How To Use a Power Drill

Step by Step Guide

Although using a power drill is a common occurrence, for those who’re unfamiliar with how they operate, they can be a nuisance to use and result in a hefty bill from your health insurance scheme.

Whether you’re using a cordless or corded drill, an electric drill is a must-have item for every household. From drilling to driving, a power drill can be used for many purposes.

If you’re a novice, the various options and applications might be leaving you feeling confused. If this is the case, it’s useful to remember that although different brands come with different mechanisms, the core adjustments are roughly the less across different brands.

This guide will shed light on the different adjustments that are required for using a drill for the first time!

How To Use a Power Drill

Setting up the Drill

If you’re a DIY newbie, figuring out how to use a power drill can be difficult.

A drill can function with multiple drill bits, therefore setting up correctly is a crucial factor.

Before using your power drill, make sure you’re aware of the job that needs doing and choose the right accessories for a successful application.

Setting up the Drill

It’s important that while drilling, you wear safety clothing and eye protection.

Avoid wearing dangling jewelry and baggy clothing which could catch in the drill as you lean over it.

Wearing glasses or safety goggles that cover the sides of your face are great for protecting you from flying debris.

If you drill regularly, you should wear ear protection to prevent hearing loss.

On average, a handheld electric drill produces about 90 decibels which enough to cause hearing damage after prolonged exposure. Impact drills are the loudest handheld drills, producing over 100 dB, therefore hearing protection is always advisable when handling them.

On today’s market, most modern cordless drills are quiet enough for hearing protection to not be a requirement.


Forward & Reverse Button

Every drill comes with a forward and reverses button; by pressing the forward button, the drills goes forward and by pressing the reverse button it comes backward.

Say you need a deep hole, first you put the forward button and when it is done, press the reverse button and pull out the drill.

Forward & Reverse Button

You can switch between forward and reverse by pressing the forward/reverse switch on the side of the tool.

This switch is usually located above the speed control trigger and can be pushed in from either side of the drill. The direction that you slide the switch may be dependant on the make and model of your cordless driver.

When Should I Reverse My Drill?

Screws that have been driven in with a power tool are often difficult to remove with a manual screwdriver.

Cordless drivers have a reverse function that are great for this purpose!

Occasionally, when drilling holes, the drill can become jammed, and pulling it out can cause damage. Putting the driver in reverse means that you can safely back the drill out.


Setting the Right Clutch

The Clutch provides drills with more control over the amount of torque applied to a screw.

A drill has different levels of clutch settings it right is the most important job for the user.

You will find different numbers from 1 to 10 and you will find an arrow for rotation. For setting up the clutch you need to rotate it and adjust your desired number. The higher the number, the higher the torque and larger the fastener that can be provided.

Setting the Right Clutch

Each drill has a collar that’s twistable to adjust the torque, which often has a series of numbers on it.

Increasing the torque is suitable for when you’re having trouble penetrating the material and lowering the torque is perfect for when you’re over-driving the screws or drilling too deep.

Modern drills have been designed by leading manufacturers to disengage the transmission at a range of torque thresholds to stop the overdriving of screws in delicate surfaces like drywall. This feature also prevents the damage of small or fragile screws.


Adjusting the Chuck

The chuck is the tool that adjusts the bit with the drill.

To attach the bit, you need to rotate the sleeve of the chuck counter-clockwise. This will open up its teeth for you to put a bit 2-3 inches long between its teeth and then rotate the sleeve again to tighten the chuck.

Make sure the teeth of the chuck are tightly adjusted against the bit or else it might loosen while drilling or fastening.

There are many chuck options available from 1/4 inches, to 1/2 inches and even some 3/8 inches. The 1/2 inch chucks are the best for heavy appliances and the 3/8 inches are the best for versatile usages.

Adjusting the Chuck

How Does a Chuck Work?

The body of the chuck guides and positions the movement of the jaws as they are brought together or as they’re separated.

The sleeve, or shell as it’s sometimes referred to, rotates around the chuck’s body. As the sleeve or shell is turned, the ring nut is also turned.

The ring nut’s teeth interlock with the teeth on the jaws, so as the ring nut turns the jaws are moved forward and together or backward and apart while being guided by the body of the chuck.

Some chucks need a key to turn the sleeve, which is referred to as ‘keyed chucks.’ However, most hand drills and braces use a keyless chuck, where the sleeve or shell is tightened by hand.


Keeping its Position Straight

Make sure to keep the drill perpendicular to your workplace to have a smooth accomplishment and have a steady hold over the drill.

Most of the holes you drill will be intended to be drilled straight on, which can be done precisely with a drill press. However, many drillers don’t have one and require a specific set up and workspace that’s small enough to be placed on a table.

Keeping its Position Straight

There are a dozen reasons why you need to drill a straight hole, which is tough if you don’t have a commercial guide.

Making your own is deceptively simple;

  1. Start with a wood scrap that’s about 1/12″ wide and 10″ long. Cut 2″ from one end, making sure that the cut is perfectly square.
  2. Spread some glue on the cut off and place it on the longer piece around 1″ from the end.
  3. Clamp the pieces together while the glue sets

To use your DIY guide, simply line up the drill bit with the corner created by the guide. Next, use your hand or your clamp to secure it to the work. Finally, line up and go!


Before you use a drill, it’s important to ensure that you’re working safely!

Use a stud finder with settings that detect electric wires and pipes. In most modern homes, the wires run closer to the floor and ceiling, only running vertically near outlets and light fixtures.

If you want to be extra safe, turn off the power at the circuit box or install a ground fault interrupter which will automatically shut off the power if a wire trips.

What are your tips for safe drilling?

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