Let's face it. If you use power tools for woodworking you probably have battery powered tools. A giant frustration and cost for these tools is battery packs. I've bought more than my fair share of replacement batteries. Luckily, there is a great method I've found to recondition power tool batteries back from the dead.
Long gone are the days when everyone used power tools with cords and battery powered drills, screwdrivers, saws, nail guns, and other tools have become the norm in every workshop. Going out to a remote job site makes battery power even more valuable since there may not be power nearby to plug in your tools.
Early on battery tools didn't have the power that their corded siblings had. However, that power struggle no longer exists. The battery powered tools are now up to par with the corded ones in pretty much every category. Sure there are some that don't quite live up to the expectations, but for the most part, battery tools are a great addition to any toolbox.
Major Downside to Battery Tools
Battery tools depend on, wait for it… batteries! Rechargeable batteries have come a long ways in the past few years. The power output they provide and the length of their life has greatly improved, which is wonderful news for all of use with power tools!
The problem that will plague every single battery is that it is eventually going to die. They all do. If yours hasn't died yet, it will. Just give it some more time!
Batteries are built to last only so many cycles. The quality of the battery or the manufacturer usually determines how long your battery will survive. Power tool manufacturers are not all known for their quality, so the lower quality the tool, the less time your battery will likely survive.
Even high end batteries will die eventually. And when batteries get as much use out of them as woodworkers and construction workers use them, then they will die quicker. There are ways to improve the life, but it is inevitable that the batteries will die.
I don't know how much money I have spent on buying new batteries to replace the ones that have died, but it is certainly a lot over the years. Another issue is that not all tools use the same batteries, so I have probably 6-8 different types of batteries. And when all of them are dying, it can get very expensive quickly to keep all of the battery power tools running.
What is Battery Reconditioning?
Luckily for us, there is a way to fix old batteries so they work like new! It is a process called battery reconditioning. Reconditioning takes the old worn out battery, tests it to determine where to start the process, repair the battery if necessary, the charge the battery back up to its full capacity. It really is that simple.
I no longer buy brand new batteries for any of my power tools. I now simply go to garage sales and craigslist and grab old power tool batteries for either free or for only a few bucks. Most people think batteries are dead and cannot be fixed, so you can almost always talk someone down in price since the tool itself is worth way more than the battery to them.
I take them home and recondition power tool batteries right inside my garage using this process.
How To Recondition Power Tool Batteries
The process for reconditioning batteries is relatively simple. So simple, in fact, that really anyone can do it. It is especially easy for people like those that read this website because we are already working with our hands and tools. So this is basically just an extension of that in making our tools last longer.
Using the procedure found on this site, you can easily set up a reconditioning station in your garage, workshop, or kitchen table to get all of your batteries back to their normal, or almost normal, state.
What Batteries Can Be Reconditioned?
Most rechargeable batteries can be reconditioned. This process can be performed on:
- Power Tool Batteries
- Golf Cart Batteries
- Solar Power Batteries
- Car Batteries
- Forklift Batteries
- Deep Cycle Batteries
- and more!
There really are a lot of different batteries that can be fixed back to their original charge, or at least very close to it.
Why Don't Many People Do This?
Great question, but the answer is quite simple. Most people don't take the time to learn about batteries. We've all been trained that when the batteries don't take a charge anymore that it is time to get a new one. But the process is so easy it is well worth learning and doing it yourself so you can save so much money on buying batteries in the future. My first batch of reconditioned batteries more than paid for the training to do it.
I'm completely satisfied with the results on my batteries and will continue to buy old used batteries and bring them back to life.