How to Use a Power Drill – A Guide to Drilling

A power drill is a screwdriver on steroids. There’s various bits to screw things in, and plenty of drill bits to make holes. The main difference is power drills are faster and much more powerful, but as Uncle Ben once said – “With great power comes great responsibility”. If you’re unfamiliar with the power tool basics you could do some serious damage. Luckily this guide will go over everything about how to use a power drill safely.

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If you’re reading this guide, you probably want a power drill to do two things: Screw things in faster and drill holes in all sorts of materials.

How to Use a Power Drill

The most important parts of a drill you’ll want to know about power drills are the interchangeable bits. These bits allow you to screw in all different types of screws. Modern power drills use leverage to be able to tighten screw heads. Here’s how to change a bit:

  1. Loosen the Chuck. Rights tight, lefts loose.
  2. Place the bit into the chuck.
  3. Tighten it as best as possible. Most modern drills can be tightened by hand, although some have a ‘key system’ that you’ll need to use. These keys are often stored somewhere in the drills body, either the handle or the top.

Pro tip: Hold the chuck in place and lightly squeeze the trigger to tighten the bit better. Careful of chafing hands.

There’s 2 more parts of a drill that are equally as important. There’s a switch (or button) often found around the trigger which sets the drills direction (forward or backwards/clockwise or counterclockwise). you’ll also find a torque settings. Lowest setting is the loosest – meaning it will stop turning once it feels a small amount of tension in the screw. The highest setting does the opposite, continuously turning until the screw cams out (see how to use a screwdriver if you’re not sure what this means). Often it’s best to use a medium settings, but this varies depending on the job.

Drilling Holes

There’s many types of drill bits around (read about types of drill bits), each made for drilling different materials. Often general all-purpose bits are enough for any household jobs you have in mind.

If you’re looking to drill a hole for screws, you have to be sure you’re using the right size of bit. You’ll want to use a drill bit with the same size relative to the body of the screw, not including the screws threads.

Common Power Drill Mistakes

As mentioned before, power drills are just that – powerful. The faster you drill the faster you could make a mistake without realizing it, doing damage to walls, screw heads, and worst of all yourself.

Always use a speed that allows you to maintain full control (aka. what you’re comfortable with) and always wear eye protection. Sometimes materials or sudden broken screws can fly at super speeds right at you. It’s not common, but if it does best to be prepared.

When drilling holes always start small because holes can be made bigger, but not smaller. If you can’t tell what size of drill bit you’ll need for a screw go small and work your way up.

Pro Tip: When screwing holes or screws into drywall surfaces use drywall anchors. This will stick much better in drywall than your typical metal screw.

Parts of a Power Drill – InfoGraph

How to use a power drill

‘Parts of a Power Tool’ Picture from Primer magazine

Finally – What Power Drill Should You Use?

Now that you know how to use a power drill, you’ll want to pick one up. So do you get a corded or cordless one? How much power should it have? How long should a battery last? There’s a ton of questions that come along with this, but it’s not so difficult with our best power drill reviews. Thanks for reading this power tool guide, be sure to leave a comment below with any questions.

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