Cordless Drill

cordless drill

A cordless drill is ideal to start with if you are new to DIY projects around your home, as they are light easy to use.

There are of course other types of drills on the market from electric hand drills, hand turn drills, stand-a-lone bench drills and floor-stand drills.

This post will provide information on cordless drills and their advantages and disadvantages.


What is a drill

  • A drill is a multi-purpose tool used to perform different tasks
  • They can be used for drilling holes in a variety of different materials such as wood, metal, plastic, tiles to inserting screws.
  • With the right accessories attached a drill can also be used to sand, buff, stir paint and strip paint and rust.


Parts of a drill

Drills are made up of different components, the purpose of each is discussed below.

cordless drill

Drill Handle

  • Is gripped whenever using the drill.
  • When the operator presses the start switch it activates the drill motor action.
  • When the start switch is released it stops the drill



  • Cordless drill motors range from 14.4 volts to 18-20 volts.


Variable Speed

  • A drill with a variable speed means the speed of the drill can be adjusted according to the task.
  • If drilling a hole in timber or metal the drill needs to work at high speed.
  • When inserting a screw, a slow speed is required to avoid stripping the screw head.


Forward and Reverse Switch

  • Move the switch to the “forward” position the drill bit turns clockwise and bores a hole into the material.
  • Move the switch to the “reverse” position the drill bit turns anti-clockwise and lifts the drill bit out of the hole.



The chuck is at the front end of drill where a drill bit is inserted and when tightened holds the drill bit in place.

Cordless drills do not require a special key to tighten and loosen a drill bit so are called “chuckless”

A drill’s chuck opening will come in one of two sizes – 3/8” or 1/2”. This is the maximum size a drill bit shaft will take when the chuck is fully open.


Hammer Switch

  • A hammer switch is usually located at the top of the drill.
  • Move the switch to hammer to drill holes into masonry or concrete using a special masonry drill bit.
  • When the “hammer” switch is activated the drill works with a hammering/vibration motion.
  • When the “hammer” switch is turned off the drill functions as a normal drill.


Rechargeable Battery

  • Cordless drill come with a rechargeable battery and recharging station.
  • Remove by pressing the switch at the back of the battery and slide out.
  • Insert into charging station to re-charge.
  • Recharging can take 1 – 2 hours depending on the brand and quality of the battery
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How to Use a Drill

cordless drill bit

Tips for Using a Drill

The following steps will show you how to use a drill.

  • Use the correct size drill bit required for the screw or bolt being inserted.     TIP:  Drill a pilot hole first with a small bit.   This prevents a larger bit from moving when you start drilling.
  • Inserting a screw – choose a drill bit slightly smaller in circumference than the screw being inserted.  The reason for this is so the screw has material to grab as it is inserted.
  • Inserting a bolt – use a drill bit the same size as the bolt.
  • Hold the drill in your right hand if right-handed (left hand if left-handed)
  • With the left hand, open the Chuck enough so you can insert the round smooth end of the drill bit 1 inch (25mm) in between the chuck clamps.
  • Check the bit sits evenly between the clamps otherwise the bit will wobble when the drill is turned on.
  • Use the drill’s forward switch to tighten the drill bit into the chuck opening; reverse switch to loosen the drill bit in the chuck opening
  • Tighten the chuck by hand as far as you can so the drill bit sits inside the chuck without moving.
  • To finish tightening if you are using a:
  • Continue to hold the chuck while at the same time pressing the trigger switch until you feel the chuck go tight.
  • If the drill bit is not tight enough inside the chuck it will slip while drilling is in progress.
  • Repeat this step until it is tight.

Drill with a Chuck Key – after tightening the chuck as far you can by hand, take the chuck key insert it into the teeth at the side of the chuck and keep turning the chuck clockwise until you cannot turn it any further.

  • The bit should now be held tight inside the drill.Chuckless Drill – while keeping a firm grip around the chuck, press the forward switch on the drill.

How to Use a Drill

Once the drill bit is in place it is time to start drilling.

  • Check the variable speed is turned up (higher number) for general drilling.
  • Use clamps to fix your work material to a work bench or other surface to stop the material moving.
  • Working at waist level gives you better control over the tool being used.Use a small drill bit to provide a pilot hole, then move up in drill size to the desired finished size.
  • HOT TIP:  If a very fine edge is required on the surface use masking tape over the area being drilled as this help protect the edges of the finished hole size.
  • Hold the drill in a straight vertical line over the drill hole.
  • This is necessary to avoid the hole being drilled off-centre, or at an angle.Once the pilot hole is drilled, change your drill bit until the correct size bit is selected for the task at end.


Using a Drill to Insert a Screw

  • If using your drill to insert a screw adjust the variable speed control of the drill to a LOW SPEED.
  • The reason for this is to prevent the head of the screw or bolt from being stripped.
  • If stripped, you will have difficulty getting the screw in or out!