Can I Hook Up A Regular Electric Drill To A Dimmer Switch? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 12-01-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


That should read FAN CONTROL , not dimmer,

Hi there. I searched the forums and found nothing so here goes.

My wife thinks I'm going to kill myself and/or burn down the house if I cut off the plug from a Black & Decker drill and hook it up to a fan control switch (not a dimmer) switch. I'm confident that all I have to do is take one wire and hook it up in the same way the instructions say for a fan.
i'm building a pickup (i.e. electromagnet) winder so a variable speed drill won't work. I need to be able to control the speed externally. The drill will be mounted on a board with the pickup in the chuck with magnet wire being fed onto it.
Am I out to lunch? Should I up my life insurance? Or is this safe, given a certain amount of safety consciousness and precaution?
I have attached pictures of the drill, the fan switch, the fan switch box, fan switch instructions and a sketch of my idea.

A quick answer would be really appreciated!
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Last edited by nicholaspaul; 12-01-2011 at 01:53 AM. Reason: I meant fan control, not dimmer.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Oh yea, and could you also (sorry) let me know what your qualifications are and your experience? Yes, I have to cite references....Thanks for humouring me!!

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


An electrician will be along shortly---But you miss spoke a bit---a dimmer would not work --but a fan speed control should--

You pictured a fan speed control --Is that what you have?

Why not add that to a double electric box with a cord and wire it to an outlet ? Then plug the drill into
the outlet---

A licensed electrician will be right along---
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #4
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
An electrician will be along shortly---But you miss spoke a bit---a dimmer would not work --but a fan speed control should--

You pictured a fan speed control --Is that what you have?

Why not add that to a double electric box with a cord and wire it to an outlet ? Then plug the drill into
the outlet---

A licensed electrician will be right along---
Thanks Mike! Yes, I misspoke. It is a fan speed control I have, NOT a dimmer (emphasis on the not...!) A quick Google told me not to use a light dimmer.

I could do the double box idea. I'm not planning on using the drill for anything else (the POS!) so permanently wiring it this way is fine for me.
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Old 12-01-2011, 04:54 AM   #5
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


It will not work !
Electronic type motor speed controllers are made for
induction type motors.
But most electric drills use a universal type motor.
You will have to find a electronic speed control
suitable for a universal motors.
They are out there, just not as common.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:32 AM   #6
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Back to the drawing board---
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:50 AM   #7
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
They are out there, just not as common.
They are actually VERY common.

http://www.amazon.com/Router-Power-T.../dp/B0012WKCXK
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:24 AM   #8
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Just curious how old is this drill??? Nearly all drills sold nowadays are variable speed.

If the dimmer is designed for inductive loads(fans), and the load(drill) is less than the dimmer rating, usually 600W(5A), it willl work.

Last edited by Just Bill; 12-01-2011 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:09 AM   #9
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


That does look like a new drill... We have some similar units for our routers at work (router speed controls)

Just curious- wouldn't it be a whole lot easier and faster to just go get a $15 variable speed drill, then build that type of unit and carry all of that stuff around?
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


It sounds like he just wants to use the cheapo drill as a motor for winding coils, which is why he wants an external and easily adjustable speed control.
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:02 AM   #11
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


A while ago I needed to slow down my angle grinder for polishing some granite. I stuck a normal dimmer switch in a 2g box with a receptacle and a cord. Had no idea if it would work but it worked beautifully (the dimmer, not the polishing job)
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


HOLD IT RIGHT THERE !

The OP clearly stated:
Quote:
... could you also (sorry) let me know what your qualifications are and your experience? Yes, I have to cite references...
And none of you guys have posted your resumes so far. "F"
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:02 PM   #13
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Thanks Pete- for only $25 I can keep everyone happy!

That drill is brand new. Believe it or not B&D still sell single speed drills . I did actually state that a variable speed drill won't work because it has to be mounted and run at a constant speed
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #14
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post

If the dimmer is designed for inductive loads(fans), and the load(drill) is less than the dimmer rating, usually 600W(5A), it willl work.
The drill is rated 3A and the switch is 5A. So you think i'm good to go? :D (Fishing for permission here!)
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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Can I hook up a regular electric drill to a dimmer switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Just curious how old is this drill??? Nearly all drills sold nowadays are variable speed.

If the dimmer is designed for inductive loads(fans), and the load(drill) is less than the dimmer rating, usually 600W(5A), it willl work.
The problem is that most drills are not induction motors !
They are mostly universal motors (different).
So you need a speed control made for universal motors,
not a control made for induction motors !

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