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Tools & Hardware

Anatomy of a Cordless Power Drill


A drill is usually one of the first power tools a home owner acquires. In some cases, it’s the only power tool they will ever have. I get a lot of questions from customers purchasing their first drill. Most of those questions revolve around trying to understand what the various switches and parts do. Below is a break-down of the major parts and a brief on the function.


Chuck – The chuck contains a set of jaws that holds the drill bit.  In a keyless chuck (most modern cordless drills) the chuck is twisted one way to open the jaws. Once the bit is inserted the chuck is twisted the opposite way to close the jaws and hold the bit. Keyed chucks do occasionally show up on cordless drills. A keyed chuck uses a gear tooth key to open and close the chuck. In the case of impact drivers instead of a set of jaws there is a quick connect fitting to hold the bit in place.


Torque Collar Adjustment – The torque of the drill determines how much force is applied to the screw as it’s driven. In lower settings the drill will stop driving the screw and begin to click once it hits a small amount of resistance. At higher settings more resistance is needed to disengage the drills driving action. When dialed in just right a screw can be driven into a surface and the drill will disengage right as the screw head comes flush.


GEAR SELECTOR SWITCH – The gear selector lets you adjust the speed of the motor between different settings, high and low. By adjusting the gear selector and torque collar driving screws can be done quickly and efficiently without damaging a material surface.


FORWARD/REVERSE SWITCH – The switch sets the direction of rotation by the motor. Forward drives the screw/bit into a surface while reverse turns it back out. There’s a center position on most switches that disengages the trigger.


WORK LIGHT – Just above the trigger many drills are now fitted with a small LED work light. The light helps illuminate the work space.


TRIGGER – Engages the motor to deliver power the chuck.


GRIP – Area where the drilled is held. There are some models of drill that use the grip to contain the switch for the work light. 


BATTERY RELEASE BUTTON – Press to release battery from sled or slot. Here it is pictured sitting on top of the foot of the drill. On other models the release is attached along the body of the battery.


BATTERY – The battery stores and provides all the power for the drill. In drills 12 volts and larger more often than not the batteries are separately charged and removable from the drill. The battery can also be non-removable and built into the body of the drill in some cases.


So there’s the breakdown of a common cordless power drill. You can find a complete and varied selection of cordless drills HERE. Now keep in mind that there are variations to this information based on the drill type and manufacturer. I hope this helps and if you have any questions, or want to add some information to that above be sure to post below.




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Posted 2016-07-11T15:37:19+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL