Introduction: DIY Coin Cell Holder

Picture of DIY Coin Cell Holder

Ever need something to hold some small batteries for a project you're working on? Here's how I modified an N type battery holder to accommodate a few of those coin cell batteries.

N type battery holder
coin cell batteries

sharp wire cutters
super glue

Step 1: With a Little Help From My Friends

Picture of With a Little Help From My Friends

Having picked up some 12v batteries and performed a little surgery a la Kipkay, I needed something to hold a few of the cells for a project I'm working on. In case you haven't seen it, check out his "12 Volt Battery Hack!" Instructable for more information.

The A23 battery fits very well in an N type battery holder (keep that in mind for the future), but I only need 4.5v. Just three of the cells inside the battery will work well. But three cells definitely will not fit in this holder. Let's cut it down a bit.

Step 2: We Can Work It Out

Picture of We Can Work It Out

Slicing out a bit of the N type battery holder will create a lovely holder for my small stack of coin cell batteries. Decide how many cells you need for your project and put them in the holder against the spring. Put a little pressure on them and note the length from the cells to the other end of the holder. This will give you an idea of how much you need to cut out of the middle. This design is a bit forgiving, though with the spring, and mine can hold 3 or 4 cells with no problem either way.

You can use a small fine toothed saw to cut out the bit of battery holder. If your saw is in a storage unit somewhere like mine is, a set of sharp wire cutters will work as well. Just cut down the sides, fold the base back and cut through that as well. I used a Dremel tool with a sanding band on it to clean up the edges and make them straight. Leave a bit extra with each cut to allow for this sanding.

Step 3: Come Together

Picture of Come Together

After the two sides are squared and cleaned up, put them together and set the clamp. I clamped them together first and then applied the glue. This allowed me to adjust the positioning of the two ends without them getting stuck prematurely. As well, super glue is not incredibly viscous at first and will flow into and around the seam with no problem. Let this sit overnight to cure.

Step 4: Dig It

Picture of Dig It

Once your modified battery holder is dry, admire your work and build a circuit. By cutting out the middle and gluing the ends back together we have kept the terminals intact, making circuit building easier. If your batteries are a smaller diameter than the ones I'm using you can wrap tape around them to make them a bit more stable in the holder.

For those in need of something to hold coin cells or just looking for inspiration, I hope this helps. Enjoy!


p.s. A vote for me in the Pocket-Sized Contest would be much appreciated. Thanks. =)

[This Instructable is but one piece of a whole. Together with [ Modify an Energizer Energi To Go Adapter to Charge Your Motorola Phone], they combine like Voltron to form one really cool CHDK remote. Check it out: Pocket-Sized CHDK USB Camera Shutter Remote]


EricA42 (author)2015-07-19

Thanks for the instructable, it's very clever! Alas, in my case, it solves the wrong problem. A button cell has proportions more like a shirt button. A coin cell has proportions more like coin.

Arbitror (author)2009-07-15

I've never heard the term "Coin Cell" before... Is it European? In Canada (and in the US I think) we call them "Button Cells"...

Jodex (author)Arbitror2009-10-02

I say coin cell always when I speak English, but in Finnish it's nappiparisto (nappipatteri) and "nappi" means button and "paristo"(or "patteri") means Battery.... So straight from Finland button cell and maybe in English coin cell :D

pdub77 (author)Arbitror2009-07-15

Uh, I live in Indiana. Always have.

Gonazar (author)pdub772009-09-17

I think the terms go button cells for smaller batteries as shown in these images, they're smaller than a half inch or around there
coin cells look like quarters, they're much wider diameter and thinner. most commonly used in motherboards for computers and LED throwies =D

a2sidedcoin (author)pdub772009-08-25

lol, me too funny enough, and coin cell made perfect sense.. :) Do you know if they make a button cell stack for 6v?

pdub77 (author)a2sidedcoin2009-08-26

You can just use four of these coin cells. Check out the link to Kipkay's instructable in step 1 for how to get these cells really cheap. Each cell is 1.5v.

ktalex (author)2009-09-22

pretty smart i hated those little batteries.

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-07-14

it looks a little funny : )

pdub77 (author)Sandisk1duo2009-07-14

So does a platypus. = )

Chromatica (author)pdub772009-07-21

they are the only mammals to lay eggs

pdub77 (author)Chromatica2009-07-21

And they have bills. I have bills too, but it's not the same.

Chromatica (author)pdub772009-07-21

I have two types of bills, but they still aren't attached to my noes

pdub77 (author)Chromatica2009-07-21


RazorConcepts (author)2009-06-19

Now someone needs to come up with a DIY holder for the standard 2032 batteries. You can get those for 15 cents each but the holders cost more than 1 dollar!

pdub77 (author)RazorConcepts2009-06-23

where do you get those for 15 cents?

RazorConcepts (author)pdub772009-06-23


That's why RadioShack sucks. Over $5 for one! I got mine from the "Let it Glow" contest a few months back.

Yes. I notice that before....they are selling 7805regulator for $1.59 which I could get it on the local electic shop under 50cents -_-...

pdub77 (author)RazorConcepts2009-06-23

Should have known. Thanks, Bro. (I shouldn't assume your gender. Sorry.)

richelton (author)RazorConcepts2009-06-19

I've used standard office binder clips for button cell batteries in many projects. Just use a plastic layer to insulate one side of the battery from the clip while still using the clip's pressure to hold in place one of the leads. You can even solder the binder clip itself to a lead, or drill a small hole in the binder clip to hold a terminal screw.

Threeshirts (author)richelton2009-06-29

Great suggestion richelton! I posted a question several weeks ago looking for good cheap button battery holder ideas. This fits my needs perfectly. Thanks for the suggestion!

Bartboy (author)2009-06-24

Copier type person!

pdub77 (author)Bartboy2009-06-24

What are you talking about?

robotguy4 (author)2009-06-22


Zem (author)2009-06-21

Cool! I've been looking for a way to make holders for all those little cells. I've found from experimenting that AAA battery holders work for some too.

3366carlos (author)2009-06-21

ahhh. Thanks for your explanation. Excellent idea, I must have missed where you explained 4.5V. Now it is clear to me what your objective was, to get 4.5V. My bad. You got my vote.

pdub77 (author)3366carlos2009-06-21

Thank you much, sir.

Wyit (author)2009-06-19

Beatles fan huh? This is a good Instructable.

pdub77 (author)Wyit2009-06-19

You win the nonexistent prize! I wondered how long it would take to get a comment. Excellent work, Wyit, and thank you for the compliment.

notveryreal (author)pdub772009-06-19

Aw, I was going to say that. :[

Modarius (author)notveryreal2009-06-20

OK, That is officially awesome! I just started looking for it and I figured it out... :)

jsgraham (author)2009-06-19

I use the four 357 sized button cells to power an altimeter in high power rockets. They're lined up in an N-cell battery holder. Instead of holding them in place with hot glue, I use heat shrink tubing cut to size. Heating it is not necessary if you get the correct size. The cells hold very well even under stress of up to 12-G's.

pdub77 (author)jsgraham2009-06-20

That's a fantastic idea. I think I'm going to heat shrink mine. Is there anything that heat shrink tubing can't do? I say no!

jsgraham (author)pdub772009-06-20

What I do is use a tube of heat shrink long enough to hold the button cells. Then you can do one of two things. You can tape the cells into the N-cell holder, with black electrical tape. Or you can find a piece of heat shrink tube large enough to encapsulate the entire holder and cells. Down side to the second options is you have to cut the tubing off each time you replace the cells.

3366carlos (author)2009-06-20

Excellent idea. Here is my opinion: since the batteries are in parallel it doesn't matter how many you use. Why don't you put in as many batteries as you can fit in the holder without cutting it? In fact the more batteries the more current you get and the longer your "project" will work. Weather you have three or five batteries (since they are in parallel) the net output voltage will be the same. If the batteries where in series then this project would make more sense. This would be a very useful project if space is an issue. It is not clear what your object was. Great idea thought.

pdub77 (author)3366carlos2009-06-20

Thanks for your opinion, Carlo$, but these cells are in series. They are 1.5v apiece and add up to 4.5v. If I'd put in as many cells as I could fit in the N type holder, I would have just slapped the whole battery in there without taking it apart for the individual cells (it fits, as I said in the Instructable). This would have given me 12v, though. Too high. Using three cells gives me what I need and is ridiculously cheap. I hope it makes sense to you now.

When you say "it is not clear what your object is" do you mean the point of the Instructable or the actual project I built this coin cell holder to power? The point of the Instructable is to show how to build a coin cell holder. The device I put it in will appear in a future Instructable.


Weissensteinburg (author)2009-06-19

They're so cute!

thepelton (author)2009-06-19

One thing that occurred to me is that most of these button cells are about the same size as a lot of pills. You could save those plastic and foil holders for pills, and drop button battery cells in the places of the pills. Just keep the whole thing out of the reach of a small child.

uguy (author)2009-06-19

I think these are "Button" cells, not "Coin" cells.

pdub77 (author)uguy2009-06-19

I've heard both terms. If you or someone can demonstrate conclusively the difference and that I'm on the wrong side, I'll change it. Thanks.

Father Christmas (author)pdub772009-06-19

According to wikipedia, "A watch battery, button cell, silver button cell, or coin cell is a small form-factor battery designed for use in...", so you are correct.

pdub77 (author)Father Christmas2009-06-19

Bless you, Father.

killerjackalope (author)2009-06-19

Featured, nice photos and clever little concept, wouldn't want to be making them en masse this way but it's a pretty useful solution, since I can't actually think of any electronics I've eviscerated that had a proper coin cell holder in them.

pdub77 (author)killerjackalope2009-06-19

Yeah, wouldn't want to make a hundred of them, but it works for a couple. Thanks!

Eirinn (author)killerjackalope2009-06-19

I get mine from motherboards :3

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things
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