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    How to Use a Drill/Driver

    When you go shopping for a handheld drill, get a cordless one, known as a drill/driver. You’ll be able to use it anywhere without searching for an outlet and dragging around a cord. This tool is a must-have. You’ll use it all over your house and workshop.

    These drills are called drill/drivers because they have a faster speed for drilling with drill bits, and a slower speed for driving screws.

    There is a slower speed ("1") for driving screws. Be sure to use the right driver tip in the drill, one that fits the screw head very well. Also keep the drill as straight as possible and press firmly so the bit doesn’t strip the head of the screw. Photo: Thomas McKenna

    You just move the switch on the top of the drill. There is also a switch near the trigger for forward and reverse. You’ll only need reverse for removing screws.

    The drill bit or driver bit goes into the chuck. There are three small jaws, so make sure as you tighten the chuck that the bit stays centered and doesn’t get caught between just two of the jaws. Buy a drill with a keyless chuck (most have them). You don’t want to have to keep track of a chuck key.

    The other adjustment is the clutch. This allows the transmission to slip at a certain point so you don’t strip or overdrive a screw. There are a variety of clutch settings, depending on how deep or tightly you want to drive a screw before the clutch kicks in. There is also a setting for drilling, marked by a little drill bit usually.

    You’ll also need a set of drill bits in various sizes, a set of driver bits that fit a variety of screw heads: slotted, Phillips, square, etc.

    One tip for drilling: Lift the bit out of the hole from time to time to allow the chips to clear.