Most do-it-yourselfer or home improvement projects require the use of a portable power drill. Portable drills are indispensable for drilling holes and driving screws into a wide range of materials.Portable drills come in a wide variety of sizes and offer many different features.

Options to consider when purchasing a drill:

  • Voltage Power – They are available in many sizes and power outputs that range from 6 volts to 24 volts. These drill are powered by a battery pack that usually can be charged in an hour or less. It is a good idea to have two batteries when purchasing a cordless drill.
  • Forward/ Reverse Switches – This allows the drill to spin in both directions making it easier to remove screws.
  • Variable Speed Trigger – This feature lets you start drilling slowly then increase the drill speed for better control. It’s recommended to get a cordless drill that can rotate at least 600 revolutions per minute so you can use it on a metal as well as wood.
  • Variable Torque Settings – Some drills allow you to select different torque settings. When the drill motor reaches the selected torque, a clutch disengages the chuck. This advantage helps prevent stripped or over-driven screws.
  • Hammer Feature – This feature adds a high-speed back and forth action to the normal drilling process. This action is mainly for drilling into concrete.
  • Keyless Chuck – Most new drills are available with rubberized chucks that you can tighten with your hands instead of a chuck key.

Drills are available in three common chuck sizes: one-fourth inch, three-eights inch, and one-half inch. The size refers to the maximum bit shank diameter the chuck will accept. The size you buy depends on the type of project the drill will be used for. Today, portable drills are used as often to drive screws as to drill holes. Professional drywall installers use heavy-duty screw guns that allow them to sink screws quickly and precisely.

Safety tips when using a drill:

  • When drilling in any material, wear safety glasses or goggles. Drills can stir up sawdust and shoot metal shavings across a room or toward your eyes.
  • Gloves are a good idea when drilling metal, masonry or glass.
  • Drill bits rotate at high speeds and can easily catch and wrap around loose clothing. Make sure your sleeves are rolled up and your shirt tucked in.