Tue
May 13 2014
09:30 am

I'm now on my third cordless drill (actually fifth if you count the two I bought and returned) because of dead batteries. The batteries cost more than the drills, so they get you to just buy a new drill instead.

My last one, a Hitachi, lasted four years. It's a great drill and still works, but the batteries would no longer charge. I guess I didn't use it enough? But they are lithium ion batteries, which aren't supposed to have that problem?

A replacement battery at Lowes was $80. I saw a two-pack online somewhere for $120. Lowes had the same drill, with a charger, two batteries and a flashlight for $129, only $9 more than just the batteries. So I got that. But guess what? One of the batteries was defective out of the box and would not charge.

I had also thought to just get the (almost) cheapest $40 12v Black and Decker they had and consider it disposable. It's not like I need contractor grade equipment or anything. But I got one, and then found out it takes 6 to 9 hours to charge. Not good for spur of the moment repairs and projects. So back it went.

I thought about getting aftermarket batteries for the Hitachi, but they are still about $50 and they would probably explode or catch on fire and burn my house down.

So I ended up going back to DeWalt, a 20v model that came with two batteries. The replacements, which I will surely need at some point, are $120 for a two-pack (2.0 ah lithium ion). I've seen them online for $100 for the same two-pack. So I guess that's a little better.

But still, what a racket. It's like you're renting the batteries and they throw in a drill for free.

(Thankfully, I still have a 35 year old Craftsman plug-in drill that still works like a champ for backup when these newfangled cordless drills fail me.)

/rant

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Mike Cohen's picture

Drills

I had the same issues.

Then I bought a DeWalt about 8 years ago. Like you, I don't use it much. It came with two batteries and I have never had a problem.

And, like you, I have a plug in Craftsman never fails.

metulj's picture

Don't buy batteries. Go to

Don't buy batteries. Go to batteries plus and have them rebuild them. That's what I do.

R. Neal's picture

Do they rebuild li-ion

Do they rebuild li-ion batteries?

metulj's picture

Don't know, but I have had

Don't know, but I have had them do my older Milwaukee stuff for years.

redmondkr's picture

Ridgid Lifetime Warranty

I went shopping for a replacement battery for my old Ridgid cordless drill last summer and the clerk asked me if I had registered it with the company when I bought it. He said the dealer who sold it to me was remiss for not telling me about their lifetime warranty that would have included batteries.

Since my old battery was a NiCad and the replacements are Li Ion, I would have to buy a new charger/battery combo.

The outfit above was only about thirty dollars more than the replacement battery/charger combo. It not only has the drill but an impact wrench plus the neat carry bag. The box of accessory bits was extra.

Here's the kicker. The whole thing, batteries and all, are warrantied for life. And the new batteries work with my old drill too.

Somebody's picture

I've done fine with the Ryobi

I've done fine with the Ryobi 18-volt set of power tools. I started out when they were using NiCd, and have continued with the lithium batteries. They were good enough to make the lithium batteries compatible with the old tools. The NiCd batteries are pretty well used up, but I've had no issues with the lithium batteries. I only have two of them, and an assortment of the compatible tools, and they've all worked well for me. Having an array of tools that use the same battery perhaps avoids the issue of not using or charging them for months at a time.

Didn't know you could get the batteries re-built, so maybe I'll put the old ones back into circulation, too.

Joe328's picture

Big Box Store

Most battery operated tools in big box stores are made to a different quality. All look the same but have a different stock number. I purchased DeWalt drills from the DeWalt dealer more than 8 years ago. Other than one battery being replace under warranty, they still work fine. It takes less than 2 hr to charge the battery.

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