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Thread: electric drill odor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
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    electric drill odor

    My 18v B&D cordless drill/driver has been pretty much idle for a year now, getting used occasionally for small projects. Just yesterday I was using it and it worked fine, but that 'old electric drill' smell came from it. My dad had a tailed B&D drill when I was young and it had that same odor. What could cause it and is it a sign that I need a new drill or just that it is now 3 yrs old and that's a sign of age?
    -Ned

  2. #2
    Hi Ned.

    The first thing I thought of was that you are smelling ozone from sparking of the carbon brushes in the motor. They may have gotten dirty from being in storage, and just need time to 'burn in'. Another possibility is that the armature has been corroded/oxidized from none use. Usually, the brushes can be easily removed and cleaned in alcohol and replaced. If you try that, be sure to notice the orientation of the brushes when you remove them as they are curved to mate with the armature. Cleaning the armature is a little more difficult and involves tearing into the motor.

    Of course, this could be a good time to claim the drill is beyond repair and campaign for a new one.

    My opinions are worth what you paid.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Ken,
    it isn't an unpleasant odor, and I think you're right about the dust factor. It wasn't a high-dollar drill to begin with, but it still works well, just has that odor. I'm putting all of my tool budget into the new shop, so I'll be hanging onto it. for $48 when the LOML bought it, it has served me very well despite it's homeowner roots.
    I could tear into it, but Knowing my luck I wouldn't get it back together correctly. Holding it ON for a minute or so and the scent lessened, so I think it will be a self correcting minor issue.
    -Ned

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Bulken View Post
    Ken,
    it isn't an unpleasant odor, and I think you're right about the dust factor. It wasn't a high-dollar drill to begin with, but it still works well, just has that odor. I'm putting all of my tool budget into the new shop, so I'll be hanging onto it. for $48 when the LOML bought it, it has served me very well despite it's homeowner roots.
    I could tear into it, but Knowing my luck I wouldn't get it back together correctly. Holding it ON for a minute or so and the scent lessened, so I think it will be a self correcting minor issue.
    Keep an eye on the battery pack. If you using the drill lightly, the batteries should stay reasonably cool. If they are getting HOT, then I would think you have a shorted battery cell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis/Grand Marais Minnesota
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    181
    Just Don't let the smoke out
    They all run on smoke
    Live Like You Mean It!!

  6. #6
    Hey Tyler, how you been? How is the new house coming along? First thing you know, we will have to call you a gentleman farmer. How about Colonel Howell?

    BTW, I have lots of experience letting the smoke out of things like resistors, capacitors, even a few transistors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    Posts
    873
    As it has been sitting for a while, you might want to blow it out with some compressed air. If there was a dust build up, that should take care of it.

    Tyler's right.... whatever you do, don't let the magic smoke out.... Once it gets out you'll never get it back in!

    If the smoke does escape .... and you can swing the funds $$$ ....Dewalt makes a good 18v drill/driver. I have the hammer drill version and i've been happy with it.
    Last edited by Sean Wright; 04-10-2007 at 01:53 AM.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

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