Off Topic - Batteries/rant.....

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by steamhead, May 17, 2008.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm about to go through my second power tool....Oh...the two power tools are fine...Its the batteries that are toast (on the first one) and about to go on the second one. Of course...replacing the batteries (if you can get them...) will cost more than what I paid for the tools AND batteries in the first place. It seems as if in the never ending search for "cheapening" products...the manufacturers have decided that it's OK to turn the tools into disposable commodities. Even well renowned names whose CRAFTSMANship was undisputed a few years back, doesn't mind sacrificing its reputation in pursuit of the almighty buck....If I ever buy another one, it surely won't bear this firm's name on it....
    I have a modest screwdriver tool I purchased about 12 years ago, when power tools started making it big, and have gone through one set of batteries. The two newer power tools barely lasted 2 years each....wall1

    Does any one know where replacement cells (individual batteries) might be purchased to replace the obviously defective ones in the power packs?

    I'll get off the ranting stool now....:curse:
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I hear you on this... I had a cordless drill a few years back in which the batteries went bad. I tried replacing the individual cells with C-size NiCads, but the cells were just a wee bit smaller than standard C-size and it wouldn't work. You could try a specialty battery store, but I bet you would still be paying more than a new tool would cost.

    Whatever the case, if you chuck the old batteries, be sure to recycle them rather than send them to the landfill.

  3. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    Yeah, the battery racket is absolutely nuts.

    I'm on a Gateway laptop now that's barely 18 months old. I got used to it not charging back to 100% (a few months ago it would stop in the 80s and repeated nudges of unplug and replug would get it back to 99%). It spends 95% of its life plugged in anyway, but I did go through the complete drain "break in" when I got it, and have used the batteries on travel. In March I unplugged it to take it upstairs to use the color printer in the wife's craft-room/office and within 3 minutes it died cold. So, for now I'm getting by acting like I have no battery as I can grab quite a bit for my layout for the $120 they want for a replacement battery. I do know that rechargeables lose their mojo, but seems like they should at least make it for a few years.

    It is the same battery family that gained fame for bursting into flames in Dells, so I guess I should count my blessings. Still, it seems crazy that a battery would cost 10% of the price of a single laptop. Cell phone batteries obviously are even higher percentage-wise.

    As far as where to find them, just Google something like discount and batteries. There are tons of sites that have every obscure battery, sometimes for just an arm without the leg.

  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Depending on the type of batteries in the powertools you have, there are ways to extend their lifespan. Of course first off is proper care and feeding in the first place ;)

    Depending on the chemistry (NiCad, NiMH, LiIon) the batteries have to be treated differently. NiCads need to be completely discharged before recharging, otherwise they develop a "memory", and after awhile, won't take a full charge anymore. NiMH don't have those problems, but do have a limited cycle lifespan. LiIon (like in laptops) can't be left on trickle charge like NiMH and NiCad.

    Jason, I'm betting your laptop spent most of its life plugged into its charger? With the power on? That's what I did with mine, and after not quite 2 years, my lithium battery is dead too. What I should have done is unplugged it from its charger after turning it off, or just removed the battery from it, since leaving it on charge just shortens the battery life. Of course they never tell you these things when you get them, do they? wall1
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Squidbait....I'm familiar with the care & feeding of batteries..having flown R/C aircraft for close to 20 years I properly maintained the batteries, and NEVER had a battery failure in-flight...(a major cause of crashes among this crowd...). I believe that quality in manufacture and materials in order to bring prices down has been a major cause for the very short battery life we experience nowadays....I would certainly pay the extra bucks if I was sure I was getting an item that would last for years (more than 2....).
  6. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    Squidbait, you're right, probably only used full battery on it 40 or so times, maybe half that number of times again for short battery time (30 min in a coffee shop, etc). The laptop itself is, of course, always trickle charging it, probably even when the power light color indicator and windows indicate it's not, which is why I'd expect it to slip after a few years. It's just surprising to see one go so fast. The price is also pretty dismal for a model that's used so widely. Somebody in Shanghai has learned to embrace capitalism well.
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    I've had a cordless power driver for going on 15 years(Gus mentioned the brand), same batteries. I JUST had to by a new one recently. Not because of the batteries......I wore out the drill.
    Oh...And the charger finally died. Funny, they both happened at around the same time.
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    88fan...Did you toss out the driver..? If not...can you see where it was made..? I'll bet it was still made in the USA. The new one is probably made in China....
  9. phoneguy

    phoneguy member

    I raced RC cars for years. We would buy single sub C batteries to build our own battrey packs. Check out your local hobby shop. You said you flew RC planes, don't these use the sub C cells?
  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Yes....That's where I found that in a typical power pack (flight pack) it was generally one cell that ruined the pack. I've been looking in the net and have found a place that sells single cells (all sizes and ratings..!!). I'm going to buy a few sub-C's and replace those that have gone bad...At a small fraction of the cost of a new pack..!!!
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

  12. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I found that the cost of replacement batteries for my first cordless drill were almost the same price (for two) as it would cost to buy a complete replacement drill with batteries.
  13. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Actually...I bought the second drill because it was cheaper to buy it, with 2 NEW batteries, than to replace the two that had gone south....

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