Powered Hand Tools - Drills

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How do you select the proper bit or attachment?

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  • Follow manufacturers' instructions when selecting and using a bit or attachment, especially with unfamiliar drills or work.
  • Select the bit or attachment suitable for the size of the drill and the work being done.
  • Ensure that the bit or attachments are properly seated and tightened in the chuck.
  • Use only bits and attachments that turn true.
  • Use the auxiliary (second) handle for larger work or continuous operation.
Tighten the Chuck Securely

What should you do when working with powered hand drills?

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  • Wear safety glasses or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles).
  • Keep drill air vents clear to maintain adequate ventilation.
  • Keep drill bits sharp always.
  • Keep all cords clear of the cutting area during use. Inspect for frays or damage before each use.
  • Disconnect power supply before changing or adjusting bit or attachments.
  • Tighten the chuck securely. Remove chuck key before starting drill.
  • Secure workpiece being drilled to prevent movement.
Drill Bit

  • Slow the rate of feed just before breaking through the surface.
  • Drill a small "pilot" hole before drilling large holes.

What should you do when working with small pieces?

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  • Clamp stock so work will not twist or spin.
  • Do not drill with one hand while holding the material with the other.

What should you avoid when working with powered hand drills?

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  • Do not use a bent drill bit.
  • Do not exceed the manufacturer's recommended maximum drilling capacities.
  • Do not use a hole saw cutter without the pilot drill.
  • Do not use high speed steel (HSS) bits without cooling or using lubrication.
  • Do not attempt to free a jammed bit by starting and stopping the drill. Unplug the drill and then remove the bit from the workpiece.
  • Do not reach under or around stock being drilled.
  • Do not overreach. Always keep proper footing and balance.
  • Do not raise or lower the drill by its power cord.
  • Do not use in wet or muddy locations. Use a nonpowered drill instead.
  • Do not use excessive force to drill into hard material. Reduce drill speed if possible.

Refer to Powered Hand Tools - Basic Safety for Electric Tools for general safety tips.

  • Fact sheet confirmed current: 2019-08-15
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2013-12-20