How to Use a Power Drill and Impact Driver | WOODWORKING BASICS

How to Use a Power Drill and Impact Driver | WOODWORKING BASICS

Sure, of course. Drilling holes is boring.
But you can liven it up with a handful of fairy dust and a little bit of —
microjig maker of the gripper. Work safer. Work smarter. — I think my two most
often used tools are my best value cordless drill and my impact driver. They are useful for
woodworking but also all kinds of home-improvement and repairs around the
house let’s look at the basics of drilling and driving and why I recommend
owning both tools. Of course most of us are familiar with a drill. It holds a bit
and you use it for drilling a hole. It has a chuck that tightens down these
jaws and holds it into place. Most reels today have a keyless chuck
that you can tighten without needing a chuck key. To use the keyless chuck make
sure that the jaws are open wide enough to hold the bit. To open them up just
unscrew the chuck and you’ll see the jaws open. Insert a bit. It doesn’t need
to go all the way in just deep enough for the jaws to grab it. Then tighten the
chuck by hand. I usually do this all in one motion by holding the bit and the
chuck in my left hand and slowly squeezing the trigger until it’s tight.
Your drill will have a switch that reverses the spinning rotation either
forward or reverse. Once the bit is in place, pull the trigger. If the bit is
wobbly you don’t have it in right. If you have the kind of drill that uses a Chuck
key, you’ll stick it into a hole in the side of the chuck and just crank it down
tight. My drill press uses this kind of system. By the way I’ll discuss the drill
press in a future basics video. Most reels are variable speed drills you
control the speed of the motor by squeezing the trigger. The more you
squeeze the faster the bit spins. For drilling holes, I use this feature to get
a hole started. If you start at a high speed the bit might wander around until
it grabs. You also need to use a slow speed to drive screws or other
fasteners with a driver bit. A fast speed could cause the screw to strip or even
break. Some drills also have a gear switch. On my drill, gear one has a slower speed
but more torque or twisting power and that would be great for say driving a
lag screw into a stud I usually keep my drill set on gear to the faster speed
setting. This works great for drilling most holes.
Another feature most drills have is a clutch which can help when driving screws. By adjusting this dial the drill will stop driving when it reaches a certain
torque. This is handy when you want to be careful not to drive a screw too deep.
For example if you’re drilling into drywall, you need to be careful not to
break the paper covering. Run a couple of tests to get the correct setting then
you can drill lots of holes without worry. It’s also useful for driving
pocket screws and preventing them from stripping or blasting all the way
through the wood. Usually I keep the clutch off and have it set to the
drilled setting. If I only have a couple of screws I just slowly drive them into
place. Most likely you’ll want the convenience of a battery-powered drill.
To date, batteries can do a lot of drilling and driving on a single charge
and they charge up pretty quickly. You should always have two batteries so that
you can have one on the charger ready to go. While not as handy as a battery
operated drill you can buy corded drills. These are good to have if you need to do
a lot of heavy intensive drilling and driving and don’t want to risk any
downtime waiting for a battery to charge. The most common type of drill bits are
twist drill bits sometimes called HSS or high-speed steel bits. These are
inexpensive and readily available at hardware stores and home centers
everywhere they work well for wood, metal, and other materials. One drawback is they
can be difficult to keep from wandering from where you want the hole to be. A
better choice for woodworking are brad point bits. The point at the tip allows
you to position the bit precisely where you need to drill and the spurs on the
side of the brad point cut into the wood cleanly. Brad point bits bore nice clean
holes but they’re more expensive. A spade or paddle bit has a point to get it
started and a wide blade for making large holes. Unfortunately a spade bit is
pretty aggressive and can leave a pretty ragged splintered cut. They’re best for
rough construction work maybe boring holes in studs for a conduit but not the
best choice for woodworking. When you need to drill a large clean flat bottom
holes, a Forstner bit is the best option. It has a starter brad point and a cutter
around the rim Forstner bits require a fair amount of force to push them into
wood and are usually used only on a drill press. You can use them with a
handheld drill but it can be pretty tricky. Your best bet is to clamp the
board down to prevent it from spinning loose also as a rule of thumb, the bigger
the bit, the slower you want your drill to spin. One of the most common uses for
a drill all around the house not just in the workshop is as a driver. Driving
screws is much easier and faster with a drill than by hand. Driver bits come in
any type of screw head you need to use. Phillip, Stardrive, Square drive, etc.
They all have a hex shaped shank that fits into your chuck just like any other
bit. You can get long drivers like this one that fit directly into your drill or
you just these little tips that fit into a drivers holder. There’s a magnet inside
the sleeve that holds the bit in place. I prefer to use these. In
general I don’t see any big advantage to spending a lot of money on high-end
expensive drill or driver bits. You can get a huge set with hundreds of bits for
under $30. I like to have a big assortment on hand
so I can always find the size I need without having to make a special
purchase. In the case of drill bits I really believe in quantity over quality
there are a lot more types of drill bits and drivers than I mentioned in this
video, but these are mostly what I use. Well there really isn’t a lot to know about
how to drill a hole. The main thing is to always press the bit against the wood
before pulling the trigger. I usually like to start slowly until the bit feels
like it’s starting to grab and then I speed it up. And keep the drill spinning
as you back it out. If you don’t have a Brad point bit and you need to drill a
hole in a precise location create a divot first by using an awl or a thinner
punch to get the bit started and to keep it from slipping or wandering. If you
need to make a large diameter hole it can be helpful to drill a smaller guide
hole first. Sometimes you don’t need to drill a hole in order to insert a screw.
On soft wood or rough construction projects you can just power the screw
into place. But for most woodworking projects you’ll get a cleaner more
accurate result if you drill a pilot hole first. Installing hinges for
instance would be a nightmare without drilling holes. For hard wood, driving a
screw without a hole can be nearly impossible. You risk splitting the wood
or even breaking the screw plus a screw hole actually holds stronger
when it’s threads are cutting into the size of a hole instead of pushing the
wood fibers apart. There are times when you want to stop the drill at a certain
depth. Say you want to attach legs to the underside of a tabletop. Blasting all the
way through would be disastrous. Instead wrap a piece of tape around a
bit where you want to stop drilling. rather than fussing with the actual
dimensions of the bits and screws, I just find a drill bit that is about
the same diameter as the shank of the screw that I want to use. Hold a bit and
the screw together and eyeball it. With a drill bit in front of the screw you
should only see the threads. It doesn’t have to be exact, just make sure you’re
comparing the bit to the shank of the screw and not the threads. For a clean
look with the head of the screw flush or slightly below the surface of the wood
you can use a countersink bit after drilling your hole to make a cone-shaped
indentation for the head of the screw. Just make sure you’re using regular
wood screws with a beveled head rather than a round or pan head screw.
An easy way to keep the drill at a right angle to your workpiece is to screw a
couple of scrap boards together and use them as a guide. A common problem with drilling a hole
all the way through the board is that it can blast through the other side causing
splintering. To prevent this, simply clamp a board to the exit side and pull the
bit into thinking that the workpiece is thicker than it is. This is very useful
when drilling holes for drawer pulls or cabinet knobs. Everything I’ve discussed
in this video can be accomplished with just a drill and that’s exactly what I
used for years until I discovered the impact driver. Seriously, after using an
impact driver I can’t imagine working without one. It made a big impact on
my life. An impact driver is only for driving screws or bolts. You can’t drill
holes with it it doesn’t have a chuck with jaws like a drill but instead has a
locking quick change collet that holds standard hex shank drivers. To install a
driver bit, just push forward on the collet and drop the bit in and release
it. An impact driver has a variable speed trigger just like a drill but instead of
just spinning it also delivers rapid impact blows in the direction it’s
spinning this gives the tool way more torque than a drill and can drive screws
into super hard wood or other materials with little effort. Use the impact driver
just like a drill when the screw gets close to being fully seated you can slow
down the driver and you’ll see it slowly torquing into place. With an impact
driver the tip of the bit stays in the head of the screw and doesn’t slip out
the way a drill can. If you’ve ever used Phillips screws you know how frustrating
it can be to ruin the head of a screw and
not be able to continue. An impact driver can also help remove those screws whose
heads are all scrumped up. Plus it’s just really handy to drill hold with a drill
and then quickly switch to the impact driver to drive the screws. I highly
recommend owning both a drill and an impact driver. In fact, manufacturers
often sell them paired in kits. This set complete with two batteries cost about
$130. Well there are a lot of other types of drills and bits
that I didn’t cover in this video but I hope this has been helpful enough to get
you familiar with the basics. My drill and Driver certainly aren’t the sexiest
tools in my shop but they get used all the time. In fact, they are the only tools
that I don’t have dedicated storage spaces for. They’re always on one of my
work benches within reach. And trust me, once you get
an impact driver you’ll wonder why you waited. If you found this video useful,
please take a moment to share it with others. And if you are new here please
click that subscribe button and ring the notification bell so you won’t miss any
of my videos. Check in the description for links to the drill and driver I use
and all the products I mentioned. And be sure to browse through the other videos
in my woodworking basics series. Thanks for watching everybody!


  1. I got my Ryobi drill and impact driver kit with 2 batteries and a charger for $80 CAD before tax on sale at Home Depot. I thought it’s expensive but realized shortly after it’s a very good deal.

  2. Steve, I implore you to try using an impact driver with self-tapping (auger type) paddle bits, like the Bosch ones. Im an electrician and had been using a regular drill /normal spade/paddle bits to make holes for 15 years, then tried using the impact/bosch paddles after watching a video by Hilti and seeing a lineman ripping thru telephoine poles with a 7/8 impact driver and an auger bit. Like ahot knife thru butter. You must try it with a self tapping drillbit (this is key really) . I have to tell you it changed my world. I use to burn thru bits, and drills for that matter, quite a bit due to the friction and physics of the drill driver. The way the rotary clutch works on an impact creates exponentially less heat due to friction, while the pulling the bits do on their own creates far less fatigue on me. I can literally put less than 5 lbs of pressure from a spot with no leverage (like a ladder, reaching behind and overhead) and bore 1" or greater wholes thru doubled and tripled joists, no worries. Its so great that I had to say something after you said they were NOT for drilling. Its all I use in most situations. I realize its not ideal for woodworking, maybe not applicable with most DIY folks, but for rough-in jobs, any trade and construction, its the truth. I use a 22v Hilti but it works great with any impact. Give it a shot!

  3. Fairly new to this kind of thing. I was looking for something as a gift that i can give my dad. I guess ill just buy both. Thanks to this channel

  4. So I have a question I need some help because I have no clue how these power tools work

    There's a Ryobi power drill here in the house that came with all the different drill bits pieces

    I'm thinking about buying a more power drill because the Ryobi is only a 9.6V rated and it hardly has the power to even drive screws into wood. The goes in like halfw
    ay and the drill stops rotating.

    If I buy another power drill that's a different brand like a DeWalt or Black and Dekker will the drill bits work or d I need to buy those to match the specific power drill brand?

  5. You are a drill God! This is the best informational video on what to consider when getting a drill and how to use one correctly.

  6. Hi quick question, how many watts do i need in my tool for it to work perfectly for a project? I was looking for a new jigsaw and the same brand had two models that (in my rookie and inexperienced opinion) only changed in the power or the amount of watts, i could see the same with drills and other tools. Btw the project i want to start is a table made with pallets.

    i really love your channel, im learning a lot, never in my 24 years worked with wood but now i know a thing or two 😀

  7. The advice to use tape on the drill bit to know when to stop is enough for me to subscribe. I feel like I could've come up with this, but I didn't. Thank you very much for the video, extremely helpful educational.

  8. Which type of wood you are using at 05:30 and 09:40 for demonstration.
    is that is pine or poplar or deodar wood please tell me..

  9. Milwaukee drill bits work fantastic in an impact driver. I highly recommend them. Some of there kits have driver bits, and a few common drill bits in one case. I have several, and mark in bolt DRILL or DRIVE (or both) on the cases; as they tend to look alike. One of favorite purchases. They cost more, but they are nice quality. The Ryobi drill bits, at least the black ones, are horrible. They bend!

  10. Steve I'm a new subscriber today. I learned a couple of tricks I didn't know. There are some drill bits available with the base to fit impact drivers. Kinda makes it a light hammer drill. Works great to drill into cement or brick. These are my most used tools also. Yesterday I bought a Kobalt 10" dual bevel sliding mitre saw after watching your video on those.

  11. I've only watched about 3 of your videos now, and I can tell this will be one of my top 5 favorite youtube channels. Your humor is just the right amount and your explanations are very thorough without being boring or over explanatory. Thanks for making these videos.

  12. So, I've heard that the "proper" way to do pilot holes when joining two boards is to, in addition to the pilot hole, drill a "clearance" hole in the outer board that's the size of screw with the threads. This pinches the outer board between the head of the screw and the threads of the screw in the inner board. This prevents the screw threads from gripping the outer board, which prevents potential gaps between the boards.

    I've occasionally seen this referenced in videos and forums.

    But I've also seen plenty of people that seemingly just drill a single sized pilot hole through both boards.

    Is this just an optional trick to use depending on circumstances? Or is this normal practice? Is it simply not necessary in the case of using screws with long smooth shanks towards the top of the screw?

  13. Love it…sir please make an tutorial all about Wood Working Tools in which Power Saw, Table Saw, Jig Saw, Sander, Planer, Router, Nail and Staple Gun Electric or Air, Joining and Shaping, Hand Tools and how to use them?
    I will be very thankful to you.
    Best Regards
    Hassaam Tariq

  14. You said that you can't drill holes with an impact driver, but I have some impact resistant twist bits with a hex shaped end, am I doing something horribly wrong?

  15. Superb video. Pretty basic content but really well delivered. Could have done with this video ten years ago when I was gouging holes in walls!!!!

  16. I have had a 9.6V, 25V Makita drills and 19.6V Sears drills and the newly charged batteries tend to discharge (no matter new or old) within 2 weeks sitting in my basement shop. I have had much better success with my DeWalt, but I have several cordless tools laying about the basement that I refuse to buy another battery for that won't stay charged long enough to use.

  17. Hey Steve. New subscriber and new to woodworking. Are there any plans for the drill bit box @ 3:51? I'd like to get my "workshop" organised as it's not as roomy as yours and I definitely need to de-clutter! loving the channel, thanks.

  18. I’ve seen keyless chuck adapters that fit into hex sockets. Any thoughts on whether they’re ok to use on an impact driver?

  19. The DeWalt driver holder you have has a sliding sleeve on it that seemingly for no reason slides up above the driver itself. The reason for this is so you can rest a screw on the driver and pull that sleeve up around the screw for one handed (hanging off the top of a ladder) screwing. The sleeve will self retract as you get to the surface.

  20. Drilling tip for clean edges of holes, especially on laminated wood: use masking/paper tape and drill through it. It acts similar to using the backboard when drilling holes through, the tape glue is strong enough to hold the top layer of wood and prevent splintering on the edges of the hole. Tape as well prevent drill sliding on shinny/glossy surfaces.

  21. Drill-life changing video. I had no clue what that dial with the numbers was for and I swear I read the manual for my drill. Thanks, Steve.

  22. This video should be a global law requirement BEFORE people are allowed near drills (especially the screw strippers!!)

    Like if you’ve seen idiots using power tools 🛠

  23. A other great video. Feels like I only use my corded drill for mixing or hammer-drilling (my 18v battery drill has a hammer setting, but it’s self torture using a batt drill against a corded drill on stone or concrete).

    Thanks for another great installment.

  24. A friend taught me recently how to remove stripped screws: Remove the bit from the drill, and tighten the chux of the drill around the outside of the stripped screw head(as if it were the drill bit) and use the tightness and the friction of the chux to twist the screw out. This may only work if you have enough of the screw sticking out to grab it.

  25. Thank you for taking the time and making all these videos. I didn't know how to use a drill until now 👍🙏❤️

  26. Where do you get the idea that you can't use an impact driver as a drill? I do this every day with no problem at all.

  27. I mainly agree on the drill bits being a quantity over quality thing. That said, 98% of the time I use a Robertson bit, and can’t say enough about having a better bit of you use the same screw type regularly. Especially on a Robertson, the corners stay way much sharper, and lead to less slipping and stripping. Also, use Robertson!

  28. Key LesChuck worked as a janitor for a day…..He got fired by Chuck LesKey. I'm not a kidding liar. I'm promise you.

  29. Finally I've found this video, which is exactly the guide I need for a newbie like me who wants to assemble a set of new furniture and do some timber works for my new house.

  30. There's a huge difference between cheap and mid/high priced bits. The cheap ones strip like crazy (themselves and sometimes the screw in the process).

  31. Why are the phillips screws still on the market? We use posidriv here in Europe, but more and more the Torx screws. Of course one can use an impact driver to drill holes (you need just an Hex Shank Impact drill). I use it a lot for steel because it works better and faster in steel and it doen't twist my wrist (the drill can't stuck).

  32. Hi Steve. In ALL of woodworking channels in youtube, I think you are the most…MICROJIG, maker of the gripper. Work Safer. Work smarter…. I hope you continue that way. Thanks for sharing!

  33. I beg to differ. You can get drill bits with a hex shank for an impact driver, and they do just fine drilling holes. I rarely use a drill anymore, unless I have multiple holes to drill. After using an impact driver for screws, hell will freeze over before i would use a drill on a screw.

  34. I use HSS drill bits with my Impact driver all the time (when i'm not using it for anything else)
    I just bought a set of HSS Hex Mount

  35. Id say definitely spend a bit on your bits (heh). A large case of bits is pretty useless since you're bound to use like 5 of them. If you've got an impact driver you want better quality bits too cause the impact will actually twist your bits, especially the Torx 19 which you will be using for everything. And you can definitely use the impact driver to drill, especially with your flat drill. The impact also impacts DOWN into the screw head, making a cam-out less likely.

  36. I use my impact so much more than drills that after I moved into this fixer upper (needing all new tools having left everything behind) I only bought an impact. It stayed that way fofr a long time until I had a lot of plumbing to do, because the impact was breaking my hole saw arbors (getting them stuck so tight in the hole saw that they became permanently affixed to each other.) Aside from large hole saws though, does everything my drill does without much fuss. If I were a daily furniture crafter, I'd have needed a standard drill much faster. but for home improvement or renovations, impact is definitely the way to go.
    Edit: And frankly, I can't name a bad brand of drills. Much like driver bits, if you're just grabbing a cordless for work around the house, buy the most affordable ones you can. I'm picky as heck about circular saws and table saws and a lot of other power tools.. But I honestly don't believe anyone makes a bad drill these days. I have a mix of Ryobi and Black & Decker, as they were the most affordable of the types I was looking for at the time I shopped for them.

  37. Tools have certainly come a fair way since this was released.

    I recently ditched out all the old variable speed tools we had at work and replaced them with toggle speed.
    I also find my impact driver with hex backs are far better than standard HSS drill bits.
    Another nice little upgrade.

  38. I love your videos! Great tips. I was wondering if you or anyone else could recommend a quality flip bit setup. I like having a drill bit with a countersink on one end and flipping it to drive the screw. Thanks.

  39. There is an advantage to a drill that has to be tightened with a key you have to keep track of. I have found the bit does not ever slip around when pressing too hard on the drill into the material being drilled. The disadvantage is that you have to keep track of that dang key. The keyless chuck will slip on my Rigid if I press too hard. Is that a feature of a keyless chuck? Lol

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