Question about Dewalt 18 Volt Compact Drill Kit

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How do you get the brushes out

Actually only a 12volt,but how do you replace the brushes,I have some new ones but unsure just what is holding then in place,and acn this be done with just the end cover removed.

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  • netherfield Jun 05, 2008

    Model No is DC981

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I was just about to type in that I had the same problem when I took a second look. I tunes out that all you need do is pry between the plastic brush housing and the center bearing hub. It just slides out, no clip or screw. With mine it turned out that the brushes were just hung up and once freed the drill ran fine.

Posted on May 05, 2009

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Need to have the model of the tool to held you out. some yellow
tool you have to pop out the brush assy

Posted on Jun 05, 2008

  • mr aicnelav Jun 05, 2008

    all i can find is dw980 & dc980. 12 volts drill. if you want parts diagram check dewaltservicenet.net or toolpartsdirect.com

    good luck

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1 Answer

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Without seeing it - hard to say.
I would open the case & inspect the damage - it could just be rust holding the armature to the field or hanging up one of the brushes. If the switch contacts got corroded you will have to replace that - fairly easy, but requires soldering new wires.

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How to replace milwaukee C18ID brushes


That model may be one of those that really isn't meant to be replaced, you can try to do it. I've been the shop maintenance mechanic and have come across some Milwaukee tools grinders that were made to be throw aways! They made them so you could replace the on/off switches but brushes were the real problems with them. They were so short and tiny that they would wear out within a month of constant use. If the brushes didn't go the bearings would melt and the entire case would need to be replaced. The brush assemblies may be available if you order them from Milwaukee directly.


They are not like they old style that would be a piece of brush with a copper braided lead protruding out. Those would just drop into the slots and the spring holds pressure on them. You can find some brushes and shape them yourself as I have done with these newer tools. You'll find the springs are now part of the holder assembly and is a curled piece of spring steel that holds the pressure. So be careful if you try to reuse the assembly with another generic brush set. They will have a special shape also to deter you from using a longer lasting brush by having an offset in the design or a groove which can be flattened. I found the shapes to be like 2 squares that are offset but a rectangular shaped brush will work after its reshaped by a sander or grinder. The Milwaukee brush was 1/4" long new, replaced with 5/8" once the holder was modified, then the bearings just melted, cases melted and the motors rubbed on the windings. But I never had to replace the brushes again. Average life was between 2 weeks to 4 months (new), Hitachi similar grinders lasted 5 or more years with 1 or 2 brush replacements.

Either way you're going to take the tool apart yourself to replace them, just depends on the availability of replacements assemblies. Also the cost, you may as well order 4 sets right away if you are going to use Milwaukee's new garbage sets. 20 years ago I used a similar grinder for 5 years of constant every day use, replaced the cord a few times, never had any other problems.

Now I wouldn't even bother to take them apart, just about every other brand made is equal to or better than Milwaukee and cost 1/2 as much plus they use interchangeable parts. Now you're paying for Milwaukee's redesigning and engineering teams quest to constantly change parts, making sure that you cannot service them using any old parts. Right down to the cords, they spend all their money on developing new ways to do the same thing but making sure it is not compatible with last years models parts. Once your tool is made outside the USA there's no reason to buy any 1 brand, they will all be the same in the end and just dyed a different color and have labels stuck on the cases.

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1 Answer

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You may have damaged the brush holder, broken some tabs off that hold the field in place or knocked the armature out of alignment. All of these parts work under very close tolerances and if out of alignment will lock the motor up. If you pull the trigger the light will be able to work but since the armature can't turn, heat will build up in the motor very fast and you'll get the burning smell. You may get away with replacing the brush holder or housing but if the burning smell is actually coming from the armature, you'll have to replace that.

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1 Answer

When drilling drill comes to a stop easily.i can actually hold the drill and keep it from turning


Assuming you batteries are good you probably have bad brushes. They are located behind the vents-one each side- at the back of the drill. New ones are about 10 bucks from dewalt.

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Depending on age of tool older models did not have replaceable brushes. Change motor.
Newer models are replaceable , go to a service center and get a brush kit for this model. Or online.
Open tool with # 8 torx. Do not separate motor and gear case ,chuck remove as one unit. Brushes are solder in .De solder used brushes . Replace one side at a time. These kits come with new coil tension springs .

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I have been rebuilding drills for 10 yrs and have installs hundreds of switches. This is not an issue in a switch like this. If it was, the energy from the motor working should damage the switch more than the static from your body. I would not be concern with it.

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Hello, I have a dewalt drill cordless 12V. I have taken the casing off and want to know how I want to know how I get to the brushes. It has stopped working and suspect that it is the brushes. I am not...


I fix cordless DeWalt drills every week!Look for two black carbon-like blocks found on either side of the commutator ( the central spindle ) they will each have one wire on the outside end attached to a spade connector so the brush can be easily removed by prying it out from beneath the spring holding the brush against the commutator.  Then the wire can be removed and the new brush installed.    Go online to http://www.toolpartsdirect.com and search for your model dewalt drill. they have an exploded diagram and parts listing for each model drill.  That will identify the brush for you if you have never seen one before.    If the drill was operating intermittently with lots of noise and usually blue sparks coming out, loss of power, increasing intermittant operation it would almost certainly benefit from replacing the brushes.   If it is simply dead, and was ever dropped.  check the battery terminals and the trigger mechanism.  Of course inspect the battery and check inside the drill for loose or broken wires and connections. I hope this is helpful. Good luck!

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I used to pull these drills to bits for a living and all i can say is that if the brushes are intact and not too worn then it should run fine without cleaning the brushes. chances are that the motor has worn out.

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