I was skeptical about rebuilt cordless-tool batteries. However, since the two 12-volt batteries that came with my 10-year old Porter-Cable drill couldn’t hold a charge anymore, I didn’t have much to lose. I sent one battery each to two companies that put replacement cells into old battery packs. Both Primecell and Voltman Batteriescharged $40, including shipping and handling. To make it a three-way comparison, I bought a new 12-volt Porter-Cable battery for $56, the lowest price I could find. After charging and discharging each battery three times to condition them, I tested them using a new 1-in.-dia. spade bit for each battery. The rebuilt Voltman battery ran out of juice after 8-1/4 holes, the new Porter-Cable battery lasted 8-1/2 holes, while the Primecell rebuilt battery went for 9-1/2 holes. Brutal test. To test the rebuilt batteries, we used a spade bit to drill 1-1/4-in.-deep holes into white oak. If you have an old tool whose battery has died, and you’re put off by the cost of a new battery or one is no longer available, this is a cheaper way to get the tool back to work. Photos: Staff
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