How Do You Maintain a Cordless Drill?

Cordless drills have been taking over the power tool industry in recent years. They weren’t always as effective since they’re tethered by batteries, but new improvements have made them some of the best around. If you own one, then you know how quickly poor management can ruin a cordless drill.

You need to oil it regularly, clean off the debris after each job, and make sure that you’re always keeping the batteries charged. Failure to do so can lead to rust, chipping, dulling, and a shortened life for your tools.

How Do You Maintain a Cordless Drill?

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following advice:

  • Proper storage techniques
  • How to oil and clean your cordless drill
  • How to operate a cordless drill correctly

Cleaning, Oiling, and Maintaining a Cordless Drill

Almost any tool or machine that you work with will need to be oiled at some point. When metal comes in contact with other metal surfaces, wood, plastic, and nearly anything else, it can chip and become dull over time.

However, by oiling and lubricating your drill, you can prevent these damaging effects from occurring.

In order to oil your drill, you’ll need to get your hands on some standard metal oil. It’s available at hardware stores and some automotive shops. Once you have it, follow the simple steps below.

  1. Open the chuck all the way. The chuck is the portion of the drill where the drill bit sits when you’re using it. Place a few drops of oil lubricant into the chuck without any bits inside. Open and close it five times to spread the lubricant evenly.
  2. Take a soft shop cloth and dab the excess oil. Too much lubricant can cause debris to stick inside of the chuck and cause blockages. The buildup is just as bad as not using lubricant in the first place.
  3. Proceed to replace your bit and operate the drill for about 20 to 30 seconds to move it around thoroughly. Feel free to use the drill right away for whatever project you’re working on.

That’s all there is to it! Oiling a cordless drill isn’t complicated at all. In fact, you can do it once every couple of weeks, and it only takes less than a minute per application.

You might have to use oil more often if you’re operating your cordless drill regularly, such as for your job or at least three to four times per week.

When it comes to cleaning your drill, instructions may vary depending on the type of drill you have.

Most companies have cleaning instructions inside of the packaging that you buy it with. If there are screws on the exterior of the tool, you can unscrew them to clean out clogs and debris.

Note: Always remove the battery from your cordless drill before you start to clean the inside. Failure to do so can lead to injury, or you could completely ruin the tool. Also, don’t use pressurized air to remove debris from the interior since it can dislodge essential components. You can only use it to clean out the vents when the tool is closed.

Proper Storage Solutions for Cordless Drills

When you’re trying to find a place to store your drill, it’s important that you don’t just toss it wherever you’d like. Humidity and moisture are both enemies of hand and power tools.

Also read: How To Keep Tools From Rusting

When moisture comes in contact with metal, it forms rust and corrosion. Needless to say, they’re terrible for your cordless drill.

Much like humidity, maintaining temperature is a key component to longevity for your drill. Room temperature is a great level to start (72 degrees Fahrenheit), but you can go as low as 62 degrees or as high as 82 degrees before experiencing any complications.

When drills get too hot or cold, the internals starts to wear away much quicker.

Another suggestion is to keep your tools separated from each other.

It can be a bit challenging to have a specific spot for each and every piece, but doing so can prevent scuff marks and bending that you might not be aware of. When drills are placed alongside other tools, they can get scratched very easily.

All of these tips aren’t suggesting that you purchase a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

However, try to keep an eye on everything so you know the quality of each tool’s housing. You can buy temperature and humidity gauges for cheap and place them inside of your toolbox.

If you notice that anything is out of the parameters mentioned in this section, then you can take the appropriate actions to ensure their longevity.

Luckily, most tools (including cordless drills) are designed to withstand all sorts of problems that would’ve ruined their decade-old predecessors.

If you’re still worried about it all, feel free to get a few storage bins to keep your drills and other tools safe from harm.

Since bins are sealed off, you’ll be able to shut out most of the humidity outside. You can also insulate them by adding towels that you can use to remove the oil and debris.

How to Operate a Cordless Drill to Prevent it from Breaking Down

Storage and cleaning are only part of the maintenance process. You should also pay close attention to the manner in which you’re operating your cordless drill.

There are five important factors to remember when you’re about to use it, all of which you can find below.

  1. Always hold the drill perpendicular to the surface that you’re using it on. This will ensure a direct pilot hole or screw insertion, but it also prevents the bits from coming loose. When you aren’t holding it correctly, the chuck can slowly weaken.
  2. Make sure that the cordless drill and the surface are both tightly secured. Use a vice to hold the surface if you have to hold the drill with both hands. Loose drilling can cause stripping and over exhaust the internals of the drill.
  3. Ensure that the battery is in place before you start drilling. A partial connection can cause a shortage, or it can cause the battery to slip out in the middle of a project. Either way, you’re left in an inconvenient situation.
  4. Test different speed settings. Every project calls for unique speed adjustments. Almost all cordless drills come with changeable speeds and torque, so you should do your best to figure out which settings are ideal for the job at hand. You can quickly overheat or strip a drill if you’re going to fast.
  5. Always check to make sure that you’re using the correct bit. If you’re using the wrong bit, you can strip a screw, dull the bit, and loosen the chuck. These problems can take some time to show up, but they’re all the beginning of the end for cordless drills.


Maintaining a cordless drill is very easy once you’ve learned everything that you need to know.

This article should’ve taught you a variety of useful techniques to increase the lifespan of your tools without calling for too much extra work.

Here are a few takeaways from the post:

  • The chuck is the most important part of a drill that can be weakened quickly.
  • Always keep your cordless drill lubricated with metal oil.
  • Store your drill at room temperature, dry environment.
  • Holding and operating a cordless drill correctly can prevent damaging mistakes.
  • Adjust the speed settings on your drill before each project that you’re working on.
  • Ensure that you’re using the correct bit for the job.

Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck with your projects.

Cheers, tools owners!


Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.