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Thread: Questions about Craftsman NiCad tools and upgrading to Li-Ion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Western NY
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    295

    Questions about Craftsman NiCad tools and upgrading to Li-Ion

    Hello everyone. I have a Craftsman 19.2 Drill/Driver kit that came with a 5" Circular Saw, worklight, hand vacuum, jig saw and Orbital Sander that is about 6 or 7 years old. It came with a NiCad battery and charger. A few years ago, I bought three more batteries for the tools and they held up well but are now nearing the end of their life. I would really like to start using Li-Ion batteries but I don't know if they are interchangeable with the tools. Does anyone know if they are and if so, if I bought Craftsman Li-Ion batteries would I need a different charger as well or would the charger I have charge Li-Ion batteries too? I would also like to add an impact driver to round out what I have. Would a Craftsman 19.2v impact driver with battery and charger be the way to go considering what I have or should I just start new and buy a different brand of tools using Li-Ion batteries? I really only use the drill/driver and worklight as I normally would reach for my Ridgid circular saw, Bosch Jig Saw, shop vac and my Dynabrade pneumatic ROS. Thanks for your replies.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
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    1,021
    According to Sears, all of their C3, 19.2V tools will take the new C3 Lithium Ion battery. The new Li-Ion charger will charge the old NiCad batteries, but the old charger will definitely not charge the new Li-Ion batteries. I'm pretty sure that you can buy a Li-Ion C3 drill with battery and charger for about the price of just the battery without charger. Sears always has big discounts this time of year, so it's always worth looking at their loss leaders.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    N.W. Missouri
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    1,109
    David is correct. Now is the time to watch for sales.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
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    2,182
    As a Craftsman 19.2 V many tools owner as well, I would have to ask, is it worth the upgrade? The tools work, and work well for the average guy like myself, but if I were to want to upgrade to Li-Ion, I'd personally go with a "better" brand....... Makitas are nice... They work MUCH better than the Craftsman drill drivers. For the saws and vacuum, I have corded models as well, which work way better. Not Craftsman.

    Justy my $0.02.

  5. #5
    I too have a bunch of these tools. I like the fuel gauge on the LION batteries and the fact that they hold a charge longer when not in use.
    A while back, I got a good deal on the Bosch 12V Max tools. I hardly ever pick up my bigger tools now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    295
    Thanks for the replies. After I posted my questions, I did some research and read post after post on various websites about how the Craftsman 19.2V Impact Driver has problems and the Craftsman LI-Ion batteries they use have a short life span compared to other brands of batteries. Maybe my best option would be to take the advise of all of you. Buy a couple of new NiCad batteries so my existing tools will still work and pass those on to my 18 year old son and buy a new Drill Driver and Impact Driver that uses Li-Ion batteries for myself. I will spend more money than what I was hoping to but I think I'll be happier in the long run. I'll still have the old tools around to borrow from my son if the need ever arose and Dad gets new tools which is always a good thing Now all I need to do is research which brand of Drill/Drivers and Impact Drivers to buy!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Trussville, AL
    Posts
    3,585
    I love my Hitachi Li-Ion drill and so far like my PC li-Ion impact driver (I even like my little 12V Li-Ion B&D drill), but I've been considering changing over to Ryobi One cordless tools. I'm sure they aren't the greatest, but most of my cordless tools (other than the drills) don't see a lot of use, and I'm thinking I can pick up Ryobi's cheap off CL or on super sales from HD and purchase a few of their Li-Ion batteries and dual mode chargers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    3,917
    You might also consider getting the Craftsman NiCd batteries rebuilt. The battery packs look like they're held together with screws so can be disassembled and the cells replaced. I had a couple NiCd batteries rebuilt by MTO battery. They were a huge upgrade over the OEM batteries. Longer life, very little self discharge. Whether or not rebuilding makes $$ sense is your call.

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