How To Use a Power Drill
Power Drills – What You Need to Know Before Buying One
Without a doubt, a power drill is a necessary acquisition for every household, as it has
numerous applications. You can use it for countless home and garden chores around the
house. However, in order to benefit most from your purchase, you should choose your
power drill sensibly.
This is the purpose of this article: to shed some light on the topic of power drills, how
they should be used, the main considerations during the shopping process, critical safety
and maintenance tips, along with other important aspects.
How to Use a Power Drill?
- Pick the right drill bit for the material you’re drilling. As a rule of thumb, you can
use the same type of drill bit with both metal and wood. Conversely, though,
masonry bits feature a specific design. We’ll further expand on this later on.
- Using eye protection is highly recommended, especially if you plan on drilling
- You should hold the drill perpendicular to the hole.
- Apply gentle pressure as you push the drill into the surface you’re targeting.
- Considering that you’re drilling into wood, then, you might have to drill out
periodically. That’s because the drill is prone to clog. Therefore, if you pull the
drill as it keeps turning, it will clean itself.
- The drill is prone to clog if you’ve applied too much pressure too fast. If that does
happen, you should pull the bit out and clean the cog by using a nail or
- When the drill penetrates through the material, your job is done.
How to Choose a Power Drill?
Of course, in order to ensure that you’ve invested in the right power drill for your needs,
you should consider several aspects.
Corded vs. Cordless
Presumably, the first decision you should make is choosing between corded and cordless
power drills. In essence, if you plan on doing some serious, heavy work, a corded power
drill will likely address your needs, because of the extra power and torque. That is to say,
corded units are recommended for demanding jobs and regular utilization.
If you plan on drilling through masonry, getting a corded unit might make more sense.
On the other hand, though, a cordless unit featuring a rechargeable battery is more
lightweight, which makes it safer to use. Another benefit is that you can use it literally
anywhere. Notwithstanding, for long jobs, you might need to invest in a second battery,
so that you can use the drill for lengthier projects, as well.
The power of a cordless power drill is measured in volts. For the most part, a cordless
drill belonging to the 12-16 volt range might address the needs of most homeowners.
Still, there are other models that are more powerful.
It’s worth noting, though, that the more powerful a drill is, the heavier it will be.
On a different note, in the case of corded drills, the power is measured in amps.
Essentially, the power grows as the amperage increases. For home utilization, a 8-amp
corded drill might be a decent choice.
Depending on the type of unit you choose, you might have multiple speed options. In
general, the lower speed is used for driving screws whereas the higher speed is used for
drilling holes. In essence, you should determine how you intend on using the drill.
If its primary utilization will be drilling holes, then, getting a single speed drill in the
1000 rpm range will do the job.
The chuck is the part of the drill in which you insert the bit. As you might expect, there
are specific options varying from ¼-inch to ½-inch. Simultaneously, the 1/2-inch chuck
is perfectly suited for heavy duty applications. So, if this interests you, you should carry
this in mind.
On the flip side, though, a 3/8-inch chuck is considered to be quite versatile. That’s
because you can use it for both heavy and fine bits.
Moving on to their operations, some chucks are key less, whilst others are operated with
a key. The benefit of getting a key less chuck is that you needn’t worry about losing the
key and potentially being unable to use the drill when you need it.
The clutch responds to resistance, preventing the screws from going too deep, as well as
safeguarding against stripping screws. It’s worth mentioning that only some drills come
with adjustable clutches. Also, this is a nice feature to have, particularly if you know
you’ll be using the drill as a driver quite frequently.
❖ Forward/Reverse Switch
The major benefit of the forward/reverse switch is that you can remove the screws
thanks to this feature. This can be definitely useful, particularly if you have furniture or
cabinets to dismantle. Concurrently, this will come in useful for the occasional
misplaced screw, as well.
Drill Bits for Distinct Materials
Presumably, the easiest way of categorizing drill bits, is by linking them to the types of
materials they are recommended for. Aside from this, though, we’d like to talk about
what drill bits are suitable for certain holes.
● Masonry Bits
Most people that decide to invest in a drill plan on using it for making holes in masonry.
Masonry is a general term, utilized to cover off blocks, bricks, concrete, cement, walls,
and granite and stone – in plain English, this is a very hard material, which would
require a powerful, potent drill bit.
That is to say, some masonry drills might come with a hexagonal shank (as opposed to a
cylindrical shank), in order to prevent the bits from slipping in the chunk, granted that
the drill deals with significant loads.
For the most part, this type of bits is known to heat up rapidly during utilization. As a
result, the tungsten brazing on the drill’s bit tip is prone to melt. Therefore, the tip could
move and chip during drilling. So, in order to keep the temperature down, an idea would
be withdrawing the bit regularly, in order to clean its flutes.
On a different note, if you need to drill deep hole in concrete, then, you should get a long
drill bit. Conversely, if you need to drill a wide hole through a type of masonry, then,
you’ll need to use a hole saw – which is an attachment you place on the end of the
hammer drill. Thanks to this, you can get through the concrete without a lot of difficulty.
● Drill Bits for Glass and Tiles
Usually, there are two primary types of tiles – namely granite and porcelain. Both are
hard wearing, sturdy materials, which are also significantly brittle. As a result, drilling
through granite is a challenge, since there is always the likelihood that the tile could be
This is why you’ll need a special type of drill bit for the job. More precisely, you should
get a drill bit featuring a carbon tungsten tip – this makes the drill tip harder, enabling it
to get through the exterior coating of the tile.
Notwithstanding, a tungsten carbide bit should be used at a low-speed setting, for best
On the other hand, though, diamond tipped bits are also worth considering. They drill
faster, and they are much more durable. Nonetheless, bear in mind that you should
apply some water on the tip throughout the drilling.
● Drill Bits for Metal and Plastic
For the most part, most homeowners shouldn’t worry about drilling through metals,
which is good news, of course. In truth, this type of work is designated for specialists.
However, for drilling through plastic, you should get high-speed bits, which are
recommended for most cases. Generally speaking, they feature a cylindrical shank. In
some cases, though, they might have a ¼ inch hex shank, which allows impact drivers
and cordless screwdrivers to perform all kinds of tasks.
● Drill Bits for Wood
Drill bits featuring a brad point tip – also referred to as a W-point tip, are known to
work best for wood. These enable the outside cutting edges of the drill to cut the hole’s
diameter, prior to the center breaking through. As a result, you should obtain a clean
Not only that it is suitable for wood, but it is just as efficient in the case of plastic. In
some cases, the bits might come accompanied by rubber rings known as depth stops.
These fit around the bit, enabling you to determine the depth of the drill.
On a different note, spade bits are recommended for drilling large holes, also in wood.
Also, you can combine them with extension shanks if you need to extend their reach.
What Makes Power Drills Better Than Hand Drills?
If we were to compare power tools to hand tools, the first category features numerous
advantages that are worth mentioning. As a result, the demand for power tools has been
on the growth recently. Now, let’s have a look at the primary benefits of power drills.
High Speed This is, without a doubt, the primary benefit of power
drills. Most home improvement projects can be rather
time-consuming. Still, with the right tools, the entire
process is simplified. So, driving screws into concrete
by using a hand tool is equally difficult and time-consuming.
Efficiency Not only power drills are speedier than hand drills, but
they’re doubly more effective. That is to say, you can
easily use a power tool for driving large screws into
strong materials, without a lot of difficulties. Hence, if
we were to compare power drills with their
counterparts, they can perform a variety of tasks that
cannot be performed with hand tools.
Hassle-free Another great thing about power drills is that they can
be used without causing a lot of disruption in offices or
Safety and Maintenance Tips
To maintain your power drill in excellent shape, you should look after its battery life, of
course. Similar to laptop or smartphone batteries, heat is known to degrade the
condition of the battery, which could shorten the battery life of the power drill.
That is to say, you should avoid storing the battery in the charger. Additionally, as soon
as you notice that the battery of the drill is too hot, you should allow it to cool down. On
a different note, it’s advisable to think about how you intend on using the unit, so that
you can determine whether you’ll need to recharge the battery often or not. In some
instances, fast charging stations could overheat the battery, which could diminish its
Even if a power drill is a great tool to have around the house, there are some potential
pitfalls or inconveniences you should be mindful of. Even if a power drill is infinitely
more efficient and practical than a hand tool, this means that, if you don’t grip it
accordingly, or you don’t position it properly, you are likely to cause damage to your
walls – or any other surface for a change.
This is why, whenever you’re using a power drill, you should take your time, use eye
protection, closely evaluate the angle at which you should drill the hole.
Also, bear in mind that, once you drill a hole, you cannot make it smaller. Therefore, if
you’re uncertain of the right size for your application, you’d be better off with picking a
smaller size, as opposed to choosing a large one.
Concurrently, if you plan on making holes in drywall, make sure you utilize drywall
anchors. That’s because the sharp threads of the screws are too fine to cope with the
rough, chalky composition of drywall. On the other hand, though, plastic threaders are
stretchy and big, which is why they will stay put in the drywall, much better than a
To conclude, we hope that this article accounts for an informative introduction to power
drills. Make sure you evaluate your options before making an investment; always assess
your needs and individual specifications. This is a golden rule that applies in most