How does an electric drill work?

Written by kevin rail
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Electric drills are used for many applications in the field of new home construction and remodelling. They are run off a power cord that gets plugged into an outlet, and they have a motor inside that has a certain amount of amperage. The higher the amps, the more power it will have. There is a comfort grip handle that has a trigger that is pressed to operate the drill. When this happens, a circuit of electricity is conducted from the outlet to a small piece of metal underneath the trigger that powers the motor and ultimately causes the drill to turn. Electric drills come in various sizes that include 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". This is the size of the biggest bit they are capable of housing. Drilling holes is one of the most common ways they are used. A drill bit is attached to the end of the drill in a place called the chuck where it is tightened down. The 1/2" drills are used for more heavy duty drilling procedures where bigger holes are needed.

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Electric drills can also be used for attaching fasteners to wood, drywall, metal and even masonry. For this application, instead of a drill bit being placed in the chuck, a screw bit is attached. These come in Phillips head, square recess or slotted, and they have different thicknesses to accommodate different sized screws. Some other features they have are magnetic heads to make screwing easier, heads on both sides in case one side gets stripped, and durable carbide construction. To screw something into place, attach the screw bit to the chuck, place the top of the screw into the bit, place the tip of the screw on the surface, press the trigger, and apply pressure. The screw then gets driven into your material. The drills also come with a reverse option in the event a screw is stuck.


Electric drills also come with adjustable clutches on them. There are various applications that need less torque than others. This is often seen when installing screws in drywall. You only want to go a certain distance, so you can adjust the clutch to ease the torque back a little.

Angles and Hammers

There are a couple other types of electric drills that are based on the same features but they have a little different purposes. A hammer drill is used specifically to drill through heavier materials like masonry, pressure treated lumber and steel. They have a slight hammering motion to them when you apply pressure to the surface that gives them added power.

Angle drills are another type of electric drill that are used specifically for tight areas. They are built at a 90 degree angle and they are often times used by electricians and plumbers to drill in between studs and in areas that are low to the ground where regular electric drills will not go.

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