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I have some older Ridgid hand tools: 12-volt nicad types.
Ridgid has discontinued those tools and the batteries are no longer available from Home Depot. You can get them direct, I think, and even Amazon offers them, as do some offbeat stores, but I have also read some reviews of those batteries that were not complementary. There are quality variables.

A local battery store rebuilt two of mine for me and one seemed OK. However, to check the charge levels when I got home I put each into my Ridgid charger and one of them caused the charger to start smoking. I was stumped until I put the battery into one of my Ridgid drills and when set to run forward it rand backward! They had the thing reverse charged and my charger was ruined. Fortunately, I have a second charger and while I temporarily tried checking the battery in it, I pulled it out quickly enough to probably not do damage. I hope.

I plan on taking the battery back to the shop for an explanation, and hopefully a $33 refund, but I wonder if anyone here has had similar experiences with either the Ridgid supply situation or a bad rebuild job.

I have some Ryobi hand tools, too, and I will hand it to Ryobi: they do not leave you hanging out to dry when they come out with a new hand tool. The older batteries work in them, and the newer batteries work in the older tools. This is odd, given that they are part of the same corporation.

Howard Ferstler
 

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I had a customer give me a like new condition Dewalt 12v cordless drill he seldom used and didn't maintain it so the batteries were ruined. I looked into getting new batteries for it but I discovered I could buy a new drill with lithium batteries for around the same price so I shelved the drill. Then the 18V Dewalt drill I had been using the batteries went bad on it so I replaced them and the replacement batteries are not near the same quality as the originals. When I had the original batteries I could usually work for two days on a charge. Now I'm lucky if I can make it one day without using up both batteries. I'm having to carry the charger with me now which is something I never considered before. From now on when a cordless tool has a battery problem I think I will toss the tool.
 

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In my experience when the batteries go bad it is time to toss the tool and replace it. Lithium batteries are the way to go. I fix things whenever possible, but spending as much on replacement batteries as a whole new set with better batteries doesn't make much sense.
 

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It's kind of too bad, seems like most manufacturers don't do much with their 12v platforms, except Milwaukee and Bosch. They aren't exactly the cheapest either.

Maybe Black and Decker would be a good replacement for a homeowner grade tool. My mom bought one probably about 2 years ago and never uses it. Every time I go there I zing the still and it still has a charge. She couldn't have paid more than $40 for it, you can barely find any battery for that price.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, thanks for the responses, guys.

Today, I took the battery back to the shop for an explanation, and the technician looked at the way the thing ran the drill backwards (I also brought the other, properly done battery as an OK reference), and hopefully it can be re-booted and also hopefully my second charger at home will be OK. The technician seemed mystified by the way the battery behaved. We shall see.

Normally, I would not be concerned, because I have two 18-volt Ryobi drills, plus three large and small AC powered drills, and really do not need my Ridgid drill, although I appreciate its lighter weight and smaller size at times. However, I do have a Ridgid, low-profile impact driver that uses those batteries and THAT item IS important, because I have used it when doing interior bracing with some cabinets I have built. (Tight fits inside, at times.) Pitching that tool would be a traumatic experience for me, and I am not even sure that Ridgid makes a newer version. I have seen some other brands that do the same thing (even saw one at Walmart of all places that has a dedicated lithium battery), and if push comes to shove I will get one of those. However, down the line the same problem will eventually repeat.

It seems weird that many of those hand tools seem well made and would probably last a LONG time if the batteries could be regularly replaced. It actually seems borderline criminal, because we end up filling up landfills with items that are actually mechanically OK.

It is too bad that companies do not offer powered hand tools that can be run by battery and can ALSO be run by a plug-in converter that uses AC wall power. That way, if the batteries can no longer be found you can at least use the tool the old-fashioned way.

Howard
 

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It is too bad that companies do not offer powered hand tools that can be run by battery and can ALSO be run by a plug-in converter that uses AC wall power. That way, if the batteries can no longer be found you can at least use the tool the old-fashioned way.

Howard
That would be easy to rig up, using an old battery shell.

Never had older Ridgid cordless tools, but bought a 121 volt drill and impact kit from HD for $99. Registered it and lifetime warranty, including batteries.
I also to junk drills when batteries bit the dust. Glad I won't be doing that again.
The first 12 volt combo kit had 2, 2 ah batteries. A short time after that, they came with a 2 ah, and a 4 ah kit.
Regardless of the battery warranty, I like the impact and drill.
 

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Exactly!

That would be easy to rig up, using an old battery shell.

I have some 18 V Dewalts that I intended to make a short cord to a belt or holster battery supply using a defunct battery shell for the contact points. I would prefer that over a wall plug converter for ease of use. If I needed to put the tool down for an extend period, I would just unplug it until it's time to pick it up and use it again.

There are flat sided batteries that will supply way more ampere hours than the molded specific types. Check ebay.
 

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That would be easy to rig up, using an old battery shell.

Never had older Ridgid cordless tools, but bought a 121 volt drill and impact kit from HD for $99. Registered it and lifetime warranty, including batteries.
I also to junk drills when batteries bit the dust. Glad I won't be doing that again.
The first 12 volt combo kit had 2, 2 ah batteries. A short time after that, they came with a 2 ah, and a 4 ah kit.
Regardless of the battery warranty, I like the impact and drill.
I second this...but in the 18v :) The lifetime warranty is awesome. I had a battery wear out and they replaced it with no questions asked.

Their LSA has made me a loyal customer. As I wear out or break a tool or otherwise need a new tool I will look to Ridgid first.
 
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