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Thread: Old Milwaukee cordless tools

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    Old Milwaukee cordless tools

    I was at the annual 4H-farm auction this week.

    One of the box lots had a NOS genuine set of standard tines for old school Troy Built tillers. I've got a Horse model tiller, but just changed out to HD tines a couple years ago. Anyway, the standard tines are ~$13 each and 16 in a set........I got the box for $22.50.

    The box has a whole bunch of older Milwaukee cordless tools in it, appear low use/good shape: circular saws, hammer drills, sawzalls, chargers for old style V18 Ni/MH and Li batteries.....no batteries so I can't test them. I already have some newer M18 stuff: drill, sawzall, circular saw, flashlight, charger. But I could use the hammer drill and maybe keep a sawsall and circ saw for spares, then flip the rest on CL, if I can see if they run. I don't have time for pictures of the lot now.

    What are opinions on the function of these older tools, if you could use them with newer M18 18V batteries?

    I'm getting an adapter so I can test the tools using my M18 Milwaukee bats. The adapter has an interesting charge port for USB too, so you can charge those off M18 batts too. Worth a try for $15?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any thoughts on the above?

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    I have older Milwaukee tools and bought that adapter.
    Tools work just fine!

    Joe

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    Absolutely, it is worth a try!

    On the Milwaukee tools, specifically, I would bet the tools are just fine. Most of the time, even when the tool quits working, the motor is fine; it is the battery that goes bad. The batteries can be expensive to replace so it is often as cheap to just buy a whole new tool than replace the battery.

    If you can find a box of battery packs for them (even if the battery packs do not hold a charge)...

    Cordless tool batteries are usually pretty easy to revive. Getting the plastic case open is the hardest part. Some of the newer ones just snap together, but older ones cannot be opened without damaging the plastic. - No worries. Use a cutting wheel on a Dremel to cut it open along the seams in the plastic. Try to keep the cut as narrow as possible so you can glue it back together again with SuperGlue when you get it fixed.

    Once you get inside the battery pack, almost all of the manufacturers use exactly the same battery calls. The cells are called 18650's and they are an industry standard for everything rechargeable. Even Tesla car batteries are just several thousand 18650s wired together with a bunch of other crap for cooling, etc. They look like an oversized AA battery, but they are 3.6 volts. (Some of the newer ones may be marked 3.7 volts, but they are the same). If a battery pack cannot be charged or does not hold a charge, most of the time it is due to one cell being bad. Just use a VOM to measure each cell; the one that has significantly lower voltage than the rest is the bad one. Replace it and you are good to go!

    I was buying 1-2 battery packs per year for my cordless shop tools. Since I figured out how to repair them, I have not bought a single new battery pack! That was over 5 years ago. I even watch yard sales and buy old battery packs and laptop batteries that do not work usually for pennies. I take them apart and the good cells become the replacements for my cordless tools when they need it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by red442joe View Post
    I have older Milwaukee tools and bought that adapter.
    Tools work just fine!

    Joe
    Thanks Joe! I'll order the adapter

    So what do you have for the older tools and how have they held up?

    With the adapter, can you charge the newer M18 batteries on the old charger? I got 4 18V chargers in the lot.

    I'm also looking at the "jobsite charger" that uses a car/truck cigarette lighter. That uses 12V DC input so could hook that up to a 12V solar system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inor View Post
    Absolutely, it is worth a try!

    On the Milwaukee tools, specifically, I would bet the tools are just fine. Most of the time, even when the tool quits working, the motor is fine; it is the battery that goes bad. The batteries can be expensive to replace so it is often as cheap to just buy a whole new tool than replace the battery.

    If you can find a box of battery packs for them (even if the battery packs do not hold a charge)...

    Cordless tool batteries are usually pretty easy to revive. Getting the plastic case open is the hardest part. Some of the newer ones just snap together, but older ones cannot be opened without damaging the plastic. - No worries. Use a cutting wheel on a Dremel to cut it open along the seams in the plastic. Try to keep the cut as narrow as possible so you can glue it back together again with SuperGlue when you get it fixed.

    Once you get inside the battery pack, almost all of the manufacturers use exactly the same battery calls. The cells are called 18650's and they are an industry standard for everything rechargeable. Even Tesla car batteries are just several thousand 18650s wired together with a bunch of other crap for cooling, etc. They look like an oversized AA battery, but they are 3.6 volts. (Some of the newer ones may be marked 3.7 volts, but they are the same). If a battery pack cannot be charged or does not hold a charge, most of the time it is due to one cell being bad. Just use a VOM to measure each cell; the one that has significantly lower voltage than the rest is the bad one. Replace it and you are good to go!

    I was buying 1-2 battery packs per year for my cordless shop tools. Since I figured out how to repair them, I have not bought a single new battery pack! That was over 5 years ago. I even watch yard sales and buy old battery packs and laptop batteries that do not work usually for pennies. I take them apart and the good cells become the replacements for my cordless tools when they need it.
    Inor thanks for the info on the battery packs and fixing them.

    That is something I'd be able to do and have the tools. But now I will have more things I need to scrounge at tag sales auctions and CL....... and maybe I will be dumpster diving looking for them too....

    I also got another chainsaw I don't really need at the auction, but seems in good condition and price was right. $85 + tax/buyers premium for a 026 Stihl. I've worked on/own those Stihls so I'm hoping to clean it up and flip it for a profit.

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    Still waiting on power/batteries, here is the haul:

    4 - 6 1/2" skil saws

    1- Hammer Drill

    1- Sawzall

    2- 12-18V chargers old style

    2- 18-28V chargers old style

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd say you made out like a bandit! I dug a corded craftsman circular saw out of the junk metal pile at recycling center that only needed a new $5.00 trigger switch. Us poor boys make treasure out of trash.
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    Update. The battery adapter came in today. The USB port will charge phones and 5V stuff off the M18 battery.

    The adapter also works fine powering ALL the tools, every single one works. I've got a hammer drill now........rest of the stuff I'm flipping on CL. Maybe keep one of the saws with best blade for a spare and sawzall if I don't get decent offers.

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