Drilling Tips 

By  Enda McLarnon

Many people will at some stage need to drill a hole through something. There are many uses for a drill but at the end of the day, that is its prime purpose. In this article we will be showing you some useful tips for drilling holes through various materials.

Based on our own experience we have put these tips together as these are the type of questions that we are asked here at the Tool And Go website on a regular basis. Hopefully the tips we have shown below will make your drilling experience a great deal easier.

Drilling Tip Number 1

Use the right type of drill bit. Different bits are designed for drilling through different materials such as wood, metal, concrete and masonry. If you tried to use a bit designed for wood to get through a wall it just would not work and you would also ruin your wood bit.

Once you know what material you are drilling through then make sure to use a drill bit that has been designed for that job. We have done an article on the best drill bits for wood, one on the drill bits you should use for metal, for getting through tiles and one for the top masonry bits.

Drilling Tip Number 2

Use an inspection device – Use something like a stud finder to avoid drilling through electric cables and water pipes. Many accidents are caused in the home when people attempt to drill through a wall without knowing what lies behind it.

It is always a wise decision to find out what lurks behind a wall before attempted to drill through it. There are many of these types of devices available in the market place. Always better to be safe than sorry. Something like the ProSensor 710 does the job and these cost around $50.

Drilling Tip Number 3

Learn to drill straight. This may sound simple but many people inadvertently drill at a slight angle because they are focusing on forcing the drill bit through the material. Allow the drill and the bit to do the work and concentrate on keeping the drill as straight as you can.

Many drills come with a small spirit level built in and if you happen to have one of those, then make good use of it. If your drill does not have a level then you have to use your eye. The important thing that you should do is to concentrate on keeping the drill straight and trust in the bit to get through the material.

Drilling Tip Number 4

Pick the right size drill bit – Match the drill bit size to the fixing that you are going to attach. There are a number of different fixings that can be used for drilling into walls.

These fixings come in different diameters. You want the fixing to be a snug fit so always make sure that the bit you are using is not bigger than the fixing.

When you are screwing something to a wall you will want the screw and fitting to be really tight. That is why it is important to match the drill bit size to the fixing to keep this all nice and tight.

Drilling Tip Number 5

Think safety. There are a number of safety rules you should adhere to when using a drill. The most important of these is to protect your eyes. Dust and debris from drilling can very easily get into your eyes so by wearing safety glasses or goggles you can make sure this never happens to you.

Drilling Tip Number 6

Hammer action – this should only ever be used when drilling through concrete. The hammer action on a drill along with a good quality masonry bit will make drilling through brick, mortar and concrete a very simple task.

You do not need a hammer action for drilling through wood or metal so always make sure that it is turned off when drilling through these materials. We have done a full article on hammer drills which you can read by clicking here.

Drilling Tip Number 7

Pilot Holes – If you have to drill a large hole then you should always use a pilot hole to begin with. A pilot hole is simply a smaller hole drilled in the center that can then act as a guide for a bigger drill bit. It makes drilling a larger hole much easier and a lot more accurate.

People really do not make enough use of pilot holes. They really can make life a great deal easier and make drilling a lot simpler. Have a look at the video below to see what we mean.

Drilling Tip Number 8

Variable Speed – Most good quality drills will have a variable speed function. The main purpose of having this feature is that it allows you to control the speed that the drill will turn at.

Some materials are easier to drill at slower speeds such as metals, whereas other materials need to be drilled at a faster speed.(Soft wood is a good example) The manufacturer of the drill will normally have an instruction booklet that explains how to use this feature.

It is well worth a read. You can check out our buying guide if you would like to find out more about this feature.

Drilling Tip Number 9

Tighten the chuck – Always make sure the chuck has been properly tightened. This avoids the bit slipping or spinning when you are drilling. Some chucks are tightened with a key so make sure there is a nice firm grip but do not over tighten.

Other chucks are simply tightened by hand and you always need to make sure that they are as tight as you can get them. We have done a full article here on slipping chucks which is well worth a read.

Drilling Tip Number 10

Mark Holes Clearly – You may have hear of the old saying measure twice and cut once when it comes to sawing wood. The same applies to drilling. Make sure that you always mark the holes clearly and have measured where they need to go. Once you put a drill through something there is no going back.

Hopefully you have found these tips useful. The most important thing to remember is that above all else your own personal safety is paramount.

Some people are quite wreckless when it comes to drilling holes and they really do believe that with just using brute force they can get through anything. There is honestly never any need to do this.

If you have the right drill and a good set of bits they will do all of the work without the need for any brute force at all. We would recommend that for any type of drilling wearing goggles is probably the most important thing of all. You do not want to lose an eye simply because you wanted to put a shelf up.

Drills are a necessary tool to have in your tool kit but they do need to be used safely and that means always being aware of what can go wrong. If you take all the right precautions you can continue to enjoy your drill for many years to come.

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon is now retired and is now enjoying writing about his love of power tools. All types of these tools are now available and they make working on projects and DIY jobs around the home a great deal of fun

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