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In my last post, I tried to answer the question, “Are Greenworks and Kobalt Batteries Interchangeable?” The answer is yes and no.
Greenworks and Kobalt batteries are incompatible out of the box, but they can be made compatible with a few minor modifications. In this post, I am giving you a tutorial on how to use Greenworks batteries in Kobalt tools.
This tutorial will also work for Snapper, Victa, and Powerworks batteries. I will be demonstrating using Snapper and Greenworks 60V batteries.
Note: This post is provided for informational purposes only. If you decide to make any modifications to a battery, do so at your own risk. The author takes no responsibility for your personal choices. Warranties may be voided by modifying original equipment, and personal injury may occur through the use of power tools. Electrical equipment is dangerous. Fire or equipment failure can occur if attempting to use parts not certified by the manufacturer or if batteries are damaged. You have been warned.
Why Would I Want to Use a Different Brand of Battery?
Several situations can make using a different battery brand attractive. I was able to get a Snapper 60V battery recently that was just 1/4 the cost of the Greenworks version of that model!
Unfortunately, that price cut may signal the the 60V Snapper line, which is Walmart exclusive, has been discontinued. It already appears Walmart started selling Powerworks 60V outdoor equipment to maintain an alternative.
Victa also eliminated their 80V line, so owners of these tools cannot get new Victa batteries. Whether saving money, replacing parts no longer available, or receiving a weed eater as a gift that is a different brand than your mower there are several reasons to use a different brand battery.
Why Can’t I Use a Greenworks Battery in a Kobalt Tool?
Kobalt and Greenworks batteries have different slots or grooves on the side to match the tools from that brand.
I took a picture of my 60V Greenworks battery next to a 60V Snapper battery to show the difference, and there are similar differences between 80V Greenworks and Kobalt batteries.
The guide rails the battery fits against are visible inside the mower’s battery cover.
How Can I Make a Different Brand of Battery Fit?
There are two possible solutions to this problem.
- Cut or grind the rails out of the mower.
- Cut the case on the battery to fit different rails.
I chose option 2 so that I could get more tools using the battery system without modifying each one. I have seen pictures of lawn mowers modified with option 1, and the battery bay plastic fits the battery exactly.
It seems like removing each rail leaves a hole in the battery bay, exposing parts to moisture that are normally sealed. I didn’t want to risk damage by cutting permanent holes in my mower.
I modified a Snapper 60V battery to fit Greenworks equipment, but the method applies to the 80V batteries of this style. Double check everything for yourself before cutting! Fixing a mistake is much harder than preventing one.
Which Batteries are Potentially Compatible?
As I discussed in my previous post, batteries made by Global Tools using their design should be compatible with modifications.
There is not an official list of these batteries, so I have gathered one below. It is possible more exist, so let me know if you spot one I missed.
These 60V batteries all appear to be compatible with case modifications:
These 80V and 82V batteries all appear to be compatible with case modifications:
What Tools Do I Need?
- Dremel, Saw, or other tool capable of cutting plastic
- Optional: Dremel Drill Press Work Station
- Silver Sharpie Marker or way to make visible marks
- Screwdriver with size 10 Torx (star) security bit
Procedure to Modify Battery To Fit Another Brand
Step 1: Measure & Mark
Every battery I could compare seemed to have the same upper slots, and both sides had the same slots. The easiest way to measure and mark where to cut is to use a battery that already works!
TIP: Be sure to match the battery cases top to top and bottom to bottom, because it is easy to accidentally flip one battery the wrong way.
I marked length and width of the slot against the Greenworks battery using a silver Sharpie and a metal ruler to create full guide lines on the Snapper battery.
Step 2: Remove the Cell Pack
Open the battery case before cutting anything to remove the cell pack. This step prevents accidentally cutting a cell, which is a fire hazard.
A size 10 Torx (star) security bit works best to remove the battery case screws.
It is possible, with care and effort, to use a standard T-10 to remove the screws, but the security bit is handy for many projects. The security bit is worth having to save frustration. I recommend a set like this one.
Step 3: Cut the Case
Inside the battery case on both sides the plastic is thicker. The extra plastic allows more slots to be cut without leaving a hole in the case.
I used a Dremel in the Drill Press Workstation, router bit, and a clamped cutting jig, but cutting can be done several ways. A table saw with a guide also would work nicely.
If you are very confident and don’t need it to look pretty it is possible to hand cut with a Dremel or other tool. An advantage with the Drill Press Workstation or table saw is the ability to set a consistent depth and maintain a smooth line.
I set the depth using existing slots, while the Dremel was off, and put the bit down in the slot. Whatever you choose, take it slow and careful for the best result.
I cut the upper slot first, because it required more attention. The existing slot on the Snapper case crossed where Greenworks needed a notch to the bottom.
I was able to switch to a cutting wheel for the lower part. After resetting the depth to match the wheel, the bottom was easy to complete.
Step 4: Reassemble & Test
Here is a look at the Snapper battery after I finished and cleaned it up. It doesn’t exactly look factory fresh, but it doesn’t look too bad either.
I have used the new battery in my mower. It works exactly like the one that came with it. At 1/4 the cost, it definitely was worth the time and effort.
Is It Possible to Create a Universal Battery?
It may be possible to create a “universal” battery for devices within a voltage family. Because only the bottom slots seem to change, a single large notch in the whole lower section could work.
For more information on why this is possible see my post, “Are Greenworks and Kobalt Batteries Interchangeable?”
One downside is that the battery charger uses the lower slot to guide the battery when charging vertically, so charging horizontally would be required. I think that is the only issue.
Have you tried to convert one battery to another brand? Have questions? Please comment below!
Thursday 11th of May 2023
Brand Cramer, also same as Powerworks- 82Volts, also i Have a back pack 12,5Ah/82V for chain saw
Wednesday 8th of February 2023
I like your posts and have made the same mod to 80v greenworks battery cases to fit my kobalt tools. I used a dremmel carving bit freehand successfully both times.
A tip would be to gradually remove the plastic and slowly Work from the open end to the closed end checking often for fit. You can end up with a nice tight fit in your chargers and tools.
I appreciate all the warnings on safety.
Work on the case without the battery in it. Work with glasses on Work outdoors
Sunday 23rd of October 2022
I have 80V 5AH Kobalt battery which "switched" to work as about 1.5-2AH battery (I have another 5Ah battery and a 2.5AH to compare). It stops working in the tool and 2 of the 3 LEDs still light up. It charges back to 3 LEDs, and then I can use it down to 2 LEDs. It's like it has lost 2/3rds of its capacity. Now, I got myself a security torx 10 bir and took the face off. The cell assembly does NOT slide out. I removed the board and tried to pull the cell assembly with a significant force -- still unable to pull it out. Anyone with any words of wisdom?
Tuesday 16th of November 2021
I guess a 3rd option would be to make and extension cord for the battery connector and connect the battery outside the tool. This way it doesn't damage either the battery or the tool itself.
Thanks for the article, very helpful!
Friday 20th of August 2021
Can I just take the outer case off of the old dead kobalt 60v and put it on the new green works 60v battery? Would the kobalt charger work with the green works battery as well?
Saturday 4th of June 2022
@Brad Scott, Green works battery worked great after I swapped the cover with the Kobalt one. Green works seems to also have a better controller on the battery as it shows more info when it is charging.
Thursday 24th of March 2022
@Brad Scott, this is ridiculous of the price of these batteries. 90% of the time it is a single cell that has gone bad. They should make these packs with changeable (single) battery cells. Instead of welding the tabs to the cell. They could make the cells with screw ends, you could take apart the case, check each cell, then replace the single bad cell. The rest of cells work fine. Reduce waste and reduce cost. I have two 80V batteries that went bad, and won't charge. I went back to gas power tools as the battery cost to much to replace.
Friday 20th of August 2021
Yes, a case swap is possible and fairly easy, if you have the security bit to remove the screws. The Kobalt charger should work without problem.