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How to Drill a Hole

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drill bits,drills,power drills,tools

It seems pretty straightforward: To drill a hole, you get a drill, insert a bit, push the bit against something and pull the trigger. Zzzzzzzz! Drilled!

Well, not so fast. These kinds of sweeping assumptions are what often lead to broken bits, broken drills and broken hearts. Here’s how to avoid all three:

1. Know your bits.

Did you know there are different drill bits for different materials? Probably so, but the common error comes with assuming that your average bit set will include bits that can handle all of your standard drilling needs. And, that may or may not be true.

One of the most common drill bits you’re likely to encounter is called a twist bit. It's a kind of all-purpose bit, although it won’t work well with heavy metals, masonry, glass or tile. In other words, if you need to drill anything other than wood, plastic or drywall, the bit you’re holding may not work best.

2. Know your drill.

Your drill spins in two directions, but drill bits only have one cutting edge and work in only one direction: clockwise (“forward” or F). The reverse is used when you have to dislodge a bit.

To insert/remove a bit, you have to loosen (lefty) and tighten (righty) the chuck. Depending on your drill, this may or may not require a chuck key. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell.

3. Know your purpose.

Are you just drilling through/into something, or are you predrilling a hole for a screw or nail? Your project will determine the best bit size and type.

And now, on to the fun part:

4. Know how to drill.

Once you’ve chosen the proper bit and seated it squarely in the chuck (you can squeeze the trigger and watch the bit spin to see if it’s straight), begin drilling by placing the bit on the surface. Squeeze the trigger slowly to get a start then squeeze harder while pressing straight toward the surface to make your hole.

TIP: When drilling into any hard surface, or even wood if you’re feeling cautious, it may help to notch the material with something sharp to help guide the bit so it won’t slide off course.

This top-selling DEWALT heavy-duty hammer drill features variable bit capacity for wood and metal, high/low gears and a lightweight design for precision use. 

These value-priced drill bits by The Professional Woodworker come in a 29-piece indexed set and are crafted in titanium nitride-coated steel. 

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