Introduction: USB Power From Drill's Battery

Devices that can be charged via USB are only growing in numbers.

What to do when the power is out and your phone is dead?

If you are lucky enough, you'll have some kind of portable charger that will save your day.

In this project we are going to make a USB charger that can take the power from your drill’s battery.
Just slide it one the battery and you’re ready to charge your gadget.

Great for emergencies or to use it as a portable charger.

Drill batteries hold a lot of juice, so they will outperform most of the portable chargers you can buy.

Get prepared and make this super simple charger. Even though you'll be making this charger for your battery, the design should fit other brand batteries.

What is needed:

  • Plastic bottle screw cap
  • Cars USB charger that works with 12v - 24v (I think most of them do)
  • A packet or two of Sugru
  • Some cables

Step 1:

Open the charger and take out the board.

Remove the negative/ground connector that goes on the sides of the plug.

Make 2 new connectors from the negative connector.

Step 2:

Take your screw cup and check where the holes should be made for the connectors.

Make 2 cuts for the connectors and drill a hole in the middle of the cup.

Step 3:

Solder 2 cables on the boards positive and negative terminals.

If you don't have a soldering iron, you could try to attach the cables by twisting them to the connectors on the board.

Put back the board in the plug.

Squeeze or cut the connectors with wire cutters, so the cable can get a good grip.

Attach the cables.

Step 4:

Insert the connectors in the holes you cut earlier.

Screw or push the plug in the hole of the cup.

Mark positive(+) and negative (-) terminals with a permanent marker.

Step 5:

Cover the battery terminals with scotch tape.

Reason - so the Sugru does not short the battery while it dries.

There must be some moisture in the Sugru while it's fresh, so just in case.

Put the charger onto the battery and adjust the length, width, shape of connectors, so it fits perfectly.

When you are happy with the result, cover the terminals and cables with Sugru, so they don't move.

Remove the charger and use more Sugru to cover the plug and terminals on the bottom of the cap.

Put back the charger on the battery and make sure everything fits tight and does not move.

Make a custom pattern on the Sugru if you wish.

Lift the charger a little bit, so the Sugru does not stick to the battery. Wait until Sugru dries.

Remember to check positive and negative terminals before putting the charger onto the battery.


joel.riley1 made it!(author)2015-02-19

here's mine! its for Makita LXT batteries. No reason for so many slots!

obeh+kok+siang made it!(author)2016-07-15

Very well build, its so beautiful

RobertC2 made it!(author)2015-03-17


Dreadalus made it!(author)2015-02-21

joel.riley, can you post some pics of the underside of yours -- connections, etc? My drill batteries are the slide-on like yours. Thanks!

joel.riley1 made it!(author)2015-02-22

Here you go. It was a bit of head scratching working it out. The oak block was cut in half, I made the top and bottom to fit and cut grooves for aluminium connection to wedge into.

joel.riley1 made it!(author)2015-02-22

try again.

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-19

Wow, that's very neat.

Well done!

Chakazuluu made it!(author)2015-09-30

How can I adapt this to have multiple USB charging ports...

Yonatan24 made it!(author)2015-10-03

You can add an adapter

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-09-30

You can use a car charger with multiple USB ports.

Chakazuluu made it!(author)2015-09-30

That was a simple answer I should have thought of - thank you...

ThothLoki made it!(author)2015-05-07

Made one with my wife's charger ;) Awesome idea.

15, 12:19 PM.jpg
Fearce1 made it!(author)2015-02-28

Great project!

Add a solar charger with regulator if needed & its a portable power supply.

projectsugru made it!(author)2015-02-21

Awesome project. I have a small tip, you could engrave the positive and negative polarities into the Sugru for a permanent reminder as I suspect the marker will wear off. For people building the project, this is easiest to do when the Sugru is still soft. (of course, you can just use a scalpel to carve it once set either) Again, great project. James

pmshah made it!(author)2015-02-15

I have a better idea. Just go to a junkyard and get your self a cigarette lighter receptacle from any old car and and then use the process described here for connecting that to the drill battery. You might even be able to light a cigarette with the setup !

Ginga-Ninja made it!(author)2015-02-19

thank you. that's what I did

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-17

I also had that idea, but I could not think why would I want it that way.

I have another USB charger in the car. I also don't have any CAR devices I would like to run at home or from the battery.

I guess for some it would benefit to do it that way.

Good thinking!

grapenut made it!(author)2015-02-15

very well done; loved it.

StandsWithABeer made it!(author)2015-02-15

MOST EXCELLENT! IMO, this is a perfect Instructable; well done!

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-15

I am glad you found it helpful.


techn0man1ac made it!(author)2015-02-15

Скрытая реклама CocaCola

carlos66ba made it!(author)2015-02-13

Very nice. One possible suggestion: if you add a diode bridge you could make the polarity of the battery irrelevant. Since drill batteries are > 12 V the small drop on the two diodes (~1.4 V, < 1 V if using Shottky diodes) is not too important.

michaelb2 made it!(author)2015-02-15

Or one diode and it would work or not work depending on the orientation.

junits15 made it!(author)2015-02-15

I believe it does that already ;)

joel.riley1 made it!(author)2015-02-14

great stuff, has inspired me to make one for my Makita kit.
I'll make it look similar to the ones they already sell.

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-15


Please share if you make one.

jgeepers made it!(author)2015-02-13

Very cool. This would be great for camping trips.

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-15


Camping trips should be technology free - just kidding :)

M3G made it!(author)2015-02-13

Great idea!

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-15


Kafukai made it!(author)2015-02-13

This is very nice!

You can make the lazy person version of it. Do you remember your instructable about charging a dead car battery?! Do the same for the battery, with the screws. You need 2 pieces of 2 sided alligator cable - one you connect to the bottom and the other to the side. If you don't know if you have been pluged it right, wait until the red led on the USB to be on. Work the same less work :-) But yours is much more stable.

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-15

Thanks! The lazy version is definitely a way to go if you're not prepared and you need to charge your gadget quick :)

russ_hensel made it!(author)2015-02-13

Very nice.

Also a note to let you know I have added this to the collection: Cordless Drills Hacking for Other Uses !


Take a look at a bunch of project involving odd uses of drills.

and for even more drill info


ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-13

Cool, thanks!

ShakeTheFuture made it!(author)2015-02-13

Thanks for suggestion!

That would make it even better.

About This Instructable




Bio: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks
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