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Ryobi 18 volt Lithium Batteries

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by gdr_11, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. gdr_11

    gdr_11 Active Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    Being cheap by nature, I no longer buy high end tools like when I was young and used to build and repair things. At my age, getting out the drills and saws is something that happens once or twice a year and no more. As a result, a few years ago I bought a Ryobi 18 volt drill, Sawzall, leaf blower and string trimmer. All lightweight, reasonably priced and good enough for an old guy like me. I have 4 batteries and two chargers that have served me well for 3-4 years. Now I find myself with 3 batteries that will no longer charge and I am about ready to buy the 2 pack replacements on Amazon for $38 which is a great deal compared to the factory Ryobi units.

    Being cheap as I am, however, I did the YouTube thing and ended up trying a half dozen of the fixes shown on there short of taking the things apart and jump starting the old batteries with a hot wired low voltage transformer. I tried wetting the battery contacts, putting them in and out of the charger quickly for a dozen times and several other crazy fixes and none of them worked. Before I make a trip to recycle them I thought I would ask this esteemed group of experts if there is any way to breathe life back into these things.

  2. GeorgeS

    GeorgeS Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    San Antonio
    I remember the recommendation to use Harbor Freight beginner-level 70A welder to zap the batteries and refresh them.

    I never tried it myself but someone here may be willing to use their welder to give it a try.
  3. pronstar

    pronstar TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Jul 2, 2017
    Some tool batteries are just 18650 cells.
    If you’re able to pop the case open to take a look, and these are in there, then just swap them out.

    If you buy amazon replacements, and you want some piece of mind, I suggest buying their SquareTrade warranty if offered.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  4. texasnurse

    texasnurse Well-Known

    Jul 30, 2016
    The replacement batteries are better; the small ones that come with the drills die prematurely

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sam7sf likes this.
  5. gdr_11

    gdr_11 Active Member

    Aug 1, 2014
    I did some research and bought one generic from Amazon that had 4 1/2 star reviews,and that is supposed to fit my P118 charger. Will let you know how it turns out
    ZX9RCAM likes this.
  6. robertc1024

    robertc1024 Moderator Staff Member Moderator TGT Supporter

    Jan 22, 2013
    San Marcos
    The chemistry changes over time on rechargeable (all) batteries. Quick fixes are snake oil. I can't tell you which are the best replacements, but after good service with the existing ones, I can tell you to just replace them. I had a similar situation with a Makita drill. It was cheaper to buy an entire new drill kit than just the factory batteries. Stupid.
    orbitup, innominate and Darkpriest667 like this.
  7. Dad_Roman

    Dad_Roman TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Apr 1, 2018

    Lithium's are nothing to screw with if your unfamiliar. Snake oil fixes? Yep. The jumping a much higher voltage through them CAN shock them back to life for a short bit but.....


    For 38 bucks, it aint worth it at all. Amazon....the safe bet. family LOVES the new Craftsman line (Lowes) and we have swapped to them.

    Bozz10mm and ZX9RCAM like this.
  8. Darkpriest667

    Darkpriest667 Actually Attends

    All lithium ion batteries have about a 2 to 3 service life. Regardless of how they are treated. Many of them swell at this point.
    Dad_Roman likes this.
  9. birddog

    birddog bullshit meter

    Mar 4, 2008
    The problem more than likely isn’t the cells, it’s the charging voltage protection circuit that’s the problem. I’ve restored the same Ryobi Li-Ion packs by taking a fully charged pack and momentarily shorting pos to pos and neg to neg on a dead pack to bump the voltage back up to 3.8+ volts. It’s worked every time.

    fwiw, I’ve taken apart these same Ryobi 18v packs to use the cells in LED flashlights and RC projects. The individual cells were Sanyo 3.7v 1000mah 18650 cells.

    * the actual measured voltage on the cells is typically 4.1 volts nominal. When they drop below 3.7 volts, the charger considers the pack dead though that’s not the case. Hence the reason to always store these packs in a fully charged state.
    F350-6 and Dad_Roman like this.
  10. F350-6

    F350-6 TGT Addict Lifetime Member

    May 25, 2009
    I've recently started buying the cordless rigid line from home depot. If you register the tool, it's covered by a lifetime warranty, including the batteries.

    I've had several of the 18v Ryobi batteries go bad over the years. The generic amazon replacement sounds like a good way to go. I'll have to look into that. I usually buy replacements around Christmas when you can get a heck of a deal on a two pack.

    birddog likes this.

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