How to Use a Cordless Drill

How to Use a Cordless Drill

Using a power tool may be scary, especially if it’s your first time using a particular one. However, a cordless drill is one of the essential tools in a toolbox, and using it is relatively simple. It is used for various purposes, depending on the “bit” you use on the chuck. Read on to find out how to use a cordless drill.

What is a Cordless Drill?

Before we dive into how to use a cordless drill, we will explain what a cordless drill is and what it’s used for. A cordless drill is a battery-operated tool used to make holes. The drill is cordless and works on rechargeable batteries. Therefore, it can be used anywhere if the battery is charged.

A cordless drill is a versatile power tool that may be used to drive screws and drill holes in wood, metal, plastic, and stone. It provides a way of drilling holes in unusual places without the hassle of moving extension leads or tripping over a cable.

Types of Drills

There are different types of drills to suit different purposes. Some include:


These are used for driving screws and drilling holes into wood, plastic, or metal. They can spin a drill bit both clockwise and anticlockwise, and the drill has a clutch that allows you to set the amount of power it transfers when using it. Drill drivers also have a clutch that opens and closes around bits.

Hammer Drill

Hammer drills are usually heavier than drill/drivers. However, they have the same design as a drill bit with an added feature of a hammer mechanism that vibrates the bit and chips away at the wood, plastic, metal, or concrete.

Most hammer drills have the drilling-only mode, hammer-drilling mode, and driving with the clutch, and you can choose between these modes. In addition, you may disable the hammer mechanism and use the drill like any other drill driver.

Rotary Hammer

These are also called combination hammers, a heavy-duty hammer drill version. They work faster than a hammer drill, producing their hammering action with a piston in the drill shaft. Rotary hammers range in size, some larger than hammer drills while others are much larger.

They are used for heavy-duty work such as breaking apart old masonry or setting fasteners in brick, stone, and other masonry.

Rotary hammers usually come in chipping mode and hammering with rotation mode. Chipping mode involves using a chipping bit to pound for demolition. Hammering with rotation mode requires drilling holes in brick, stone, concrete, and other masonry.

Impact Drivers

These are designed to drive bolts, screws, and other fasteners. They feature a spring-loaded clutch mechanism behind the clutch, allowing the regular increase of the bit’s torque. In addition, impact drivers use a rotating hammer and anvil mechanism, not a forward chipping mechanism. As a result, they have a greater turning force than a regular drill and are better at retracting stuck screws and driving long ones.

Uses for a Cordless Drill

Cordless drills are used in various ways, some of which you may find surprising. Some uses of cordless drills include:

Inserting and Removing Screws

One of the top uses of cordless drills is to assemble and disassemble. You may use a screw bit to insert screws when working on a project. However, flipping a switch allows the driver to rotate anticlockwise, making it an excellent fit for removing screws.

Drilling Pilot Holes

Cordless drills come in handy when putting screws into weak wood that may split. A cordless drill with a bit one size smaller than your screw’s diameter allows you to drill a pilot hole before inserting the screw.

This is essential for a quality finish. Drilling a screw into wood increases the chances of the wood splitting. However, making a pilot first, especially with bits designed for wood, allows you to insert the screw with fewer chances of the wood splitting.

Making Holes

Different bit sizes allow you to create perfectly round holes. For example, with the right bit size attached to your drill, you can make a hole for sink faucets, doorknobs, cabinets, and others.


Using your cordless drill as a hand mixer is relatively easy once you attach the proper bit size. You may use the drill for mixing concrete, grout, and mortar. You can also use your cordless drill as an electric mixer in your kitchen. Cordless drills do not need electricity to work, making them an excellent choice when electricity is unavailable. Slot the right spoon or whisk onto the drill and mix.

Drywall Installation

Cordless drills are vital tools when installing dry walls. It’s usually found on the tool belts of drywall installers, where it’s easily accessible. Cordless drills are used to insert screws quickly and fluidly into drywall.

Planting Seeds

A cordless drill can make perfectly sized holes in the ground when planting. In addition, the drill makes hole-digging easier and faster, improving the holes’ accuracy and size.

Peeling Vegetables and Fruits

Peeling fruits can be time-consuming, and you may tire if you’re peeling many fruits and vegetables. A cordless power drill will make the job easier and faster. First, mount your fruit in the drill using the appropriate bit and turn it on. Then, with the fruit or vegetable rotating, use your peeler on it. 

How to Use a Cordless Drill

How to Use a Cordless Drill

Before using your cordless drill, try to get familiar with it by examining the controls. The trigger is usually found on the handle, with the trigger lock near it. To use a cordless drill, follow these steps:

  1. Move the direction lever forward (F) and insert the drill’s battery. The direction lever is usually found on the bottom of the handle or in front of the trigger.
  2. Choose the drill bit you want to use.
  3. Lock the chuck around the drill bit. You can do this by gently squeezing the drill’s trigger while holding the outside of the chuck.
  4. Place the drill’s bit on your workpiece and compress the trigger.
  5. When you’re done, depress the drill’s trigger and take the direction lever to “R,” reversing it.
  6. Ensure no part of the drill was damaged while you were using it.

Helpful Tips

Use Safety Glasses or Goggles

Power tools cause many eye injuries each year. The debris blown by the motor of the drill and broken bits of wood, plastic, and other materials can damage your eyes.

Safety glasses or goggles will help protect your eyes whether cutting, hammering, or drilling. Some goggles are tinted to help you see better when working in dim or bright lighting.

Use a Respirator

When working on wood, using a respirator will help protect you from inhaling the dust from the wood. Breathing in dust can make you ill and may result in lasting health complications. The filter of a respirator will stop particles from entering your lungs.

There are different filters for different purposes, so ensure you use the right one. You should also ensure you replace your filter regularly.

Keep Your Batteries Charged

Always ensure your batteries for your cordless drill are charged. It’s ideal to have at least two batteries so that when you’re using one, the other battery is charging. Cordless drills have different reactions to having a low battery.

Some stop working when the battery is low. A low battery won’t be a problem when you have two or more batteries for your cordless drill. You can easily use a spare and keep the work going.

Properly Attach Your Bit

Regardless of the type of cordless drill you have or the bit you’re using, it’s crucial that you properly attach it. If your bit isn’t set correctly in the chuck, you risk the bit spinning and flying out, putting you and your project in danger.

Secure Your Workpiece

You should secure your workpiece if you aren’t working on a stable object like a floor or wall. When drilling into unstable objects, use clamps or a bench vise to secure what you’re drilling into.

Read the Manual

Your power tool may have features you know nothing about or have no idea how to use. Again, reading the manual will show you how to do it.

Use a Central Punch

You can use a central punch to make an indentation in your workpiece. The indentation helps prevent the bit from messing up the hole by giving it a starting point and keeping it from straying.

Avoid Applying Too Much Pressure

Applying too much pressure while drilling may damage your bit, ruin your workpiece, or damage the drill’s motor.

Final Thoughts

Using your cordless drill is relatively easy and shouldn’t scare you. Read the manual before using it and become comfortable with the controls. You should also inspect your drill before and after use to ensure there’s no damage to the components or controls.

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