How to charge a cordless drill without the charger

  Reading time 7 minutes

Have you ever found yourself ready to start a project, only to discover your cordless drill’s battery is depleted and the charger is nowhere to be seen? It’s a frustrating situation many DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike have encountered. Thankfully, there are a few alternative solutions to get your cordless tools powered up without the standard charger. In this article, we’ll explore safe and effective ways to charge your cordless drill, ensuring that a missing charger doesn’t keep you from your tasks. Although charging without the official charger might not be ideal, it’s certainly possible with the right approach.

Understanding Cordless Drill Batteries

Cordless drills typically use one of three types of batteries: Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), or Lithium-Ion (Li-ion). Each type has its own charging profile and capacity. For instance, a Lithium battery typically has a higher energy density and can hold a charge for a longer time compared to the others. Knowing the type of battery your cordless drill uses is crucial, as it will determine the method and precautions necessary for charging it without the standard charger.

 Alternative method to charge a cordless drill without charger

Safety First: Precautions when Charging Without a Standard Charger

Before diving into the alternative charging methods, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Mishandling a battery can lead to overcharging, heat buildup, and potentially dangerous situations. Always check the voltage and amperage requirements of your battery and ensure the alternative charging source does not exceed these specifications. If you’re not confident in your ability to safely charge the battery, it may be best to wait for the proper charger or seek help from a professional.

Alternative Charging Methods

Universal chargers are a versatile tool that can adapt to charge different types of batteries. While a universal charger will not be specifically tailored to your cordless drill’s battery like the official charger, it could be an adequate stand-in for one-time uses or emergency situations. When selecting a universal charger, make sure it is compatible with the type and voltage of your battery to prevent any mishaps during the charging process.

DIY Charging Techniques

For those willing to take a hands-on approach, several DIY methods might also restore power to your drill. Before attempting these methods, understand that DIY charging should be done with caution, and a solid knowledge of electrical systems is necessary. Incorrectly doing this could damage your battery or pose a safety hazard.

Direct Charging with a Power Supply

Step-by-Step Instructions for Charging with a Bench Power Supply

A bench power supply can deliver a specific voltage and current, making it possible to charge a drill battery. Follow these numbered steps for a safe DIY charging experience:

  1. Identify the battery’s voltage and set the power supply to match it.
  2. Connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive output on the power supply, and the negative to the negative.
  3. Monitor the charging process closely, and disconnect the battery once it’s reached full charge.
 Steps to recharge a cordless drill with a car battery
Safety Tips for DIY Charging

To ensure a safe charging process when using a power supply, never leave the battery unattended. Also, be wary of the heat generation and look for signs of distress in the battery. If you observe any, stop the charging process immediately.

Charging with another drill battery is another alternative. The concept is similar to jump-starting a car using another vehicle’s battery. However, this technique should only be used if the batteries are of the same voltage and you have the necessary jumper cables and experience.

Battery TypeVoltageCharger Type
NiCdVariousUniversal Charger preferable
NiMHVariousMay use compatible voltage source
Li-ionVariousUse with caution; specific chargers recommended

When to Seek Professional Help

It’s important to know when to avoid the DIY route for charging your battery. If the battery is damaged, swelled, or showing any signs of leakage, it’s not a candidate for self-service charging. Additionally, if DIY attempts have been unsuccessful or you’re unsure about the process, the safest route is to contact a professional or bring the battery to a certified service center to avoid potential hazards.


In conclusion, while there are alternative methods for charging a cordless drill without the official charger, proceeding with caution and a thorough knowledge of the charging process is essential. For those not comfortable with the DIY methods, it’s best to wait for the original charger, purchase a replacement, or seek professional help. Remember, the health and longevity of your battery are crucial for powering tools over a long time, and using non-standard chargers could reduce the battery’s performance and service life.

 Charging a cordless drill using a solar panel


  1. How can I tell which DIY charging method is safe for my cordless drill battery? To ensure safety, consult the battery’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines to understand its specific voltage and amperage requirements. When in doubt, seek professional advice or stick with a universal charger designed for various types of cordless drill batteries.
  2. Can I really charge my cordless drill battery with another battery? Yes, it’s possible to charge a drill battery using a compatible battery from another drill or even a car’s battery in a pinch. However, both batteries must have the same voltage and you must have the means to properly and safely connect them.
  3. What risks am I taking by not using the official charger? Using alternative charging methods can pose risks such as overheating, damaging the battery cells, voiding the warranty, or even causing a fire. It’s always best to use the official charger when possible.
  4. Will charging my cordless drill battery with alternative methods affect its longevity? Improper charging techniques could potentially affect the lifespan and performance of your battery. Full charging cycles with the appropriate equipment ensure the battery maintains its health over time.
  5. What should I do if my battery doesn’t charge using these alternative methods? If alternative methods fail to charge your battery, it may be time to consider purchasing a new charger or battery. Prolonged issues with charging could indicate that the battery has reached the end of its useful life.