Power Your Drill With a Computer Power Supply!


Introduction: Power Your Drill With a Computer Power Supply!

About: -----------------------------------------------------------------15 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!-----------------------------------------------------------------Hi FTC! My I'bles con...

Slowly and sadly my drill battery died.

Drill batteries cost more than $2

I thought of the fact that I never need It to be portable because my dad has a killer Dewalt drill that's almost too powerful and scary to use...

This gave me a pretty obvious idea: Why not power it with power from a regular wall socket (obviously not directly from 220 volts to those who didn't understand)

Is This Plan Even Possible?

Drills like to eat a lot of amps, so I figured I'll need a power supply that can give a lot of amps. I decided to go on 5 AMPS because my drill spins at a maximum of 550 RPM which Isn't as high as most drills on the market these days.
If you do this on your own drill there is a chance your drill won't even budge on 5 AMPS, but luckily mine did.

Step 1: This Is the Drill

If you look at the picture close enough, maybe you'll notice I cut off the bottom. I did this so it would be easier to reach and solder the wired to the connectors of the drill.

Step 2: How Did I Find a Power Supply?

I Didn't. Well, I half Did

My drill works on 9.6 VOLTS

For that, I took a laptop computer power supply/charger which was 20 VOLTS 4.5 AMPS. Reminder I need 9.6 V

It took a pretty long time but finally I found the right thing.

Step 3: The Power Supply

I Copy-Pasted the specs, Corrected the grammar the best I could, And edited the length.

Input voltage: DC 4.0 ~ 38V. Output voltage: DC 1.25V ~ 36V continuously adjustable (the input voltage must be higher than the output voltage by 2V). This means if I give It 20 V It can easily give 9.6V on the output.

Output current: max 5A, recommended for 4.5A. The output Wattage is up to 75W, If you use more than 50W, it is recommended to enhance heat dissipation. It comes with a tiny heat-sink, which is good enough for me.

The Efficiency is up to 96%, Which is good enough for me.

Size: 5.4cm x 2.3cm x 1.5cm.

If you want to buy the (step down only) converter you can get it on eBayherefor less than $2.

Step 4: Soldering

After splicing of the computer connector, I soldered the input wires as seen in the pictures

If you're interested in seeing my solder stand that helped me hold the pcb instructable, (in picture 2) you can see it here

Step 5: Don't Forget to Adjust It to the Correct Voltage!

To do this, You need a multi-meter (use the voltage setting) and a small screw driver.

Keep turning the potentiometer until your voltage meter screen shows the voltage you want, in my case i wanted it to be 9.6 V.

Step 6: More Soldering

Now my power supply had 9.6 volts so I soldered the output wires to the PCB which the other end of them would later connect to the drill.

Step 7: Hot Glue Time

I wasn't able to put shrink tubing as insulation, so instead, I insulated both connections with a hot glue gun.

Step 8: PCB Enclosure

I didn't want to risk the PCB touching a conductive surface and short circuit, so I decided to use a box from a coin cell battery charger that I saved in my bag of reusable project enclosures, If you now what I mean...

Step 9: Almost Done

I put the power converter inside of the box, And closed it with zip-ties so I it would be easy cut them and open it if I needed in the future.

Step 10: The Last Time Using a Soldering Iron

As you see in the picture, It was easier to solder and insulate the connections to the drill as I shortened the handle earlier

Step 11: Last Step of the Project!!!

I poured a whole stick of hot glue (trust me, it is way more than It sounds) into the bottom of the drill where the solder connections were made just to make it more durable.

Watch out if you do this because it took the enormous amount of hot glue more than an hour to harden!

Step 12: Teeny Tiny Extras

The video above (maybe it's at the bottom of your screen) is a video of the drill working, I don't know why but it has to download to your computer to be able to view it, I scanned it twice to make sure it doesn't have a virus .

I hope you enjoyed, If you make this make sure to post a picture in the comments section so everyone and I can see.

If you caught a mistake I made accidentally, please point it out so I can fix it.

If you want to see more of these kinds of projects, make sure to visit my instructables page and maybe subscribe.

Thanks for watching, It means a lot to me!

If you have any questions, make sure to post them in the comments and I'll make sure to reply as quickly as possible :)



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    24 Discussions

    I did the same thing to my drill, the only problem I found was if the drill surges too much current, a kind of over current protection in the laptop charger kicks in and it pulses the drill on and off in 1 sec intervals, it goes back to normal if you release the trigger for 2 seconds.

    2 replies

    Same here. I even purchased 12V 6amps adapter to solve this problem, but nothing changed.

    Then you need more amps. The drill I used here doesn't work anymore (not from power issues), but before it died I was still able to shut down an 18 AMP ATX power supply! But then, I did power it on 12V instead of 10.8 so the motor was able to draw more amps.

    I highly recommend ATX power supplies for old drills. I've found a bunch of them for free from desktop computers that I found... For free too!


    1 year ago

    yontana i think u remember me but i got a drill that the battery was bad from my friend. so now i can kake it work and use it!

    2 replies

    I remembered your name, and now I remember from where I remembered it (in your activity feed)!


    my dad found a laptop supply that is 19.2 volts. ehhh i dont care i will still use it on the drill and it doesbt have a connecter for it. but my dads laptop charger one fits it but i cant find the other piece to my dads charger....ehhhh


    1 year ago

    Interesting 'ible!

    I think i could use my old Xbox 360 wall adapter for the power supply, since it can supply up to 10A max.

    Definitely saving this ible to my favourites. Thank you :)

    1 reply

    Awesome 'ible!

    I was unaware of the step down transformer for so cheap. $1.81 and 4 weeks later, I completed the project and it came out great. I drilled out the power input and output holes on the step down transformer to make it easier to get normal wires through it. That was a mistake as it apparently had solder connecting the top to the bottom and I had to solder the wires on both sides to make a connection, but that was my fault.

    I even got to use the drill just a few days later and was glad I did it. Thanks.

    2 replies

    Cool! Enjoy!

    Just watch out and don't let the converter get too hot, Mine burnt out that way :(

    Cool! Enjoy!

    Just watch out and don't let the converter get too hot, Mine burnt out that way :(

    OK, I've been reading through this and analog battery-to-cord conversion instructables, and I'm still unclear on a simple point: Why can I not re-use the original charger? Can I not cut out the middle man (i.e., battery) instead of looking for another supplier (i.e., the desktop/laptop supply or 'wall wart' always substituted)?

    I'm guessing there's one or more good reasons for that, but nobody seems to take the time to consider/explain them. For starters, is there maybe some electronics in the supply checking for that sort of stuff (if 'sometimes', how to check)? Secondly, is the charger maybe giving off too weak a current (or at an unrelated voltage)?

    This second point actually fits with another worry I have before starting: How do I check if my supply is 'strong' enough (in amps)? Can I put two too-weak supplies in parallel? I don't have a real way to test what my drill requires as the batteries died... maybe getting that supply out of an obsolete desktop is overkill?

    3 replies

    I'm not sure I understood your question, Did you mean: "Why can't I use the battery charger to power the drill, Because it's the correct voltage..."

    If yes, Then the answer is that the charger can't supply enough current/amps to power the drill.

    What kind of drill do you have? I might be able to help more if you send a picture

    Don't put two power supplies in parallel, It do problems with the voltage that way...

    Anyway, I'm in the middle of making an easier to power a drill with a power supply, I think I'll make a new 'Ible on it soon

    You got indeed the gist of that part of the questions.

    I've got a 18v NiCd with two batteries, both dead. I was looking into turning one into a corded "battery", the other possibly replacing the cells if cheap enough (like using two 9.6V R/C car batteries, ending up at 19.2V instead of 18V).

    From what you say --- If I put (for example) two 18v / 1A chargers in parallel, would I not have an 18v / 2A source? What happens otherwise?

    1. Don't put the power supplies/chargers in parallel, It's a bit hard to explain, But I saw here that someone explained:

    "You can (I believe he made a mistake and it should be can't) connect those two power supplies if they are exactly same. Even a small output voltage difference between them may cause serious problems in the long term."

    1A or 2A are nothing for a drill, My drill was okay with ~5A but bigger and stronger drills might require at least 10-15A...


    You could have stripped out the old cells from the battery case and put the down-converter in it with an input socket to match the PSU plug. Then plugged the battery case into the drill....

    1 reply

    Thanks for the tip but,

    That was actually my original design that I wanted to make I had problems with the connector (I thought of using a regular 10.8V power supply but I couldn't find one that was over 2.2 amps that had a reasonable price, so I made it this way which is still big enough for my hand anyway