Probably one of the most innovative power tools to be introduced in the last few years, the drill / driver brings together a cordless screwdriver and a drill for a power tools that can be used for a variety of home DIY tasks.
As a cordless screwdriver the drill / driver offers the convenience to be able to use a wide selection of screwdriver bit options, and the power to take the ‘hard’ out any work that needs to be done in and around the home. While when used as a drill, you can now purchase drill / driver models that will drill into concrete, which comes in extremely handy when you need to mount a curtain rod above a window or door and drill into a concrete lintel.
When using a drill / driver for the first time it is important to acquaint yourself with the particular model you are using. Read the instruction manual if you are unsure as to what the tool can and cannot do. And with so many models available, make sure you buy one that meets the requirements for your particular needs; do some online research before you waste money on a model that doesn’t meet up to your expectations. If you need assistance in getting to know how to use a drill / driver with confidence, sign up for a DIY Divas workshop.
A standard model drill / driver will offer two functions: torque settings for when using as a screwdriver, and drill setting. If you go for top-of-the-range, a drill / driver will also offer a third setting: hammer drill. The latter function is especially important if you want to drill into masonry or concrete.
Using as a screwdriver
When used as a screwdriver a drill / driver offers enough power for driving in or removing screws. The torque setting (turning power) can be numbered from 1 to 10 and upwards, and is adjusted according to whether you are driving small screws into soft board, or large screws into hard boards. Obviously a lower setting will be used for the former, while a higher setting is used for the latter. A good rule of thumb is to set the torque at halfway.
Using as a drill
Switching the setting to drill provides maximum power for drilling tasks. Depending on the model of drill / driver you purchase, a 14,4V or 18V drill / driver should be able to drill into plaster and soft brick (cement), while a drill / driver with ‘hammer’ function will drill into concrete.
You can use a drill / driver with a variety of accessories that adds increased functionality to this versatile power tool.
A countersink bit comes in handy when you need to hide screws out of sight. Use a countersink bit after drilling pilot holes to create a recessed hole for the screw head. With the screw head sunk below the surface you now have various options to conceal.
GOOD TO KNOW
The depth of a countersunk hole should be equal to that of the screw head. If you are only using a small screw you will only need a shallow countersunk hole and vice-versa for a larger screw.
- Fill with wood filler and sand smooth once dry.
- Top off with a plastic screw cap
- Use a self-adhesive cover
A spade bit is used in conjunction with a drill / driver to drill out holes in sizes ranging from 10mm to 40mm.
GOOD TO KNOW
Wrap masking tape around the spade bit if you need to drill out to a specific depth.
Use a spade bit to drill out holes for mounting dowel rods, to make holes in drawers as a substitute for handles or knobs, or to add a decorative finish to projects.
Always clamp your project securely before using a spade bit, especially small pieces, as these may spin if not clamped.