How to Use a Drill



This instructable will cover the necessary steps, from beginning to end, for using a cordless hand drill. Hand drills are one of the most commonly used tools in a workshop, so knowing how to safely operate one is necessary when it comes to prototyping and working on projects.


Step 2: Select a Drill Bit

Prior to selecting a drill bit, it is very important to determine the size and depth of the hole you are drilling. When doing work with screws, pilot holes are very important to prevent the wood from splitting. The diameter of the drill bit for the pilot hole should be the same as the diameter of your screw without the threads.

This tutorial will only consider three drill bits: Twist drill bits, spade drill bits, and hole saw bits.

Twist drill bits are the most frequently used and are generally used for cutting smaller, more standard holes into wood or metal. When you are planning on drilling a large hole with a twist drill bit, make sure to start with a smaller drill bit and widen the hole in stages; starting with a large bit can create a sloppy hole, make the bit more easily walk, and it might take very long to get through the material. This is important to consider once you start using drill bits greater than or equal to a quarter inch.

Spade bits can more easily bore large holes into wood than a twist drill bit, and the holes can either go through the material partially or completely.

Hole saw bits are capable of drilling larger holes than spade bits, but the hole has to go completely through the material. Depending on what the bit is made of, hole saw bits can be used on wood or metal.

Step 3: Put the Chosen Bit Into the Drill

Loosen the chuck (the black circular section on the front of the drill) by twisting it counterclockwise to widen the diameter of the jaws that clamp onto the drill bit.

Insert the shank (smooth part) of the drill bit into the jaws, and re-tighten the chuck until the drill bit is secured. Make sure the bit is centered and that the jaws clamp onto the flat sides of the shank.

You can also pull the trigger and run the drill in a clockwise direction, while holding the chuck and drill bit in place, to tighten more quickly and securely.

Step 4: Check All Other Settings

Make sure the drill has a charged battery in it. Using a battery that isn't charged enough can lead to slower, ineffective drilling.

Check the speed settings on the drill. Setting 1 is low speed and high torque, which is ideal for uses such as driving screws into the material. Setting 2 is high speed and low torque, which is good for drilling holes.

Make sure you will be drilling in the right direction. If the drill bit is facing away from you, clockwise is for cutting/ screwing into material, and counterclockwise is for removing the bit/ unscrewing.

Also pay attention to the dial around the chuck of the drill; the numbers indicate torque settings, and are useful when driving screws. If the number is set too low, the drill will stop spinning and make a clicking noise under a lower amount of pressure. If the torque setting is too high, the screw bit might slip against the top of the screw and you risk rounding off the screw head. When drilling, make sure the dial is turned to the drill bit symbol or the highest number.

Step 5: Set Up Your Material

Make sure the material you are drilling into is secured to a sturdy surface, either with clamps or a vice. Usually, clamping a scrap piece of wood under the material is a good idea because it allows for a cleaner edge where the drill exits.

Make sure you have enough clearance to avoid drilling into a table or a vice.

Precisely mark the holes you will be drilling into the material using proper marking techniques.

Step 6: Drill the Hole

Make sure the tip of the drill bit is touching the material before you start drilling, and that the drill bit is held at a reasonable angle. In most cases, when going straight through the material, this means that the drill bit will be perpendicular to the material.

Pull the trigger and start drilling slowly. Once the bit cuts slightly into the material, you can speed up and apply constant pressure until you have cut all the way into the material.

Once you are through, make sure the drill is spinning and pull the bit out. If this is difficult, change the direction the drill is spinning and remove slowly.

Step 7: Examine the Hole

If the hole you have drilled was for a fastener, make sure that fastener fits in the hole relatively easily (bolts, screws, rivets). If it doesn't, either go through the hole again with a slightly larger drill bit, or use the same drill bit and ream out the edges by twisting the drill slightly in a circular direction while drilling.

Step 8: Clean Up

When all of your holes are drilled, make sure to remove the drill bit and put it back in its appropriate place. Put the drill away and the battery in a charging dock, and then vacuum any chips or dust on your work surface or the ground.

Step 9: Here Is a Short Video Summarizing the Process



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    2 Discussions


    6 days ago

    also worth understanding the numbers around the chuck, particularly when screwing - the lower the pressure on the screw before drill stops spinning (making the unsettling clicking sound). If you set the number too high your screw bit will slip against the top of the screw, rounding off the head of the screw and making it unusable. However when drilling you want the highest number (or further onto the drill symbol, depending on your drill)

    Also a lot of drills will also have a masonary setting (hammer drill) this wants to be switched off for anything other than walls (or stone, concrete etc)

    avoid holding onto the screw or drill bit when drilling as it will tear up your finger tips, instead give the drill a bit of support with your spare handing by pushing firmly of the back of the drill

    Penolopy Bulnick

    6 days ago

    Lots of great information about using a drill :)