Different Types of Drills
Battery-powered tools are good for some purposes, but they lack power and consistency. The lack of power can be overlooked because these units are not foreseen for demanding tasks. However, the inconsistency is quite a burden, especially if you’re a frequent user of these machines. On the other hand, with the right set of high-quality batteries, one should be able to minimize the consistency struggles. The biggest advantage of these tools is their portability. As you can assume, due to the lack of wires, cables, ports, and etcetera, cordless drills are considered to be the most portable of all types. The overall weight of these units varies, depending on the battery type. More often than not, cheaper versions struggle with excess weight due to the battery being bulky and heavy. On the other hand, well-known brands usually include lightweight batteries which significantly increase the value of a particular model. Speaking of value, cordless drills are probably the ones with the best price-to-value ratio. In other words, one can find an affordable cordless unit that offers similar features as a corded one but comes with the benefits of a cordless drill. It’s usually a win-win situation, but it’s quite hard to find the best deal due to immense saturation of the market. When it comes to the shortcomings, the primary one is related to the battery quality. Therefore, we strongly recommend getting a high-quality one or else you’ll run into issues frequently.
As the name suggests, hammer (also known as roto) drills feature a hammering action which provides a short thrust to both pulverize and drill through particularly dense and hard materials. These units are best used for drilling through concrete, bricks, blocks, and other materials used in construction. They feature a lot of power and torque which allows them to handle demanding projects with ease. As far as the complexity goes, they aren’t too different from other types. The only notable difference is the fact that they feature a hammering option. Truth be told, most roto drills are significantly heavier than their corded or cordless competitors, but that’s for a good reason. Each strike of the hammer is relatively low force, but because there are thousands of them per minute, the sheer impulse of the bit is more than enough to go through hard materials such as concrete. As you can tell, while these machines can be used for woodworking purposes, they thrive in projects that include particularly tough materials. Most models feature an oil filled gearbox that guarantees durability and consistency. The prices are okay and acceptable. It isn’t a tool for everyone, but it can be quite useful for people who are in the construction business.
Hammer Drills by Type
Electric drills are probably the most wide-spread type of them all. They are usually quite easy to use and come with a pretty straightforward design. As far as the suitable applications go, there are plenty. First of all, these tools can drill through a vast array of materials as long as you have the appropriate bit. On top of that, corded units have the best power output in this category. The consistency is acceptable, but the best consistency ratios are reserved for pneumatic models. They are ideal for small repairs around the house, but a vast majority of them can also cope with bigger projects, as long as you use them properly. Most modern corded units are lightweight and compact meaning you don’t have to worry about exhaustion and fatigue is you use this tool frequently. That’s why it’s of utmost importance that you conduct thorough research before investing in one of these. As far as the advantages go, the biggest ones are definitely – balance and versatility. Everyone should own at least one drill; there’s no question about that. The good thing about corded units is that you can opt to invest in them if you aren’t looking for a tool with specific purposes as these are regarded as a somewhat universal go-to solution.
Right Angle Drills
Regular drills aren’t capable of reaching corners and tough spaces due to their design. However, right angle drills are specifically designed to allow you to access tough-to-reach spots without going through hours of hassles. On the other hand, due to the fact that these are designed for a specific purpose, the versatility is almost non-existent. In simpler words, they are great for drilling in corners, but that’s about it. The design differs greatly from the other types. The most notable element is the angled chuck. On top of that, instead of resembling a gun, these machines have a cylindrical shape. The reason behind the design difference is pretty clear – the more compact they are, the easier it is to utilize them. When it comes to power, they output similar values as other types. Truth be told, you probably won’t have much success with massive projects as most available models aren’t foreseen for demanding projects. However, as with every other type, there are a few models out there that can cope with massive tasks without breaking a sweat. It all comes down to how much money you’re willing to invest in a particular tool. When it comes to money, the price of these units is acceptable and budget-friendly. Naturally, it all depends on many factors such as build quality, brand, power, and etcetera.
Right Angle Drills by Type
Magnetic drills are specialized tools used for drilling through a vast variety of materials. However, they yield best results when drilling through steel. These machines combine the versatility of a drill press with a magnetic base and allow you to put them on a metal surface for easy drilling. Most modern models consist of four main components – drill stand, motor, magnetic base, and a chuck. When it comes to advantages, there are many. The most notable one is – compactness. The three most common types of core drills are – electric, cordless, and pneumatic. The corded type is known to output consistent power thus allowing for smooth operation. Most electric mag drills are lightweight and compact, even though they are available in various sizes. When it comes to cordless units, they offer an easier way of drilling through dense materials, but they also come with a few limitations. Pneumatic mag drills use compressed air as a source of power. They are well-known for being among the most precise and consistent of them all. However, the cost of quality air compressors usually averts people from investing in air-powered units.
Every serious woodworker should own at least one drill press. The reasons behind this are simple – accuracy, power, speed, functionality, and consistency. These five elements are the main reason why most professionals have at least one of these units in their workshop. The drill press is capable of meeting the toughest woodworking challenges without breaking a sweat. That includes drilling at an exact height, width, and angle. Drilling holes with handheld tools requires a lot of effort. On the other hand, a drill press eliminates the need for labor and allows the user to focus on precision and accuracy instead of thinking about fatigue and exhaustion. The immense power of these drills allows the user to utilize large drill bits without putting any effort into it. On top of that, these tools generate power through leverage. That’s also another method of reducing labor and letting the unit do all the work. Great functionality is also an important part of every drill press. Drilling at an angle can be a challenging endeavor with handheld tools, and most people give up on it as it usually doesn’t yield good results. However, a drill press is designed to drill at various angles, and on top of that, it’s quite easy to set it up.
Drill Presses by Type
1. How to sharpen drill bits?/Can drill bits be sharpened?
Once the drill bit becomes dull, the user’s natural inclination is to push his corded/cordless drill harder into the material. This almost always leads to the breaking of the bit and can cause serious injuries, which is precisely why it’s important to keep these things as sharp as possible.
Fortunately, the drill bits can be sharpened, and the easiest way to do this is to use a bench grinder. In case you already have a commercial drill bit sharpener and use it often, learning this method will give you a nice little backup plan in case you can’t use your primary sharpening machine. Here’s how to do it:
- Hold the bit in a way in which its cutting face is parallel with the wheel grinding surface. Make a slow and careful contact between the bit and the wheel while keeping the bit as straight as you can.
- The heel portion of the bit’s cutting face needs to be ground slightly more than its edge. When in use, the cutting edge needs to be the first part of the bit that comes into contact with the drilling surface.
- During this process, the steel will start to heat up, which is why you’ll have to frequently dip the drill bit into the water in order to keep it cool.
- Once the cutting edge is sharp enough, begin with sharpening the bit’s other cutting face. Try to give both edges an even grind to get the best performance out of the bit.
- Once both edges are sharp, you’ll have to check if they have the same width. If they don’t, do some more grinding until their width is even. Don’t be discouraged in case you find yourself returning to the bench grinder several times – it is, simply, a part of the learning curve.
2. How to use a drill?
Modern drills are undoubtedly among the most convenient DIY tools out there. However, just like all other power tools, they have to be handed safely and adequately to get the best use out of them. Here’s how to use one:
- Make sure to select the proper kind of a drill for the material you’ll be working on. Materials such as wood and metal typically use the same types of drill bits, but it’s an entirely different story when it comes to, say, masonry.
- Don’t forget to use eye protection. Those who drill regularly should also use ear protection – 90 decibels produced by most cordless models easily cause hearing damage after prolonged exposure.
- Use both hands to hold the unit, in a way that’s perpendicular to the hole you’d like to create. Using gentle pressure, slowly push the drill into the material.
- When drilling wood, you will have to periodically pull the drill out as it will almost certainly clog. Clean out the clog with a nail or a screwdriver and continue with drilling.
- Drilling through metal can be somewhat tricky. As it cuts through to the other side, the bit may bind – in case this happens to you, immediately release the trigger. Slowly pull back the bit and carefully finish the cut. In cases such as these, having a model with a reverse feature can be very useful.
3. How to fix a drill battery that won’t charge?
The Li-Ion (Lithium-Ion) batteries, which are used by most of today’s cordless power tools, are a fantastic invention – they sport a low weight and are very durable. However, it can be genuinely infuriating when one of these cells refuses to recharge. Fortunately, there’s a way to solve this, and it’s a simple process that isn’t out of anyone’s DIY league. Here are the steps:
- Take an old phone charger and cut off the end. Separate the wires and carefully cut about one inch of isolation from each wire. The black wire is the negative one, and the solid white wire is the positive one – it’s of crucial importance not to mix these two up.
- Once you’ve made your own DIY booster cables, take the battery and remove the screws that are holding it together. Pull off the casing and remove the plastic side pieces (these are the parts you press when removing the battery from the tool).
- Take a standard multimeter, set it to read volts, and choose the 20V setting. Touch the black probe to the negative and the red probe to the positive terminal on your battery and take a look at the display of your multimeter. There should be a small charge (for example, 0.06 volts) which tells us that the cell can still be brought back to life.
- Take your DIY booster cables (former phone charger), plug it in, and boost the dead battery. Touch the positive terminal with the white wire and the negative terminal with the black wire. Do this repeatedly for about a minute.
- Now it’s time to test the voltage once again. The number displayed on your multimeter should be higher now.
- Finally, put back the casing on the battery and place it onto its dedicated charger – it should recognize the battery and give you the green light. If it doesn’t, repeat the boosting method until it does.
4. How to charge a cordless drill battery without a charger?
The charger for your cordless drill has finally died, and you have no money to purchase another one. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean the end of the world – you can always use the old „use batteries to charge the battery“ method. If this sounds weird to you, believe us, it isn’t – it’s an easy thing to do and something that will allow you to keep using your drill.
- Check the battery of your cordless drill and ensure that it has all the necessary connectors where your new batteries will be connected to. Moreover, make sure that the cells that you’ll be using for charging are fully charged and that you have enough of them. For example, a 12V drill battery will require you to use at least 8 1.5V (AA) batteries that you’ll have to connect in a series. The math is very simple here – 8 x 1.5V = 12V.
- Take the first two AA cells and connect them with each other at their positives and negatives, and then use some tape to secure this connection. Do this with the rest of the cells – make a chain out of them and make sure that there are no gaps between them.
- Take a couple of wires, slice off some isolation from their ends, and attach them to the positive and the negative sides of your battery-chain. All that’s left to do now is to do the same thing with the other ends of the wires and attach them to the positive and the negative terminal of your cordless drill battery.
- The charging will take some time – you can tape the wires to the connectors. However, the wisest choice would be to stay close to take the appropriate measures in case you notice weird smells or anything that’s out of the ordinary.
5. How to remove drill bit?
To start using a new drill bit, one has first to remove the old one. When it comes to modern units, this is done either by using the drill itself or by a manual method. Older models, on the other hand, require the user to use a chuck key. No matter which method you use, it’s a process that doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Rotate your model’s chuck counter-clockwise so that it can free the bit. Continue doing this until the bit falls out of the chuck.
In case the bit is stuck, you’ll have to unscrew the chuck. Do this by inserting a head screwdriver into the drill’s tip and turning it counter-clockwise.
Using the Drill
Above the handle of your model, there should be a large button with which you can change the direction of the spin. Press it to make the drill rotate the bit in the counter-clockwise direction.
Hold the chuck with one hand while pulling the trigger with the other, and the bit will fall out. In case the chuck is stuck, use a wrench for some additional leverage.
Using a Key
Locate the hole at your model’s end, put the key in, and rotate it in the counter-clockwise direction 4-5 times. This will loosen the hole.
Do this with the rest of the holes and the bit will come out of the drill.
6. Are drills and screwdrivers the same thing?
Although similar, these devices are not the same thing.
The electric screwdrivers have a single purpose – to assist the user with driving screws. They are less efficient than drills but are very convenient when it comes to, for example, building furniture with pre-drilled holes.
A drill, whether it is corded or cordless, is more powerful and can both drill holes on its own and drive screws into them. When it comes to projects that require high speed and high torque, it is the only right choice.
7. How to clean drill bits?
Instead of cleaning your bits with the toxic chemicals that will require you to use ventilation and gloves, you can simply use the liquid laundry detergent – the results can be quite surprising. Make a 1:1 solution of tap water and laundry detergent in a bowl, put your bits into it and let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, simply use a toothbrush or any plastic brush to clean them off.
The last step would be to take a rag, dry them with it, and store them away. Pretty simple, wouldn’t you say?
8. What drill bit to use?
The answer to this question mostly depends on the sort of material you intend to drill in. Let’s see what kinds of bits are the right choice for each of the most common materials – wood, metal, and masonry.
- Hole saw – looking like a hollow drum with teeth, the hole saw bites sizeable holes through MDF and plywood with ease.
- Flat or spade wood bit – having the shape of a flat shovel, it easily creates large holes needed for cables and pipes.
- Brad bit point – these are very common and come in a huge variety of sizes. They can also be used for other materials, such as plastic.
- HSS – the high-speed steel bits have black color and are an ideal choice when it comes to creating holes in metal.
- Cobalt steel / Titanium-coated – these have a look that’s very similar to that of the HSS bits but come in orange color. They’re the most suitable choice for drilling through hard metals, like stainless steel.
- Masonry bits – once again, these bits are similar to the HSS ones but have a different color – this time it’s silver. Their tips have been specially hardened, allowing them to cut through concrete, brick, and stone blocks.
- Diamond hole saw – when it comes to creating large-diameter holes in breeze or concrete blocks, these are your best choice.
9. Are drill bits interchangeable between brands?/Can drill bits fit any drill?
Yes, for the most part. In case the drill features a 3-jaw adjustable chuck, the user’s only limitation when it comes to bits is the chuck’s capacity. However, it is important to stay careful and use the right bits for the right purpose, or they won’t last long.
10. Are drill batteries interchangeable?
They are, but only if the same manufacturer makes them. If you, for example, want to purchase a Makita product, you have to know that you won’t be able to use it with batteries manufactured by any of the other companies. You won’t be able to use a Black & Decker battery with your Makita power tool.
The reason behind this is the fact that the manufacturers want to make more money – their reasoning is not that hard to understand. When a customer of one of these companies wants to replace a battery, he can purchase it only from that same company – any other simply won’t work.
Fortunately, the batteries are interchangeable within the ecosystem of one manufacturer. For example, your 14.4V DeWalt drill will accept a 12V battery that was also made by DeWalt. Moreover, larger combo kits sold by well-known brands usually include one or two batteries and a charger, and these can usually be used by all of the tools in that combo.