DIY Developer
software and power tools, yay!

10 November 2015

Buying a drill is easy right? Yeah, nah. Do you need to smash through concrete? Drive screws in? hang a picture? Choose the wrong drill for the task, and it is going to take a long time. I’m going to explain the different types of drills and their uses.

Quick Reference

First, here’s a quick reference chart of which drill you should use for each material.

Material Type of Drill
Driver Drill
Driver
Hammer Drill Rotary Hammer
Timber
Fixing Screws
Sheet Metal
Masonry
Demolition Chisel
Key: good     great

Driver / Drill

Your most basic drill is the driver/drill. It can drill a hole into wood or metal (the drill part of the name), or drive a screw in (the driver part of the name).

If you’ve ever been using a drill to drive a screw in and found the drill starts vigorously clicking - that is the driver action. The idea is that the clicking action will use a sideways hammer action to drive the screw in. In a regular drill this action is not particularly strong. Don’t rely on it to drive screws into anything more than softwood.

Notes:

  • A mains powered drill will have a lot more power than a cordless model
  • Most driver/drills have a 2 speed gear box (slow for wood, fast for metal)
  • has a (poor) rotary driver action

drill

Driver

A dedicated driver is one of those tools you don’t realise you need until you own one. It has a quick connect socket (rather than a chuck) for swapping attachments. Normal drill bits do not fit. The advantage of a driver is that it has ungodly amounts of torque and can drive a screw into hardwood without ‘camming out’ (slipping). This allows a screw to be driven in to hardwood without being stripped.

Notes:

  • uses quick release attachments
  • has a rotary driver action

drill driver

Hammer Drill

Now we’re talking. A hammer drill has a hammering action that moves from the front to back of the drill. If you want to drill into masonry or concrete, this is your drill. A cordless version is a good multipurpose, tackle anything drill.

Notes:

  • hammer action can be turned off so you can use it like a regular drill/Driver

hammer drill

Rotary Hammer Drill

This is like a hammer drill that has been snorting PCP. It is double the size of the other drills here, and makes over 100db of noise. You will need ear protection. It has a much more powerful hammer action than a regular hammer drill.

This drill is not only good at drilling holes in concrete, it can also be used as a small jackhammer. I’ve used one to chisel a trench in a concrete slab.

Ozito hammer drills are great. Cheap Aldi drills are not. I managed to catch two on fire.

These sorts of drills need special drill bits (SDS or SDS+). These bits can take the hammer action without breaking. That said, I have snapped cheap SDS chisel attachments! (from Aldi, surprise!) You also need to do maintenance on these drills. The gearbox needs to be re-greased from time to time (easy enough), and the bits need grease put on them before locking them into the chuck.

Word of advice: cheap Ozito hammer drills are great. Cheap Aldi drills are not. I managed to catch two on fire. I took the first back and swapped it, then the replacement caught fire too. The Ozito handdled the same work like a champ.

Notes:

  • you need special drill bits
  • you need hearing protection
  • can be used as a jackhammer
  • if you are having trouble getting SDS bits in and out, you have probably forgotten to put a dab of grease on the end of the drill bit (the end that goes in the drill)

rotary hammer



comments powered by Disqus