It all starts with the kind of power drill you have. On the wish list of most homeowners, you’ll find keyless chucks (for quick-change bits) and cordless convenience (make sure you have a few extra batteries.)
But even if you have a good old-fashioned drill, try these tricks.
In case you haven’t already discovered it, your drill makes a great power screwdriver. Just pick up bits for the screws you use. (Hint: the bits from those small rechargeable power screw drivers should fit nicely.) A variable speed drill — which changes speed with trigger pressure — is best.
If you need to drill to a certain depth, make a depth gauge. Wrap a little masking tape around the bit at the depth you want to drill, and keep an eye on it. When the tape hits the material, stop drilling.
Often, drilling a perfect right-angled hole is essential. But that’s easier said than done, since the slightest hand movement affects the angle big-time. You can improve your odds with a long drill bit (close to a foot, even). This way, a quarter-inch movement by your hand doesn’t translate into a big error in the hole.
If you need to drill a hole that’s a little too big for a drill bit, and a little too small to do nicely with a reciprocating saw or jigsaw, use a hole saw. This little attachment slides into the chuck and cuts through wood with saw-teeth. Problem is, they seem designed to trap wood plugs, which can be a heck of a job to remove. If this happens, drive a couple of screws into the plug. When they reach the back of the saw, they’ll start backing out the plug. And you can grab the screws with pliers.