Recommendation for cordless drill/saw??

I have a big pile of 20 year old cordless drills and saws. I have a big pile of batteries. Problem is that the batteries that seem to be good don't fit any of the drills...
I expect that any "new" batteries for such an old tool were sitting in a container in Arizona for a decade or two and will be crap. Ditto for EBAY and old store stock.
I have a battery tab welder and have tried numerous times to make one good pack out of several bad ones. But, when the cells are all 20 years old, they fail quickly. Purchasing new cells is prohibitively expensive.
So, might be time for a new drill. Early lithium batteries weren't up to the task. Are the newer ones reliable?
Do they use balance chargers? If not, doesn't that guarantee early battery failure? The Kobalt brand has taken the electronics out of the battery pack and put it in the drill. Looks like only three contacts. That seems like a failure sooner than later.
Anybody have experience with the Kobalt 24-volt brand at Lowes? They have a $10 lithium battery pack. They have brushless motors. I like the idea, but it seems like a lot more stuff to fail.
I'm a light user. I've never had a cordless tool fail. It's ALWAYS the battery.
I won't be using it much, so don't need super quality, just want it to work when I need it.
I don't want to spend a fortune, so looking at the stuff you get at Lowes or home depot on sale.
Recommendations? Thanks
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On Tue 04 Apr 2017 12:02:49a, mike told us...

I bought a Ryobi. It's only an 18-volt battery, but the power is outstanding and the charging time is 30 minutes. I like that the batery and charger can be used with a variety of their tools, not just drll. Very good quality, but not the cheapest. I also boght a rotary saw and a hand-held air compressor. Check these out.
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On 4/4/2017 2:27 AM, Wayne Boatwright wrote:

I have the Ryobi 18-volt battery tools, too. Drill, saw, light, blower, and they've never failed me on any wood working project I've done.
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On Tue 04 Apr 2017 05:05:12p, Oren told us...

Nothing lasts forever, and that's particularly true of rechargeable batteries. Batteries of all types have always been a temporary source of power. Why would you expect anything different.
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On Tue 04 Apr 2017 05:33:23p, Oren told us...

I have a dedicated cordless screwdriver that will also accept small drill bits. It has a self-contained battery and will sit on the charger. I've had it for nearly 20 years and show no sign of going south, despite the fact that it's used frequently. My other cordless tools are roughly 15 years old and perform like new. I that somethimes they are either overused or abused. I don't giggle when I use them.
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I have a DeWalt 12V drill & saw. 20-25 years old (I'd have to check). 4 battery packs: 2 original, 2 ~10 years old. The only battery that can provide any runtime is one of the originals.
What I'd like to do is, since these are 12V, is get power from a AC adapter--a corded battery pack. The most ambitious and unachieveable would be to embed the switching power supply electronics inside the battery pack shell. Or, more reasonably, put a connector on the battery pack to receive the barrel plug of a off-the-shelf AC adapter. I've already removed the cells from one dead battery pack and found one gotcha: the pins sticking out of the pack were held in place by the cells.
One thing I'm not sure about is how many amps the battery is supposed to deliver so I'd know how powerful of an adapter would be needed. I attempted to test this with a Harbor Freight Free multimeter. I put the probes on the battery pins and immediately smelled smoke and the black wire became too hot to touch.
I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has already implemented this idea.
m
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snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net (Fake ID) Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:11:00 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Those meters are piles of shit. Don't trust their readouts!
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net says...

The 4 or 5 that I have seem to be ok for general usage around the house and car. I do have several Fluke meters to compairthem with.
When the first poster said he put the meter across the battery to see about the amps, he was using the meter wrong. That meter is only rated for 10 amps. You do not test a battery for amps by placing a meter across it. Those batteries will dump lots of amps out when shorted in that way. Lots more than the 10 amps the meter is reated for.
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On 4/4/17 9:56 AM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Gotta just love these pinheads that use an item the wrong way- or for a purpose it's not designed and intended only to find that, guess what? It malfunctions, breaks, or does harm.
From here, the knuckleheads progress rapidly from surprise and alarm to anger and blame-externalization.
Eventually this leads to revenge-seeking against the manufacturer or seller. This scenario has put many product liability lawyers' kids through college;-)
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Tue,

I wouldn't rely on them, myself. I've seen them drift too much. One by as much as 30 volts or so. As, reading 30 volts LESS than what was actually on the circuit. Not good. Sometimes, even free, isn't worth having.
Fluke's are great meters, but, pricey. I'm still trying to locate a decent and reliable meter that can measure into the thousands for me. I've been on their website, so I've either missed it, or, they don't make one?
I don't need a million volts ability mind you, but 10k or so would be very helpful for those rare occasions when I want to get a reliable readout for so called high voltage output. Instead of just knowing it's generating some.
I can't test the output of say, a microwave transformer or anything else essentially like those with the meters I've got handy. My fluke isn't a shitty model, but it's not rated beyond 1000Volts, either. I don't know of any mw transformers or neon sign power supplies (the newer ones aren't really just a transformer, it's actually an electronic power supply that produces 5k+ volts) that produces 1k or less voltage, even if it has no real punch behind it.
That includes the itty bitty ballast you don't see common in laptops anymore, or flatpanels for that matter. Most (all?) have switched over to LED backlighting and done away with the cold tubes.

I didn't address that aspect of his post. I thought? it was relative common knowledge, but, that's what I get for assuming. Right? :) That's usually hard on the battery too. I observed a mechanic (yea, I know.. crazy) do the same thing with a high output GEL battery once. The wire actually caught fire before he could disconnect it. ROFL. The insane aspect was that he had a battery tester on his bench and opted to test with the meter instead. stupid, but, wasn't my decision or my equipment. So...
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You probably will not find a voltmeter/multimeter that goes over around 1000 volts. Or not at a reasonable price for most.
To go over 1000 volts you will need to get a high voltage probe. That converts the common meter to read a higher voltage. I think Fluke has some good to about 6 KV for just under $ 100 and some good for 30 or 40 KV for over $ 200. Lots more than I want to spend to check out the few things I have that will do over 1 KV.
I would not buy a used probe for that kind of voltage. Once you get much over 1 KV things that should be insulators seem to want to arc over.
If I want to get an idea of a bad transformer I use a varac to cut the primary voltage way down and bring it up slow to the meter on the secondary gets close to 900 or so volts. Then do the math to see if it is reasonable.
I have also used a 6 volt transformer in the same way .
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Tue, 04 Apr 2017 17:15:24 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Has to be one. obviously. Otherwise, various companies would have no way of reliably testing their HV output devices to ensure it is providing enough juice to energize neon and/or a magnetron tube. I'm looking for one thats hand held and doesn't require being pushed around on a cart due to it's own weight. Reasonably priced. By that, I mean less than say, 2 grand or so. I couldn't justify anything more than that for the times I'd have use for it.

Understood. Like I said, I don't do much with 1+kv on a daily basis or anything, but, it would be nice to acquire an accurate reading on the display.

It's not the insulators directly at fault, rather it's the airgap and how far the voltage can jump it. The voltage does not need to be 1kv or more to do this, either. You can get an airgap jump with a 240volt water heater, too. Just make sure it's under load, preferably with both elements fired up. Take the wirenuts free, and connect a mulimeter to them to take a reading. Now, slowly take the probes off the wires; An arc will form going from each wire you were reading from to the probe attached to it, until you pull the probe far enough way where the arc can no longer follow. It's nowhere near 1kv, it's only 240 volts, but, as the water heater is running, it's 240volts under load vs just being present on the line. The arc will try to keep the connection between each wire you tested and the probe that was previously touching it.
When you're dealing with voltage without amperage behind it, you need more volts to make the airgap arc jumping effect. IE: neon sign power supply. A typical neon sign power supply can jump approx 2 inches from the contacts feeding the tube. So it can shock you without you actually touching the connections, two inches or so before you reached the connection point itself.
Obviously, the higher the voltage, the further it can jump. Which is why a simple power switch isn't going to do shit in a lightning storm. As the lightning storm has a high voltage level AND a shitload of amps behind it too.
It's also why the devices that blow to seperate your mains because of a surge may not be as effective as you might think. If the incoming voltage is high enough, it's going to jump across the break and re- establish the connection until the juice is gone OR it's burned off the connection points enough with the arcing that it cannot remain established.
While the connection is by no means a stable one in these situations, it is a connection and power is flowing (even for a short period of time) into your panel and anything connected to it, even if the breakers are set to the off position. It's just arc jumping those open points too.

While I understand where you're coming from, that doesn't take into consideration a failing transformer. While it may have little to no trouble delivering 900 or so volts with/without a load present, it doesn't mean it's actually still capable of delivering say the 5kw with or without a load present. Which is why I'd be interested in a meter with the high voltage probes to check it while it's inline with the circuit it's supposed to be providing power to.
I can see if it tries to drop out under load with that. Or, if it tries to drop out under no load getting closer to the output it's supposed to be supplying. As I'm sure you know, transformers can get weak due to the insulation failing in the wrapping and it may not show any signs at lower (for it) voltage levels. But, as it gets closer to the expected output, the weakness can show.

Yes, and, like I said, this doesn't really help for the above stated reasons. The math may be perfectly sound, but, it's making the assumption that the transformer has no issues and is delivering what it's supposed to be. Without it being tested with a meter capable of reading the higher voltages, one cannot be sure.
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On 04/05/2017 11:03 PM, Diesel wrote:

I don't remember if it was a Fluke but we used a high voltage probe:
http://en-us.fluke.com/products/all-accessories/fluke-80k-40.html
The products were dielectric preheaters for the plastics industry and were basically a 15 kW Hartley oscillator with the plastic material placed in the tank circuit.
The RF voltage measurement was more primitive. There was a homemade device that was two brass balls on a screw. Put that in the cavity, crank down the top plate, and pull the strings until it arced out.
RF leakage was determined by a fluorescent tube on a broomstick.
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Wed, 05 Apr 2017 00:13:40 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

Thanks. I'll check this out in more detail. Which meter did you pair it with?
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Wed,

Ahh. Thanks for the valuable information. I figured some high ohm resistors would be in play; much like an electric fence reader, then?
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On 04/07/2017 06:44 PM, Diesel wrote:

They're not fancy. Given the era when I used them there wasn't any active circuitry involved.
https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/hvprobe.htm
The hardest part is getting a resistor that won't flash over, hence their length. Other than that it's a voltage divider with possibly a few bells and whistles.
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On 4/7/2017 5:44 PM, Diesel wrote:

The ones I have are simply a resistor of about a Giga-ohm in series. They were designed back in the day when the input standard was 20K Ohms per volt. For a High-Z meter, shunt the meter (creating a voltage divider) until the voltage reads correctly.
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Another way to look at it: if your meter is going to burst into flame, HarborFreight Free is the right choice.
The "10 amps" reminds me that the neg probe was plugged into the port labeled "10A", not the regular negative port. The reading with the regular port was too low to be believed, but no fire. So the HF meter wasn't quite as fragile as portrayed, and I don't know much about using it.
In any event, powering the tool with an adapter didn't seem viable.
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On 04/04/2017 03:02 AM, mike wrote:

I too feel your pain. We have two choices, either buy new batteries every 3 years or buy corded tools.
And FWIW, the after-market batteries are total junk.
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On 4/4/2017 3:02 AM, mike wrote:

Dewalt
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