A drill is a versatile tool that can do many jobs. Learn the basics of using a cordless power drill so you can take on projects and repairs with confidence.
A power drill can handle everything from drilling and driving to sanding and buffing. A cordless drill gives you all these benefits without the hassle of a cord.
A cordless drill typically comes with a battery and a charger, and some kits include two batteries. For drills with lithium-ion batteries, you can keep a battery on the charger at all times so you'll be ready whenever you have a project. For other battery types, only charge the batteries as needed — this will help you get the longest life from your batteries.
A cordless drill also has forward and reverse settings and most have a variable speed trigger. The more pressure you put on the trigger, the faster the bit spins. There is also a high and low setting switch on top of the drill — higher speeds are for drilling, lower speeds are for driving. Lower speed means more power and torque, or rotational force. Most drills also have an adjustable clutch that gives you even more control over torque and helps you prevent overdriving.
The chuck of the drill is the piece that holds the bits in place. Most drills have a 3/8-inch chuck and can handle bits and accessories with a shank — the portion of the bit the chuck secures — 3/8 inch or smaller. Some larger bits have a reduced shank for use on smaller drills. Always be sure you purchase bits that have a shank size to fit your drill. Typically, if your task requires a bit with a shank larger than 3/8 inch, you need a more powerful drill. You can use both hex-style bits and round bits. See Our Drill Bits Buying Guide to learn about different bits and accessories.
If you purchase a 20- to 40-piece drilling and driving accessory kit, you'll have everything you need to do most jobs around the house.
There is also a great selection of specialty bits that allow you to perform a variety of tasks in different materials.
To learn more about types of power drills and available features, read our Power Drill Buying Guide.
Follow the drill and bit or accessory manufacturers' instructions for use, maintenance and safety. When selecting a drill bit or accessory, make sure it is compatible both with the material you're drilling or driving and the tool you're using.