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adapting the porter cable battery to the harbor freight power tools chicago electric


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i have the harbor freight 18 volt power tools and for years you could get the 18 volt ni cd battery pack and now they have seemed to just vanish.  so i went to ebay to see if i could find any sellers selling them and not much but for used packs.


so anyway i see tons of sellers welling the porter cable type battery packs in the 18 volt ni cd battery pack so i get one and it turned out to be a ni mi battery. so i ask all the listings that say ni cd and then they all reply back telling me they are ni mh batteries.  so i get a charger and build an adapter for the ni mh battery in a harbor freight case to charge and it just is not charging well. it may be the charger or the adapter i made that is not working.


so now what i think i may try if i can find an adapter that will let me charge the porter cable battery in the porter cable charger and then use that porter cable battery in the harbor freight tools. so can then start getting the ebay batteries and 3 adapters and be able to at least get more life out of these still good tools. 


so can any direct me to a place that has the adapters that will fit into the harbor freight tool and be able to use the porter cable batteries? thanks for any help


the porter cable batteries i'm looking at are these to adapt to the harbor freight power tools that use these porter cable batteries.  the harbor freight model s the chicago electric model



Compatible Brand::
For Porter Cable
18 V
Compatible Model::
Compatible Model 1::
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been stated many times on these forums, especially given the recent influx of threads by users seeking to keep their dead or dying cordless tools going, but you're probably best off just giving up the old ni-cad Harbor Freight stuff and getting something newer.  If you want to stick with Harbor Freight, their Hercules and Bauer brand cordless tools won't break the bank and are trying to compete with the big boys in the US, namely DeWalt and Milwaukee respectively.


To put it in perspective, consider how long in the tooth the Porter Cable 18v ni-cad battery is.  Over ten years ago I got my first li-ion set, which was Porter Cable 18v--basically the ni-cad tools with some cool LITHIUM stickers, the newer batteries, and a multi-chemistry charger.  Within a year or so, the PC 18v system was being discontinued in favor of their 20v Max system.  By 2014 Lowe's (Porter Cable's largest distributor on the East Coast) only sold ni-cad batteries, effectively reverting the 18v system back to its origin.  I stopped seeing new batteries altogether around 2016 or so, with the exception of the occasional old stock.


In short, even with Porter Cable batteries running your Harbor Freight tools you're looking at using 15+ year old technology in batteries that are likely a few years old at least, all for cordless tools that many considered disposable from the get-go.


If you can find and adapter and keep your tools running, that's outstanding!  I'm all for using what works and keeping things out of the dump, but I have a feeling that you're looking for something so niche it may be unavailable. 

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