Introduction: Salvage 9V Battery Clips From Dead Batteries

Picture of Salvage 9V Battery Clips From Dead Batteries

You can use the top of an old 9V battery as a 9V battery clip for assorted
electronics projects. The "9V clip" is also used on some batter holders of
assorted voltages (ie a 4AA battery pack.)
Here's how to make a nice wire-lead version...

(This is an old idea. The only original part here is the "strain-relief" hack.
Still, new pictorials for old ideas can be pretty useful.)

Step 1: Find a Dead Battery...

Picture of Find a Dead Battery...

Find a dead 9V battery. Batteries are supposed to be recycled these days,
so a good place to find dead one is at work, where they might have battery
recylcling stations.

The internal construction of 9V batteries varies a great deal, and some are
easier to convert to clips that others. Duracells are pretty good.

Step 2: Clip the Casing

Picture of Clip the Casing

Using wire or other cutters, clip the corners at the top of the casing.

Step 3: Peel Back the Edges

Picture of Peel Back the Edges

Use clippers or pliers of some kind to peel back the folded-over
edges between the cuts you made in the last step. Be a bit careful;
those edges are sharp!
(On some batteries, the bottom may be easier to open than the top, and
that will work just as well for our purposes.)

Step 4: Separate the Parts

Picture of Separate the Parts

You should be able to push out the guts of the battery from the bottom;
you should end up with the top, the cells themselves (may be attached
to the top by wires or straps), and a plate from the bottom.

Step 5: Separate the Top

Picture of Separate the Top

If you're lucky, there are metal straps spot-welded to the contacts, which
are easier to solder to than the contacts themselves. Cut these near the
batteries so that you have some left to wrap around wires. (Here, one of
the spot-welds has failed, so it will only be half-easy)

Step 6: Prepare to Solder on Wires.

Picture of Prepare to Solder on Wires.

Wrap wires in tabs, and vis versa, if you have tabs. Maybe clean up
the contacts a bit...

Try to be consistant about which colors go to which contact. I try to use the darker
color for the negative contact ("male" nipple. Remember that it's reversed from the
polarity of the battery itself.)

Step 7: Solder...

Picture of Solder...

Go ahead, glop on the solder. Some batteries have relatively heat-resistant
insulating material holding the tabs (another plus for duracells.) Other batteries
use normal plastic, and you'll have to be careful not to melt it too much.

Step 8: Provide "strain Relief"

Picture of Provide "strain Relief"

Loop the wires around a bit over the insulator, being careful not to short
out any bare copper to any of the contacts. This will provide quite a lot
of strain relief in the finished connector, and help prevent the wires from
pulling off the contacts during normal handling.

Step 9: Attach Backing

Picture of Attach Backing

glop on some hot glue and attach the bottom insulator from tha battery to
protect the wiring and your fingers. You should use enough hot glue to
pretty much fill in all the space the wires will make between the insulators.
squeeze together gently, remembering that hot glue is ... hot.

Step 10: All Done!

Picture of All Done!

You probably could have bought one of these for $0.15, but I'm sure
that this was a lot more fun...


lorogan (author)2014-10-21


MaCKiiN (author)2013-03-04

Thanks for sharing! :) This will really help me because the connectors you can buy cost 3 dollars at my country.

~CableGuy (author)2012-06-17

Cool! this thing is Real-Hard-to-Find around the city I live...
Thanks a lot, Dude!

iamdarkyoshi (author)2012-03-18

some batteries are so poorly manufactured that they can just be pulled or shaken apart :)

ElFantastic0 (author)2006-06-26

i've been doing this for years. use a pair of small end-cutting pliers on the top crimp and then peel the can open like a sardine tin. it takes just a few seconds and the "used" clip is usually better than most purchased ones.

westfw (author)ElFantastic02006-07-01

Purchased clips are pretty sucky. Lightweight wire with no strain relief. Easy to break. I was making a bunch of Sims costumes and hadn't made enough homemade clips, so I just bought some thinking they'd be fine. They weren't. Grr.

charlieb000 (author)westfw2011-11-02

i fill the inside of the bought clips with hot glue (may work just as well with silicon) and this helps alot with strain releif also, just dont get burnt... but yours is better

curious youth (author)2011-08-07

yeh but you saved 15 cents

DarkStar851 (author)2008-06-21

I already knew how to do this, but the radio shack here recently closed down, and an ugly "The Source! by Circut City!" Replaced it, their prices are insane. This is happening a lot in other parts of Canada too, so I hope this Instructable helps a lot of canadians.

josh1324 (author)DarkStar8512011-05-29

oh my god me too! We used to have an awesome radioshack but now all we have is the source!

Me- Im lookin for a 500K ohm potentiometer
Store Person- ....... Huh?
Me- -_-'

profpat (author)2010-01-21

super great idea!

taffypride (author)2008-12-01

thinking about doing something with a PP3 (9v) battery block and making a USB emergency charger for my ipod using this:

Saves fiddling about ripping open old PP3 (9v batteries).

shibogee (author)2008-06-29

omg, lol i was so sure that no1 had put this on instructables yet :'( lol

endolith (author)2008-04-07

Sure you can get them for $0.15, but you'll have to wait a week for delivery. It's not like you can buy them in stores anymore. This is a very useful substitute for when you don't have any lying around and need one quickly. Thanks!

Silas (author)2006-05-11

I think this is more of a lazy man's mod.. Who would take the time to get to the store to buy these things, when you can do it yourself at home? I've been doing this for years, and they work great.. I can make one in about 2 min max.

westfw (author)Silas2006-05-11

yeah, if you're going to count $5-10 in labor, don't forget to charge the same rates for the time it takes you to go to the store... Assembly will go quicker if you batch up the steps; save the pieces as you discard batteries, and to the assembly as needed, or when you have the soldering tools out for something else.

Crash2108 (author)westfw2006-05-13

Or you can always have some children do it for 10 cents a day, thats the cheapest way.

Like the big companies do, smart thinking. Eventually there will be no jobs in the US at all and we can all just sit around making gadgets.

spojaz (author)2006-05-11

yeah, but 9 volt batteries are actually batteries, not just cells. That means the acid is stuck in those other things that resemble AA "batteries" (cells)

computerwiz_222 (author)spojaz2008-03-14

This does not matter. A cell is like a AA battery but smaller and has no label. The size is AAAA to be exact. Sometimes, AAAA's with tabs can be used in place of an AA or AAA. Don't try this, but this is to prove how similar they are.

jaredforshey (author)2006-05-11

The real value in this sort of project is three-fold: you get to make it yourself, you get to reuse stuff that's probably heading for the trash, and it's a great way to quickly scrounge up a battery clip when you want to try something _now_. Sure, 5 volt regulator IC's can be had cheaply and are common enough to even make a token appearance at the local Radio Shack ("You've got questions, we've got batteries!"), but how many of us have thrown together resistor networks or chopped off a USB cable to get access to a 5 volt source in a moment of heated inspiration? Remember, serious hobbyists don't hold off just because they don't have the parts on hand!

lmao i was doing USB electrolysis of water the other day. It worked surprisingly well. I should be careful not to overload the IC for the USB Port. I do this kind of crap all the time and I love it lol

edfel01 (author)2008-03-02

looks awsome

maker12 (author)2007-12-03

i opend up a sunbeam 9v and got SCREWED!! :SOB

JamesRPatrick (author)2007-07-13

I love the fersitility of a 9v. I fou snap two together, they'll heat up and possibly explode.

duct tape (author)JamesRPatrick2007-08-13

I've made one explode before...

maker12 (author)duct tape2007-12-03

easy conect 9v to car batt and run!

i make shooting things (author)2006-12-11

when i mess with batteries they tend to exsplode.


maker12 (author)2007-11-28

the kipkay 9v to aaa hack i had falled at that but this works!

n0ukf (author)2007-06-05

I've found that the better ones to solder to are those with a fiber (like cardboard) carrier rather than the plastic carrier. The plastic ones tend to melt and deform if you hold the iron on it too long (sometimes necessary to get it tinned).

uCHobby (author)2006-10-29

I have an article about using the PC to supply power to electronics projects at

I also have a parts scrounging article that might be of interest at

GoodAtIt (author)2006-06-28


jaredforshey (author)2006-05-14

Another point worth mentioning is that in certain brands the cells will be flat rectangular packs instead of the cylindrical variety. Also, in the cheaper varieties, you'll find they sometimes skimp you by being one cell short of the necessary 6! With only 5 cells, they barely get away with being called 9-volt batteries because of the fact that new, freshly-charged cells often have slightly higher voltages that combined make up for the lack of a cell - but not for very long.

westfw (author)jaredforshey2006-05-15

rechargable "9V" batteries are where you get REAL variability. Usuaully flat rectangular batteries, good to separate out for assorted purposes. (sometimes a monolithic plastic thing with internal compartments.) The most common simply replaces the Alkaline cells with NiCd or NiMH cells, but since those are only 1.2V each, you wind up with a 7..2V battery, which is pretty iffy in some applications. (the 5-cell alkaline would be 7.5V. nominal.) Other, harder to find rechargables will add an extra cell to get 8.4V (better), or even two cells to get 9.6V (but they usually have to use smaller cells, and thus lower overall mAH capacity.)

westfw (author)2006-05-14

Huh. I just noticed that it might be easier to open the battery from the bottom. The metal looks merely folded instead of crimped, and of course the contacts aren't in the way. I'll try to get pictures and update the instructable.

saltermd (author)2006-05-11

The only thing I must say is that if you gently use a small tip slotted screwdriver, you can easily pry the lip open on the top or bottom of the battery to remove the contents. I like to take the emptied case and use it for other small projects. One is that I cut a 5mm hole in the bottom shield for a super bright LED, cut a small hole in the side for a switch, and wire in a 1000 ohm resistor to make a flashlight that plugs right into another 9V battery. It's lightweight and lasts a loooong time. Do yourselves a favor and see what else you can fit in those cases. P.S. Use your dead 9V's, not the good ones!

westfw (author)saltermd2006-05-11

Hmm. remove SOME of the cells in a good 9V battery to make room for the electronics, use the remaining cells as power source, and make a fully self-contained light that LOOKS like a 9V battery. Short the contacts to light.... Probably easier and cheaper to stick a couple of cr2032s in there, compared to attaching and replacing the AAAA cells...

Jafafa Hots (author)westfw2006-05-13

If you could do this and submit it, I think that would make a hell of a fun project. I want to turn a BIC lighter into a USB thumb drive, personally.

klee27x (author)2006-05-12

I just gained newfound respect for the 9V battery. Rewire the cells for common 3, 4.5, or 6V projects, and the storage capacity is no longer a joke.

HeerMatt (author)2006-05-11

I think this is a great idea. I teach a HS electronics course and we're ALWAYS needing these things. Thanks a lot!

klee27x (author)2006-05-11

This is so cool that I just spent ten minutes looking tru my rubbage for the battery I threw away two days ago. Didn't find it, though. :)

** 9V connectore are about 50 cents at my Radioshack, 2.50 for a 5 pack. **

ranex (author)2006-05-11

old batteries have the same battery acid as the rest so this might not be the best of ideas

westfw (author)ranex2006-05-11

1) The battery chemicals remain in the internal AAAA cells. No exposure. 2) modern consumer batteries are mostly alkaline, not acid (this doesn't mean that they're safer, unfortunately. I hear alkaline splashes in the eyes are more dangerous than acid spashes, for normally seen consumer concentrations (that may just be because alkalines tend to be stronger. Lye is 100% lye, but (car) battery acid and concentrated HCl (for pools and concrete cleaning) are only about 35%) 3) being sealed inside a battery doesn't make the chemicals involved more dangerous than other consumer chemicals like cleaners, solvents, etc. They're all capable of being handled safely with a minimum of precautions and common sense.

jswilson64 (author)2006-05-11

While I appreciate the spirit of this hack/mod, your comment in step 10 says it all. Given the value of one's time, and one's speed, this clip is probably worth about $5 - $10 for the labor alone. Doesn't mean I'm not going to crack one open and try it, though! :-)

BigD145 (author)2006-05-11

I've broken 9V's apart with no problems. As long as you're careful, it's ok. With a little work, you can get those cells into one of those AAAA LED penlights far cheaper than buying actual AAAA's. There's where you can save some real cash.

jddlwlr (author)2006-05-11

I think its a cool idea.

About This Instructable




Bio: Middle aged geek username also works at,,,
More by westfw:Visualizing EAGLE Edits with a Gerber ViewerMake a Double CD/DVD Case From a Single Sheet of PaperSingle Sided Really Bare Bones Board Arduino in EAGLE.
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