Cordless drills are mostly used for replacing screwdrivers. These tools are used in conjunction with drill bits, which are typically rotating cutting tools used to make holes. Using the relevant bit, cordless drills can also rotate counterclockwise, ideal for removing screws as well as drilling them in.
The right drill bit will vary depending on the task at hand and they come in different shapes and sizes; with sizes referring to their diameter. Here are some of the different types of drill bits and the materials they should be used for:
- Twist drill bit – light metal, wood, plastic, metal, ceramic, masonry
- Masonry drill bit – bricks, concrete, stone
- Spearpoint drill bit – glass, ceramic
- Bullet pilot point drill bit – wood
- Countersink drill bit – metal, wood
- Tile/diamond drill bit – masonry, porcelain
- Flat wood drill bit – wood
- Hole saw drill bit – wood, metal
- Forstner drill bit – wood
- Auger drill bit – wood
- Spade drill bit – wood
- Plug cutter drill bit – wood
- Brad point drill bit – wood
- High-speed steel (HSS) drill bit – wood, light metals, plastic, fibreglass
- Step drill bit – thin materials, metal
- Cobalt drill bit – steel, iron
- Slotted drive system or slotted drive shaft (SDS) drill bit – stone, concrete
Top tip: Make sure the drill bit is compatible with the specific drill being used, even if they’re the same brand
One of the most common uses for this power tool is drilling pilot holes in wood which might split. That’s because there’s a risk of a screw digging into the wood and separating the grain – particularly if the screw is large. A cordless drill with a bit one size smaller than the diameter of the screw can drill a pilot hole before the screw is inserted, which helps reduce wood splits.
With hole saw bits, cordless drills are also used as saws for cutting out holes for doorknobs, sinks, drains and other round holes.
Top tip: For better results when drilling metals, use cutting fluid on the drill bit when drilling
As well as this, drywall installation is a common use for cordless drills. Installing drywall requires lifting and holding large panels in place before inserting drywall screws into the studs beneath the wall. That’s why workers often carry cordless drills on their tool belts for easy access.
The cordless hammer drill, a type used specifically for drilling bolts into concrete, incorporates a slight vibration with the strong rotating action of the drill. A cordless hammer drill is essential for installing any type of screw into concrete.
Top tip: Always let the drill bit cool naturally – never use water or other liquids to speed up the process