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been looking at the cool Li-ion cordless drills because my dewalt and craftsman 18v NiCad drills have crapped out. So I was checking out the ratings of the different manuf. and ran across a few places saying I could reconditon my old NiCad batts on the internet. So... I proceded to pop my old non working NiCad batts with my welding machine and my dewalt 18v xr2 will now take a full charge. my craftsman batt -still didn't work but I think its the one batt. I dropped and has internal short. This little trick may have saved me a few coins for a little while longer.

I don't know all the specifics about why this works. But just posting my experience. Proceed at your own risk.
It seems that the NiCad batts develop some hair (crystals) like shorts in between the layers and this causes the batt to fail to take a charge. So by overloading these "hairs" with high voltage very quickly it will burn these hairs out and let the batt take a charge again. without messing up the layers. the key is to get the pol. correct and not overload the batt for too long or the layers will fry and poss. blow up. I turned my welding machine way down, checked the pol. of the batt and the machine leads and very quickly just touched the contacts approx 3 times, all while wearing a face shield, sleeves, etc.. just in case. Put the batt back in its regular charger after a hour it was fully charged and runs the drill fine. we will see if it hold up to real work this weekend.
Found several sites that showed how this is done.
 

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I built a little power supply that charges about 20,000 mfd to 32 volts, then discharges it through a set of banna jacks with a pushbutton. It will fix about half of the NiCds I zap with it but the fix is temporary. The batteries will eventually fail for good, usually sooner than later.

The permanent fix is to open up your battery case and replace the individual batteries with new ones.
 

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You can also buy the cells online and refurbish your old battery packs when they are totally done. So far it looks like you can save a bunch over what a new battery pack cost and you could also up the mAH for longer life.
 

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"The permanent fix is to open up your battery case and replace the individual batteries with new ones. "


Agreed. And for dewalt, I buy used drill kits on ebay. Kinda hit-or-miss, but for $30 or so I get a (9 v) drill and charger and battery - so far so good!
 
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