Everyone knows how frustrating it is when a powered drill begins to die. Many of us want our tools to last as long as possible. In this article, we’ll talk about how long the battery packs often last and how long you can expect from the drill itself.
If you’re looking for an exact number on how long a battery-powered drill will last, then you might be disappointed. The lifespan of a cordless drill is entirely dependent on how often it is used, how intensely it is used, and how well it is maintained. Of course, the quality of the drill will come into place.
Let’s look at how long a battery-powered drill will last and some things that you can do to extend its life.
Ways to Tell How Long Your Batter Powered Drill Will Last
As we said, giving a number of months or years would be ludicrous when talking about powered drills and their batteries. You might be able to find a specific number out there on the internet, but at the end of the day, just like a car or a house, the lifespan of the tool will depend on how it’s used and how it’s maintained.
Here are several metrics to consider when it comes to how long a battery-powered drill will last:
- Light use
- Medium use
- Heavy Use
Let’s look at these in more depth.
How Long will a Battery-Powered Drill Last When Used Lightly?
Let’s throw a few numbers out there for general guidance. As we already said, saying with any specificity how long a drill will last is basically impossible. Just like cars, everyone cares for and maintains their drills differently, and this will have a huge effect on the lifespan.
What’s light use? We would categorize this as using the drill only a couple of times each year. Maybe you get it out for a project here and there, but in general, it’s properly stored away.
From personal experience, I can say that with light use (and buying a new battery from time to time) a battery-powered drill can last from fifteen to twenty years, or even longer. However, at this point, even if the drill is working fine, the technology has probably left it in the past, and it’s time to upgrade.
However, if you’re not using the drill very much, then you might not be that interested in the latest technology either – and that’s okay. If the batteries are still available, you’ll probably just need to buy a new one – the drill itself should be fine.
How Long Would a Battery-Powered Drill Last When Used Regularly?
Regular use would constitute the weekend woodworker. In this case, you lightly use the drill regularly – completing some projects on the weekend. Or you heavily use the drill a few times a year, perhaps for a large project.
For those who use a drill regularly, expect the get about five to ten years out of the drill. You will probably need to buy a few new batteries, but the drill should still be functioning well with proper care.
Of course, the more you use the drill, the more you will appreciate the new technology, and this is another reason to consider upgrading at around five to ten years of use.
How Long Will a Battery-Powered Drill Last When Used Heavily?
Heavy use means that you’re using the drill almost daily, for serious projects. This would be the professional builder, who puts their drill through the wringer on a regular basis. How long with the drill last?
Well, expect to get two to five years out of the drill. Maybe more, maybe less – it depends on a bunch of factors. With heavy use, you’ll see more issues with the motor or clutch, so maintenance becomes more important.
Now that we’ve given you some things to think about as far as how long a drill will last, let’s talk about a few things you can do to make the drill last longer.
How to Make a Battery-powered Drill Last Longer
Now let’s talk about several ways to make the battery-powered drill last longer. We should mention that sometimes the drill needs to retire. Drills won’t last forever, but if you take care of them, they can last longer.
Here are ways to increase the life of a drill:
- Take care of the battery (charge it properly)
- Store properly
- Lubrication if needed
Let’s look at these things in a little more detail.
Note: The best way to ensure the longevity of your drill is to read the owner’s manual carefully and then follow those guidelines. This is a step that a lot of people skip when they buy a new power tool. However, boring as the owner’s manual is, you’re missing out on good information – information that is specific to your drill.
Take Care of the Battery on the Drill
The first step to ensure longevity in an electric drill is to take care of the battery. This article is discussing the drill as a whole – not just the battery life. But, keeping the battery healthy will reduce the drain and strain on the drill and will help users have a more powerful experience.
Let’s talk about several ways you can take care of your drill battery:
- Charge it correctly. Some batteries will have different charging protocols – some are okay to leave on the charger, some should be removed, and some shouldn’t be left in the drills. Each drill might require something different. Look up the charging protocol for your drill, and stick to it.
- Store it properly. You don’t want to store any batteries in a super cold environment. This means staying away from most sheds and being careful with unheated garages. Cold temperatures can be damaging, and freezing temperatures can ruin a battery.
- Don’t overuse a battery. Batteries can and will overheat if they are used too much. The best thing you could do is buy a couple of batteries and routinely change them out. This will give you more charge time and raise the overall lifespan of your batteries.
Alright, now that we’ve covered how to take care of a battery, let’s talk about how to take care of the drill itself.
Store the Drill Properly
The next thing to think about is where and how you store the drill itself. The drill is a piece of electrical equipment, and it should be treated as such. These power tools are made rugged, but they can’t handle everything. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to store a drill properly.
How to store a drill:
- Dry environment. Try to find a place to store the drill where it won’t be in contact with much moisture. Even high humidity could be detrimental to a drill during long-term storage. Moisture will begin to cause rust, and this could lead to the failure of various parts of the drill.
- Avoid dust. You also don’t want the drill exposed to a bunch of dust and dirt. Try to clean the drill before storage, and clear it of all built-up sawdust.
- Store it without the battery inserted. Usually, it’s best to remove the battery during long-term storage of the drill. Often, a drill will come with battery caps to help protect the battery. This is more about the battery than the drill, but it’s something to consider for your tool.
Now, let’s talk about one more aspect of drill maintenance.
Apply Lubricants as Needed to Protect the Drill
Some battery-powered drills, depending on the type, will benefit from lubrication once in a while. This is something that many power tool owners usually forget. This will usually be an issue for drills that are used regularly.
Some drills may not require lubrication at all, so check with the owner’s manual about when and how to apply oil to a drill. You don’t want to begin spraying WD40 everywhere and hoping for the best!
On top of lubrication, take the time to regularly clean your drill. Try to remove all the dirt and dust from around the chuck.
Alright, now let’s go over our final thoughts on how long most drills will last.
Final Thoughts on The Lifespan of Battery-Run Drills
As you can see, how long a drill will last is entirely dependent on how much you use the drill. If you buy a nice drill today, there’s a chance it could last twenty years, if you rarely use it and you maintain it properly. Of course, even if you never use the drill, at around twenty years, the technology is becoming outdated.
If you use a drill regularly, as in, about once a month, then you’ll likely get anywhere from five to ten years out of the drill.
Finally, if you use the drill heavily, as in nearly every day, you could get anywhere from two to five years out of the drill – but maybe more. All these numbers are totally variable, and they depend on maintenance and care. If you’re careful about maintaining your battery-powered drills, you can maximize their life.