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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else experienced the following problem?
I have 7 of the craftsman 19.2 tools, 4 NiCad, and 2 Li Ion batteries...the reciprocating saw is the worst offender, then the jig saw, followed by the circular. Here's what happens: the Nicad drain WAY too fast and every time they do it seems to further kill the battery till soon you can't cut a 2x4. Li Ions actually cut out when overworked sometimes immediately resetting and you can go again, and sometimes you have to wait 20 or 30 seconds. The Li ions have I'd say 25% less power (torque, or whatever) than the NiCads.

The long and short is they built (or Riobi did anyway) pretty good tools based on a supremely inferior battery. Both the Nicads and Li Ion batteries are simply crushed and overpowered to the point of failure, by the torque of the tools. It takes WAY too little preasure on a workpiece to to overwealm the battery. The overall the experience of owning these tools has sucked! Had I know I never would have tried to save the money. To make matters worse there is virtually NO support on these whatsoever UNLESS you know the secret phone number of the craftsman repair depot in Tenn. (214) 553-6777. You don't get that number till you send something in and get the tag back...ALL, and I mean ALL, of sears or craftsman support staff seems to be completely unaware that this place exists or what to do with a tool problem.

Please tell me if you've experienced the same problems with these tools because I'm very skeptical it's my PARTICULAR tools that have this issue.
 

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Thanks for posting that phone #.

I do not have any Craftsman cordless tools but I do have some DeWalt 18V NiCads where I found that the batteries need to be rebuilt every 2-3 years depending on use. I also have 14.4 V Panasonic and 10.2V Bosch for 2-3 years but have not yet had any battery problems.

Some members of this forum rebuid their own batteries e.g. Brokenknee
http://www.diychatroom.com/f29/repair-help-w-cordless-trimmer-45161/


I take my 18V DeWalt NiCads down to a local rebuilder:
http://www.batteriesplus.com/

They use a spotwelder to weld in a new set of batteries while I wait.

There are a number of walk-in rebuilders in bigger cities and also a number of mail-in locations.

.

 

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I have a lot of the Ryobi tools and batteries, and I have not experienced any problems like yours.

Li batteries will cut out if overloaded. This is a safety machanism to prevent overheating. All Li batteries have this. I have never had mine cut out, but I have not had the Li batteries long.

Correct. the NiCd batteries can pull more power; the Li batteries last longer at a constant load. Also, with the Craftsman 19.2 line, the NiCd batteries have a higher voltage. Due to the available sizes of the cells, the Craftsman Li battery is the same voltage as all the other 18 volt lines (18v nominal, 21v fully charged), wheras the 19.2 NiCd battery will have a nominal voltage of 19.2v and 22.5v fully charged.

I would not normally expect NiCd batteries to deteriorate in the fashion you describe. The only thoughts I have is that you might be developing a memory if you use them exclusively in these high load tools, although memory is supposed to be non-existent with power tool batteries these days, or you keep your batteries on the charger for extended times and are slowly damaging them that way. The 2 easiest/quickest ways to damage NiCd batteries is to leave them in the charger constantly, or to run them down too far by leaving them in a tool and turned on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't think I managed to convay the severity of the problem. This is not a 2-3 year rebuild and I don't think it's memory, but if it is it's completely unacceptable.

Let me quantify the problem: This refers to the circular saw with a brand new thin kerf blade
NiCad's: New = 12-15 2x4's, after 25 charges = 2-3 2x4's, soon after 1 2x4
Li Ion's: New = 15-20 2x4's, after 10 charges = 2 2x4's

I mean it's ridiculous to the point of wanting to tape m80's to each to find out which makes the biggest bang. Very expensive mistake buying this junk. They're good tools, but a tool is only as good as it's battery:censored: It's like putting a moped fuel tank in a Hummer.
 

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Sounds like you got a bum steer here. I have the the craftsman 20v (pro series) I've had no problems with the batteries so far (knock on wood) The pro series has fewer tools but seems that the battery is much better. With stuff like this i'm one of those chumps who will buy the extended warranty just in case.....if you spent 300-400 bucks on a set like this then the extra 30 is probably worth it for a replacement over the next 3 years. Be ware with sears though if it is a sears warranty or an external one. Some tools i've bought i can bring in to the store for repair or replacement. On my 20v set it was an external thing though. I had a problem with my drill and they ended up reimbursing me for the whole set through the mail.....wasn't a bad deal in retrospect. I had one bum tool (which wasn't really the problem, i just had to loosen the chuck) and then they gave me all the money back which i ended up using to build the set up even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I assume you got it back to them within a year right?...I, unfortunately, am past a year so...I'm gonna ask, thanks for the info on that. I already started to move over to the makita stuff. managed to get a recipricating saw, circular saw, hammer drill, 2batteries and a charger for $367 including shipping all brand new. If I had only known this stuff was that reasonable ala ebay...live and learn.
 

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I use Makita and Rigid cordless power tools for the most part and have had good luck with them. Don't expect to cut a lot of 2x's with most cordless tools. They are designed to make a few quick cuts and most are light duty. If you want to do the majority of your cutting with them you need to look at the 36 volts. You can frame for almost 8 hrs with the Hilti WSC7.25-A36 and two batteries. Also make sure you are letting the tool do the work and are not trying to force the tool to make fast cuts. I see a lot of people do this then they wonder why the batteries go out quickly on them. What has been previously mentioned about leaving batteries on the charger and or tools is also correct.

I would be wary of purchasing tools on ebay. You don't know if they have been abused or if the batteries are on their last leg or even working at all. Replacement batteries are expensive so keep that in mind when purchasing.
 

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Both my brother and I have the craftsman 19.2V drill and impact driver. His is about 3-4 years old and in the last month of so, he has noticed his batteries draining quickly. I noticed that his charger seemed touchy too. I know it sounds stupid, but check to make sure the charger is working properly.

Personally, I think the drill and impact drivers are excellent. I know it's a pain to switch out the batteries but if you use them a lot, it's probably worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
yeah that hilti stuff is awesome...except I want to keep my house and car:laughing: re ebay yeah point taken...these were power sellers with 99% ratings and between them and factory warentees I'm not worried about the tools...it's the batteries sitting around for years that I'm concerned about. I'll let you know what happens

2 side notes: no matter what the ebay seller says as far as return policy goes, you have 30 days to return the item if there's a problem. That's ebay's policy and it trumps whatever any seller says.

I tried the "zapping dead cells with a higher voltage source" method to try to revitalize my dead p.o.s. craftsman battery and it worked! there were 8 cells that had next to no charge for whatever reason...zapped em, charged it and it seems to now be working. I'm looking forward to using this meathod to bring some slacker batteries back to working order.

Cibula yeah I have 3 chargers, 7 tools (3 that are overpowering the batteries) and 6 batteries which all fail the same way. the only logical conclusion is that the system overall is flawed. And I agree they are nice tools...but if the batteries are to weak to handle the draw from the tools then the whole line is foobar.
 

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I guess it all comes down to how often you use them. If your an avid DIYer than they'll work just fine. If your a contractor I'd go for near top of the line.
 

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Craftsman tools just suck and thats all there is to it. Use them for ratchets and sh#t... Your pushing it with cordless sawing anyway. best i've used has been 14.4 nicad makita. plug in to cut... don't waste cordless money on the cheap ones guys!
 

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I love my little cordless Ryobi circular saw. Only 5.5 inch blade, but will happily go through 2x stud. For making just a few cuts it makes things quick and easy. No extension cords, and it's lighter, and feels safer than a regular corded model.

Some people might think of them as 'toys', but it gets the small jobs done with less effort. Used it yesterday to make a couple of cuts across a 2x4 and one lengthwise about 3 feet. I don't expect to get a lot out of the battery with the saw, and would pull out the corded tool if I had a lot of work to do.
 

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Craftsman tools just suck and thats all there is to it. Use them for ratchets and sh#t... Your pushing it with cordless sawing anyway. best i've used has been 14.4 nicad makita. plug in to cut... don't waste cordless money on the cheap ones guys!
I've never had a problem and I own several craftsman tools. Like I said for a DIYer they'll be fine...
 
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