8 Steps to Use a Power Drill

We’ll discuss the basics of how and where to use a power drill in the following sections. These basics are important because of the safety risks associated with its use.


Where Do You Use Power Drill?

You will likely use a power drill for:

  • Repetitive jobs involving turning in screws and drilling holes. These are usually true in assembly lines and construction sites.
  • Drilling holes on a wall, ceiling and floors. The materials for drilling can be metal, wood and plastic with varying thicknesses.
power drill parts

Indeed, a power drill is useful in jobs where manual drills cannot be used in an efficient manner. You can use it when drilling several holes in a row. You may also use it for drilling holes through thick materials.

Know the Important Parts First

Before using a power drill, you must first know its most important parts. Your familiarity with its features will increase your safe and efficient use.

  • Forward and reverse control is usually a sliding switch located near the trigger. This indicates and changes the drill’s direction from forward to reverse, and vice versa. You can lock the tool by setting the switch in its center position.
  • Speed settings can range from two to four for finer adjustments. Each setting is suitable for specific works. The lowest speed is for driving screws and the highest speed is for driving fasteners.
  • Tip: Never adjust the speed unless the power drill is at a complete stop. Otherwise, the gearing will be damaged.
  • Clutch settings adjust the torque range. The higher the torque, the bigger the fastener that can be driven into the material.
  • Tip: Adjust the clutch until you find the sweet spot. This is the clutch setting that will drive the screw to its desired depth. Without it, undesirable things can happen. These include overdriving the screw and disengaging the power drill’s motor.
  • Tip: Start with a low to medium setting. Adjust as necessary. At the lowest setting, the power drill will tighten the screw until tension is felt. At the highest setting, it will continue tightening the screw until it cams out.
  • Drill and hammer drill settings are typically depicted by icons. Point the arrow on the drill icon for drilling jobs. Place the arrow on the hammer drill setting to engage the hammer mechanism.
  • Tip: Use the hammer drill setting when drilling into masonry and brick. The hammer mechanism will deliver powerful concussive blows behind the bit.
  • Tip: Avoid using these settings when driving fasteners and screws. You can suffer from serious hand or wrist injury otherwise. This is because can stall when overloaded resulting in a sudden twisting action.

If you’re a beginner, you should first read the instructions manual for its safe use. You should also familiarize yourself with the power drill. You can study its parts and experiment with a secure hold on it.

Start the Drilling Work


Adopt the Proper Safety Measures

Keep in mind that a power drill combines two potentially hazardous things. First, it has an electrical motor with more power to drill holes than your hands ever can. It can easily make holes in thick wood, metal, and plastic, more so on your hands.

Second, its attachments have sharp edges and tips that can also cause injuries. These attachments include bits and drill bits in various styles, shapes and sizes.


The bottom line: No matter your skill level and project, safety is always a top priority. Always adopt these safety measures:

Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). These include safety goggles, dust mask, and form-fitting gloves. Avoid baggy clothing, tie your hair back, and forgo jewelry. The power drill’s spinning action can tangle on any loose object.


Gather Your Tools and Accessories

Efficiency in time, energy and effort in the workshop is a must. You must then gather all the necessary tools to avoid going to and fro. You will likely need the following:



Check for Adequate Power Supply

You can use an extension cord so that the power drill’s cord will not be hampering its movements. Be sure to check, too, that the power supply is adequate for the job.

power supply


Choose the Drill Bit, Screwdriver, or Other Accessory

You can use an extension cord so that the power drill’s cord will not be hampering its movements. Be sure to check, too, that the power supply is adequate for the job.

  • Carbide-tipped bit is best for drilling into cement, brick and masonry
  • Hardened steel bit works for drilling into wood
  • Wire brush with a 1/4 –inch shank is suitable for stripping paint
  • Bard point bit for dowel and wood work
  • Flat or spade bits for bolt-holes in wood during construction framing

If you’re drilling a hole for a screw, you can determine the right size with a simple step. Hold the screw with the selected drill bit in front of it. The screw body and drill bit should be the same size, but smaller than the screw’s threads.


Secure the Work Piece

You can use one of these methods:

  • Clamp it down
  • Use a vice
  • Use a drill stand, especially when drilling harder materials
  • Place it on a surface that can be drilled into without causing damage to the bits (e.g., plywood scrap)
drill stand


Drill a Pilot Hole

You will have an easier time inserting the screw, fastener, or nail into a pre-drilled hole. You will also get straighter holes and apply lesser pressure on the power drill. Your chances of damaging the work piece and getting injured also decreases.

pilot hole


Attach the Accessory 

In most power drills, the steps are as follows:

  • Insert the chuck key into the drill bit chuck
  • Turn it counterclockwise
  • Slide in the accessory into the opening
  • Tighten the chuck by turning it in a clockwise motion
drill accessory


Start Drilling

With everything in place, you can start drilling. Keep these useful tips in mind for better results:

  • Keep the drill perpendicular to the work piece. Keep everything straight. Hold a square next to the power drill for the correct alignment.
  • Slowly apply a firm and consistent pressure on the trigger
  • Guide the accessory through the piece
  • Increase the speed only when necessary
  • hand-o-right
    Let the drill do most of the work

Final Words

A power drill with its accessories are among your most useful tools in the workshop. Be sure to choose the right set that you will actually use for your projects. A power drill is also a safety risk.

You can drill holes in various materials with it but it can also drill holes in your body. You must choose and use it well so that, indeed, it can be among your best tools.

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