) Our rebuilds are
designed to be superior in capacity, and of the highest possible
quality, for use with your existing equipment. We do not offer poor
performance for cheap prices.
Click here to see what magazines are reporting about PRIMECELL rebuild
Make it easy .. A printer friendly order form is available for
download at this web address: http://www.primecell.com/PDF/OF062808-BT-2PG
Download the file and use it to send your batteries for quotation or
Prices for rebuilding cordless power tool batteries (including
performance upgrades) are listed below:
Locate the voltage of your cordless Power Tool Battery Brand name is
Identify chemistry -- Read the markings on the battery to determine if
it is NiCd or NiMh.
I don't know these folks in particular and if you've had good luck with
them, that's good; I won't argue that.
But the above quote makes me extremely suspicious--it's simply untrue
for most vendors unless they completely shift battery pack designs which
few do because of compatibility.
Milwaukee has used the "slide-on" design "since forever"--it's certainly
not true they've not manufactured a new battery pack in nearly 15 years;
in fact they replaced under warranty a whole series of 18V packs owing
to a possible problem w/ the internal venting mechanism within the last
year or so for a tool of over 5-yr's age at the time. Manufacturing
dates will be on the packs.
I get really leery really quickly of any outfit with such obvious
nonsense as a sales tactic.
This is not an endorsement, since I've never tried PrimeCell. This is
nothing more than a slightly different interpretation of what they are
I *think* what they may mean is that if I have a 5 year old 18V drill
and they are now selling 36V drills, then they aren't making any more
18V packs. If I want to buy a replacement 18V pack, I'm going to get
one that is as old as my original one.
Now, that's not saying that it's going to be as bad as the one I've
been discharging/charging for 5 years, but it's not going to contain
batteries with newer technology.
In other words PrimeCell appears to be claiming that the original
manufacturer is going to give me 2004 technology, while they'll put
2009 technology in my 2004 case.
But that simply isn't true--manufacturers aren't ceasing to make 18V (or
most other voltages, either) product, they're simply adding other models.
Milwaukee has three: 12, 18 and 28, they have quit the 14.4
DeWalt still has five choices in current product: 24, 18, 14.4, 12, 9.6
I'm sure the others all similar--there's not a market for only one size
It's ludicrous to think they had all the possible number of battery
packs they ever expected to sell for a complete product line built at or
shortly after the same time the line was introduced, even if the voltage
is dropped as was the 14.4 by Milwaukee. The packs are still available
and I'm quite certain if you were to order one it would have a quite
recent date of manufacture--it's simply not economical to maintain any
more inventory in storage than needed for near-term demand.
At some point, eventually they will discontinue them when demand for new
packs diminishes to the point of it being uneconomical to keep them in
stock, but that won't happen until a very high percentage of all the
existing 14.4 tools in existence have ceased to be used and I would
expect that to be quite some time yet to come.
Sorta' overlooked this part, sorry...
The part of what they may do may be so; I don't think the other portion
is necessarily true, however...Milwaukee has Li-ion replacement packs in
the same form factors as the originals and I've already noted they sent
out an upgraded pack design for everybody on registration of a new
design some 3-5 years past the original design time.
Maybe they mean something that's so but I think it's overblown at a best
interpretation from their standpoint and and blatantly wrong at worst.
That's reading something into it that it does _not_ say--what it
specifically claims is that the packs were built and are aged...
"If you are considering the purchase of new battery packs from the
original manufacturer.. remember this: If your tool is 5 years old...
it is likely that the existing replacement packs are also 5 years
old. They stopped making the battery packs..."
Not "the manufacturers may still be using the battery type of five years
ago" but "the _EXISTING_REPLACEMENT_PACKS_ARE_ also 5 years old".
That's a pretty d--d explicit claim that is bogus backed up by the dates
of manufacturer of OEM-supplied packs I have in hand.
Of course they included the typical pitchman "out" of adding the "it is
likely" that allows them to weasel out of it being an out-and-out lie;
it's always possible there's _some_ discontinued niche product out there
_somewhere_ for which it's true the only remaining replacement supply is
old, but that's relying on the nuance of the Clinton-esque "depends on
what the mean of is is". Again, sure, it's just ad-talk but doesn't
give me a warm fuzzy that they're on the up-and-up if they need such
hyperbole to sell product.
Again, if they've done well, good; maybe satisfied customers could
suggest they tone they claims down to something more realistic.
And, of course, the obligatory $0.02, etc., ...
I can say this, battery capacity design etc has improved tremendously
over the last few years. vfound after looking at replacing battery in
some GPS units among others
primecell installs brand new latest design high capacity cells.
many companies build for a cheap price point with low capacity cells,
or high capacity cells in a 5 year old design that are now low
capacity in comparison with new premium cells of today.
manufactuers have zero incentive to improve battery packs for old
try some primecell rebuilds like I did and you will be amazed
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