Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 21, 2011

Make a Cordless Drill with a Dead Battery a Corded Drill

at 9:42 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks


Stynus saw the Drill Battery Charger Repair article and sent in his drill repair to Make a Cordless Drill with a Dead Battery a Corded Drill. In his case he had a battery for his Bosch cordless drill die and with the cost of a replacement being so high he decided to adapt the drill into a corded drill for bench work. He still has the ability to use it as a cordless drill since he still has one functional battery pack. Even if your battery charger is still good the current output from the charger will not be great enough to power the drill.

By gutting the battery pack of the old nicad cells and installing a connector directly to the internal power connection you now have a simple way of powering the drill using an external source. Stynus is using his 12 volt bench supply to power the 14.4V drill so it won’t have the same power and speed as the battery pack did but it will still be usable. A simple series diode protects the power supply from reverse EMF that would be caused by the motor.

One other thing that can be done is rebuild your drill battery pack, you can often get replacement nicad cells quite inexpensively compared to the replacement battery unit from the manufacturer.


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6 Responses to “Make a Cordless Drill with a Dead Battery a Corded Drill”

  1. ElectroNick Says:

    I wonder if cordless drill manufacturers will take notice: half the time I find myself using a cordless tool in a place where I could have easily plugged its power supply into the mains power. Wouldn’t it be nice if they came with power jacks for situations like these (and also as a backup for when the battery pack has died)

  2. Haku Says:

    It’s a great idea, in the writeup I note that he uses a 12v PSU, this got me thinking; laptop power supplies are available in a fairly wide range of voltages with high ampage so you could easily get one with a voltage close enough for a 12v, 14v, 18v etc. drill, and they’re usually a lot cheaper than a new battery.

    I wonder how the drill feels to use balance-wise when it doesn’t have the battery weight on it.

  3. bob hemet Says:

    A laptop power supply will out put about 3.5 amps and a cordless drill will require more. After 3.5 amps the laptop power supply will cut out to protect itself from burn out because the components are not rated for that high current. A psu power supply would be better as these can output tons of amps.

    You could use a high VA output transformer connected to mains voltage with a bridge rectifier to convert to DC, A cordless drill will withstand a much higher voltage than it’s rated, so higher the better.

  4. Walt Says:

    This is pretty cool. The tool is still good so why not or you could just buy a new battery as well.

  5. Pablo Says:

    ElectroNick, c’mon, if the tool manufacturers made a way to use your cordless tool hooked to 120ac how would they sell you all their overpriced batteries! That’s their bread and butter, that’s their profits!

  6. Tomas Says:

    IMHO this would require a bulky power source providing at least 10A – something like the one from a desktop PC. It does not seem very practical but still I think I will try it next time my battery goes dead.

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