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Dodgy cheap makita lithium batteries off ebay.. Chinese copies..

Discussion in 'Tools and Materials' started by Drex, 7 Jun 2017.

  1. Drex

    Drex

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    I have a few Makita cordless tools, the main one I use frequently is my reciprocating saw which can drain a 3 ah battery in 20 minutes.

    Owing to the price of "proper" Makita batteries I made the mistake of ordering the less than half price Chinese spare batteries, which somewhat predictable became non functioning either almost immediately or shortly after the 30 ebay return time.. Certainly before any of the 7 I have had in total had taken more than 40 or so recharges..

    Looking into the problem in more detail, it seems there is a design flaw in these batteries whereby one of the cells packs in quickly and then then sets the chip to disable the battery so it cannot be charged again.

    If anyone wishes to google the issue they will surely find out the details..

    But, my original Makita battery does seem to be still functioning and has outlasted the 7 replacements.

    My question is, should I get rid of all my Makita tools and replace them with with another make that can also make batteries that are reasonably priced and reliable?

    Any thoughts gents?
     
  2. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    That would depend, whether it stacks up cost wises. To replace all your cordless tools, for the sake of a better but more costly genuine battery.
     
  3. Name a brand with cheaper batteries that last as long as makita.

    Fact of the matter is, they're all the same. You'll lose a fortune selling up to change to another brand.

    Makita 5ah is around the £60-65 mark
    Milwaukee 5ah is around the £55-60 mark
    DeWalt 5ah is around the £50-60 mark

    So for me then it would come down to the quality of tools and accessories; I work with metal all day so it came down to two choice for me, Makita or Milwaukee and when I started to invest into a platform, Makita (and in my opinion still now) offered the best alternative tools to Milwaukee.

    How good are your tools and is it worth scrapping them for the sake of £10/15 quid on a battery that could last you 5 years or more? Buffer the cost and buy one battery every now and again rather than a pack of them at once.
     
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  4. Drex

    Drex

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    Aye. I have little experience with battery tools but the Makita saw is a great one and the only downside is needing several batteries during a session because even with the quick charging of 20 mins, the charger seems only capable of doing a fast charge on the first battery, then its twice as long after that for some reason, perhaps the unit overheats?

    My concern is more with the cheap Makita battery copies than the originals. False economies, but who wants to pay £200 for a brace of 4 batteries needed for the job when they can get 5 that appear to be identical for less than £100?

    Looking at ebay, there seems to be a market for dead Makita batteries, obviously people are taking them apart and salvaging the cells that are good, because the chip that bricks the battery is usually only doing that for the sake of one cell that takes the brunt of the abuse..
     
  5. Heat is always an issue for the battery and the charger. Lower temps the better. When I'm set up on site I have 4 makita chargers in my site box and a twin charger I keep at home so if i have more than one battery that needs charging I have alternative chargers. Not to mention some of the other guys I work with never seem to have chargers with them or enough batteries :cautious:.

    Batteries are expensive because tool companies know you'll pay it. I've averaged about a 40% profit margin after the cost of 18650 cells, PCB and plastic moulding.

    The risk with knock offs is they do recycle cells, so you're not necessarily buying a battery made up of new cells. I've asked the question before if anyone else has used them and there has been a mixed response. I know people that do use them personally without anything bad to say but theyre often people who can't bring themselves to spending on name brand gear anyway.

    Up until now I'm just short of £800 on 18v batteries from makita (excluding 10.8v from makita, 10.8v from dewalt and 18v from Milwaukee and ones ive had stolen). When you look at it like that, yeah it's expensive but if you're going to remove other things like the cost of testing corded gear for on site and the return you could make on saved time not rigging up leads or dragging them round, they can pay for themselves.

    There's pros and cons to everything. Personally I'd stick to what I know and buy the proper thing with a proper(but limited) warranty. If you get through 2 or 3 knock offs in the same as one genuine, are you really benefitting?
     
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