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Power Drill Safety Tips

by Paul Sanders

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Power drill lying on a work table

When it comes to using power tools, a little knowledge goes a long way toward preventing injuries and prolonging the life of your tools. If you frequently use a power drill in your home improvement or automotive projects, you may know the basics of drill safety already. Below are some power drill safety tips that will help you protect yourself and your tools. Some of them may seem new or just a good safety refresher.

Power Drill Safety:

  1. Avoid baggy clothing. Loose sleeves, jewelry and hair can be a hazard when you are operating a power drill. The spinning action of a cordless drill can catch and tangle any loose objects. While operating any power tools, wear short sleeves, forgo jewelry and tie your hair back if necessary.

  2. Wear protective gear. Safety goggles are always a good idea when using a power drill. You may also want to use a breathing mask if the material you're drilling produces a lot of dust or shavings. Gloves can help protect your hands, but only if they are form-fitting and not baggy. Loose gloves can get caught in the drill.

  3. Secure your work piece. You don't want the wood or metal piece you are working on to shift while you're drilling. Clamp the work piece down or secure it in a vice before applying the power drill to it.

  4. Drill pilot holes. It's much easier to insert a screw into a pre-drilled pilot hole in a piece of wood. Your holes tend to be straighter, too. Plus, you'll have to apply less pressure to the power drill as the screw goes in, reducing the chances you'll slip.

  5. Use a drill stand. A drill stand acts as a guide or a frame for your power drill. You can use a stand when drilling harder materials, like metal or glass, or when straight holes are absolutely crucial. A stand prevents the power drill from slipping and scratching the work piece as well.

  6. Properly set the drill bit. Make sure the drill bit is properly inserted into the chuck and tighten it firmly with the chuck key. With a loose bit, your power drill won't make straight holes and could slip.

  7. Use a center punch to start holes. A center punch makes an indentation on the wood, giving your power drill a target for starting perfect holes and avoiding slippage.

  8. Apply proper pressure to the drill. Your power drill should do most of the work, so don't apply too much force. If you push too hard, you the power drill can slip or you can strain the motor.

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