Drills & Drivers

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Drill/Drivers are designed for drilling holes and for driving screws, bolts and other fasteners.

If you're ready to take on a DIY project, the Drill/Driver will be your most important tool. Becoming familiar with your Drill/Driver will give you a good foundation for the majority of your DIY project list. Browse this section, learn all you can, and make sure to check out the introductional video with Ana White.

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Tips & Safety
Related Projects
Tool Diagram


Preparing to Drill

Make sure your battery or power source is disconnected. Select the size drill bit you want based on the size of the hole you need and insert the drill bit in the jaws. Tighten the chuck by hand. Select the drilling application on your clutch adjustment ring to the drill setting. Make sure your drill is set to the forward position and adjust the gear switch to position 2 for high speed. Attach power source and you're ready to drill.


Make sure you're holding the drill level to your material. Start the drill and increase speed gradually. As the bit works into the material, increase the speed. Release the trigger once the hole is complete.

Before You Begin Driving

Make sure your battery or power source is disconnected. Select the low speed setting on your gear switch, and adjust the torque to a high level. Reconnect the power source and begin driving.

Precision Driving

Beginning with the clutch setting on low, start driving the fastener, and adjust the clutch as needed. If the screw will not sink into the material completely, increase the clutch a little at a time until you're happy with the position of the screw. If you're new to drilling, it may take some time for you to get familiar with the settings. When driving, it's better to start with a low clutch setting and work your way up. If you start with a setting that's too high for the job, you may drive your screw too far into the material.

Use the variable speed to give yourself more control

If your drill has a variable speed trigger, start the drill slowly and gradually increase your speed. This will give you more control over your driving and drilling projects.

Diagram: Drill / Driver
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The piece of metal that goes into the drill's tip. There are bits for drilling holes and bits for driving screws.

Bubble Level

The water tube on the top and back of the drill that shows you when you are level with your drilling surface.


The cylinder that opens and closes the jaw of the drill.

Chuck Jaws

The portion at the very tip of the drill that holds the bit in place.

Chuck Key

An additional tool required to loosen and tighten the chuck.


The ring around the front of the drill (usually right behind the chuck) that lets you adjust the torque setting.

Clutch out

When the material you're driving into is too dense or tough for the clutch setting, the drill will stop moving the fastener. This is designed to protect your surface from damage. Adjust the clutch to a higher setting to complete the drive.

Gear Switch

The switch on top that lets you choose between highest speed, and highest torque.

Keyless chuck

The kind of chuck that you can loosen and tighten by hand.

Lithium-Ion Battery

The most efficient kind of battery for a cordless drill. They typically charge faster, run longer, and don't slowly fade in power.

Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Battery

The "old school" kind of battery. They tend to take longer to charge, and they gradually lose power as they run down.


A drill's word for power. High torque means the drill/driver is turning the bit very hard.

Are drills dangerous?

If used correctly, and if you follow all the safety requirements in your manual, you can use a drill safely.

How do I know what settings to use?

If you're drilling, use high speed and adjust your Drill/Driver to "drill". If you're driving, use low speed, adjust the clutch dial to a high setting, and adjust as needed.

How do I know what type of drill I need?

The most common type of drill for DIY is a Drill/Driver. The Drill/Driver is able to handle most around-the-house applications and basic repair work.

What's the difference between a Drill/Driver and an impact driver?

While both a drill/driver and an impact driver drill holes and driver fasteners, an impact driver is optimized for high-torque, efficient fastening.

How do I switch between drilling and driving on my drill?

Drilling requires drill bits to make holes. Driving requires driving bits to hold the fastener while the drill/driver sinks the fastener into the material. Simply select the appropriate bit. For driving, move the gear switch to the high torque setting, and for drilling move the gear switch to the high speed setting.