Power tools are very helpful to complete any of your projects smoothly and efficiently. However, if you don’t take proper safety measures and do not know how to properly use them, that can lead to a disaster. Among all the power tools, drill machines are the most convenient for DIY projects and professional use. If you know how to drill correctly, it will help you
to prevent any major injury.
So, to get an amazing result without getting injured while using your power drill, you must follow some safety tips. Read this blog to get a proper idea about how to use your power drill safely and easily to complete your job.
First, let’s understand what a drill machine is.
Power drill machines are mainly used for construction purposes or to complete various tasks at home. These are powerful tools that are used to make holes in any kind of material including hard surfaces, like concrete, plastic, wooden, metal, or even in rocks.
Now, let’s see how to use a drill machine safely.
Prepare for Drilling
You will find various types of drilling machines available in the market that you can also use for DIY purposes. These are easy to operate. However, all you need is to be careful and stay safe while using the machine. In order to do that, you must prepare yourself with proper safety measures.
Wear Safe Clothing and Eye Protection
This is the first tip you must follow to protect yourself while using a drill machine. Because even the most skilled person can get injured badly due to ignorance.
Whenever you are going to operate a drill or any other type of power tool, avoid wearing baggy clothing or dangling jewelry that could get caught in the drill as you lean over it. You should also wear safety goggles or glasses that cover the sides of your eyes, to protect them from flying debris.
Wear Ear Protection
If you are drilling on a regular basis then wearing ear protection is also very important. A handheld electric drill produces about 90 decibels sound, enough to cause hearing damage after prolonged exposure. Most of the cordless drills are quiet and hearing protection is not necessary. On the other hand, impact drills or hammer drills are the loudest, producing over 100 dB. Hearing protection is recommended whenever using these kinds of drills.
Protect Your Lungs
If you are working with brick or concrete, protecting your lungs is very important. Because exposure to a high amount of crystalline silica dust may cause silicosis that is a respiratory disease. A dust mask may help your nose and mouth from getting affected by this dust. However, if you have to work for the long term in such circumstances, it is advisable to use a respirator. Each respirator is rated for certain types of hazards, so make sure you use the one that suits your project.
Choose the Correct Drill Bit
Before using your drill for the first time, you must know the process of operation. It will help you to work safely with your power tool. If you use a bit that is made from the wrong material, it can cause the bit or the material you are drilling to break. You can use a general-purpose bit on wood, masonry bit on stone, brick or concrete, HSS (high-speed steel) bit on most metals, and carbide or a diamond-tipped bit on very hard and brittle surfaces, like porcelain, glass, or glazed tiles.
Whenever drilling a hole for a screw, there is an easy way to find the right-sized bit. Hold the screw up directly behind the bit. Make sure that the bit hides the shaft of the screw, but also assure that screw threads should still be visible on both sides.
Apart from these things, you should also research about the drill. You must look for these safety features of the drill:
- Check whether the drill is cordless or corded.
- How long does the battery support the machine, and how much time it needs to get charged?
- Is it easy to operate?
- The weight of the power drill.
- Which type of material does the drill work best on?
Fit the Drill Bit Firmly into the Chuck
The chuck is the clamp in the jaws of the drill. This holds the drill bit in place while it is spinning. To replace a drill bit, ensure that the drill is powered off and then loosen the chuck by rotating it. Depending on the type of drill, you may be able to do this by hand, or you may need a chuck key that is located in a compartment in the top or handle of the drill. Insert the drill and tighten it again.. Ensure the bit is straight and secure and remove the key before you turn on the drill.
- Each chuck has a maximum size. The shaft of the drill bit must be smaller than this size, however, the tip can be larger.
- As the drill is run, you can watch the bit spinning in the air. If it wobbles from side to side, the bit is bent or not secured correctly. Discard bent bits as these can easily break during drilling.
Clamp the Small Pieces Together
Clampdown the drill firmly if you are drilling into a small or loose piece. To avoid injury, make sure that you do not hold the piece down with one hand, as it could slip and injure you.
Handle the Cord Safely
If you are using a corded drill, never leave it stretched across a pathway when not in use. Also, do not pick the drill by its cord. If you are using the drill in a wet or muddy area, use a cordless drill instead.
If you are drilling using an extension cord, you should check the drill manual for the minimum wire gauge. Do not chain multiple extension cords together, use indoor extension cords outdoors, or use an adapter to plug a three-prong cord into a two-prong outlet.
How to Drill Safely?
Once you have taken all the safety measures, before you start drilling, it is important to know how to drill safely. No matter if you are a beginner or a professional, it is always important to take safety measures while using these power tools. So, let’s have a look at the steps for how to safely drill.
1. Drill Pilot Holes
In most cases, you will get better results if you start with a smaller drill bit than the final hole size. Start drilling a pilot hole, then switch to the larger bit to finish the job. The pilot hole prevents your drill bit from slipping and reduces the chance of splitting wood or other damage.
- Brittle materials like ceramic and glass require extra care. Make a small “X” by masking tape where you want the hole, to help prevent slipping and chipping. Place your drill bit over the “X”, and then tap it with a hammer gently to create a small dent.
2. Drill with Steady Pressure
Hold the drill steady and push it into the material you are drilling. If it takes more than a light force to drill the hole, you are probably using the wrong bit.
3. Adjust the Clutch
You will see a twistable collar in every drill to adjust the torque. The higher the number, the more torque the drill will apply. If you are facing issues penetrating the material, increase the torque. If you are over-driving screws, or if drilling so deep it could damage something, lower the torque.
- Some of the models mark the highest torque with a drill bit icon.
4. Avoid Overheating
Whenever drilling through hard materials or drilling at high speeds, the drill may encounter an immense amount of friction. This can rapidly overheat the bit, to the point where it becomes red hot or burns the material you are drilling. You can start at low drill speeds and increase the speed if it is not moving smoothly. Whenever drilling through hard materials or drilling many holes in any material, stick to slow speeds and pause occasionally to give the bit a few seconds to cool down.
When drilling in glass, ceramic, or stone, give a steady supply of water to keep it cool. Even if the drill bit does not look hot, give it time to cool down before touching it.
5. Do not Force a Jammed Bit Through
If the drill bit gets stuck in the material, do not try to force it out by running the drill. Unplug the drill, separate the bit and the chuck, and remove the bit using manual tools.
With these safety tips, you can easily work with your drill machine. You can consider these safety tips, not only for drill machines, however it can be used for other power tools as well. These tips will help you stay protected from any kind of unexpected accident.
Just don’t forget to wear safety clothing and safety gear while using the tools and remember the other tips you read in this blog.
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