Drilling Basic – Explained with Images!

If this is your first time drilling a workpiece, it is very important to know about a few more things. You may not able to drill like a pro the first time. But you can start the correct way of drilling today. So let’s see, what you should know about drilling before starting it.

Drilling Safety

You should follow below safety steps before starting drilling a workpiece.

  • Always wear safety glasses for drilling; and a dust mask for sanding or scraping accessories.
  • Inspect your drill before using it. Do not use it if any part of your drill has been damaged
  • Properly manage the power cords in the workspace.
  • Make sure the power cord has disconnected before changing any accessories or drill bit.
  • Always mount the drill bit to its full depth. Do not do it partially
  • Prepare the proper way to remove the sawdust. Else clogging saw dust will overheat the drill
  • Use both hands for operating the tool. Do not operate with a single hand.
  • Keep the proper stance when using the drill. Do not over reaching or away too far.
  • Do not too much force when it forces much it can be overheated and finally drill bit can break easily. So use the drill as it can cool easily.
  • Do not wear loose clothes, jewelry, hair, etc.
  • Before starting with a new tool, read the user manual.
  • If the tool gives abnormal noise, sound, vibration, weight, or heat stop that as soon as possible.
  • Always follow the manufacturing manual before change the drill bit, battery, etc
  • Always use recommended power supply as manufacturers recommend.
  • Make sure to remove any adjustment key is removed from the chuck after using it.
  • If the tool is heated or smoke rises, let it cool.

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Select Suitable Drill and Drill Bit

It is very important to know, which drill or drill bit is suitable for you. Normally, drill and drill bits depending on the material you are going to use.

Use the below table to select the drill and drill bit.

MaterialDrillDrill Bit
Wood, Plastic, Fibre, PVC soft materialRegular drillBlack Oxide Drill bit
Steel (Alloy)
Steel (Non-Alloy)
Cast Iron
Regular drillHSS
Cobalt drill bit
Stones, Bricks, ConcreteHammer drillCarbide tip drill bit
TilesRegular drill Tungsten carbide drill bit
Diamond drill bit
Concrete with rebarsSDS maxTungsten carbide drill bits

Read More About

Start Drilling With Wood

I strongly recommend you start drilling with wood. Because wood is a soft material rather than concrete, steel, stone, etc. Hence it is a great opportunity to identify drawbacks of the drilling process.

When you start woodworking, this will be really helpful. So let’s see what you should practice with starting drilling wood.

In this guide, you can see a few shop-made jigs that will help with a straight drill and angle drilling.
If you are using a twist bit, make a punch before you start drilling. It will help to position the drill bit in the exact place.

You can clamp the workpiece in order to prevent the splintering and start the drilling on the masking tape which is covered on the drilling point. You must begin the drilling slowly with less pressure with your hands.

But aim to the drilling point and then gradually, increase the RPM (press the switch). In order to identify the depth of the drilling hole, you should mark the depth on the drill bit by covering the drill bit. There are some depth gauges you can buy online.

Read More About – 26 Types Drill Bits for – Metal | Wood | Stone | Concrete

Straight And Square

When you start drilling, the drill bit should be perpendicular to the workpiece. You can use a shop-made block or square to keep the drill bit perpendicular to the workpiece.

When you use the square, line up its handle with the mark for the hole with the blade pointing up. Then center the drill bit on the mark and align it with the square blade and hole to be drilled.

You had better keep the drill bit parallel to the square blade throughout the process.
If you use a guide block, cut a 90° angle wedge out one corner of a board. Then center the bit over the mark then butt the notched corner of the guide block against it. Then you can clamp the block in place. You should keep th drill bit along the block corner throughout the process.

Angles Holes

Set a sliding bevel to the appropriate angle, then line up its handle beside the point where you need the hole. Center the bit over the mark, then bore the hole (above), keeping the bit parallel to the blade while you drill.

Sliding Bevel

Wide And Deep Holes

You can drill up to 1 1/2″ in diameter with the spade bit and then you should use a hole saw for drilling wider holes. When you drill wide and deeper holes, first you should prepare a pilot hole. and then set the drill RPM as lower and then start gradually with less pressure.

Then increase the speed and maintain the same speed and pressure until drilling is finished. Hole saw bits require more torque due to high resistance. Hence, you should start the drilling process with a lower RPM. Lower RPM will give higher torque always.

Use Hole Saw for Wider Drilling

Deep Hole

If the borehole depth is deeper than the drill bit you will not able to drill the workpiece with a single drilling step. So you have to make intersecting holes from opposite ends of the workpiece.
Mark the hole using a punch mark at the same place of both ends. You should make sure both ends are pretty accurate. Else ends will not align with each other.

Then clamp the workpiece and drill one of the boreholes ends using the above straight method. When the drill bit is penetrating sufficient depth take it out. And then start it from the next side. Then drill through the workpiece and you can see two holes are open to each one.

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Enlarging a Hole

This is a pretty much interesting task. if you have drilled a hole and if you need to enlarge it what you will do. probably you have to use a higher diameter drill bit. Normally twist drill bits are not available with the higher diameters. So you should use a hole saw or spade bit for drilling that hole again. If you have used the drill bit larger than the spade bit spur, you will not place the spade bit on the exact center point. So you should use a few methods.

  • Using a Spade Bit – Use a stepped drill bit and then drill the hole until it gets the spade bit diameter and then use a spade bit to drill the hole.
  • Using a Hole Saw – If the drilled hole is larger than the hole saw center bit, you can use a removed part by fixing that hole by gluing and then drilling using a hole saw.

Holes Templates

To bore, a row of equally spaced holes, use a hole-drilling template made in the shop from 1/4-inch plywood. The dimensions of the jig will depend on the size of your workpiece.

To make the template, mark a line on the plywood to align the holes, then drill at the spacing you require. Cut a piece of 1-by-1 stock to the same length as the base and rout a 1/2-inch-deep, 1/4-inch-wide groove along one edge. Glue the 1-by-1 to the base to serve as a fence.

Set your workpiece on a support board, then clamp the template to the stock with the fence flush against its edge. Use the holes in the template to guide the bit into the workpiece.

Hole Drilling Template

Driving Screws

It is very important to know about driving screws into wood. You will need an impact driver for driving screws more efficiently. If you do not drive screws properly, the workpiece can be splintered. Mostly it is from the edges and corners.

So you should be care full when you drive screws in such places. When the screw is driving inside, hole diameter is gradually increased due to screw penetration. As a result of this, it requires more space from the workpiece.

Hence it tends to compress the bor hole walls. If the wood is not soft it will crack or split easily. If the wood it soft it can bear that certain extent. But it also can crack easily.

So you can avoid this by predrilling holes.

First, prepare the pilot hole on the appropriate point. and then use a Few diameter drill bits as it does not exceed the screw shank. Then drill with the smaller one to a larger one. A larger drill bit is always equal to the screw shank.

When the drilling process is over, clean the borehole and then the driver screw

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Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.