Rechargeable batteries for cordless devices are a blessing and a curse. What exactly does that mean? When new and working correctly they allow a cordless power tool, laptop computer radio controlled car, phone or portable vac to be used in areas for lengths of time undreamed of only ten to twenty years ago. That would be the blessing aspect of the previous statement. The curse comes after what seems like a minimal time the battery starts to lose power with less and less use. Prior to this year there were only two possible remedies for this. First buy a new battery hopefully with an upgraded amperage rating or rebuild the existing battery using upgraded internal cells. A new upgraded 18 volt MAKITA power tool battery sells in retail operations for somewhere between $100 to $115. The old battery must be recycled in an approved manner taking up precious space in landfills etc as only certain parts of the whole can be reused. The second method entailed rebuilding the internal components ( sub C cells ). Connecting them with nickel tabs either soldered or spot welded together to replicate the original shape.Soldering is by far and large the most common method as most DIY”ers with the knowledge to attempt this have a soldering gun. The welding is done by an industry specific unit usable only for this operation and costing in the neighborhood of $10,000. Only the largest contractors with a lot of batteries to rebuild could justify such an expense. Soldering, while alright as a method creates heat on the cell in excess of 550 degrees.Temperatures this high can cause thermal runaway in the cell and subsequent distending of the wall and or explosion.
Today in 2011 there are better ways to accomplish this. Patent pending mechanical connections are spot welded on the terminal ends of these cells and supplied along with the highest quality Type 201 solid nickel connectors for a simple rebuild and upgrade on either a job site or workshop.
These kits come standard for voltages from 4.8V through 36V in either 2.1 amp or 3.2 amp varieties.These kits include everything you need to upgrade standard 1.7 amp OEM supplied batteries to 30% to 50% additional capacity in 30 minutes or less.The existing HITACHI power tool battery rebuild kits are not only tops in saving money and time but also the environment as the expended cells are 100% recyclable into their original components and subsequent reuse in new cells