how to use a cordless drill

Using a power tool for the first time may be intimidating to many.

‘Where should I get started?’

‘How can I use this tool to get perfect results?’

These are some questions that might run through your brain as you lift a cordless drill for the first time in your life. Well, we’ve all been there. While using a drill might seem like rocket science to beginners, it is an easy skill that can be learned in a matter of minutes.

Once you know the basics of how to use a cordless drill, DIY projects become more enjoyable. It is one of the most user-friendly tools around. In this article, we will show you not only how to use it, but we are also going to give you an insight into the different parts of a cordless drill. Let’s get started.

Different Parts of A Cordless Drill

Before we get into the details, let’s first examine the different parts of a power drill.

Drill bit

A drill bit is a long and slender tool that is used to make holes on different surfaces. Most drill bits are made from cast iron, aluminium, sheet metal, copper, or steel.

Driver bits

A driver bit is a fastening tool used to drive different types of screws into multiple surfaces. Since it gets the work done in a few minutes, it can save you time a lot of time. Screwdriver bits can be used on impact drivers or drill drivers.

Drive Guide

This is a hollow tube that holds driver bits into position, making driving screws into various surfaces much easier. It also stops long screws from moving, slipping, and wobbling while you are driving them into various materials. A drive guide also protects your fingers as you are driving screws into different surfaces. It can be attached to drill drivers to make work easier. With a drill driver or an impact driver, you can easily drive a screw into a hole without struggling.

Insert bit

These are bits that can be attached or detached to a bit holder for smooth functionality.


This part holds detachable drill bits and drive bits into position. It has an opening that allows you to attach or detach a drill bit easily. In short, this is where you put your drill bit when you want to drill some holes on different materials. There are different types of chucks—keyless chuck and keyed chuck.


A trigger activates movement in different parts of the drill, such as the chuck and the drill bit. If you want to use your drill, you have to hold the trigger for a short period of time to start it. The trigger also makes it easier for you to change the speed of the drill bit. If you press the trigger using too much force, the speed of the drilling bit will increase. On the other hand, lightly pressing the trigger reduces the speed of the drilling bit.


This is the power source of most cordless drills. Most power drills have lithium-ion batteries which can power them for hours.


Motors are usually enclosed in the internal compartment of a power drill. They provide most of the mechanical energy that is required to move the chunk in a circular motion.

Torque settings

Torque is the drilling power of a cordless drill. Most power drills come with a torque setting that makes it easier for you to change a drill’s torque. Hard surfaces might require more torque than normal surfaces or materials.

Reverse Switch

Cordless drills were designed to rotate in a clockwise direction. If you use the reserve switch, the drill bit will start rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. This switch is mainly used to remove screws from various materials using a counter-clockwise motion.


Many cordless drills come with different gears that allow you to easily change the speed of the drill. Lower gears are suitable for light work that doesn’t require too much effort, while higher gears are ideal for heavy work that requires maximum effort.

LED Light

This is a light that illuminates your working space, making it easier for you to drill without straining. It is especially useful when working at night or in dark places.


A grip makes it possible for you to carry a cordless drill as you are working on various projects. It is usually made from sturdy material that can take constant usage. Some grips have contours on the outer part, while others are made from a textured rubber material for better handling.

Step By Step: How To Use A Drill

Let’s take a look at the different steps that should be followed while using a cordless drill in a home improvement project.

1. Check the Material You Want to Drive Screws Into

If you are planning to drive screws into a piece of wood, you should follow some precautionary measures.

When a screw is driven into a piece of wood using too much force, it might crack or split the wood. To prevent this from happening, you should drill pilot holes on a piece of wood before you start fastening screws. A pilot hole is a hole that makes it easier for you to drive different types of screws into wood. Most pilot holes have almost the same diameter as the screw that gets driven into them. However, the diameter of a pilot hole is smaller than the diameter of the actual screw.

2. Select A Drilling Bit for Your Cordless Drill

Before you use a drill, you should have the dimensions of the hole that you are planning to drill—depth and diameter. The drill bit you choose will depend on the size of the hole you have in mind.

Once you have determined the hole you want to drill, select the most suitable drill bit for it. Also, check if the drilling bit is well-maintained. If you want to drill a small hole on a not too hard material, twist drilling bits might be a suitable choice for you. They can be used to drill holes in different materials such as metal, wood, and concrete.

3. Insert The Drilling Bit Into The Chuck of The Cordless Drill

Open up the chuck of the cordless drill by turning it in a counter-clockwise direction. This makes it easier for you to widen and loosen the jaws that hold the drilling bit into position. Some drills may even have a key to help loosen the chuck.

After that, insert the drilling bit into the chuck of the cordless drill. The shaft of the drilling bit should rest on the jaws of the chuck, while the drilling end should be hanging from the chuck. The blunt part should be in the drill, while the sharp end should be visible outside of the drill.

Fasten the drilling bit securely by rotating it clockwise. It would be best if you were cautious while doing this to prevent any injuries.

4. Check All the Settings

Make sure that the cordless drill is running smoothly by checking all the settings. The first thing that you should double check is the battery levels of your power drill. Most power drills do not perform effectively on low battery levels.

The next thing that you need to do is to check the torque setting and speed setting. You should set the speed of the drill depending on the type of surface you are planning to drill. If you are planning to drive screws into a material like wood, choose the setting that offers you high torque and low speed. On the other hand, if you are planning to drill a hole on a hard surface, you should opt for the setting that offers you low torque and high speed.

5. Test the Power Drill

Start the drill to check whether the drilling bit is rotating in the right direction or not. The drilling bit should be rotating in a clockwise direction which means it will be driving forward. If it’s not rotating in a clockwise direction, you should use the reverse switch to change it back to its original motion.

6. Prepare Your Material for Drilling

To prevent miscalculations and mistakes, make sure to mark the points where you intend to drill. It would help if you also cleared the area by removing some of the unnecessary items that might get in your way as you are drilling.

If you are planning to drill a hole in a piece of wood, place it tightly on a sturdy surface to prevent extra movements.

7. Start The Cordless Drill

Place the tip of the drilling bit on the surface of the material that you want to drill. Adjust your arm to an appropriate angle, then press the trigger lightly to power up the drill and move the drill bit into the material. If it is a harder surface, be sure to put your body weight behind it, as it will require more pressure to drive through.

For large holes or wider diameter holes, you can move the drill bit in and out to remove debris and wear it down the sides if you need to make it wider.

You can also increase the speed of the drill while drilling holes as you become more confident.

Over To You

Knowing how to use a cordless drill makes it easier for you to drill holes for your next DIY project, whether it’s hanging pictures and paintings or putting up shelves. Not to mention, it is one of the most user-friendly home appliance power tools. When compared to a corded drill, this tool helps you save a lot of time. It comes with a torque control setting, a speed control setting, and advanced features that make work easier.

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