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How do I get swollen batteries out of an LED Mag Light? Answered

It's a AA 3 cell with the LED rather than the old bulb type and the batteries swelled and are now stuck.  Mag Light says that to replace the bulb the holder it's in is actually pushed back down the barrel rather than pulled off the end as they used to be, otherwise I would just pull the plastic holder off and run a dowel down the barrel to punch the old batteries out.  I don't want to send it back because, well, I kinda like doing things myself... With a little help sometimes.   Any help would be nice!



Thanks! That solved the exact same issue for me.

Drill 'em out. Messy, but effective. Wear gloves, eye protection, knee pads, hard hat.


yeah, you wouldn't want one to come flying out and turn into a brick midair then land on your unprotected head.
Always wear a hard hat.

Use explosives, that usually solves problems of things being stuck.

Or you could just use WD-40 if you don't have any explosives laying around.


8 years ago

First remove the end cap and as much of the head assembly as you can. If you have alkaline batteries in the flashlight, you need to soak the batteries with with white vinegar.  If they are the old "heavy duty" batteries, use a strong baking soda-water solution.
Do this in a plastic bucket outside. You may have to repeat the process several times. 
Its  gonna foam and make an icky gunk, but with a little patience it will eventually remove the corrosion and the batteries should then slip out.
Wash and dry thoroughly afterwards, and remember to check your batteries frequently from now on.

Without wanting to say anything negative, it sounds like you've had it on this one.


Big drill and a lot of mess, perhaps...

Can you tell whether the swollen batteries have actually burst?  Is there corrosion or "salt" deposits in the barrel (at least where you can see)?  If so, the light may or may not be salvageable.  Just FYI.

Assuming the batteries are just bigger, and not leaking, the simplest thing to try is to warm up the barrel.  It should then expand, hopefully differentially with respect to the batteries, and you can get the batteries out that way. 
  1. Boil up a kettle of water, and fill a tall container (such as a pub-style pint) with the boiling water. 
  2. Using needle nose pliers, lower the Maglite into the water nose first (do NOT get water inside the barrel!) and hold it there for 30 seconds or so.
  3. Take the Maglite out, turn it around, and try shaking the batteries down and out of the barrel.
  4. Repeat once or twice. 

If you do so too much, or keep the torch in the water too long, the heat will conduct through to the batteries and they'll start thermally expanding as well, defeating the purpose.

Good luck!