News center
Great factory prices with excellent quality

How to Use a Power Drill

Jun 23, 2024

Every item on this page was hand-picked by a House Beautiful editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Your DIYs are about to get so much easier.

A power drill might seem like one of those tools that only a serious DIY-er needs, but we're here to tell you it's something that literally every homeowner (or renter!) should have on hand. Even the most basic power drill can make a huge difference in everyday home tasks, from hanging a mirror (an anchor is your most secure option every time) to assembling furniture (so much faster). We asked contractor Meredith Still, the owner and founder of NYC-based design-build firm The Meredith Project, to walk us through the what's what of a power drill and how to safely use one.

First-time power drill user? Still recommends buying a cordless model, not a corded one. "There's really no reason to use a plug-in drill," she tells us. "Technically, it gives you little more power, but a good rechargeable cordless drill will perform just as well." And you're free to use it anywhere, without lugging around an extension cord. If you're planning to use your drill for long stretches at a time, you can easily keep an extra battery pack on hand to switch out.

Still's favorite drills are made by DeWalt (which also happens to be the brand we use in the HB workroom). "They're easy to use a last a long time," she says.

Your drill should come with a rechargeable battery, a plug-in charger, and, of course, the drill itself. A kit with a handful of basic drill bits (for making holes) and driver bits (for screwing and unscrewing screws) should be fine for household tasks.

Drill bit: Drills holes in wood, drywall, plaster, etc.

Driver bit: Drives (aka screwing) screws into hard materials.

Drive guide: A tube-shaped attachment that holds long screws in place and keeps them straight while driving.

Insert bit: For attaching driver bits.

Chuck: This is where you insert the drill bit. To open or close the chuck, hold the hand grip and press the trigger switch.

Trigger switch: Hold down to start the drill.

Torque control: Adjust to change the torque, aka drilling power. There's generally also a drill setting specifically for drilling holes—don't use this for driving screws though, as you might end up stripping the head!

Gear switch: Changes drill speed. Typically, a lower gear is used for driving light screws, and a higher gear for drilling holes or driving bigger screws.

Reverse switch: Changes the direction of drilling. (Regular = clockwise, reverse = counter-clockwise.) When the switch is in the middle position, or safety, the drill will not turn at all.

Battery: Powers the drill.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

Emma Bazilian is a writer and editor covering interior design, market trends and culture. She has very strong feelings about tissue box covers and believes that everything is better with toile.

31 Halloween Wreaths That Are Eerily Chic

This Upgrade Can Save Your House From Flooding

Do You Need to Hire a Landscape Designer?

Designers Can't Ignore These 12 IKEA Home Goods

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House?

35 Fall Wreaths to Make Your Front Porch Cozy

Kitchen Updates That Increase Your Home's Value

Never Ignore These Home Danger Signs

This Is How Much a Screened-In Porch Really Costs

How to Stop a Light Buzzing

70 Genius Decorating Tips From Interior Designers

How to Change the Battery in Your Smoke Detector

Drill bit: Driver bit:Drive guide:Insert bit: Chuck:Trigger switch:Torque control:Gear switch: Reverse switch:Battery: Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.