How to use a drill (without being terrified)

How to use a drill (without being terrified)

April 28, 2022

There’s so much to love about DIY, but wading into that world for the very first time can be intimidating.

From saving money to unleashing your creative side, DIY is so satisfying.

However, it’s one thing to have a go at making something, but it’s quite another when that something is going to make a permanent change to your home – for better or for worse.

And when you’ve got that drill in your hand for the first time, it’s hard not to think about how much money mistakes might cost you.

For anyone looking to dip a toe into DIY for the very first time, we’ve got step-by-step instructions from Thomas Goodman, construction expert at MyJob

This is how to do it right and do it fearlessly.

Select a drill bit

For the first step, Thomas says you’ve got to figure out the size and depth of the hole you’ve got to drill.

‘When you use screws,’ he explains, ‘it’s important to make use of pilot holes to stop the wood from splitting. The diameter of the drill bit for the pilot hole needs to be the same size as the screw that you’re using, without the threads.

‘There are different types of drill bits. Some are used for driving screws, and others are used for cutting small or large holes into wood. If you know the type of project that you are working on and the size of the holes that are needed, this will give you an idea of the size and type of drill bit that you need.’

Put the drill bit into the drill

Now it’s time to fit it into the drill.

‘Do this by loosening the chuck by twisting it counterclockwise,’ says Thomas. ‘This will widen the diameter of the jaw pieces that clamp onto the drill bit.

‘Insert the smooth part of the drill bit into the jaws and then re-tighten the chuck until everything is secure. Make sure the drill bit is in the centre and ensure the haws clamp onto the flat sides of the shank.

‘Also, ensure you don’t secure the jaws around the flutes of the drill bit, as this can increase the risk of it breaking.’

Check all of the other settings

Now, you need to make sure everything is in ship-shape with the other parts of the drill.

Thomas explains: ‘Start by ensuring the battery is completely charged as a low charged drill can lead to ineffective drilling.

‘Check the speed settings. Low speeds are used for driving screws into the material, and faster speeds are used for drilling holes. You will use the faster speeds for most projects and may use the slower setting for drilling larger or deep holes into the wood with a twist drill bit.

‘Make sure the direction setting is correct. You need to drill clockwise if you’re cutting or screwing into the material and counterclockwise if you’re unscrewing or removing the bit.

‘Also, take a look at the dial around the chuck. These numbers will indicate the torque settings, and this is useful for when you’re driving screws. If the number is too low, the drill may stop spinning and will make a clicking noise under low pressure. If the torque is too high, the screw bit may slip against the top of the screw, which may end up rounding off the screw head.’

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