How to Use a Cordless Drill? – The Most Proper & Safest Way (Step by Step Instructions)

When it comes to using a power drill, a little knowledge goes a long way towards prolonging the life of your tools and preventing injuries.

Given below is a set of safe and detailed instructions on how you can protect yourself and your tools.

Getting Ready to Drill

How to Use a Cordless Drill

Drilling is not like cutting a piece of cake. You cannot just pick up your drill, head straight to your workstation, and start drilling. Given below are simple steps that you can follow while preparing to drill.

Step 1: Wear Protective Gear

Cordless drills are without a doubt, powerful tools. Therefore, before beginning the drilling process, it is necessary to wear your protective gear. You should wear safety glasses or goggles that cover the sides of your eyes to protect them from flying debris.

An electric drill produces about 90 decibels of sound. Astonishingly loud, right? 

It could cause hearing damage after prolonged exposure. Therefore, it is advisable that you wear ear protection if you drill quite often. However, most of the new cordless drills are quiet enough and hence, it is not necessary to wear any ear protection.

Drilling also kicks up a lot of dust. Therefore, it is vital to protect your lungs too. A dust mask can be considered as a good option for short-term comfort. Although, if you plan on drilling for long periods of time, then using a respirator is a better and safer option. Sometimes the material that you are drilling is a known respiratory hazard. In that case, you must make sure to use a respirator that is suited to your project.  

Step 2: Avoid Baggy Clothing

Loose sleeves, hair, and jewelry can be a hazard when you are operating a power drill. Any loose object can get tangled in a cordless drill because of its spinning action. This can be quite menacing. Hence, you should avoid wearing baggy clothing while you are preparing to drill. Also, avoid wearing dangling jewelry that could catch in the drill as you lean over it. 

Step 3: Secure Your Work Piece

While you are drilling, you do not want your work piece to shift. Whether it is a wooden piece or a metal piece, make sure to secure it in or clamp it down before applying the power drill to it.

Step 4: Choose the Correct Drill Bit

The material or the bit can break if you choose a bit made from the wrong material. Hence, choosing the correct drill bit is important. For wood, you can use a general-purpose bit. A masonry bit can be used for brick, stone, and concrete. For metals; an HSS (high speed steel) bit is ideal to use. Whereas, for very hard, brittle surfaces such as glass, glazed tiles, or porcelain, a carbide or diamond-tipped bit proves to be the best. In case, you are not sure which bit to use, you can always consult the drill manual or the bit manufacturer.

Step 5: Fit the Drill Bit Into the Chuck

To fit the drill into the chuck, first make sure that the drill is off and unplugged if corded. After that you can loosen the chuck by rotating it. This depends on the drill though. You can either do it by hand or by using a chuck key. After that, you will need to insert the drill bit into the chuck and tighten it again. Just make sure that the bit is straight and secure. Furthermore, do not forget to remove the key before you turn on the drill. 

Step 6: Clamp Small Pieces Together

If you are drilling into a small piece, it is always better to clamp it down firmly before you drill. Do not hold the piece down with one hand while drilling, as the drill could slip and wound you. 

Drilling Safety

Drilling is not child’s play. Hence, one needs to be careful while using a drill to perform drilling tasks. Mentioned below are some of the steps that you can follow to use cordless drills safely and successfully.

Step 1: Drill Pilot Holes

In most cases, you will get better results if you start by drilling a shallow pilot hole first. But what is a pilot hole, you ask? A pilot hole is a pit that is a little smaller in size than the final hole size. A pilot hole allows you to apply less pressure to the power drill as the screw goes in. Moreover, it prevents your drill from slipping, and reduces the chance of any other damage.

Step 2: Use a Drill Stand

A drill stand acts as a guide or a frame for your power drill. When drilling through hard materials like glass or metal, it is better to use a stand. A drill stand also comes in handy when drilling straight holes is absolutely crucial. Moreover, using a drill stand will prevent the power drill from slipping and scratching the work piece.

Step 3: Adjust the Clutch

You will notice a twistable collar at the neck of most cordless drill brands. This collar is calibrated with numbers on it and allows you to perform clutch adjustments. The torque of the power drill can be altered by twisting this collar. In case you are having trouble penetrating through the material, adjust the torque to a higher number. Whereas, if you feel that the drill is penetrating too much, then simply lower the torque.

Step 4: Select the Appropriate Speed and Torque

If you are not sure what power settings to position your cordless drill, it is always considered safe to start at the lowest speed and weakest torque. You can then work your way up from there are stop when you find the appropriate power to perform your task.

Step 5: Apply Proper Pressure to the Drill

How to Use a Cordless Drill

The most common mistake that people make while drilling is that they do not apply proper pressure to the drill. Since the drill bit moves at a fast speed, you should hold the drill steadily and push it into the material you are drilling. Sometimes, you will find it hard to drill, unless you apply more than a little pressure. That means that you are most likely using the wrong bit for the job.

Step 6: Stop when the Drill Bit overheats

The drill bit will encounter an immense amount of friction if you are drilling through hard materials or drilling at high speed. This friction can rapidly overheat the drill bit to the point where it becomes red hot or even starts to burn the material that you are drilling. Therefore, it is advisable that you start at low drill speed and only increase the speed of the drill if it is not moving smoothly. If the drill bit heats up, you should pause occasionally to give the bit a few seconds to cool down.


If you have never used a cordless drill before or are afraid of using it, then we believe these simple steps will help you to use it safely. A cordless drill is an extremely versatile tool. But certain precautions need to be taken into consideration while using it. We hope this article proved to be quite helpful to you and will assist you in achieving your desired results.

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