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
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
You're unlikely to get a lot more out of your batteries, but you might
get some more.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
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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.
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
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
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.
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.
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