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How to Use a Drill

No garage would be complete without a power drill. Make easy work of putting a simple piece of furniture together or take on a huge building project in confidence when you learn how to use a drill the right way. We’ll guide you through every step of mastering this handy tool.

Skill Level: Beginner

Power Drill Anatomy

Before you can learn how to use a drill, you must first understand how they operate. The key parts of a power drill include:

  • Chuck: The chuck is the part of the drill that holds onto the drill bit. Depending on the model you select, you could either have a keyless chuck that you turn to the right and left to tighten and release or a chuck that requires a key for changing out the drill bit.
  • Handle and Trigger: A power drill is designed to fit comfortably in the hand. The contoured handle will feature a conveniently placed trigger that will let you start and end the drilling.
  • Clutch Torque Selector: Gain more control out of your drilling speed by adjusting the speed with the clutch torque selector.
  • Forward and Reverse Switch: The toggle switch located on both sides of the drill helps switch the drill from forward to reverse and back again. Forward will drill into a material. Switch the drill to reverse to pull it back out.
  • Battery or Power Cord: Every power drill is powered by either a battery pack or a power cord. A power cord provides consistent power
  • Drill Bit: Getting the most out of your new power drill is about collection drill bits and screwdriver bits in ever size. These bits are easy to fit into the power drill chuck.
  1. Step 1 Power Drill Safety

    Power Drill Safety

    A power drill is one of the safest tools to use but even so, there are some basic safety measures you should take to limit the chance of injury.

    • Keep your fingers clear of the drill bit when drilling
    • Don’t have loose clothing or hair near the power drill
    • Wear safety glasses when drilling
    • If you are using a corded drill, unplug the drill prior to changing out the drill bits
  2. Step 2 Loosen the Chuck

    Loosen the Chuck

    Following the instructions provided by the drill manufacturer, loosen the chuck of the power driver. This may or may not require a chuck key, depending on the style of the power drill.

  3. Step 3 Choosing Drill Bits

    Choosing Drill Bits

    Drill bits can be made from different materials with different strengths. Stronger bits will drill through tougher materials without stripping. Consider the material you’re building with when you’re selecting the right drill bits for the job.

    • Twist Drill Bits: Twist drill bits bore into wood and other materials with ease. Choose a comprehensive set with multiple size options to have what you need for every type of home repair project.
    • Driving Bits: Driving bits are intended for driving in fasteners such as screws. They fit into the power drill just like a drill bit but transform the tool into a power driver, doubling your uses for the tool. Stock up on different shapes and sizes and keep them neatly organized near your drill bit
  4. Step 4 Insert the Right Bit

    Insert the Right Bit

    Determine which bit is needed for the project at hand and insert the bit into the loosened drill chuck. If you are using a fastener, take one of the fasteners and test it with the different bits to find the best match. If you are drilling a hole, choose a drill bit designed to coordinate with the fastener that will follow it up. Many fasteners print right on the box what size drill bit makes the best choice.

  5. Step 5 Secure the Chuck

    Secure the Chuck

    With the bit in place, tighten the chuck until it has a firm grip on the drill bit. Having a drill bit that’s not completely secure could be dangerous or damage the material you’re drilling.

  6. Step 6 Adjust the Torque

    Adjust the Torque

    Using the torque selector, make sure you set the drill to the right setting for the bit and the material you’re using for your project. You’ll need less torque to get through drywall and more torque to drive into a stud.

  7. Step 7 Line Up the Drill & Press the Trigger

    Line Up the Drill & Press the Trigger

    With the drill bit securely in place, line up the bit where you want to drill and slowly push the trigger. Start slow and increase power as needed. Make sure to apply slight and consistent pressure as you drill. If your torque is not quite right, you can adjust it up or down.

    If you are trying to remove a screw or other type of fastener, switch the drill to the reverse mode, insert the driver bit into the fastener, and press the trigger. You may have to apply a little bit of pressure to ensure a firm grip on the fastener.

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