cordless drill batteries

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cordless drill batteries

Postby Brian Williamson » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:27 am

The batteries on my little cordless Bosch drill are dying. Does anyone have any experience of buying these?

All the sellers that I can find on-line seem to be selling non-originals. I don't know that there should be anything wrong with them, but it would be nice to talk to someone who has had a good experience of them.

The sites also seem to be written in that slightly 'pidgen' english that makes me suspicious, but is probably because they are non-native english speakers importing directly from China (or somewhere). And please lets not get going on sea-miles!

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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby paul atkin » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:53 pm

Hi Brian, i have bought cheep bats in the past and wouldnt bother again. The ones i bought were missing the thermo thingy inside and overheated. Sadly these days it is often cheaper to just buy a new drill; batts are classed as spare parts and often cost the same as buying a dril/batt and charger. As a pro user i only ever bought festool drills and some are still going after years of hard use. Ni cads need to be used on a regular basis and since retiring from full time joinery i have had loads of cheap drills batts just give up cos there not being used. If you can, buy a drill with lithium ion batts they hold there charge when left a long time and dont suffer from the memory efect. A good little drill made by erbaurer in the screwfix book is ideal for light weight stuff 10.8 volts for 49.99 at the moment; it has just the one batt but its lithium ion and very powerfull for its size. Strangely if you want a second batt its the same price so you may aswell buy 2 drills :roll: there also some good deals out there on makita stuff, and even some of the cheap drills at B+Q have 2/3 year gaurantees on them and are not bad to use; if they break you just take them back and they give you a new one. Happy shopping Paul
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby SeanHellman » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:35 pm

As Paul says, it is best to go for the really expensive cordless, the amount of cordless tools that are being thrown away after a couple of years use is mind boggling. I tend to go for 10 to 14 volt drills as I can then take the battery pack apart and attach wires to car battery, either an old battery or direct to the vehicle. So not technically a cordless but I can have power anywhere I can take a battery or vehicle.
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby RichardLaw » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:09 pm

SeanHellman wrote: I tend to go for 10 to 14 volt drills as I can then take the battery pack apart and attach wires to car battery, either an old battery or direct to the vehicle. So not technically a cordless but I can have power anywhere I can take a battery or vehicle.


This sounds interesting. Is it possible to run various voltage tools from a 12v vehicle battery?
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby SeanHellman » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:32 pm

RichardLaw wrote:This sounds interesting. Is it possible to run various voltage tools from a 12v vehicle battery?


As far as I know, If I remember correctly, I met a bloke who was using a 9 volt drill with a 12 volt motorcycle battery. Really, if you are not going to buy new batteries, what have you got to loose.
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby woodness sake » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:50 pm

The father of a fellow I used to work for owned a small farm on which, for a while, he raise emus. He had a cordless 12 volt drill he used for building enclosures and shelter for the birds which he ahd wired to a 12 volt truck battery with about 15 feet of wire. He carried the whole arrangement around in a plastic bucket. When it got low, he took it back to the barn and hooked it up to a battery charger over night.
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby Stellan Vert » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:59 pm

Hi Thanks guys

That is an interesting idea.

I gutted a dead 12 volt battery to see how it was constructed and was going to build a replica using bits from Maplins ( but that would still have cost about £30). The car battery approach would be a simpler approach as I could fit connectors to the gutted battery unit and then attach it to the drill.


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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby Brian Williamson » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:26 am

Genius idea, 12v battery! It may no longer be cordless, but throwing out perfectly good drills really grieves me. And at least three quarters of the work I do with it wouldn't be hindered by a cord anyway.

Stellan. Did you have any particular problems gutting your battery? Mine are old Ni-cads, and it occurs to me that I might try combining a cheapo replacement with the old one. After all, if the main problem with cheapos is that they lack regulators/diodes/whatevers, these things will all be in the originals and. hopefully, still working.

I guess that the contents are basically solid, so maybe good ventilation and a pair of rubber gloves is all you'd need in the way of safety equipment.

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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby Mike Abbott » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi guys,
I have been looking at this issue for a few years and have 3 good 18v Makita drills with 6 knackered Nicad batteries. I'm hopeless at modern technology but how's about we do some kind of workshop on this at the BBall and hope somebody is around who is good at this stuff. It has always seemed crazy to get solar power in 12 volts, put it into a battery and use an inverter to put it through a charger to charge the drill.
I'll bring along all the bits and see how we fare although we can also do it in the woods on the Fri 6th if we get a chance at the book launch - I might have got it sussed by then.
See you in 3 months,
Mike
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby ickyan » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:00 pm

remember that Nickel Cadmium batteries are very bad for the environment.
Lead car batteries are probably easier to recycle.

Whats wrong with a hand drill anyway?
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby SeanHellman » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:57 pm

I was talking to a bloke today who said he uses an 18 volt drill with a car battery

ickyan wrote:Whats wrong with a hand drill anyway?

Now where do I start. Surely such outdated primitive technology, if you can call it (technology) that, has no place on a forum such as this :wink:
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby dkeller941 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:32 pm

Hello there just like to say you can all ways get an apprentice and give him/her a brace and bits with screwdriver although more time consuming they last about 60 odd years and you can get on with other jobs whilst they are drilling a hole or two .
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby Bob_Fleet » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:44 pm

Sean wrote:Now where do I start. Surely such outdated primitive technology, if you can call it (technology) that, has no place on a forum such as this

Nice one Sean
Here's the next step
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Soon we'll be using real lathes.
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby Oddball » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:22 am

RichardLaw wrote:
This sounds interesting. Is it possible to run various voltage tools from a 12v vehicle battery?


If I can remember back to my college days correctly, then if you assume the average 12v drill battery is say 3 amp it will produce 36 watts of power. Even the smallest 12v car battery will be 40 amps which equates to 480 watts of power, therefore several things could happen. It will turn a lot quicker, if using small drill bits they could break a lot more frequently, if using large bits & it jams then could pull the drill from your hands or rapidly strip the clutch in the drill. The lower the voltage below 12 the quicker it will burn out, conversely above 12 it should last longer but have less power. Basically I would go for the lowest amp car battery you can find, maybe a caravan battery which are designed for low power consumption over a long period of time. Or find ten people to all run power tools off one battery at the same time :roll:
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Re: cordless drill batteries

Postby jrccaim » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:18 am

Brian Williamson wrote:The batteries on my little cordless Bosch drill are dying. Does anyone have any experience of buying these?

All the sellers that I can find on-line seem to be selling non-originals. I don't know that there should be anything wrong with them, but it would be nice to talk to someone who has had a good experience of them.



I have had some experience buying batteries for cordless drills, and, for that matter, cell phones. I have a Makita (very good tool) cordless 12v drill, battery shot when I bought it, real cheap, secondhand. Bought a replacement on the 'net, about two years ago. Battery now going.. going... almost gone. Batteries die. The lowest price I have found is $45 on the internet. Replacement batteries at say Home Depot (a mass market hardware store) are about $70. So at those prices, a couple batteries are more expensive than a brand-new drill. Just as a comparison, I bought my Clarke baby drill press (pillar drill) for $80 in 2002. More now, of course. I use the drill press more than any other power tool, especially in winter when I'm into miniature work.

The idea of connecting a car battery to a drill is very appealing. You will have to take the thing apart, locate the terminals, and solder some leads onto it to take the external battery input. Be sure you use hefty wire, say 14 AWG, because voltage low, but amps high. It will only be semi-portable, because car batts are heavy. As to voltages: you can run an 18v drill on 12v. It will suck more amps out of the battery than if you had an 18v batt. It will heat up a lot more because of all those amps. With care (lay off for a while when it starts to heat up) it will work. Speed lower, though. Conversely, you can run an 18v jobby on 24 volts. This is a property of DC motors. They will run on any voltage. Trouble is that they will not perform as you might wish. Fortunately, the voltages are so low that the worst thing that could happen is that you'll burn out the drill. And it wasn't working to begin with, was it? You will not electrocute yourself with 12/18/24 volts.
There was an article on this in Backwoods Home Magazine about three years back. (You can google them. Fascinating mag.).

You will also need a car battery recharger. In Alaska this is a must-have. I got mine for free at a yard sale. It looks awful but it is still charging my batteries. Still, thanks to the mass automotive market, they are cheap even when new. Get one that has a momentary overload feature, say 50 amps for a few seconds. That way you can connect it to your car, with a dead battery, in the dead of winter and start it off the charger.

I use cordless drills for two reasons: (1) there is no outlet where I am working, outside, and I have a lot of holes to drill. (2) They have a low-speed, high-torque setting that is ideal for driving screws. If I have a zillion screws to drive, they are very nice. On the other hand, I have a bit brace with a universal chuck. I can (and have) put a hex bit holder in it and drive screws with it as fast as I can with an electric. It is more work, though. And sometimes there is no room to swing the handle of the brace, even with the ratchet.
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