Mini Drill Made From A Motor

We love this hacked-together mini drill by [BuenaTec] that uses a DC7.2V 10K-RPM motor with a 1/8” Dremel chuck added on. Power is supplied by a USB-A cable with the data wires cut off, with a switch controlling the voltage and a rectifier diode protecting the USB port or battery pack from back voltage from the motor.

The drill isn’t very powerful, only able to bore holes in PCBs, plastic, and similar soft materials. However, you could see how just a couple more components could make it even more robust — maybe a speed controller and voltage booster? Even so, we appreciate this bare-bones, ultra-low budget approach — only the barest essentials are included, with the components held together with hot glue and solder. Also, no one is allowed to complain about their soldering iron after viewing this video.

For more projects involving motors, read up on this brushless motor made from 3D-printed parts and this guide to hand-winding quadcopter motors.


58 thoughts on “Mini Drill Made From A Motor

  1. WTF HaD? I see fast quality content decline in recent years, not to mention HaD from ten year ago are gone.I even remember days when being featured on HaD mean something like Oscar for hardware hacker. Future turns out just sad.

        1. I like how they wired a diode in series with the switch. I hope it was to lower the voltage and not trying to use it as a flyback/freewheel diode.
          Other than that, I am not really impressed by the quality of some “hacks” like this particular, even though one could do wonders with a couple of parts harvested from the dumpster hacked together.
          Does it means I should submit to HaD my “redneck engineered” bike that had its frame straightened with a ratchet strap and a car jack?

          1. I wish I took pictures…
            I simply strapped the frame of the bike to 2 pillars in front of my house, then I started to pull, but I had to stop after hearing the strap making cracking noises, being afraid of getting cut in half by a broken strap. It should be enough for small bits (derailleur brackets, saddle brackets, seized bolts), but some parts of the frame are stronger.
            I had to put the bike on the ground, take the jack and a few shims to push between the crank bearing and the rear fork, and pump until it’s straight (don’t forget to take some hysteresis into account).
            Not to mention that the bike died of multiple failures (bearings, chain/sprockets, frame welds starting to crack) a few months later.
            TL;DR, Chinesium bikes are not made for crashing or daily use.

        2. Whether it is on Instructables or not, it’s especially sad that this is a device you can buy off of Ali Express for the past three years or more – right now, US$2.60 will get you a motor, chuck, bit, allen wrench (for the setscrew), and a quad AA battery holder, including shipping (at least to the USA).

          Where’s the hack? The term “clickbait” comes to mind.

      1. There’s plenty of Oscar-worthy hacks out there still. The new generation of writers for HaD just can’t be bothered venturing any further than Reddit, Youtube, and Instructables to find them.

    1. But at least these have some usefull power: 12V and 1A no load current. That could give several Amps under load, so 25W to 50W of power. 2,5W from USB are a joke. People should use their Laptops PSU (19V) for such things and not the data port (USB). I wonder how long it takes until people try to build USB powered flatirons and water heaters :-(

          1. “although many mainboards do not really limit the current until the PCB traces fry”

            Which would be a great reason not to plug a motor directly into it.

            OTOH, usb battery packs are a dime a dozen now so using USB for your little mini-drill isn’t necessarily a horrible idea. Just don’t power it from your PC.

  2. A drill using a DC motor (as found in a Dremel) and a chuck (as found in a Dremel) you say…

    Impressive hack – surprised that no-one’s ever thought of it before. Other brands are also available.

  3. I have seen probably over a hundred sellers on Ebay selling small drill chucks that fits on most small electric motors out there…. Nothing against the person behind this project, or anything, but it is rather simple for a hack a day article. (One can just tape the drill to the motor too…)

    Surely there must be something more interesting out there?

    1. That’s why I want a hypothetical site, Pretentious Hacks, which only features real hacks that make demands on one’s skill, ability, or means. Also, its writers must be hackneyed and think a lot of themselves, thus giving the name a wonderful double-meaning.

  4. HaD was pretty Unique.
    Now it is just another place sharing stuff of the kind “5 life hacks”.
    It is just sad, but everything comes to an end.
    A place for hackers, but not by hackers.

      1. That may be true, and that’s where I’m confused. People still come here. If hackaday loses a significant amount of audience then maybe they’d do something about the articles published. Personally I’m not dissuaded by it, and come here to read whatever article, and just be happy if there are a couple that I really liked.

  5. ITT: complaining. I’m fine with an occasional post about some guy hot gluing shit to a motor in between posts about quantum parity and laser-cutter shenanigans. I don’t get why people are so serious all the time.

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