How Long Do Cordless Drill Batteries Last?

Cordless drill batteries need to change after a certain period, thus considering its longevity is an imperative thing. If you know how long do cordless drill batteries last, you can be prepared for the next investment and try to increase its lifespan. But how long the cordless drill battery will serve you is depending on plenty of factors along with buying the long-lasting one and maintaining properly.

Following the article, we have discussed the average longevity of a cordless drill battery, the longevity determining factors, and tips to increase the lifespan.

Factors that affect the Longevity of a Cordless Drill Battery

The longevity of a cordless battery depends on several factors including the battery quality, type, the power drill brand, usage, and even the way you maintain it. Losing the capacity of holding a charge is quite normal for a cordless battery.

Even it can lower the run time of battery. But if you consider the longevity of cordless drill battery, it should last at least 3 to 5 years. As you know, plenty of factors affect the longevity of a cordless drill battery, let discuss them briefly so you can maintain the longevity properly.

Types of the cordless drill battery

Cordless drill battery comes in different types and all aren’t offer equal longevity. Among them, two types of batteries are mostly used in cordless drills and they are lithium-ion (Li-ion) and nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd). The nickel-cadmium battery was invented in 1899 by a Swedish engineer named Waldemar Junger. Even it was the 1st rechargeable battery.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

This cordless drill battery was invented in 1959. Along with the advantage of Ni-Cd batteries, this model has some extra features that keep it ahead of its other typical counterpart. For example, this Li-ion battery offers superior energy density. However, this type of battery discharges the juice quickly.

Another advantage is Li-ion batteries can hold the power for long and don’t have a problem with the memory effect. Therefore Li-ion batteries ensure less downtime and allow working efficiently. But the Li-ion cordless drill batteries are quite expensive.

Nickel-Cadmium Batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries are suitable for a variety of applications. This type of cordless drill battery is considerably lightweight and energy-dense compared to typical lead-acid batteries. But the downside of this type of battery is that its memory effect isn’t handy. The battery remembers the charging time. So, if you put the battery back on the charger regularly before the charge is spent, it will respond to this state until it gets a full charge.

But you can prevent this situation by discharging the battery periodically. Apart from these, the overcharging also affects the longevity of this nickel-cadmium battery. Another fact is that the name tag of this battery type is also problematic for some people. Cadmium is extremely toxic to some people and nature, though it occurs in the environment. Therefore, the disposal of this nickel-cadmium battery is quite problematic as it accumulates in the soil.

Luckily, there is an upgrade version of this battery type that is a nickel-metal hydride battery. This model doesn’t cause any problems with toxic ingredients. This model may fix a few issues with the nickel-cadmium type but isn’t as good as Li-ion batteries.


Though most cordless hammer drill batteries lose a little juice, the Ni-Cd battery loses the most. Therefore, the Ni-Cd cordless drill battery provides the latter nod. It can be a serious concern particularly if you don’t need to use the cordless drill regularly. So without using the cordless drill and recharging the Ni-Cd drill battery regularly, it will offer a shorter lifespan.

Type of task

The type of project you handle using the cordless drill is also significantly controlled the longevity of the drill battery. For example, creating large holes usually takes more juice which lowers the runtime of a battery. Though there is nothing to do to fix this issue, you can have an extra battery to get enough runtime.


All the DIYer’s tools and appliances require maintenance. For the cordless drill battery, you have to avoid the effects of rust. Despite this, keeping the connections clean is also a vital task. If you don’t need to use the cordless drill, remove the drill battery and store it properly in a dry place to keep the battery in good condition for longer use.

How to improve the longevity of a cordless drill battery

Though you can’t change the cordless drill battery type and its quality, concentrating on maintenance tasks, you can get the most out of the battery. Even sometimes the proper sage and maintenance can improve the longevity of the tool.

How to improve the longevity of a cordless drill battery

Keep the cordless drill battery charged

Cordless drill battery may slowly start losing its charge if not in use for a moment. So, whether you are using the drill battery or not, make sure it remains in full charge all the time. Keeping a battery charge level always over 70% is a great way to increase its lifespan.

If you are using Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, you have to discharge the batteries completely once in a month. Except this, keep the charge of these batteries over 20%. However, Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to discharge fully. Instead, partial discharge will help increase its longevity.

Use battery regularly

A common mistake that reduces the life of cordless drill battery is keeping it charging without using. If you need to use a drill occasionally, buy a corded drill instead of cordless drill.

Fully charge the battery

Make sure you are using a full charge battery and don’t run the cordless drill till the lowest level of battery charge. Some battery charger has an indicator that will aware of the charge level of the battery. But if you have a Lithium-ion battery it’s not compulsory to fully charge the battery every time.

Avoid overcharging

Cordless drill batteries like Nickel Cadmium batteries and Nickel Metal Hydride can be left in the charger. But if the user manual of the cordless drill doesn’t suggest storing the battery in a charger, you shouldn’t do it. Doing so can cause overcharging the battery.

Even keeping the battery in the charger for a long time can damage the drill battery as well. While some charger indicates if the battery gets a full charge, some stop charging automatically to prevent overcharging and increase the lifespan.

Properly Store batteries

As we mentioned earlier, storing the drill battery in a dry and cool place can greatly improve its lifespan. It will be better to keep the battery in a cushioned bag or a carrying case. At a time prevent dropping the battery. Make sure you aren’t storing the battery in a wet or hot place especially if it is Lithium-ion batteries.

These types of batteries are greatly prone to hard shocks and heat comparing other typical types. Instead cover the battery using a plastic cap to protect its terminals from breakage, moisture, or short-circuiting.

Keep a backup

Though most cordless drill comes with a battery, it will be better to keep a spare. This extra battery can be a lifesaver to continue to project if the existing one shows the sign of the lowest charge. The extra battery will keep you from using the whole charge of the existing battery, resulting in preventing reducing its longevity. Along with ensuring smoother run time, the spare one will help extend the lifespan of both cordless drill batteries. 

Adjust the cordless drill setting

In general cordless drill has variable speed settings which ensure better control over the task and help complete the job quickly. Apart from these, the variable speed function also plays a great to control the longevity of the battery. Drilling holes keeping the speed at a lower level can also increase the lifespan of a cordless drill battery.

FAQs on How Long Do Cordless Drill Batteries Last

How many times require charging a cordless drill battery?

If you have got a brand new cordless drill battery, consider charging it overnight. It will make every individual cell fully charged. But most of the regularly used batteries take 3 to 6 hours to get fully charged. Some upgraded chargers can help you charge the battery efficiently by preventing overcharging.

Which cordless drill has a long-lasting battery?

The DEWALT DCD991P2 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill has a 5.0Ah/100Wh Lithium-Ion battery that can store energy for a long time. The cordless drill is also extremely powerful and has a maximum speed. Above all, the drill has a brushless motor to ensure longer runtime using less energy.

How to determine if the cordless battery is dead?

Firstly charge the battery for a minimum of 1 hour and then connect the millimetre probes to the terminal of the battery. Then check the voltage indicator on the device and if you find the voltage is lower below the required rating of the battery, then it is dead.

Final words

The battery is an integral part of a cordless drill that controls how long you can operate your drill to create holes. So, whether it comes with the drill or you purchase it separately, maintaining the longevity of a cordless drill battery is beneficial both for cost efficiency and longer run time.

Learning how long do cordless drill batteries last can help you pick the most long-lasting one and help get the maximum service. 

Share on:

Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

Leave a Comment