How to Use your New Cordless Drill

First and foremost check what you are getting when you purchase a cordless drill.  Ideally you want to make sure it has a carry case and at least one battery!  If it looks too good to be true it probably is, you may find you have just bought a cordless drill without the essential battery and charger. Two batteries are better than one, and this also works out less expensive than buying a cordless drill with one battery and then finding it is just not enough to get a job done, and finding you need to buy a spare back up.

There are two main types of cordless drills for DIY use, the drill driver and the combi-drill driver, they both work in the same way, except a combi can and will drill into masonry, in other words harder working!  How can you tell the difference between the two types?  A combi drill will have a hammer motif, if it has a motif it is a hammer drill!  If it doesn’t then it is simply a drill and cannot be used for harder jobs like going into masonry.

Begin with basics; the batteries

  • The first thing you will need to do is charge one of the batteries, check the instruction manual on how to do this
  • Usually it will need to be fully charged before first time use
  • The thin end of the battery will be the part that goes into the charger, check the picture on your manual to make sure you have it in the right position
  • The same goes for insertion into the drill, the thin end will slot into the hole in the drill handle body, it should easily push into place or clip into place
  • When you need to remove the battery simply release the clips and remove it

Need to know features of your drill;

  • Drill mode
  • Torque
  • Gears
  • Trigger

The chuck is where the bits are inserted, you can use either drill bits or screwdrivers, usually this is a manual operation and will also be known as keyless, you just need to insert the bit you need. Check out these tips for using your chuck;

  • For screwdrivers, first make sure you have undone the chuck enough to fit the tool into place
  • For screwdrivers you need a bit holder which goes into the chuck
  • You will see a small arrow indicating the direction for tightening the chuck and the opposite for loosening
  • Bit holders are usually magnetic, the screwdriver goes into the bit holder
  • With drill bits you do not need a holder, the drill bit can go straight in with manual tightening of the chuck


Torque and drill mode selection

You will find a collar which enables you to select the torque and drill mode


Gear speed

A simple cordless drill may have only one gear, two gears are better than one and going more up market you will find three gears.

  • A single gear will be quite powerful although a bit slower.
  • For most drilling and screw driving a higher gear is easier
  • You may need to adjust the torque collar to a higher setting and drop the gear for more power
  • Experimenting with this is sometimes necessary to get the best combination of gear speed and torque
  • Your manual may have the ideal combinations for specific jobs
  • For safety only change the gear when the drill has stopped moving ( a simple flick of the switch will change the gear)

Drill trigger

  • The drill trigger is an easy to use, you can control the pressure and speed with your hand
  • Forwards and reverse actions mean that you can drive screws in and unscrew them as well
  • You should not really be squeezing the trigger all the way, if you find you are having to really squeeze it then consider looking here; Drills and Drivers for a new one!

As there are many different makes and models of cordless drill this is just a simple guide to using your cordless drill, including some things to look out for.

The manual for your drill is always the best point of reference on how to use your tool, how to maintain it and how to troubleshoot any problems you may have.