Is your DeWalt battery dead as a doornail? Then you’ll find 4 tricks in this article that help you give it a new lease on life.

If your DeWalt battery won’t charge, try this

  • Clean the contacts
  • Charge the battery slowly with mini boosts
  • Connect the battery to another battery
  • Connect the battery to an AC adapter

As you can see from these steps, tossing your DeWalt battery in a landfill buying new, may not be the only solution to your battery problem. Take a look at these 4 methods in more detail below so you can get back to your DIY jobs ASAP.

4 Ways to Revive Your Dead DeWalt Battery

Is a dead battery putting a damper on your DIY plans? You put the battery to charge and went about your business for a few hours. You came back, pumped and ready to start drilling. You turned the drill on and nothing happened. The battery is out for the count.

But…before you take the battery and launch it into the trash with all your might, there may be something you can do. More often than not, you can rejuvenate a DeWalt battery. In this article, we will consider 4 ways you can do this. Take a look at them below.

Method #1 Clean the Contacts

So we’ll start the ball rolling with the easiest method for fixing your DeWalt battery. That is, to check your contacts and give them a good clean. A thorough clean of the contacts is sometimes all your battery needs to start working again. This will save you from having to pull the battery to pieces or turn the garage upside down trying to find your multimeter.

You might need to clean the contacts on your DeWalt battery for the following reasons.

  • The contacts are rusty. The battery will not be able to charge through the rust.
  • The contacts are dirty. They must be clean for the battery to charge properly.

So what can you do to fix these problems? If your contacts are rusty, do the following.

  1. Scrub the contacts gently on the battery and the charger with sandpaper*. Do this until they are clear of rust.
  2. Connect the tool to the charger to see if it charges. If it doesn’t move on to the next method.

*NOTE: Fine grit sandpaper between 320 and 400 should suffice for this job.

If your contacts are dirty, do the following.

  1. Use a clean rag to wipe over the contacts on the battery and the charger. Completely remove any dirt, dust, or grime from them.
  2. Connect the tool to the charger to see if it charges. If it doesn’t move on to the next method.
drill with battery pack
Clean the contacts on the tool and the battery

Method #2 Charge the Battery Slowly With Mini Boosts

So you’ve cleaned the contacts but still can’t get your DeWalt battery to charge? Then here’s the next method. That is, charging the battery slowly with mini boosts.

But what does that mean exactly?

Charging the battery little by little helps to wake the battery from its slumber. It raises the battery’s charge just enough so that you can then use the charger properly.

Why is this necessary?

If your battery won’t charge normally, it means that the battery is too flat to be safe for charging. This happens when you use the tool until the battery is almost flat then don’t connect it to the charger for a few days. The following graph explains a little more about what happens when your battery enters sleep mode.

DeWalt Battery Falling Into Sleep Mode
The charge drop after a weekend of DIY.

Connecting the battery to a power source for just 2 or 3 seconds at a time slowly boosts the battery. It does so until it is out of the slumber zone.

Ok, so how do you do it? Take a look at the following steps.

  1. Connect the battery to a power source for 2 to 3 seconds at a time. After 2 or 3 seconds, disconnect the battery from the power source. You should disconnect the battery just before the lights come on.
  2. Repeat step 1 for up to 30 minutes. This should give the battery enough power for you to charge it normally.

Method #3 Connect the Battery to Another Battery

This method will help you to pass the charge from a charged battery to your flat battery. This will help the flat battery to have enough power for you to charge it normally.

Ready to get started? Then here’s how to do it.

You Will Need

  • DeWalt battery that won’t charge
  • Another battery (preferably another DeWalt battery)
  • Two pairs of scissors*

*NOTE: Instead of scissors you can also use 2 unfolded paper clips or 2 razor blades

Once you’ve gathered your tools, do the following.

  1. Use one pair of scissors to connect the positive terminal to the positive terminal*. (Or paper clip or razor blade).
  2. Use the other pair of scissors to connect the negative terminal to the negative terminal
  3. Leave the scissors in place for 5 minutes
  4. Remove the scissors. There should now be enough charge in the flat battery for it to be charged normally.

*NOTE: It is very important to double-check which terminals you are connecting. Positive should be connected to positive and negative to negative. Getting this the wrong way around could cause permanent damage to the battery.

Would you rather watch the movie than read the book? Then take a look at this handy tutorial video that will show you all of the steps mentioned above.

Method #4 Connect the Battery to an AC Adapter

For this next method, you are going to make mini booster cables. These cables will resuscitate your battery. For this, you will need to say goodbye to one of your AC adapters. It’s best to use an old AC phone charger for this job.

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need for this step.

You Will Need

  • An old AC cell phone charger
  • A pair of scissors
  • A wire stripper
  • A very thin screwdriver

Here is the method

  1. Cut the end off of the AC cell phone charger
  2. Use your fingers to pull and separate the two wires
  3. Use a wire stripper to remove the cable covers

NOTE: The black wire is negative. The white or striped wire is positive. You must not mix these up. Doing so could cause permanent damage to the battery.

  1. Use a very thin screwdriver to remove the screws on the DeWalt battery pack. Remove the battery pack’s case.
  2. Remove the two plastic side pieces
  3. Use your fingers to tease out the battery pack
  4. Plug the AC cell phone charger into an electrical outlet
  5. Use the two wires to “resuscitate” the DeWalt battery. You can do this by touching the black wire to the negative terminal while touching the white or striped wire to the positive terminal.

NOTE: Ensure you are touching negative to negative and positive to positive.

  1. Touch the wires to the terminal on and off for one minute. This should be enough to charge the battery slightly.
  2. Put the plastic cover back over the battery pack
  3. Place the battery pack to charge
  4. If the battery doesn’t begin to charge, remove the cover and repeat step 8 for another minute


There’s nothing more frustrating and time-wasting than a battery that won’t charge. Setting it to charge then coming back and realizing it hasn’t done anything is infuriating. Thankfully, this article has gone through 4 things you can do to fix this problem. I am sure they have been useful to you and have helped you breathe new life into your DeWalt battery.

Has this article been useful to you? Then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list.

Have a great day!