Written by Thierry

Hoe do I set up my drill the right way?

A standard drill features quite a lot of buttons and switches. If you're going for a drill hammer or a combi hammer, there'll be a couple more even. Now, you can of course see for yourself what each mode does, but I can also just briefly explain it to you in this article.

Standard functions

Standard drill functions

The power button; why not name it. Of course, this button's function is to simply set the drill's rotating or impact mechanism in motion. This button often has the neat feature of increasing the speed slowly. That way, depending on how strongly you squeeze, you'll keep the RPM under control yourself. Another standard function on a drill is the clockwise/counterclockwise switch. Set it to turn clockwise for drilling and screwing, but when you need to get a screw out, counterclockwise will be more useful. Rotating the other way may also be a solution to your drill getting stuck unexpectedly.

Mechanical speed setting

Mechanical drill speed setting

Mechanical speed settings are found on more and more (battery-powered) drills. Using its switch, you can set the drill to either screw mode (mode 1) or drill mode (mode 2). Without a mechanical speed setting, you'll easily drill too fast for screwing and too slow for drilling. When a drill has 2 speed settings, the RPM is indicated twice as well; once for the lower gear (low RPM) and once for the higher gear (high RPM). Rarely, you'll find more than 2 gears on a drill. In these cases, you'll have even better control over the machine's speed.

Torque settings

Drill torque settings

On a battery-powered drill or a screw drill, you can choose from a number of torque settings. You set these using the rotating dial with numbers behind the drill head. Each setting corresponds to a torque indicated in newton meters (Nm). This torque represents the power with which you screw. The higher the torque, the more powerfully, quickly, and deeply you'll be tightening your screws. Very convenient on hardwood, but if you're putting screws into a plaster plate, you'll want a slightly lower torque, to prevent yourself from screwing through the plate. At the end of the dial, there's usually a drill setting that you should only use – as you can probably guess – when drilling.

Impact, hammer, or demolition function

Drill impact, hammer, or demolition function

Impact drills, hammer drills, and combi hammers are equipped with a button for their various functions. For example, without the impact function, you can use an impact drill to simply drill wood, metal and soft stone. When you turn the switch to the impact function, you'll be able to drill harder types of stone as well. On a hammer drill or Combi hammer, you'll find a similar setting, except specifically for hammering concrete. A combi hammer features a rotation stop specifically for demolition activities. When selecting functions, the button you're using to do that will be fixed into place with a click, preventing it from jumping to another function while you're working.


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