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Cordless tools and batteries


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I'm a new member here on this forum. I'm hoping i can get some help and perhaps help others. My issue predominantly around 'old' cordless tools and batteries. The tools themselves may be in fantastic condition however getting replacement batteries can be either a minefield of replacements from  perhaps asia or simply uneconomical. I chose to enter the construction industry with Hitachi 18v slot cordless tools and a36v slide hammer drill(36DAL) - All reasonable tools but on the cheaper side to get me started. I'm not unfamiliar with with using the tools as i have most similar corded in my shed for house maintenance but all the this old school cordless stuff seems to get phased out.....as with fridges/tv's/dvd's and get replaced with the new thing. Is this a fair comment?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well if by old you mean NiCad batteries, then yes. Most current major brands have established a battery form factors that have remained unchanged for years. I'd consider the power tool market fairly stable right now. Battery tech is changing, but most brands now actively make sure everything is backwards compatible if it's not a completely new tool launch.


It is fair to say though that sometimes, some brands fall out of favor and are phased out as bigger companies buy out smaller ones. It's the nature of the beast.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most major brands have their proprietary battery platforms that seem to be here for the long run.  Ni-Cad was being phased out in the late 2000s and while some brands had interim Li-Ion platforms (mostly to be used interchangeably with previous tools, the current major battery interfaces are now 10+ years old.  DeWalt 12v and 20v Max, Milwaukee M12 and M18, Ridgid 18v, Ryobi One+, etc.  Newer technologies like FlexVolt and the short-lived Ridgid Octane series have been released, but even those interchange with previous tools.  FlexVolt batteries can be used with most 20v Max tools and Octane batteries and tools were simply a marketing ploy to introduce Bluetooth technology to batteries and increase performance while still being part of the overall 18v line.


"Old school" cordless tools have been phased out for a few reasons.  The battery technology and brushed motors simply do not offer the power and runtime more modern tools do.  The ergonomics can be a bit of, even if some older tools do have an enjoyable retro feel in the hand.  Of course, they also sometimes just get worn out or broken, and the cost of repair simply isn't worth it.  In another thread, I priced a replacement battery for an old Milwaukee 12v hammer drill at nearly $50 shipped.  For comparison I bought my M12 drill and impact combo for $99 a few years ago and got a free battery (3 batteries total).  My first DeWalt 12v Max drill came with a reciprocating saw and two batteries, and was purchased on clearance for $45.  Both of those sets were older brushed designs but any of the tools can be run with my newest batteries.  I replaced the M12 tools with their M12 Fuel counterparts for about $180, getting a Packout case as a bonus, and later replaced the 12v Max tools with this Xtreme kit for $149.


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