Just scored 13 laptop battery packs on EBay.

It took me all evening to take the packs apart and clean up the cells. Some packs had as little as 3 18650 cells and one had 12 cells! Most had about 6 cells.

I got 84 cells total. I paid $0.99 plus $12 shipping so $13.

I can tell that several of the packs were total lost cases and most packs seem to have a pair of bad cells. One pack had 9 orange cells that were all in the 3.8v-3.9v range. I suspect that pack was still perfectly good. They were made by LG.

If all the orange cells turn out to be good and I am confident they will, that was worth the price right there. I expect at least half of the cells to be worth keeping.

I have had good luck with harvested cells and believe them to be better quality and more reliable than the cheap xxxfire stuff places like DX sells.

nice find!

where’d you find such a cheap lot?

last time i did this i got two lenovo packs for like 8 bucks. I harvested only 7 of the 18 cells.

red sanyos. for a buck a piece i cant complain.

i tore my old laptops pack apart, would not take a charge. was two bad cells in it, still have 6 good in use

any one know the best way to get the spot welds from the tabs smoothed out? i was going to file them but wasnt sure if i should

Dremel tool with a grinding wheel. I use a diamond wheel and a light touch. I wouldn’t use a file. It is too easy to damage the wrapper around the + terminal.

haha, i use an 8” grinding wheel, but I have a fair bit of practice on there

edit; probably sounds silly, but its coarse enough that they don’t get hot, plus the grinder isn’t going to move, and there’s plenty of battery to hold onto….


Got a Dyson DC16 pack today. Those packs have terrible reviews. But inside are HIGH amp 1600mAh batteries.

This pack had 6 Sony 18650VTs and all were at ~4v, lowest 1 was 3.97v or so. Will be nice backups for my Keeppower 2250s if their capacity holds up.

Only downside so far is the pack had so much glue inside that they will all need new wraps.

EDIT: Since the pack opened at the end with unlocking tabs, the case makes and EXCELLENT battery holder for six 18650s. I cut the wires out of the inside and filled the lid with some of the sticky foam tape that had been wrapped around the batteries. That keeps the batteries from shifting inside the pack with only a very small amount of rattle. After sanding off the locking tabs inside the cap, a rubber band over the connector holds the cap to the locking tab on the body.

I find that a knife blade seems to work on the spot welds. You have to control it well and just snip the little bumps off.

Some of the wraps are ruined on mine. I got so many cells now that I will just take the best ones for now and put the ones that are low voltage or have bad wrappers in a box for later. I’m set for life on 18650s!

Just tested volts on all the cells. I have exactly 42 that have 3.75v or more. I consider them all fine. It’s strange that out of 84 cells exactly half are good.

Out of the other 42 cells, 12 have zero volts and the remaining 30 cells have some voltage that varies between 3.5-0.25v. I’m sure some of the cells in the 3.5v range are still fine but the ones under 2 volts might not be worth messing with.

Almost all of the cells with wrapping issues or other damage are in the bad group. I think that is just coincidence because I had good cells with bad wraps before. I do think I need to buy some new shrink wrap though.

I don’t use any cell below 3V.

but any that have been higher than that have been great.

Nice find! Are the orange the CGR ones? If so they probably have a capacity around 1000 mah, since the original was only 1600. If you post pics I can research them for you.

Pics are a pain, that’s why I never post them. They are a creamy orange color with a white top. They say:

The iridescent green ones seem to be good as well but haven’t charged them yet. Just finished the orange ones. Have to do them 2 at a time since all I have is a Xtar WP-2

Nice! I just tore apart my wife’s old lap top battery last week. It had 6 LG cells. Only 2 were bad. Discharge from 4.2 to 3 volts got me 424 mah on those 2. Not sure what cap they are.

Sounds like a great haul!

I was digging through the battery recycle bin at the Home Depot nearest Death valley, the one in beautiful Ridgecrest, Calif, today, where we drive 190 miles round trip every couple weeks to get our food.

First I pull out a Ryobi lithium tool power pack. Meh. usually 1500 mah … more on that later.

Then I’m really digging deep and I get one, then two then three and finally TEN various laptop power packs. 4 with Japanese cells (always panasonic or sonys); five with korean cells (always samsungs or LGs, usually LGs); and one dell with chinese cells. Will start cracking them open tomorrow. can’t wait!!!

Have NEVER EVER had such a good haul from a home depot recycle bin. Most I usually get are a couple tool packs with 1500 mah cells.

TEST THOSE LOWER MAH CELLS before you discount them. Worx power packs use chinese 1500 mah and they are okay, but very weak in a torch. But recently I have been getting these Makita packs with green sony 18650 1500 mah cells. One is always bad and the other four-five PERFECT. I alsmot chucked em but am I glad I didn’t. I don’t know the deal with these sony 1500 mah cells, but they work almost as well or as well as just about anything out there. I can’t tell the difference in brightness between them and even sammy 2600 mah. they might last a little less long, but they are DEFINITELY keepers. so do NOT discount those low-mah LGs until you test them.

I think the sonys are maybe some kind of high discharge tool battery, although I can’t find much on the web about them that points to them being special in any way, but i gotta say from experience these 1500 mah sony cells kick butt.

They are labelled: SE 18650vt.

Oh and in these makita packs, there is some obvious design glitch. aLWAYS one 18650 is toast with a rusty positive flattop like it has been overcharged. it reads maybe 1 volt if anything, but the other sony cells are ALWAYS 3.5 volts across the board in perfect shape. i think I read somehere about a firmware error in these sony packs.

Anyway must be a great day for getting pack pulls. Can’t wait until I start cracking these open tomorrow.

I use the dremel with a cutting wheel along the edges and then that’s usually enough weakening to pop ’em open without too much wrestling. Dell’s pop right open. HPs are usually a hassle.

Again, congrats on that GREAT ebay haul!!!

I was surprised buy the Ryobi drill pack when i pulled sanyos out of it they are LMR or similar cells with very low resistance and dump amperage at lights ...all they want .. The hitachi drill paks were the best ,, sanyos lmr 's again but a much smaller number 4 cells maybe ?? but they kick serious butt ..nice to have safer chemistry for dual battery setups .

Some packs are easy to break into and others a real pain ..I use very sharp shears and nip away at the corners of the case till I weaken it sufficiently to jail break the cells ..i think the ryobi pack had such an odd screw bit to open it i just gnawed like a rat around the screws and opened the pack buy just breaking away pieces of plastic ..Big pack with lots of cells .

I point blank have asked the home depot managers if i could dig in their bins and ..They really don't like the idea ..Next time Ask them what the definition of recycling really is ."

"Is it purposefully reusing an item ... or just tossing it into a different land fill "

That kind of logic sort of stuns them long enough to dig around looking for the elusive japanese tool pack ..or snag a few laptop packs .

Lowes rules ...Home Depot Blows . the women from returns help me wrap batteries i'm recycling ..while I chat them up and dig for gold .


lowes 86%

home depot 14%

13$...i think you paid too much :P

*Dark green are usually sony ..kind of an average cell

Most of my moli's kind of suck

Most of the lg's I've had sorta suck too

Sanyo and panasonics rule

I am forced to EBay laptop batteries after a long period of coming up dry looking for old cells at Best Buy, etc. You wouldn’t believe how hard they are to find.

Picked up a laptop battery on Ebay about a month ago for .99 cents with free shipping, Had 6 LG batteries inside, marked LGDBB11865 and J127E074AE. All work great.

The Sony cells are called Konion. They are a lithium-manganese cell. They have a lower capacity but are spec’d for a 10C-15C discharge rate. They can deliver 10-20 amps and not break a sweat. They have an odd property in that they are “self-balancing” They generally do not require balancing when charging (but never mix cells with different states of charge).

Here is some info:

Also, search on endless-sphere.com for “Konion” and you will find lots more info…

I’ve harvested cells from two packs which I got for free.

Six blue LG 18650, and twelve red SANYO 18650, all of which charge nicely to 4.1V and then drop to a stable 3.85-3.86V within a few hours.

The SANYOs seem to be a bit tired as far as capacity is concerned.

Used in in a P60 XM-L at 1.4A, the blue LGs last a little over one hour before they start to dim (usually around 3.3/ 3.4V), the red SANYOs dim sooner, after about 45-50 minutes. For me, that is absolutely acceptable.

Konion cells dont self-balance, but they are pretty much free of drift, meaning they have such tight tolerances that even after a lot of charges without a balancer, their voltage will be nearly the same.

@Ubehebe: Makita doesnt have a firmware error, its just that all the electronics in the battery pack draw their (though little) needed energy from only one cell, the first one. So if you let these packs sit for long enough, one cell will heavily discharge. If you charge them from time to time, they last forever as these Sony cells are really tough..