Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

As much as I enjoyed this unusual technical info from GeekDad contributor Roy Wood, I was disappointed to learn that not all 18,650 things you can do with an old laptop battery are specifically listed in the article. Moreover, by a truly amazing coincidence, “18650” turns out to be the part number for the most common size lithium-ion cell used in assembling laptop batteries.

Three 18650s are pictured above, and as you can see, they are slightly larger than AA batteries. Importantly, they are also much, much more dangerous, and Roy goes to great and appropriate lengths to emphasize that opening a laptop battery and extracting the cells for your own projects is very hazardous.

If you are competent to negotiate those hazards, however, and are interested in recovering 18650s from old batteries and putting them to use, Roy’s article is a pretty good starting place. The individual cells are very powerful, and since a single bad cell can kill the entire battery, there is potentially a lot of value to be recovered. [via Boing Boing]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnl1fDfusItc1UPJeDlaUb77AQoD15u5Zc LDM

    “a single bad cell can kill”

    Pun not intended?  As the article says if you misuse/short them they can cause you great pain in a very short amount of time.

    • Anonymous

      It’s amazing how fast you can run with a improperly refurbished battery pack that has blue flames shooting out the side.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sysadmn Paul Joslin

    By another amazing coincidence, those cells are 18 mm in diameter and 65 mm long!

  • http://profiles.google.com/sysadmn Paul Joslin

    By another amazing coincidence, those cells are 18 mm in diameter and 65 mm long!

  • http://www.meritline.com/iphone-stylus-touch-pen---c-14709.aspx iPad Stylus

    hey this is really impressive. I read the article and i want to give you thanks for this nice post.
     

  • http://www.kingwellbattery.com Annie Kingwell

    In fact,recycling of old laptop battery is a big problem.But there is a potential market value.

    http://www.kingwellbattery.com