Tool Battery Teardowns: The 12V Lithium Twins (DeWalt and Ryobi)

It’s been over a year since I’ve posted any tool battery teardowns, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone terribly much that I’m the sort of person who collects tool batteries wherever I roam.  This week, I’ve got a pair of cute little 12V lithium batteries to pull apart - one DeWalt, and one Ryobi.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Comments from Blogger)

2018-08-21 by Anonymous

The Ryobi 18V packs need the protection because they are compatible with the old NiCad tools, i guess theses would be compatible with old 12V nicad tools aswell.

2018-08-21 by Russell Graves

That’s a good point - I didn’t think about the NiCad compatibility.

2018-08-21 by Anonymous

The Red Cells from the dewalt pack are probably Sanyo UR18650SA.

2018-08-21 by Anonymous

Ya it makes them more expensive but at least you don’t have to re-buy tools, Ryobi batteries are also great for powering DIY stuff because of their protection.

2018-08-24 by Thunderheart Reviews

LS IMR-18650BB is a Lishen 1200mAh cell. Often used in power tools.

2018-08-24 by Russell Graves

Thanks! Do you know the chemistry on that?

2018-08-25 by Thunderheart Reviews

Cathode material is LiMn2O4 according to but i wouldn’t trust them much because they mentioned nominal voltage as 3.8V which is obviously wrong and they put photos of another cell as IMR-18650BB’s.

2018-09-11 by Unknown

Excellent details, thanks for sharing. I have two of these DeWalt dcb120’s (manufactured in 2013), which have LG HB4 3.6v 1500mah cells (in a brown casing). One of them suddenly stopped taking a charge and the other still works fine. I recently soldered three used cells (Chinese 3.7v 2000mah from an old eBike pack) in there. It reads 12.49v at full charge and appears to be working fine. I’m not sure how to test this but am wondering if the charger will quit at the original 4500mah or if it will give the new cells a full 6000mah.

2018-09-11 by Russell Graves

It will just charge to the fully charged voltage, so you should have the full 2Ah capacity. Capacity doesn’t add in series - only in parallel. So you have 12V/2000mAh with the new cells.

2018-09-27 by Unknown

No, it’s Sanyo UR18650SAX exactly, SA’s has more low amps perfs, are useless for batterytool

2018-09-27 by Unknown

No, it’s not Sanyo UR18650SA, it’s Sanyo UR18650SAX exactly with more continuous amps, better for batterytoolpack.

2019-04-12 by Badger

I really enjoy your blog and your style of presentation with picture-clear, simple and logical.
Depending on the manufacturing year, Dewalt will swap and use different 18650
I rebuilt a 12v pack before stumbling on your site. In this pack they used Brown LG HB4 and I had used Samsung INR 15M from a Milwaukee M12 to keep it going.

A short Video here:
Rebuild a Dewalt battery pack with Milwaukee M12 lithium cells - YouTube

2020-04-08 by burm

Hello I have a Ryobi screw driver (4V - 4.6Wh - 160mh) with an IMR battery which read

LS IMR-18650BB AL0288 20050291 made in china. Similar to the one you have pictured in the ryobi post above. Do you know of anywhere I can get a replacement of if any newer batteries will be better than the origianl? as i am having problems sourcing a replacement. Thanks in advance for your help.