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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was doing some work on a bathroom renovation today and my Ryobi 9.6v lithium ion (don't know what chemistry) cordless drill/driver battery ran out of steam. I doubt I've been keeping it charged properly and probably damaged it by staying so low under voltage for so long, as I only got about 12 screws put in.

Anyway, I went to the hardware store to get a new battery. They don't have any 9.6, all they have is 18. The 18v drill is $119 and one battery is $40. So the battery is roughly 1/3 the price. I can see that.

But then I go look and find my 9.6v drill, for $29. I can get a whole new drill and the battery for 3/4 of a new battery?? Then I found a 12v drill that came with TWO batteries for $40. So, two 12v batteries, and a drill, for the same price as one 18v battery? That just does not seem to add up. Suffice to say I got the 12v drill, and as a bonus, it's much lighter AND more powerful than my old 9.6v. :)

Just curious if anyone else has run into this and if you have some insight. I was stumped and went with what looked like the best deal.
 

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The market determines the price. In other words, companies charge as much as customers are willing to pay. In this case you were willing to pay more for the 12V deal and nix the old 9.6 with the dead batt. And on the 18V battery, it likely has twice the number of cells as the 9, so is worth more.

Odd how it works. Often times price has little to do with cost :confused:

Just my opinion, and experience.

major
 

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I recently replaced my Dewalt drill driver.
The old 12v NiCads were spent. A replacement battery was £47.
A drill driver with two 14.4v NiCads and a charger was £50.:confused:

I guess no one wants the 14.4v NiCad drill packs with the lithium ones on the shelf. Pity they won't sell the batteries on their own for any less.
 

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I recently replaced my Dewalt drill driver.
The old 12v NiCads were spent. A replacement battery was £47.
A drill driver with two 14.4v NiCads and a charger was £50.:confused:

I guess no one wants the 14.4v NiCad drill packs with the lithium ones on the shelf. Pity they won't sell the batteries on their own for any less.
Yeah, Wood, been there, done that. But recently had a 14.4 NiCad go south for my battery powered crimper. New one was over $200. Found a place which changes out the cells for $29 (I think, maybe 39), including return shipping. Works great :)

Most all those NiCad packs used the same sub-C cell or whatever. I have even seen a local battery retailer offer the same service. You just need a spot welder and a little practice to do it. Haven't seen this type of service offered with the Lithium packs yet. I did have a little 12V Lithium pack (for a driver) go bad. Returned it for replacement. Retailer said it was electronics (BMS?), not cell failure.

And none of those battery packs are interchangeable from one brand to another. Standards are great. So many to choose from :p

major
 

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...The market determines the price...
It's the most important, but still only one of the factors. The market's price tolerance is also heavily influenced; e.g. one pair of jeans sold under a discount store's brand name can command $10, while another pair of the same quality (probably made in the same third world country) will sell for three or four times that because it has a "designer" label stitched on. Market perception is a huge factor, and that is created...



...Often times price has little to do with cost...
Many people also don't realize that parts and materials are just one element of cost. My family had a restaurant once, which was a great lesson in pricing. When we priced a meal, the components used to construct it were just the first step. We also had to pay for the energy that prepared it, the supplies used to prepare and serve it, the labor needed to prepare it, etc - and still find a reasonable amount of profit in the end. Typical food service is a great example because there isn't a lot of profit left in the end. You figure out real fast that you'd better do some serious volume.

It always kind of irks me when I hear people saying a company is just greedy, and they could sell their products for much less. That argument is usually based on the cost of similar items, as used to produce it, and doesn't take into account what it really cost them to put that product in your hands. People also expect companies to eat development costs, rather than amortize them over the expected lifespan of the product.

So, the answer to the question of how companies price their products is a very complex one. The only way to really understand it is to open a business and try to develop, produce, and market something - it's really eye opening.

In the case of your drills and battery packs, it's possible that there was additional cost in producing the more powerful battery packs. If they held more cells, and they don't have completely automated production facilities, it may have taken twice the labor to assemble them - just a possibility, not a real answer. They may have priced the higher end products higher to create the impression of quality. Ever look at a product and think there's no way it can be good quality for that price? There can be many answers that that question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd have thought the clever folks on this forum would simply find the right cells and fix the original battery pack. Well, probably more trouble than it's worth...
I thought about it, but time was a big factor. I needed to finish the bathroom TODAY, not in a couple days when I've had time to play around with it. ;) I still might though. Any ideas on something interesting I can do with a drill motor and a half-dead battery? :D
 
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It's a sales gimmick. You buy a drill with a battery and charger and go home happy. It does not matter which one you buy. Then you use it once and awhile or for some quite a bit but in about a year the batteries are now depleted and you go to the store to find a replacement battery only to find none. What you do find however is a nice new one that is a bit more than the last but it will be the latest an greatest. So you buy it because you need it NOW. You might be able to find a battery pack on the web and have it delivered but they know you want it now, heck that is why your at the store in the first place, right? So you just got suckered into buying a product you did not need and you now have two drills but one is no longer functional except for maybe that singe screw. Problem is that all new upgraded versions use a different size and shape pack so you can't use it with your old drill making you buy a new one. The other drill is fine but has a dead battery. What a waste. You chuck the drill and keep going.

Problem is that NIMH and Lithium batteries should really last much longer but if the chargers are set to charge absolute max and to allow total discharge you will kill the batteries within a year or maybe two at best. They know that and you get suckered. '

Go buy a corded drill but go buy one of the real old style drills that were made back in the 50's or earlier that actually work and last for generations. You can find such drills at many yard sales across the country because folks are upgrading to a lesser quality part.

Not so much an upgrade now is it. I find that my real good cordless is not up to the task of actual construction duty but excellent for light to medium duty. I am not quite sold on the cordless as most if not all my drilling can be done with a corded one.

They price according to what your willing to pay. If your priced too high you don't sell but if you price right at that edge of the market you will sell a bunch but of course they need that extra gimmick to keep you coming back and they need to keep the charger doing it's thing at the utter most extreme to keep you coming back for MORE.

What a friggin waste.

Pete :)
 

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I'd have thought the clever folks on this forum would simply find the right cells and fix the original battery pack. Well, probably more trouble than it's worth...
Been there done that. Upgraded some older NiCad batteries to NiMH. Worked ok and got longer run time out of it, but the solder joint tabs had a tendancy to overheat when too much amps are being drawn. Then one day a lithium powered impact driver followd my dad home from the tool supply. Pricy as hell compare to some of the other ones but runs like a raped ape.

Lighter, faster, longer run time and much more power. I could rebuild the old nickel batteries but we would never use those guns again. The new impact driver lasts twice as long on a charge, saves on the arm due to less weight, and blows through screws with enough power to snap even the best hardened steel driver bits if you aren't careful.

Not sure how long the LiPo batteries will last, but there is a safety shut off that automatically cuts off power to the drill just as the amps start to drop off. I hope that means it will last but we have a way of punishing our tools on the jobsite so time will tell.
 
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Full time use run time is not being told. My two year old hell for stout lithium cordless only lasts maybe 1/2 hour of hard use if I am lucky driving screws. I think that estimate is quite forgiving. Actual is not so hot. It is a very strong cordless and I can wait a week or more to find another battery but the battery will have been on the shelf for the same time. So shelf life pack that is two years old will be all I can get. They don't make new ones. Only for the new drills available. I have looked at all those drills and such that use one common pack but finding just the tool without the pack is impossible. I must buy the tool and pack for each tool I want when I got like home despot and lowers. So for the average buyer of cordless you actually spend way to much for what you actually get. I'd need a couple chargers and at least 4 or more packs just for my single cordless drill if I were going to actually use it all day for rebuilding my garage.

Damn I love cordless and they are quite powerful but they just don't have much real working runtime.

Pete :)
 

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2 HARD running hours while driving 3 inch long #14 stainless steel screws into wood with only a partial pilot hole. Charge time is an hour so by rotating the 2 batteries that came with it, you can run all day if needed. Hitachi 18V 3AH FTW! (I can't believe I acutally used 'ftw':rolleyes:)

We have a conventional cordless drill and an impact driver that run identical batteries. The impact driver will easily break screws, bolts, driver bits and out torque our large old corded drill gun.

The magic about how this one works however is it doesn't just impact in a rotary motion, it pounds forward slightly at the same time so stripping screw heads never happen unless I'm being careless and I don't have to lean all of my muscle into a screw to make sure it reaches bottom.

When it comes to side mount railings that require me to reach down with one arm to drive those big screws in, I really don't know how we got by on underpowered 12V drills or jumpy, heavy, corded drills that would strip screws faster than you could say oh shi....
Those SS screws don't come cheap either.

So far they are about 2 years old now and can still pound screws as hard as ever.
 

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I'd have thought the clever folks on this forum would simply find the right cells and fix the original battery pack. Well, probably more trouble than it's worth...
My dad used to do that when he had his shop. Did quite a good trade in 'repairing' batteries.
For the last ten years though I have used up his entire remaining stock since he retired.

I have taken to using the DeWalt battery as my workshop standard for now, converting other good tools with cheap packs to sharing the same batteries. I even have a dummy battery with a lead on it to plug in the car.
As my tools wear out I will gradually change to a different standard, maybe making up my own packs from scratch.
 
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David, What brand and where could I go check availability? Can you still get new batteries today from the local market where you purchased it two years ago?

Pete :)
 
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Mine is the Black & Decker VPX and they have discontinued that line. They still make a VPX but it is not compatible with my VPX. The new ones use a123 batteries. So as stated in my posts the companies use the gimmick's and changing of the models to get you to buy new long before they should be thrown out. B&D is a well known brand and decent quality. I have no issues with my drill except I can't get NEW batteries for it that will fit. Well I guess the issue of not having 2 solid hours of hard abuse run time is pretty big but my drill is powerful and strong for the duration of the packs runtime. It is crap that I once again must resort to ditching a good piece of equipment and have to go buy another just to maintain a decent run time for my needs without having to always work a bit then charge up then work a bit and then charge up once again. I say products should have a battery that will allow you to open them up and replace the batteries so you can keep your current equipment for the duration of it's natural life.

Pete :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lots of good thoughts here, and it sounds like my experience isn't a lark. I was just surprised to see that. I think the new 12v batteries might be nicad instead of Lithium - the drill specifies it can take both, so I'm thinking that's part of why I got two batteries. But I got the job done so I'm not too worried about it. If it's a gimmick to get me to buy stuff I don't need just for the battery, well, it's working. :p
 

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For what it's worth, I have a 9.6 Makita Drill. Bought it in '87. Has the long thin pack that fits in the handle.

Lightning hit the charger and burned it up. New charger was $100.00. New battery was $100.00. I took the drill apart, hooked up a long heavy speaker wire, and clip the wire onto a 12V battery, making a portable drill. I used it with a couple boats I had, and now, use it wherever I can get a battery or the Jeep to reach the job at hand.

A UPS battery will run the thing fine, IF the job isn't REAL demanding.

Why throw away good working tools ???
 

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My dad used to do that when he had his shop. Did quite a good trade in 'repairing' batteries.
For the last ten years though I have used up his entire remaining stock since he retired.

I have taken to using the DeWalt battery as my workshop standard for now, converting other good tools with cheap packs to sharing the same batteries. I even have a dummy battery with a lead on it to plug in the car.
As my tools wear out I will gradually change to a different standard, maybe making up my own packs from scratch.
Interesting idea - I wonder if you could build a business out of "upgrading batteries" for old cordless equipment? You don't need to attract the whole market, just enough to make money. Advertise it as a "green business" and get Obama slush money (because people don't have to throw away good equipment into land fills, it's green).

Hardest part would be advertising / getting shops to stock your "upgrade" batteries in their stores. Maybe EBay?
 

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Interesting idea - I wonder if you could build a business out of "upgrading batteries" for old cordless equipment? You don't need to attract the whole market, just enough to make money. Advertise it as a "green business" and get Obama slush money (because people don't have to throw away good equipment into land fills, it's green).

Hardest part would be advertising / getting shops to stock your "upgrade" batteries in their stores. Maybe EBay?
I had also thought about a belt mounted pack with a curly lead connection to which ever tool I need to power at the time.
 
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