For help with any problem, you may be experiencing with your DeWalt DC970 drill, check out the troubleshooting page
DW9116 charger recall
While this drill has not been subject to a recall, the DW9116 charger has. If you purchase a used drill with the included charger, check the charger to make sure it isn't recalled. DeWalt may not be repairing recalled chargers anymore, so it is possible you may be out of pocket for a new one.
Background and Identification
In 2007 Dewalt introduced its first line of lithium-ion battery cordless tools including the 18-volt line. This drill and has received its fair share of positive reviews across the internet all emphasizing its effectiveness as a home improvement drill.
It is a black and yellow DeWalt 18 volt, ½” chuck, 5.2 pounds cordless drill. It has a 2-inch wood capacity, can bore holes quickly because of the 1500 RPM speed. A major feature is its keyless chuck. Its 2-speed gearbox makes it ideal for many jobs. It is lightweight, compact, and the battery can be fully charged in an hour. The model number Model DC970. This device is very useful for construction or many home repairs.
In addition to the battery, the second most common problem is that the motor burns out, which also happens as the drill becomes older.
The most common problem with the DeWalt DC970 - and other NiCd tools with the 12/18V battery is a low charge capacity remaining. As these batteries age, the ability to hold a charge also diminishes. This is common with the original NiCd packs these drills shipped with. If your batteries are worn out, the best way to get up and running again is to use the DCA1820 and a 20V Lithium battery.
Note (DCA1820 conversion for DC970 only): This option works on most 18V tools, but the DC970 cannot accept Premium 20V batteries due to a design limitation of the drill motor.
DCA1820 charger warning: The original charger will not carry over - this is not just a DC970 issue - the charger these NiCd drills ship with is not designed to charge Lithium batteries. You must buy new batteries, a charger and an adapter.
Recovering/rebuilding worn original batteries
If you have original NiCd packs, these are typically unrecoverable when they fail due to cell age and need to be rebuilt. 3rd party replacement packs are available new as well and allow you to avoid having to switch to a different charging system.
CAUTION: YOUR CHARGER MUST SUPPORT NiMH TO USE MODERN REPLACEMENT BATTERIES. Check the specs of your charger before buying these batteries.
Since these lack a BMS, these are an excellent rebuild candidate. However, you must use balanced cells for the pack to last. Since rebuilding is generally impractical for most people unless you have the equipment or can get it done at a low enough price, it is generally recommend to buy new NiMh knockoff packs or a DCA1820 conversion kit, which includes everything you need to change charging systems. Any 20V battery will exceed the original 1.2Ah factory spec batteries, but the 1.5Ah or 2Ah 20V Lithium batteries are the best practical option for this drill.