14.4v Craftsman battery advice


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Old 01-31-05, 11:32 PM
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14.4v Craftsman battery advice

I have a Craftsman 14.4V cordless drill that has failing batteries. I looked for replacement batteries and saw prices of around $50 when I only paid $70-80 for the drill and 2 batteries. WOW! I am a homeowner that likes the convenience of not needing long extension cords. Any suggestions on what to do in replacing a battery or junking the tool?

1) Is there a viable source for cheap batteries out there? Anybody had success with the eBay "return" or "new" batteries?

2) I use the drill little and have long periods between use and charges. I use it to drill and drive screws. I also have the charger that came with it which does not seem to have any sort of overcharge protection. Is there some way to use/charge these things infrequently without killing the chemistry?

3) Are all the tools based on NiCd or is there a better battery system?

4) Any suggestions on a good voltage level for the homeowner.

Thanks,

Joe M
 
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Old 02-01-05, 03:03 AM
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If you do not use the tool often, then get a corded model. You will be wasting more money in replacing it with another cordless.

NiMh is a better technology, but you may still have the same end results.

Battery packs have several smaller batteries inside. Try to take it apart and replace them.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 07:54 PM
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JoeMarshall,

Yes, I have a suggestion.

It is a known fact that the higher the voltage of the battery in a portable tool the shorter the battery life is.
I use my tools for a living and in my trade have no need for a drill over 12 volts.
I still miss my Makita 7.2 volt, drill in the handle drill.
Any more power needed and I plug sumthin' in.
The one tool I own and need in 18 volt is a Milwaukee Sawzall.
Three years old............one battery dead and the second on it's way out.
These batteries are $100.00 each!

I still miss my Makita 7.2 volt, drill in the handle drill.
 
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Old 02-02-05, 04:44 AM
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I moved up to a 14.4 when I was repairing a lot of hardwood furniture, and on occasion needed a little extra torque
These were mostly repairs in peoples homes so begging an outlet when needed was...hmmm...not professional for the situation
I'd say the 9.6 was adequate 98% of the time and my circumstances were much different than a homeowner who might sometimes need some extra torque
I still keep and use the 9.6
In fact the 14.4 rarely has it's clutch setting above 4 (out of 10) and it's batteries are getting real finicky lately
The 9.6 is a few years older
(It replaced a stolen 7.2, battery in the handle Makita...sigh)
 
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Old 02-02-05, 05:33 AM
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I do a lot of drilling in masanry and the 7.2 volt makita was a joke.

I need more power every voltage step up has been great

you guys are making a good point though about lower voltages for "avrage" homeowner applications

something else to consider is non powred hand drills , I still carry a yankee push drill and use it to pun h holes in drywall for anchors and to start screw holes in wood . I can have it out and the hole drilled in less time than trying to find a outlet or walk out to the truck for the cordless (I used to have a carbide bit for this and use it for masanry ..real PITA )


I have a eggbeter crank hand drill I use it home alot , again holes drilled and done in less time and hassle than finding extesnion cord
 
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Old 02-02-05, 05:39 AM
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Joe -

Welcome to one of the downsides to cordless tools. You know about printer companies selling their printers cheap and making their money on replacement cartridges, right? Well, the same principle applies to cordless tools.

If you don't want to replace the whole drill, you're pretty much stuck with either buying at least one new battery - or having the old batteries rebuilt. There are companies around that will rebuild battery packs but you'll have to decide if it's worth the price.
 
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Old 02-07-05, 09:00 PM
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cordless batteries

One thing that helps batts. hold a charge longer and increase their life is to run it all the way down before recharging. If mine doesn't have enough left to finish the job at hand, I change batts. and when finished put the weak batt. back in the drill to completely discharge it. I have a 9.6 Makita and put a zip tie around the handle so I can slip it over the trigger to hold it down to discharge the batt. .
Hope this helps,
Mike A
 
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Old 02-07-05, 10:38 PM
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This looks like a good time to offer my favorite link on cordless battery care.

Click image:
 

Last edited by GregH; 04-05-06 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 02-08-05, 04:40 AM
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Thanks GregH
That's a keeper
 
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Old 02-23-05, 02:28 PM
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Thanks everone

Thanks for the tips. I guess the convience is real expensive unless i have a lot of use.

Sorry about the long delay in responding. I was expecting email notification of activity on the thread and never received any. I thought my query had lanquished and died without response.

Joe M
 
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Old 02-24-05, 11:47 AM
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Craftsman batteries

Joe,
IF you do decide to replace the existing batteries with Craftsman batteries you NEED to physically check that the replacement batteries do in fact fit in and run your tools! Wanna guess how I know that not ALL 18v Craftsman batteries fit into older drills and lanterns?? As you said "convenience is expensive" the 18v battery I looked at was $148.00 but that came with a new charger too, I'm actually glad the battery didn't fit, I can buy a bunch of alkaline batteries for the new old style lantern I bought! Good luck with your decision!

KY Joe
 
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Old 03-01-05, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by danski0224
Battery packs have several smaller batteries inside. Try to take it apart and replace them.

THIS is what I would like to learn more about. Anyone have experience rebuilding these battery packs?

I have found rechargeable cells online cheap, but knowing exactly what cells to buy would be a big question mark.

My father and I bought identical Craftsman 18V drills the same day about 4 years ago. Mine still works fine, as do both of my batteries. He gave me his after replacing it with a 18V Rigid (NICE tool!). Both of his batteries are bad now. Obviously, buying replacement batteries for this is pointless, as a new drill is less costly than batteries, so that leaves rebuilding batteries.

Having two identical cordless drills is VERY handy on DIY tasks that involve going back and forth between drilling and driving screws. Unfortunately, with just two batteries, I am left discharging them both at the same time or swapping batteries back and forth.
 
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Old 03-01-05, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by chirkware
THIS is what I would like to learn more about. Anyone have experience rebuilding these battery packs?

I have found rechargeable cells online cheap, but knowing exactly what cells to buy would be a big question mark.
My Craftsman drill uses NiCad cells. They are 1.2 volts each. It takes 12 to get to the 14.4 volts of the drill. I took a pack apart and confirmed 12 cells about the size of C batteries. They were connected together with soldered metal strips that formed the circuit and held them in a configuration that just fit inside the plactic battery case. At that point I lost interest. There were identification markings on the cells, but I never did a search to see if they were useful to find replacements.

All NiCads are 1.2 volts because of the chemistry. Your 18v battery pack should have 15 cells if they are NiCad. You may find useful markings on your cells to help find replacements. If not, other cells of the same dimensions should work.

With luck, you might get some advice from someone that followed through and actually did this.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 01:09 PM
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Here's some of what I know, which is quite little.

The batteries in the drill packs are most likely (sub-c cells), which is smaller than a regular store bought c-cell. Ni-cads, are the best for hundreds of discharges, and recharges.

The ni-cad battery doesn't like heat, that is why instead of soldering the batteries together, they are spot welded. Which means in order to rebuild, you have to purchase a hobby spot welder, or find someone who rebuilds them.

The weakest Ni-cad battery in the pack works the hardest, an is the first to completely discharge, so if you continue running the drill all the way completely dead, like some have suggested, you will cause the weakest cell in the battery pack to go into, what is called "Reverse", and it will become a dead cell when you charge the pack.

The prevention of reversing, is to employ a strategy when rebuilding battery packs, to check the cells with a multimeter, and group them as close to each other as possible. This requires having a large stock of batteries to get the closest match possible. They will vary in voltage from 9.5v to 1.20v in their brand new never charged or used condition.

This will give you the strongest battery packs, especially if you have cells putting out 1.1v or higher. The problem is, these cells are usually made in Japan, and they are difficult to get, and expensive compared to the china made ones.

The best way to care for your battery pack is, don't leave it in the charger. Top it up for 14 hrs, then remove it to another day. If your going to use it several weeks later, top it up again before using if possible, and don't run it completely down. That is probably why many manufacturers decided to supply most drills with two batteries instead of just one.

Well, there you have it, that's all of what I know about it, and I didn't even charge ya!
 
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Old 04-04-06, 04:51 PM
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Thanks d.

I learned a bit from your post. You confirmed that this doesn't make sense for a one-off repair.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GregH
Moderator note:

This link was a free website when first posted here.
There unfortunately is now a fee to view this excellent article.

Not necessarily...

Once its been out there, it's just a matter of finding it in the "Way Back Machine":

http://web.archive.org/web/200503190...ges/h00106.asp

 
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Old 04-05-06, 03:35 AM
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Thumbs up Good job.

Thanks chirkware!
I updated the link.
 
 

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