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How Long Do Cordless Drill Batteries Last?

The lifespan of a cordless drill battery is somewhere around of 3-5 years. Although this may not seem like a lot, but during that time, you can get a lot of use out of your drill. Three to five years might also seem like a large range of time, and again, it is, so there must be something you can do to ensure that your battery lasts more towards the five years than the three.

A rechargeable battery for your cordless drill is not cheap. If you have acquired a drill with a battery, you want that battery to last as long as possible. Taking the time to care for your battery will indeed boost its life. Owning a cordless drill is one of the best things you can do if you want to maintain your home. With so much versatility at your fingertips, a cordless drill is your best friend when it comes to renovations and maintenance.

You may not realize it, but the battery of your new cordless drill remains the most important thing you own. You should watch it carefully to make sure that you are always taking good care of it. It is the battery of your drill that powers the entire machine, so it is imperative you take great measures to make sure you are always treating it well and guarding it against improper storage or use.

Cordless drill batteries are the reason your drill works. Without a battery, your drill is next to useless. Taking care of your battery is key to extending the life of your battery. There are a lot of simple things you can do to take care of your battery. By implementing them into your daily routine, you can ensure that you are able to reach the full potential of your battery’s life – which should be about 3 to 5 years.

Crucial Tips to Make Batteries and Drills Last Longer

Rechargeable cordless tools are convenient, portable, and ready to work at a moment’s notice. Cordless tool batteries are known to last for several years; and with proper care and storage, you can extend battery life and your investment. Here are very important tips to help you get the most out of the batteries on cordless tools.

  1. Try Not to Run Battery All the Way Down

Have it in mind that deep draining (letting a rechargeable battery run all the way down), can permanently damage the poles and shorten battery life. Instead, recharge the battery as soon as your tool starts to slow down. Never deep drain unless you have a NiCd battery that’s showing decreased capacity due to the memory effect.

  1. Avoid Leaving Battery on Charger

Unless your tool instructions specifically say to store the battery on the charger, always make sure to remove it after charging is complete. Overcharging can damage a battery and shorten its life, and not all chargers shut off automatically.

  1. Always Keep Battery Charged

Remember to recharge cordless tool batteries as soon as you notice a decrease in power. Have it in mind that most batteries last longest if recharged when they reach 70% capacity. Even NiCd batteries (the ones with the so-called memory effect) only need to be completely discharged every month or so to retain their charge memory.

  1. Use Battery Regularly

Note that Battery life decreases with lack of use, so it is imperative you keep those tools in action. If you only very rarely use a tool, you may want to consider a plug-in version, or plan to recharge the cordless tool battery before starting a project.

  1. Always Charge Battery Completely

You should also make sure to leave the cordless tool battery plugged in until it is completely charged. Most chargers have an indicator to let you know when the battery is fully charged.

  1. Don’t Overheat Battery

Heat is deadly to rechargeable batteries and can even cause them to explode. If the battery gets hot to the touch, let it cool down before recharging or using. Don’t store rechargeable batteries in a hot car, attic, or overheated storage area.

  1. Don’t Get Battery Wet

You should never expose your cordless (or corded) drill or batteries to water. Immediately wipe away any moisture on the tool or battery. Cordless tool batteries will last longer if stored in a dry, climate controlled dry area. It is not necessary, however, to store batteries in the freezer.

  1. Always Store Battery Properly

You should always store your cordless tool battery in the original carrying case, or in a cushioned bag. Be sure to use the plastic cap that came with your battery to keep it from short circuiting and to protect the terminals from breakage or moisture.

  1. Have a Backup Battery Handy

Note that it is always a good idea to have a second battery available and charged for your cordless tool, so you can switch out in mid-job. Be gentle with cordless tool batteries – they won’t work if damaged or cracked.

  1. Adjust Cordless Tool Settings

You should always ensure to use the right tool setting for the job. For example, higher torque settings can run down a cordless drill battery faster, so you’ll get more battery life if you use the setting that’s needed.

How to Check a Cordless Drill’s Battery

If the battery on your cordless drill does not hold a charge or it runs down quickly, it may need to be replaced. The performance of the battery can also reduce drastically if the battery has become damaged. Using a multimeter, cordless drill battery can be tested to determine if they need to be replaced.

  • Plug the battery in and charge it for at least an hour. Unplug the battery when you are ready to test it.
  • Touch the multimeter probes to the two battery terminals. However, ensure to touch the negative probe to the negative terminal, and the positive probe to the positive terminal.
  • Check the voltage indicator on the multimeter. Note that a fully charged battery should test at least 1 volt higher than the voltage that is listed on the battery. For example, an 18-volt battery should test at 19 volts or higher.
  • If the voltage indicator is at or below the voltage rating on the battery, the battery needs to be replaced.
  • If the voltage indicator shows a high voltage, but the battery is still not holding a charge, it may need to be repaired. In that event, take the battery to a tool repair shop for more thorough testing and repair.


Taking care of your battery is key to extending the life of your battery. If you adequately care for your battery, then you can extend your battery life beyond the 3-5 years which batteries usually last.

In fact, you can take your battery well beyond the five years. Nonetheless, always use your battery as it is intended to be used. Take the time to store your battery correctly and keep it away from harm and moisture. Be sure to take care of your battery, and your battery will take care of you.