Introduction: USB Power From Drill's Battery

Picture of 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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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 (author)2015-02-19

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

Very well build, its so beautiful

RobertC2 (author)joel.riley12015-03-17


Dreadalus (author)joel.riley12015-02-21

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 (author)Dreadalus2015-02-22

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 (author)joel.riley12015-02-22

try again.

Wow, that's very neat.

Well done!

Chakazuluu (author)2015-09-30

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

Yonatan24 (author)Chakazuluu2015-10-03

You can add an adapter

You can use a car charger with multiple USB ports.

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

ThothLoki (author)2015-05-07

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

Fearce1 (author)2015-02-28

Great project!

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

projectsugru (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 (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 (author)pmshah2015-02-19

thank you. that's what I did

ShakeTheFuture (author)pmshah2015-02-17

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 (author)2015-02-15

very well done; loved it.

StandsWithABeer (author)2015-02-15

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

I am glad you found it helpful.


techn0man1ac (author)2015-02-15

Скрытая реклама CocaCola

carlos66ba (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 (author)carlos66ba2015-02-15

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

junits15 (author)michaelb22015-02-15

I believe it does that already ;)

joel.riley1 (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.


Please share if you make one.

jgeepers (author)2015-02-13

Very cool. This would be great for camping trips.

ShakeTheFuture (author)jgeepers2015-02-15


Camping trips should be technology free - just kidding :)

M3G (author)2015-02-13

Great idea!

ShakeTheFuture (author)M3G2015-02-15


Kafukai (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 (author)Kafukai2015-02-15

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 (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


Cool, thanks!

ShakeTheFuture (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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