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Types of Drills

Drills are commonly used tools in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and woodworking. They are also used extensively for home improvement and DIY projects. Over the years, different types of drills have been developed for various applications. This article provides an overview of the different types of drills and their specific uses.

6 Common Types of Drills & Their Use

1. Hand Drills

Hand Drills

Before the advent of power drills, hand drills were widely used. They are still in use today due to their simplicity, convenience, and precision. Hand drills are manually operated and require physical effort to create holes. They are ideal for small projects where precision is required, and power isn't an issue.

A typical hand drill consists of a crank attached to a drill chuck, which holds the drill bit. The crank is turned by hand, which rotates the drill bit and creates the hole. Hand drills are often used for woodworking, arts and crafts projects, and other applications that require fine control and precision.

2. Electric Drills

Electric Drills

Electric drills are the most common type of power drill. They use electric power to rotate the drill bit and are typically used for drilling holes in wood, metal, plastic, and other materials. Electric drills are versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications, from construction and remodeling to home repair and DIY projects.

Most electric drills have adjustable speed controls, and many also have a hammer function that provides a pounding action to help drill into tougher materials like concrete or masonry. Some electric drills also have a reverse function, which allows the drill bit to be turned in the opposite direction for removing screws.

3. Cordless Drills

Cordless Drills

Cordless drills are a type of electric drill that runs on rechargeable batteries. They offer the convenience of portability and can be used anywhere, even in areas where there's no access to electrical outlets.

Cordless drills are used for many of the same applications as corded electric drills, but they are particularly useful for jobs where mobility is important, such as in outdoor projects, or in situations where cords could be a safety hazard. However, they tend to be less powerful than corded drills and their operation time is limited by battery life.

4. Hammer Drills

Hammer Drills

Hammer drills are specialized tools designed for drilling into hard materials like concrete, brick, and masonry. They combine rotary drilling with a percussive hammering action to break up the material and drill the hole.

Hammer drills are commonly used in construction and renovation projects where holes need to be drilled into concrete walls or floors for anchor bolts, concrete screws, or other fasteners. Some hammer drills also have a rotary-only mode for use as a standard drill.

5. Impact Drivers

Impact Drivers

While not strictly a drill, impact drivers are often used in conjunction with drills and serve a similar purpose. Impact drivers are used for driving screws and other fasteners into materials. They provide a strong, sudden rotational force (impact) that helps drive screws into tough materials without stripping the screw head.

Impact drivers are frequently used in construction, automotive work, and heavy-duty DIY projects. They are particularly useful for driving large or long screws into hard materials.

6. Drill Presses

Drill Presses

A drill press is a stationary machine used for precision drilling. The workpiece is held in place on the machine's table while the drill bit is lowered into the material. Drill presses provide a high level of accuracy and consistency, making them ideal for projects that require precise holes.

Drill presses are commonly used in woodworking, metalworking, and other manufacturing and assembly processes. They can also be used for non-drilling tasks such as sanding, honing, and mortising with the appropriate attachments.


Selecting the right drill for a job depends on the nature of the task, the materials to be worked on, and the level of precision required. Hand drills, electric drills, cordless drills, hammer drills, impact drivers, and drill presses each have their unique advantages and uses. By understanding the different types of drills and their specific applications, you can choose the right tool for your project and achieve the best results.

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