A power drill is what you need if you looking for a power tool for making holes, sinking screws, and installing drywalls, among other uses around your home.
Buying a power drill may not be as easy as you think due to the many models the market is offering. If you are reading this article, it goes without saying you are looking for information that will help you get the best drill the market can offer. You will be surprised by the wholesome information it will offer you (drill owner).
We have scoured the internet and compiled information that will not only help you buy a good drill but also help you maintain it for a long time.
A Short History of a Power Drill
The power drill has enjoyed a trajectory in terms of developments and improvements since its first invention by the Black and Decker Manufacturing Co. in the early 1900s. It’s a fascinating story of how a pistol inspired the shape and the holding mechanism of the tool. The previous tools were large stationary machines used in industrial manufacturing companies. One day, Black and Decker were brainstorming on how to make the drill light, portable, and with increased functionality. As fate would have it, Colt, a gun manufacturer, happened to be around with his handgun. And the revolution that produced the initial power drill was set in motion. It was inspired by how the gun is held and triggered. Thus, to-date the shape and the triggering mechanism remained in all other variations. However, the machine remained for industrial use.
Why a Power Drill is not that popular
Two factors hindered its commercial sales at this juncture; its high cost and lack of home improvement enthusiasts. However, with time, the supervisors observed that workers were carrying the tools home for various projects. That realization brought the idea of commercializing the drills.
In early 1920, Black and Decker started the production and advertisement of cheap and portable power drills to the general public. With increased sales across America, they were contracted by the government to supply drills in world war 11. They introduced the half-inch and quarter-inch drills with stands and several accessories.
What inspired the invention of a power drill
The inappropriate need to connect the tool to electricity and the drawbacks in operating on tight places inspired the evolution of cordless drills in the 1960s. The nickel-cadmium batteries powered the tools, which made them more accessible. More cordless drills, including the rotary hammer, were discovered with the entry of more players in the industry.
How to use a power drill
Companies making power drills
Several manufacturers have played essential roles in the development of the drill as we know it today. These players include Milwaukee Electric Tool Co., who improved the drill by making it more durable and sturdy. Recently in 2005, they introduced the lithium-ion batteries that have revolutionized the drills and other cordless tools. The Makita, another giant in innovation, has introduced the brushless motor that is more durable and robust.
Dewalt Power Drill
DEWALT also chipped in with numerous lines of professional drill power tools. They have introduced the many cordless tools, including the first combination of drill/driver hammer drills, among others. Today, they have the most extensive line of power tools and accessories.
The drills have gained unbelievable levels of expertise with some smart drills, automatically adjusting the power to fit the task at hand. The woodworkers can now enjoy the product of a long struggle for perfection.
Types of Drills
You can categorize drills into many classifications. In this article, they will be classified according to their uses and on the power source.
Let’s first discuss them based on their uses.
Although drills have the same functions, you may soon realize that what you are holding is not fit for your job description. Moreover, these tools are available in many styles and options, making their selection a bit tricky. The following five examples will lead you to choose the right one.
You may also call it a masonry drill. It’s your ideal tool if you deal with concrete or bricks. The hammer drill works on hard objects like the bricks without breaking. Most of the hammer drills have a rotating mechanism making them suitable for drilling and hammering action.
Pistol Grip/Standard Drill
These machines are perhaps the most common drills that you will find in most homes and workshops. With a pistol grip, you can fix a boring device, a cleaning brush, or even connect a hand saw. This versatility comes from the fact that the tool accepts many attachments that allow you to fix several accessories.
Mostly you will find these tools in a workshop. They clamp the object drill. In operations, the lever pulls the drill into the secured object, which gives precision for any angled drills on the material. The drill press has attachments that can convert it to a polisher, sanders, honing machine, and others, making it a more versatile tool.
Right Angle Drill
The design of this tool prioritizes working in tight places as the top consideration. It has a compact body with the handle fixed beneath the drill bit. This design allows more maneuverability when working on small cabinets and other tight angles.
5. Impact Drill
You can distinguish them from others from their stubbiness and shorter body. Besides, they have the vice grips for turning the drill bit instead of the chunk. The grips give the impact drill more torque and drilling strength: a useful combination in carpentry. The tool has varying torque ratings and speeds variable triggers for increased versatility.
6. Air Drill
These machines are smaller and lighter in weight compared with electric devices. They use compressed air as their source of power. Their power is similar or even higher than that of the electrical tools. Their only problem is that the air compressors are bulky and produce a lot of noise.
A Power Drill Based On its Source of Power
They are classified into corded or cordless drills depending on the power source. They are classified into corded or cordless drills depending on the power source. What are the corded drills?
Corded drills are tools that are connected to an electric power socket by an extension cord. Turning on the electrical supply sets the device in a working model.
All the above drills apart from the air drill are available in both corded and cordless forms. However, it’s necessary to make an informed decision when choosing your desired power tool. To get this right, let’s compare the pros and cons of the corded and the cordless drills.
Some of the advantages of owning a corded Power drill include;
- They operate for long hours without breaking.
- The continuous power supply gives it more power.
- It has a higher torque that adds to its boring capacity.
What can stop you from owning a corded Power drill?
Corded drills and other corded machines have a limitation in the length of the power cable. You can only work on a fixed semi-circular area. This single shortcoming makes the corded drills unsuitable for outside jobs. Luckily, you can perform outdoor tasks with the help of generators, and modern pickups that have power outlets. Unfortunately, they cannot meet the amperage required by these power tools. Lastly, some people have reported tripping and injuring themselves with the cord. Therefore, you need to be more careful when handling the corded drill.
Cordless Power Drills
What is a Cordless Power Drill?
These are tools that utilize batteries as their source of power. Of course, they have no cords; thus, the name cordless.
Some of the advantages of a cordless Power drill include;
- The tool is taken to the material to be cut and not the other way round as in corded. Therefore, you can use it almost everywhere: an essential factor for most DIYers and professionals.
- With a cordless drill, you already have a dual tool. It can be used both as a drill and a screwdriver.
- The modern cordless drills have almost similar power to the corded counterparts.
- The rechargeable batteries can be used many times and can be used by other cordless tools in your arsenal.
Despite the many advantages, the cordless Power Drill has a share of shortcomings.
The attached batteries make the tool bulky. Reaching tight angles may, therefore, become a challenge with some models.
The batteries may use up all the charges in the middle of a project interfering with tight deadlines and causing unnecessary delays.
Some of the cordless models may have less power for hard materials. When this happens, the mechanical power of the motor is transferred to the drill’s body, causing the uncomfortable kickbacks.
When shopping for a cordless Power drill, you need to consider (Buying Guide);
This category is by far the most massive and expensive. Moreover, it has the highest power, with 18 to 24-volt batteries. It’s fitted with ½ inch chunk that accepts most bit sizes that you may need to use. This category is suitable for drilling hard surfaces like bricks and concrete.
2. General Use Drills
This category is moderately powerful with a 12-volt battery. They have 3/8-inch chunk models that will drill holes and drive in a couple of screws with one charge.
Light Duty Drills
This category is best suited for small home-owner’s jobs. They have smaller motors that will allow you to drill into drywall and change a light fixture. They have a fixed ¼ inch chunk that accepts only similar hex-bits, further limiting its abilities.
Further, look out for the following features before purchasing a power drill;
Extra Batteries Pack
You need an extra battery to continue with your project as you charge the other one.
The Range of the Drill Bits It Can Hold
You may not want limitations on the sizes of the drill bits your machine can keep. Simply check the chunk size. The common ones are 3/8 and ½ inches.
Torque is the force that tends to cause rotation or twisting. The twisting phenomenon gives the cordless drill more power even with lower battery voltage. If you intend to work on hard surfaces like bricks or metal, then torque consideration should be a top-most feature. It might not be an essential consideration in other lighter duties like woodworking. Torque will be displayed on your machine in Newton-meter (Nm) or lbs if you reside in the US.
Brush or Brushless Motor
Though slightly expensive, power drills with the brushless motor are more durable and efficient compared to the brushed motors. Also, they are more compact, thereby reducing vibrations and have fewer maintenance worries. Besides, they attain high speeds with no friction between the rotor and the stator. This fact improves efficiency, which on the other hand, optimizes the battery energy prolonging its lifespan. Further, the battery life is extended by the automatic sensing of the material’s resistance and pulling less power when working on lighter objects. These combined factors make the drills with brushless motors more accessible to both professionals and hobbyists.
Again, the materials you plan to work on will determine the voltage that you select. Usually, higher voltage means the drill is more powerful.
Units Watts Out (UWO) Power
A new approach for determining the ultimate power of a drill is measuring the UWO. The determining factors for UWO are the speed and torque of the machine. Higher UWO means higher power.
Lighter materials like plastic require higher RPM, while harder ones need lower drilling speed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a tool that has speed range flexibility. If your specialty is on lighter objects, you can purchase a cheaper model with a single-speed, usually 300 RPM. Other models, sometimes called the 1 and 2, have dual speeds with one variant for sinking the screws and the other for drilling.
Working with the drill is a tiresome engagement. However, with a comfortable grip, you can work with merry throughout the day.
The Drill Combo Set
The drill comes with a set of bits and other accessories. The drill combo set has all that you need for your drilling and screwing. It’s foolhardy to buy the drill alone and then start shopping for the accessories. Purchase them together to get good discounts.
How your batteries will be charged matters a lot. Currently, you can charge the battery by an inductive charging station that employs alternating magnetic fields.
Always remember you can use one battery from the same manufacturer for all your cordless power tools if they fit each other.
Parts of A Power Drill
The power drill has several components that run in harmony to give you the desired results.
The motor is the center and power of the machine. We have briefly talked about the motor elsewhere in this article. However, to further understand the operations of the motor, we will have to discuss the brushed and the brushless types.
What’s The Difference?
Dwelling on the motor’s internal operations will depict the difference between the two.
The Brushed motors have four essential parts: the armature, commutator rings, permanent magnet, and brushes. The permanent magnet is fixed and has negative and positive charges that create an electromagnetic field. The armature contains numerous coils that are transformed into electromagnets when power is turned on. The armature and the commutator rings rotate as a unit. As they rotate, the carbon brushes supply electrical charges to each commutator. In the armature is where all the components complement each other to initiate the rotation. As it gets power, the permanent magnet and the coils become charged. Remember, the permanent magnet does not move, and once charged, it attracts (pulls) the oppositely charged coils. The commutator is still spinning as they move as a unit connecting from one carbon brush to the other. It is the carbon brush that brings in a negative charge to the commutator. The oppositely charged carbon brush repels it as it gets attracted to the oppositely charged permanent magnet. The carbon brushes are arranged in pairs. Each coil is attracted concurrently by the oppositely charged electromagnets initiating the rotation.
In the brushless motors, the electronic controller rules as we drop the brushes and the commutator from the equation. The permanent magnet is now rotating on the inside as the rotor. The stator, which contains the electromagnetic coils, is on the outside. The controller electronically and indiscriminately charges the coils with both negative and positive charges as needed to attract the permanent magnet. At the same time, the controller provides an opposing charge to the permanent magnet providing the power to propel the rotor.
Why is the brushless motor hipped on the professional circles?
As can be seen from the above operation mechanism, the brushless motor has no brushes and the commutator. This elimination makes it more compact and, consequently, lighter in weight. Again, in the brushed motor, the brush remains in contact with the commutator. This arrangement drags the rotation creating friction that generates heat, lowers the speed, and wears out the carbon brushes. Therefore, the brushes have to be replaced from time to time. However, the brushless motors are cool, with more power and higher speed, and require no maintenance.
The front part of the drill that you move clockwise or anticlockwise is the chunk. It has some metals that hold the bit when you tighten it. Most chunks are keyless, meaning you can tighten them with hands without the chunk key. To be sure that the chunk has secured the bit, turn it slowly till it produces succeeding clicks on further tightening.
How to choose the chunk type and size
There are three types of chunks
- Keyed chunks; this one requires a chunk key. With this type, you consume more time to change the bit, but slippage is minimal.
- With Keyless chunks, you tighten and loosen the bit without a key. It is the choice type if you change your bits frequently.
- With SDS chunks, you can change the bit quickly and still enjoy the grip of a keyed chunk.
The chunk sizes are categorized into three depending on the jobs on offer.
- ¼ chunk sizes are for light duties
- 3/8 chunk sizes are for moderate jobs.
- ½ chunk sizes will handle more demanding tasks.
Located behind the chunk is the rotating collar. Its principal function is to provide a torque range. Turning it all the way, anticlockwise disengages the clutch giving you the torque in that particular gear. The increased number on the collar means higher torque, and the further you sink the fastener.
Why Is Learning How To Use The Clutch Collar Necessary?
The clutch applies much the same principle as in all machines. Whether on your car or motorbike, pulling the trigger increases the available driving force. The same case applies with the drill’s clutch, the more you squeeze it, the higher the strength (torque). The clutch collar has settings that allow you to set the depth that the fastener will dip into the wood. Dialing in the settings that you need preserves delicate and elegant wood finishes from being damaged by overdrives. On the other hand, the settings help the screws from head damage when screwing on sturdy objects.
This part is hand-held, giving variations in speed and power as you squeeze or release it. Some cheaper models have one top speed with more expensive ones having a two to four maximum speed range. The pricier ones offer rotations ranging from 200 to 2000RPM.
With the rocker switch, you can switch the chunk to forward or reverse it. If you move it to the middle, the chunk will be locked.
Gear Selection Switch
Some drills can switch gears. The gear switch rests at the top of the machine. Always remember that high speeds have lower torque (muscle) with lower speeds having higher torque.
Before we exit the issue of speed and torque discussions, let’s consider the uses of cordless drill drivers and impact drivers.
Cordless Power drill or impact drill drivers, which tool is better?
Selecting between the impact driver and the cordless drill can be challenging for many woodwork beginners and even some professionals. The thin line between their differences is to blame for the current haze partly. However, we can do a little justice of keeping the record straight by looking into both tools in detail.
Cordless drills versus impact drivers
The cordless drill has two significant functions; driving screws and fasteners into objects and drilling holes on plastics, drywall, and other soft objects.
However, with impact drivers, you can quickly drive in fasteners on sturdy materials that the cordless drill will struggle to sink. So, where does the difference arise from? The difference is easy to see and also hear. Let’s look at it this way: both tools apply the rotational force to drive the screw. But with the impact drivers, it adds a hammering action that is both downwards and sideways. This combined hammering action gives the impact drivers more torque and force than its competitor.
Hammering power drills
Yeah, the impact driver makes loud, repetitive clicks. They arise from the hammering action as it occurs numerous times; depending on the speed you are sinking the screw.
The hammering action gives the impact driver a slight benefit over the cordless drill. Notwithstanding this benefit, the cordless drill has its share of advantages. Its formation with two gears: one with higher speed for drilling holes and the other one that is slower with higher torque for driving in screws gives it some advantages.
- It is handy when working on delicate pieces that require screws to reach a specific depth.
- The clutch expends uniform force, thus preventing damages from sudden pressure increases on light materials.
- The keyless chuck allows you to fix a host of accessories transforming it to a hole saw, sanders or a cleaning brush among other accessories.
- Affordable. It is cheaper compared to the impact driver.
Shortcomings of cordless Power drills
The shortcomings of the cordless drill are limited to its power on harder materials. You strain a lot as the machine pushes the screw on harder objects. Besides, the fastener may stall midway as the resistance increases. And as the tug of war continues, the screws may strip as the bit struggles to drive it in. Moreover, the clutch adds to its size, making it unsuitable for working in tight places.
Armed with the impact driver in your tools arsenal, you can complement it for those challenging tasks. You can work on concrete, metal, bricks and other hard materials with ease. You will enjoy the following advantages;
- Work effortlessly with no hand injuries or stripping screws.
- The small body improves its maneuverability, making it possible to work on a tight and awkward position.
- Easy to remove corroded or over-torqued screws when reversing the spin direction.
- Suitable for driving many screws where you do not worry about depth.
However, the brutal hipped force and design will limit its applications in some ways.
- The hammering action limits its use in precise drilling.
- Accepts only ¼ hex-style bits that are few and far between.
- They are generally noisier requiring you to wear ear protection.
- Costly compared with the cordless drill.
Cordless Power drill or impact driver: which carries the day?
It is a win-win situation. You need a drilling tool with precision for finishes on delicate materials and the toughness of the impact drivers for fastening on hard surfaces. This fix situation calls for the drill/impact driver combo kits that are currently available.
How to Use a Power Drill
Buying a power drill is a breeze if you follow the best tips for your desired tool. However, operating it, mainly for the first time, can be challenging. But practice makes perfect, and you will soon realize how simple it can get. First, make sure you have the necessary bits for the material that you want to drill.
How do you go about drilling? To explain this process, we will consider how to operate a cordless drill and a corded one.
How to Operate A Cordless Power Drill
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power the cordless drill. For the first time, you need to remove the battery and charge it. The battery comes with its docking unit that you connect to the wall for charging. When fully recharged, return it to its place and focus your attention to the bits. Locate a side button that has an arrow labelled on it. This arrow shows the direction the bit is spinning. To remove the bit, push this side button in as you grab the chunk and simultaneously pull the trigger back. The chunk will loosen and release the bit. To fix the desired bit, squeeze the trigger and spin the chunk to extend the jaws that hold the bit. Turn the chunk manually to centre the bit and pull the trigger till the bit is grabbed firmly. Now, the cordless drill is ready to operate.
How About Operating a Corded Power Drill?
The corded power drill is connected directly to the power socket on the wall. Fixing the drill bit is much the same as in the cordless drill. The only variant is in the tightening the jaws. In this case, you centre the drill manually and turn the chunk as you firmly hold the silvery band that’s below the chunk. A click sound means the chunk is tightly attached.
Now you are ready to perform your first task with any of the drill.
The following steps will guide you in boring holes with a cordless power drill.
- Wear eye protection as debris could injure your eyes. The drill’s manufacturer specifies the recommended protective gear.
- Mark the point to drill with an owl or a marking pencil
- Clamp the material to avoid unnecessary movements when drilling.
- Mark the bit to show when the desired depth is attained.
- Hold the drill perpendicular to the material to ensure the drill moves straight.
- Press the drill bit on the material as you turn on the trigger and increase the speed as you apply gentle pressure.
- If the depth is more in-depth, you will have to pull up the drill slightly to unclog the bit.
- You have completed your first task when you drill up to the pre-marked depth or completely penetrate the material.
- Caution: Follow the manufacturer’s guide on the bits to use on each material, safety precautions and guides on use and maintenance.
Cleaning and Maintenance of a Power Drill
The drill is the most versatile tool in the workshop. You can fit the chunk with various accessories allowing it to perform numerous tasks. We can rightly say that the device is overworked. Therefore, to prolong its lifespan and superb working conditions requires special cleaning and maintenance services.
- The air compressor removes debris and cools the motor after a long day’s work. Use acetone-based aerosols for cleaning the dust that’s already mixed with oil.
- Wipe with a toothbrush and a soft cloth to remove debris from the casing.
Put a few drops on the moving parts and avoid over-lubrication. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the details on the oiling process.
Maintaining the power drill Parts
- Check the cords before and after every project. Remember that damaged cords may cause fatalities.
- Always inspect for loose screws and fasteners and tighten them.
- Replace the carbon brushes, bearings, switches and accessories as needed.
- Read the manufacturer’s manual and attend the maintenance discussion forums with other professionals.
- Consult with professional drill machine handlers or the manufacturing company for complex operational faults.
The Must-Have Power Drill Accessories
Accessories are attachments on the power drill that enables it to perform different functions. The most common attachments are the drill bits, sanders, and the cleaning brush. The attachments transform your drill into functional tools that you never thought possible. Let’s dwell on some of these accessories.
Choosing the right drill bits is challenging to most woodworkers for their home improvements. The main reason is that drill bits are available in many sizes and shapes with differing uses. Many times you may buy a drill bit that turns out to be completely useless. Here are some of the most common drill bits with their applications.
1.1 Twist Bits
The twist bits or high-speed steel-bits are the most popular both in the market and in use at homes. They are cheaper and work well on metals, wood and plastics. They have a front edge for cutting materials and a twisted shaft for removing debris as you drill. Most are made from high-speed steel (HSS) and carbon steel. The HSS bit cuts through many materials, including metal. The carbon steel bits are mostly for drilling wood.
The only problem with twist bits is that they keep wandering from the point you want to drill.
1.2 Brad-Point Bit
This bit is more popular than the twist bit for its accurate positioning when starting to drill. It has a tip that allows a precise point for the position of the hole. Besides, the spurs on the side bore smooth holes that are suitable in dowelling, furniture making, and other woodworks requiring precision. The only disadvantage is that they are slightly expensive and they are not ideal for many materials.
1.1 Tile Bit
This bit is tungsten carbide tipped to withstand drilling on glass and ceramics. The tip develops high temperatures when drilling. It’s advisable to use a lubricant like turpentine to keep the heat in check.
1.2 Paddle Bit
As the name suggests, the bit is shaped like a rowing paddle but has a sharp tip for initiating the hole. The wide blade is suitable for making large holes that need no precision. The bit works well in rough construction sites but unsuitable in woodwork. This bit requires a powerful drill, and you need protective gear when using it.
1.3 Bullet Pilot Bit
This drill bit is similar in shape with brad point bit. The only difference is that it drills metallic materials in addition to wood and plastics.
1.4 Forstner Bit
These bits have a starter brad point and a sharp cutter around the rim. They require some force to push them through the material. You only use these bits on a press drill. However, you can fix them on a hand drill and secure the wood with a clamp to prevent it from spinning. The bit is suitable for boring large clean flat bottomed holes.
Final Thoughts on Drill Bits
The drill bits above are only a drop in the ocean. Their types, sizes, and shapes are mind-boggling. However, I wouldn’t advise you to buy the high-end drills unless specifically required. Just purchase a massive set with varying sizes to choose from. In the bits world, we say it’s better to have many cheaper bits than a few expensive.
2. Drill Brushes and Pads
Sometimes your workshop looks dirty with some hard to remove stuff. Or it could be your windows, sinks, tiles, or carpets that need a thorough cleaning. Drill brushes and pads are the true magic that you need. They make your cleaning project look exciting, keeping you searching for more cleaning opportunities. Besides, they make cleaning very easy as compared to hand washing. The market has many drill brushes and pads that vary with stiffness and colors for cleaning even the most robust surfaces. You will encounter light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty, and ultra-heavy duty drill brushes.
They attach easily to the drill chunk with a firm grip. The brushes are made of tough propylene bristles that guarantee a long-lasting cleaning tool.
The brush or pad colors denote specific cleaning applications.
The light-duty drill brushes are white with bristles similar to a regular toothbrush. They are best suited for cleaning delicate carpets, upholstery, and glass.
The heavy-duty drill brushes are red. They clean tough dirt on outdoor rough-textured surfaces like bricks, fireplace and remove rust from surfaces.
Green/yellow/blue colors denote the medium-duty brushes. They are suitable for scrubbing all ground-in dirt and stains from rubber floor mats, linoleum, tiles, and vehicle carpets.
The ultra-stiff brushes are black. They are used for heavy-duty industrial scrubbing, brick and mortar cleaning, and other very tough scrubbing applications.
Of course, these are just a few examples of areas cleaned with the drill brushes. However, armed with the right type of brushes, you can clean almost all dirty surfaces both indoors and outdoors.
The scrubbing pads also have colors to denote their density and applications.
The blue pads are for heavy scrubbing on metals such as cooking pans and skillets. They have the highest density.
The red pads have medium density. They are suitable for general scrubbing, especially on the glass, fiberglass, and stainless steel.
The white pads are the softest and least dense. They are suitable for polishing plastic, glass, and other soft cleanings.
Lastly, the brush shape and size will determine the best areas to clean.
The sizes range from 2 to 5 inches with a ¼ inch quick change shaft that fits all drills. The 2” brushes are for small and harder to reach areas. The 4” are for general cleaning with the 5” majoring in cleaning large flat areas.
The drill attached with sanders will perform quick and straightforward smoothing jobs around your home. Some of the available sanders include;
3.1 Disc Sanders Kits
With disc sanders attached to the drill, you can sand wood, metal, and other simple tasks like removing paints. They will readily fit in any type of drill and are available in sets of different discs, making them useful in many sanding jobs.
3.2 Circular Pads Sanding Attachments
These are the most common and versatile sanding drill attachments. They consist of circular rubber on one end and a metallic end that fits into the drill chunk. The pads are attached to the rubber surface to act as the sanding material.
3.3 Drum Kits Sanders
You will find these drum kits in a beautiful box packed as a gift. The package has rubber drums with a metallic end and sandpaper sleeves. You attach the metallic end to the drill chunk and attach the sandpaper to the rubber drums. They are usually attached to the drill press for making intricate scrolls.
Hole Saw Attachments
Hole saws make larger diameter holes than the traditional drill would make. Let’s look into the essential parts of a hole saw to understand how it operates.
What are some of the hole saw parts?
The Pan Shaped Serrated Blade
The serrated blade holds the cutting teeth on its end and some slots on the wall. It sinks into the material producing a circular waste that leaving behind a perfectly circular hole.
2. Saw Slots
As you sink the saw, it produces sawdust and other chips along its way. The saw’s slots act as the escape route for this debris. Always keep them unclogged to avoid stalling the hole saw when in operation. They could be circular or straight. They slant away from the direction of the spinning saw for the more natural escape of debris.
The Teeth Set
The hole saw’s teeth slant at 60 degrees angle for optimal cutting power. Different hole saw’s blade has either a variable or constant teeth pitch. The pitch is the distance between two teeth. The variable teeth denote differing intervals between two teeth while the constant pitch denotes equal distances. The variable teeth set have the advantage of reducing vibrations and reducing sawing breaks. When you have the continuous pitch saw, you make more excellent cuts than the variable teeth saw.
The Teeth per Inch (TPI)
The Teeth per Inch (TPI) will determine the fineness of a cut. The hole saw has the TPI displayed on the blade. Higher TPI saws have more excellent cuts but slower cutting speeds. Some hole saws have no teeth sets. However, they have tungsten carbide or diamond coatings. These saws find their use in cutting metals and other hard materials.
The bit is the pointed end that makes a pilot hole to steady the hole saw when cutting. Some hole saws lack this part, but you cannot wish away its importance.
The arbor is a shaft that holds the revolving parts. Most rotating machines like the circular saw, drilling bits, and sanding discs will have an arbor to secure the moving parts.
The Ejector Spring
Its principal function is to eject sawing dust from within the pan shaped saw. Usually, it condenses when cutting and expands after the operation forcefully evicting the accumulated slug from the saw cabin.
So, how does the hole saw operate?
It is a combination of selecting and cutting.
- Which Materials Are You Cutting?
You need a specific hole saw for cutting metal or wood. With metals, the saw temperature rises rapidly. Arm yourself with a lubricant for smooth cutting.
- Which Arbor to Use
The arbors are available in two sizes: 14mm to 30 mm for small holes and 32mm to 210 mm for large holes. Also, ensure that the arbor fits the drill chunk.
- Fix the Arbor To The Hole Saw
Join the saw with the arbor and tighten the two to avoid unnecessary movements during the operation.
- Set the Hole Saw
Tighten the hole saw on the arbor’s thread using a spanner. For adjustable drill bits, make sure the bit extends by roughly 3/8 inches beyond the hole screw’s teeth. The extension will allow you to bore the pilot hole.
- Link-Up the Arbor to The Chunk
Link the arbor to the corded drill’s chunk and tighten it well. You can only use a corded drill for this tool as it requires more power. If you have the cordless drill, it has to be using over 18 volts to supply the necessary torque.
- Set the Drill Bit and Make The Pilot Hole
Hold the drill perpendicular to the workpiece and make the pilot hole. After stabilizing the drill, start cutting when all the teeth are in contact with the material that you want to cut. Apply some oil if cutting metallic stuff.
- Bore Your Way In
Pull the trigger and put a gentle pressure as the hole saw gains speed. Keep the tool level as you cut through. Always remove the saw occasionally to remove accumulating slug and keep the hole saw cool. Keep steady to the other end. Pull the hole saw and remove the slug. At this moment, the ejector spring should expand and eject the slug. Now you have made the perfect circular hole.
Uses of Hole Saws
The utilization of the hole saws is limited to the projects that require circular holes. Although they could not be very many, the tool is indispensable in its world of specialization.
Types of Hole Saws
There are many types of hole saws in the market. The difference is on the materials they cut, the teeth set, and the grit covering the teeth.
Diamond Core Drill Bit
These hole saws have squared teeth coated with diamond grit. They require high powered drills rated over 850 watts. The drills have a safety clutch and a variable speed function. Their applications include cutting holes in hard materials like concrete.
Multi-Hole Saw Set
These are bought together as a set for cutting the most common diameter sizes. Their sizes range from 26 mm to 63 mm, with a depth of up to 42 mm. This set will make holes in wood, plywood, plasterboards, and chipboards.
3. Tungsten Carbide-Tipped Hole Cutter
These are heavy-duty cutters that will bore through ceramics, MDF, plastics, and wood. The saw has tungsten carbide tips that grind on the material.
Diamond Edged Hole Saws
These hole saws have no teeth. Their diamond-coated edges are responsible for cutting. The hard and durable coating makes them withstand high resistance when cutting. They become heated when in use, thereby requiring some quenching to lower the temperatures. They are handy in boring through ceramics.
Carbon-Steel Hole Saw
These are general purpose hole saws that are used by home improvers and woodwork enthusiasts. They are most suited for light materials like wood, plasterboards, and non-laminated plastics.
Variable Pitch Bi-Metallic Hole Saws
These hole saws are more durable and well suited for heavy-duty cutting. They will cut wood, plastic, and metals with a cutting depth of up to 42.5 mm.
Constant Pitch Smooth-Cut Hole Saws
As the name depicts, they have constant tooth pitch made of an alloy that resists abrasions and heat. They can be used on 18 volts cordless drill cutting away wood, stainless and mild steel sheeting, and thin plastics.
Gulleted Silicon-Tungsten / Carbide Grit Hole Saw
These saws have gulleted square teeth whose edges with a silicone-tungsten coat or carbide grit that gives them the abrasiveness to cut through hard materials like slate, fiberglass, plywood, cast iron, and bricks.
Circular Tile Cutter with a Tungsten Carbide Blade
This hole saw has a straight, and sharp tungsten carbide tipped blade with varying diameters that can be varied to bore holes with different diameters. The well-designed safety cage around the blade allows you to bore into ceramic tiles with fewer safety concerns.
Some of The Areas Where You Need The Hole Saw Includes;
The tool makes holes on doors for installing locksets and deadbolts. Besides, you will find it useful in cutting out well-rounded holes on ceilings when installing light fixtures and other fittings.
Making a connection on a piping network becomes easy when boring with the hole saw. You just mark a point of intersection, cut the circular hole of the desired diameter, and fix the corresponding pipe.
The hole saw coated with carbide tungsten is handy in cutting holes for installing air vents on bricks or concrete.
Hole saws are used by electricians to make holes for accessing various points with cables in homes.
Cleaning and Maintaining The Hole Saw
As with all power tools, well cleaned and maintained tools may outlive generations. Likewise, you can easily prolong the lifespan of your hole saw by following several tips.
Remove the Plugs
Clear the hole saw of any chipping or sawdust that may cling on the blade after every cutting. Accumulated plugs may cause the hole saws to stick when cutting. A repetition of this problem may result in stripping and the ultimate damaging of the saw’s teeth.
Use a Larger Kerf
You can enlarge the kerf by oscillating your tool as you cut. A larger kerf allows the hole saw to cut smoothly and avoid any debris accumulations.
Applying oil before cutting prevents clogging. Besides, it’s easier to remove stuck slug on the lubricated blade. Always oil the hole saw before cutting and NOT when cutting.
Enlarge the Holes On The power drill
Getting stuck by the slug is the main problem that dulls the hole saw’s teeth to uselessness. If your tool encounters this problem often, enlarge the hole saw’s slots for continuous outward flow of sawdust.
Apply Balanced Pressure When Cutting using a power drill
Ensure the whole set of teeth sits evenly on the materials before you start cutting. The stable cutting prevents the hole saw from wandering, which results in tooth stripping.
Sharpening a power drill
Keep your hole saw teeth sharp for the best cutting experience. Besides, this will prolong the blade’s lifetime without the need to replace it. You can use a hand-held file or the electric grinder to sharpen each tooth. Most woodworkers opt to buy a new hole saw instead of performing the tedious sharpening process.
Check for Wear And Tear
Always inspect the hole saw for any worn out parts and replace them promptly. Storing the tool on a dry place helps in minimizing the wear and tear that arises from the effects of weather.
Conclusion on power drills
Now that you have read the full article, it’s my sincere hope that you now have a wealth of knowledge concerning power drills. If you are a professional woodworker or a DIY enthusiast who likes working with your drill. Please keep visiting this article as we will continue adding valuable information from time to time to help answer some pressing questions from you.