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Home > Top-Battery Blogs > How to Rebuild Your Own Lithium-Ion Drill Battery

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How to Rebuild Your Own Lithium-Ion Drill Battery

Cordless drills are useful around the home for repairs and building projects. Most cordless drills run on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. After a while your Bosch drill battery may start to lose charge quickly, or not sustain a charge at all. In most cases, this problem is caused by the drill's charging unit, or the battery pack itself. While you can rebuild your battery pack yourself, it requires that you take it apart, which may void your drill's warranty.

Remove the battery pack from your drill or charging unit. Relocate the battery pack to a flat work surface. Determine how the battery pack is held together. In many cases you just remove a few Phillips screws. Otherwise, you may have pry apart or cut open the battery pack's housing.

Insert a soldering chisel tip into your soldering gun. Plug in the gun's power cord, and allow the tip to heat up for about five minutes. Locate the crease on the battery pack separating the pack's top section from the bottom section. Firmly press the heated chisel tip to the crease, and run the chisel tip along the battery pack's casing to cut it open. This step is optional if your Dewalt battery pack is fastened together with screws.

Pull apart the top and bottom sections of the battery pack's housing. This will reveal the battery cells bound together inside the battery pack's casing. Use a utility knife to cut away the adhesive securing the battery cells inside the pack's housing. Lift the bundle of battery cells out of the pack's housing, and set them aside.

Number each battery cell with a permanent marker, and examine the polarity alignment of the battery cells. Determine which side of each battery is positive (+) and which negative (-). Use a battery tester to figure out which battery cells are dead, or going dead. Turn on your battery tester, and touch the positive probe to the positive end of each battery. Make a note of what battery cells are dead.

Remove the dead battery cells from the bundle. Use a utility knife to cut away the adhesive securing each bad battery cell in place. Use your heated soldering iron to desolder the wire connectors from each battery cell. Dispose of the removed cells.

Place the new battery cells into the empty slots in the battery bundle. Make sure the polarity matches the rest of the cells in the bundle. Use your soldering iron and fresh solder to connect the battery wire connectors to the positive end of each battery cell.

Wrap the entire bundle with electrical tape until all cells are secured to the bundle. Place the battery cells back into the battery pack's bottom housing. Replace the top section of the housing, and replace any retaining screws as needed. If you had to cut open the Hitachi cordless drill battery pack, wrap the battery pack with duct tape several times until the top and bottom sections of the casing are secured together.

Cordless Drill Battery Types

Cordless drills have become a standard tool for both home and industrial use. One of the most profound aspects of a Panasonic cordless drill battery. The battery determines the speed, power and life cycle of the cordless drill. Fast recharge rates and high power output are two of the most important considerations; however, environmental and safety concerns may also be considered.

Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)

Nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries use nickel hydroxide Ni(OH)2 for the positive electrode (cathode), cadmium Cd as the negative electrode (anode) and an alkaline potassium hydroxide KOH electrolyte. Advantages to these types of batteries include a high lifespan (over 500 cycles) and feature low internal resistance. Ni-Cd batteries also cool down while recharging, which allows them to charge faster.

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries are different from Ni-Cd batteries in that hydrogen is used as the active element in the hydrogen-absorbing negative electrode (anode). The other main difference between Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries is that Ni-MH Makita batteries do not contain cadmium, mercury or lead. Cadmium, mercury and lead are common components in batteries and are toxic to humans and the environment.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are rapidly replacing other types of rechargeable batteries due to several desirable characteristics. Lithium batteries possess a high cell voltage of 3.6 volts, which means fewer cells and associated connections and electronics. They contain no liquid electrolyte, which means they cannot leak. Lithium batteries are also much lighter than other standard disposables, as lithium is such a lightweight metal that it actually floats on water. Lithium batteries also hold more power and recharge faster than other batteries.