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.)
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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.)
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MaCKiiN2 years ago
Thanks for sharing! :) This will really help me because the connectors you can buy cost 3 dollars at my country.
~CableGuy2 years ago
Cool! this thing is Real-Hard-to-Find around the city I live...
Thanks a lot, Dude!
some batteries are so poorly manufactured that they can just be pulled or shaken apart :)
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)  ElFantastic08 years ago
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.
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
yeh but you saved 15 cents
DarkStar8516 years ago
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.
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- -_-'
profpat5 years ago
super great idea!
taffypride6 years ago
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).
shibogee6 years ago
omg, lol i was so sure that no1 had put this on instructables yet :'( lol
endolith6 years ago
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!
Silas8 years ago
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)  Silas8 years ago
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.
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.
spojaz8 years ago
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)
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.
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
edfel017 years ago
looks awsome
maker127 years ago
i opend up a sunbeam 9v and got SCREWED!! :SOB
I love the fersitility of a 9v. I fou snap two together, they'll heat up and possibly explode.
I've made one explode before...
easy conect 9v to car batt and run!
when i mess with batteries they tend to exsplode.
maker127 years ago
the kipkay 9v to aaa hack i had falled at that but this works!
n0ukf7 years ago
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).
uCHobby8 years ago
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
GoodAtIt8 years ago
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)  jaredforshey8 years ago
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) 8 years ago
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.
saltermd8 years ago
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)  saltermd8 years ago
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...
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.
klee27x8 years ago
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.
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