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How To Use A Drill

A power drill is an essential tool used by everyone from DIY beginners to professional tradesmen but that doesn’t mean they are easy to use. A drill can be used around the home for hanging mirrors, installing curtain rails, assembling furniture and much more, feeling comfortable and competent with using a drill will let you perform these tasks with ease.

Once you know the basics of how to use a drill it’s also important to know the different types of drills available and what jobs they are best suited for. This guide covers everything from the basics of how to use a drill to advance professional drill types, so you can ensure you’ll be able to choose the right drill no matter the size of the job. 

Drill Controls and Set Up

Before you start using a drill you’ll first need to understand how to set it up. Most drills can be broken down into, the drill body, the drill bit, the battery and charger (if it’s cordless) or the leed and plug (if it’s corded). 

Drill bits come in all shapes and sizes, we would recommend having a range of them so you can get the right-sized hole for the screws you’ll be using.

The body of the drill will have the following components:

Chuck: The head of the drill where you insert the drill bit. To open and close it, press the trigger switch.

Trigger switch: Using your index finger you can squeeze the trigger to rotate the drill.

Torque control: These alter the power of the drill so can be adjusted depending on the material you’ll be drilling into.

Gear switch: This switch changes the speed of the drill’s rotation, higher speeds are typically used for larger screws. 

Reverse switch: This switch changes the direction the drill is rotating in. This can also be used as a safety for the drill when the switch is placed to the middle.

Now you know the setup of the drill you can start to use it.

How To Use A Drill - Step by Step

  1. Start by making sure the battery is fully charged and correctly attached.

  1. Choose the correct drill bit. Make sure the drill bit is the right size and that it is suitable for the material you’ll be using it on. Most standard bits are fine for wood, stone, brick and concrete.

  1. Fit the drill bit to the chuck. Make sure the drill is off before you do this. Tighten the chuck by hand or key depending on the drill. Make sure the bit is straight and secure before moving to the next step.

  1. Mark the surface you’ll be drilling with a pencil and drill a pilot hole with a small drill bit. This will give you something to follow and help you drill straight.

  1. Make sure you have good access to the area you want to drill. Stand up straight and hold the drill close to your body, this will improve the stability and control you have over the drill. 

  1. Hold the drill steady, take it and apply pressure to the surface. This will make sure the drill doesn’t move too much when you are drilling resulting in greater precision. 

Now you know the basics of how to use a drill safely, we can look at the different types of drills available, so you can select the right drill for the job.

Corded or Cordless? 

The first thing you must decide on when choosing a drill is if it will need to be corded or cordless? To make the right decision, you must first understand the benefits and weaknesses of each. 

Cordless drills offer greater flexibility as you don’t have to worry about having a connection to a power source. This makes them perfect for use around the home as you might not always have access to long extension cords. As a general rule, we would always recommend using a cordless drill if you are using it for DIY.    

A corded drill can take a higher amount of watts as it is connected to the mains. This means that it will be able to produce more power and handle harder surfaces. This only should come into effect when working on extremely hard surfaces, so shouldn’t affect use around the home. 

Another thing to consider is how long you’ll be using the drill for? Cordless drills don’t have an unlimited battery life, so if you are needing a drill for a big job it might be best to opt for a corded drill. If you need to use a cordless drill on a large job, you can always bring multiple batteries so the drill can last the day.

Different types of drills

Drill Drivers

Drill drivers are often seen around the house due to their versatility making them a solid choice for a number of jobs. They are best suited to smaller jobs and softer surfaces such as house brick or wood. One of the most useful features of a drill driver is their ability to tighten and loosen screws with the addition of the correct drill bit. Be sure to check out our full range of drill drivers to find the right drill for your next home project.

Combi Hammer Drill

Combi hammer drills offer all the same functionality as a drill diver but along with a hammer-action. This action provides the drill with more force allowing it to be used on harder surfaces such as masonry or brick. This drill is the perfect all-rounder making it a fantastic choice for both tradesmen and DIYers. Take a look at our Combi Hammer Drill’s and make a valuable addition to your tool kick.

Hammer Drill

Hammer drills are extremely effective on hard surfaces such as concrete or masonry due to the larger amount of force they can produce. They should be able to handle almost any type of job around the home which makes them a great addition to anyone’s tool kit. When using a hammer drill it’s important to adjust the torque settings to keep the RPM low. This allows the drill to still have enough power to be used on hard surfaces but keeps holes precise with little damage to the area.   

SDS Drills

SDS Drills are similar to hammer drills but offer even more power for use on materials such as thick steel or hard concrete. SDS Drills combine a hammer action and a rotation motion allowing them to be more precise and powerful. They also offer greater stability when drilling due to their additional front handle. This can be extremely useful for controlling the drill when it’s being used on challenging surfaces. 

Angle Drills 

Angle drills have a reduced head length allowing them to reach an area that a typical drill wouldn’t be able to reach. Due to there overall reduced size and weight, they don’t require the same level of grip and stability letting them be used at a range of angles. It’s important to note that angle drills often don’t have a high level of power like a hammer drill, so they are limited to softer surfaces. Check out our full range of angle drills to find the one that’s right for you.

Now you are aware of the different types of drill available you should be able to find the one that is right for the job. By using the tips set out in this guide you should be able to produce precise drilling every time. 


If you found this guide helpful be sure to have a look at our other guides on everything to do with the building.