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Battery won't charge - battery or charger issue?
Old 06-28-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
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Battery won't charge - battery or charger issue?

I have an older 19.2v Kawasaki cordless screwdriver/drill and the batteries are no longer holding a charge. When I attempt to charge one of the batteries, the charging light comes on for a few minutes and then goes off. The screwdriver with the 'charged' battery will work for maybe 30 seconds before dying.

It obviously seems like the issue is with the batteries instead of the charger, however, it seems weird that both batteries would start experiencing this issue at the exact same time. Doesn't it?

I thought I would ask the question here before trying to buy a replacement battery. Of course, it probably isn't worth replacing since 2 replacement batteries on eBay go for $63 and I probably could buy a new screwdriver/drill set for about that price.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:57 AM   #2
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If tools are newer, you can order generic replacement battery packs. Older tools--toss'em.

It's getting difficult even buying tools with a cord any longer.

My problem with batteries is keeping up with them, especially since one battery came with the purchase of two or three tools. Often, my battery is on a tool at my other house. Or I'll leave the charger elsewhere.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
I have an older 19.2v Kawasaki cordless screwdriver/drill and the batteries are no longer holding a charge. When I attempt to charge one of the batteries, the charging light comes on for a few minutes and then goes off. The screwdriver with the 'charged' battery will work for maybe 30 seconds before dying.

It obviously seems like the issue is with the batteries instead of the charger, however, it seems weird that both batteries would start experiencing this issue at the exact same time. Doesn't it?

I thought I would ask the question here before trying to buy a replacement battery. Of course, it probably isn't worth replacing since 2 replacement batteries on eBay go for $63 and I probably could buy a new screwdriver/drill set for about that price.
I found the same thing to be true. My replacement batteries were $50 each! Plus the old batteries were probably NiCads
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:07 AM   #4
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Same here, had an older Ryobi cordless drill, in that price range so I just replaced with a new set.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:02 AM   #5
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Planned obsolescence. If your two batteries are about the same age both can go bad at roughly the same time. For some batteries, like those for cars, it's almost as if they have a little expiration timer inside.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:36 AM   #6
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Do you know anyone else who has the same kind of batteries or charger so you can try one or the other? Or maybe a store will let you try a demo charger? I'm suspicious of the charger rather than both batteries suddenly going bad. But if you've had them both sitting in a closet for a year, I'll go with the batteries being bad.

Either way it's probably about as cheap to replace, and you'll have later/better tech in batteries.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:39 AM   #7
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Planned obsolescence. If your two batteries are about the same age both can go bad at roughly the same time. For some batteries, like those for cars, it's almost as if they have a little expiration timer inside.
I tend to agree with you. Crazy and frustrating. I guess I'll be shopping for a new one. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Do you know anyone else who has the same kind of batteries or charger so you can try one or the other? Or maybe a store will let you try a demo charger?
No, unfortunately not. The set is at least 6 years old and is probably closer to 10. I guess I'll try to sell it without batteries on eBay like this one.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:52 AM   #9
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It’s very frustrating to me that it’s cheaper to buy a new tool than it is to replace the battery. Okay, maybe not cheaper, but makes better financial sense. Why would anyone buy a battery for $50 when a new screwdriver including a battery and charger is something like $75. The issue I have is how wasteful it is to throw away a completely good tool (the old one), just because a new battery’s pricing doesn’t make sense. I really wish some things were more standardized and batteries for hand tools is one of those cases.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:05 PM   #10
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Old probably means uses nicad batteries with the memory effect I've owned a couple old cordless drills (internal battery) in the past with same issue. Once the battery couldn't hold a charge, the drill had seen better days.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:29 PM   #11
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It’s very frustrating to me that it’s cheaper to buy a new tool than it is to replace the battery. Okay, maybe not cheaper, but makes better financial sense. Why would anyone buy a battery for $50 when a new screwdriver including a battery and charger is something like $75. The issue I have is how wasteful it is to throw away a completely good tool (the old one), just because a new battery’s pricing doesn’t make sense. I really wish some things were more standardized and batteries for hand tools is one of those cases.
Yes, throwing out an otherwise good tool would bother me too.
One option that can avoid this, is buying better quality name brands.
I can still get original or lower cost knock-off replacement batteries for my up to 40+ year old Makita tools.
The originals came with 7.2v, then later with 9.6v Nicads. I now use 9.6v generic NiMH batteries (~$20) that work with the original charger in all 5 tools.
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Old 06-28-2019, 02:55 PM   #12
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I have bought naked sub-C NiCad cells to rebuild the packs of two of my cordless drills.

I was even able to get them on sale, so that helped.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:02 PM   #13
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Another adaptation is to remove the cells from an old battery case and wire to a long cord with a cigarette lighter plug at the end. This slides into the tool like the old battery.
I take this traveling as my truck/trailer have multiple 12v sockets mounted in convenient locations.
BTW, I have experienced no problems running 9.6v tools at 12v, nor 7.2v @ 9.6v.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:25 PM   #14
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I have bought naked sub-C NiCad cells to rebuild the packs of two of my cordless drills.
Yes, lots of people do that, me included. One issue is that many of the battery packs are glued together so well that one pretty much has to destroy the case to get at the batteries. When I ran into that I chalked it up to tuition and made a point to buy a different/better brand that had screwed-together battery cases.
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