The best way on “How to use a drill?” in 7 steps explained!

To hang up wall cabinets and pictures, they should be firmly getting anchored in the wall with screws. But you have to learn how to drill correctly. Here you will find the information you need to avoid mistakes when drilling.

How to use a drill? – Set the drill crooked once, and it happened: A useless hole with a frayed edge disfigures the newly renovated wall!

This mishap can be easily avoided by following a few basic rules when using the drill. If you want to drill correctly, you should follow our best tips for drilling.

We show you what is essential when you want to make perfect holes.


A related video about “How to Use a Drill/Driver” here to watch.



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How to use a drill? – Correct drilling

Correct drilling
How to use a drill? – Correct drilling / Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The first thing you should do is find out with what type of wall you are dealing with. It would help if you had an impact drill for stone walls and a hammer drill for concrete.

You can find out which wall you are dealing with by tapping. Hollow walls are usually getting made of plasterboard; a flat sound pattern suggests a stone or concrete wall.

In addition to the right drill, you should also use a pipe locator to locate water and power lines. Afterward, you can start drilling:

  1. Measure where you need the holes in the wall. To make sure nothing goes wrong, you should mark the drill holes accordingly.
  2. Make sure you place the drill at a right angle to the wall. It will ensure that the hole is then getting straightened.
  3. Especially if you are unsure whether your wall is or what you expect, you should follow this tip: The first drill in the rotation mode and only when you are sure, use the force of the percussion mechanism. But be careful: With tiles, you must always proceed without hammering.
  4. Be careful not to press the drill against the wall with full force until a piece of the drill bit is already in the wall. If the drill tip is not yet firmly in the wall, you could slip off with the drill and mess up the hole.
  5. Before drilling, measure out the plug you want to place in the wall. It is best to add ten millimeters to this length and then set a depth limiter or mark the total distance on the drill with masking tape or adhesive tape. Then drill until you reach the marked point.
  6. If another person helps you with the drilling, they can place themselves under the hole to be drilled with a vacuum cleaner and directly collect the dust. It is also advisable to vacuum out the mess after drilling.
  7. Always select the plug to match the screw and the drill. As a rule, you should choose a plug with the same diameter as the hole you are drilling.


Choosing the right drilling machine

Choosing the right drilling machine
How to use a drill? – Choosing the right drilling machine / Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

Drilling machines and drilling attachments are available in various designs, all of which are getting designed for machining other materials.

The rotary motion of a drilling machine is suitable for drilling in aerated concrete and plasterboard.

The percussion drill takes on harder materials such as stone, for concrete, you need a drill hammer.

The correct choice of the suitable machine and the appropriate drilling attachment is essential not to injure yourself during the work or to damage the material unnecessarily.

For this reason, careful examination of the wall is on the list before drilling.

You can get a first impression by tapping on the substrate. If it sounds hollow, you are most likely dealing with a thin wall of plasterboard. If the sound is flat, it is a solid wall, which is brick or concrete.


What hole size, what hole depth?

What hole size, what hole depth
How to use a drill? – What hole size? and What hole depth? / Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

The hole size should be as large as the anchor. The plastic helpers are getting named after their diameter: For an 8-pin plug, an 8 mm hole must be getting drilled with a percussion drill.

The matching screw is then slightly smaller than the plug diameter. For this purpose, there are from-to specifications on the packaging.

The drill hole depth should be slightly larger than the plug length. It can be getting taken as a guideline: Anchor length + 10 mm = drill hole length.

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On some drills, you can adjust the depth stop to the desired length. Alternatively, you can mark the length directly on the drill with adhesive tape and then drill into the wall up to this point.


What to do if I do not know the material?

What to do if I do not know the material
How to use a drill? – What to do if I do not know the material? / Image by andreas N from Pixabay

The problem often occurs with plastered or wallpapered walls. You do not know what material they are getting made of.

Especially exterior walls are usually getting made of a mixture of different materials, brick, and concrete. Try it out – but be careful!


Start the drill slowly at first and watch what happens.

  • The drill goes through like butter: you can assume that the material is soft. If the drill suddenly slips into the void and then meets resistance again, it is probably a hollow brick. Caution, there is a danger here that the webs will break away through percussion drilling. Continue drilling carefully with the same setting.
  • If you do not achieve any significant drilling progress, you are probably dealing with concrete.
  • You can now switch to percussion drilling.


Take a look at the color and consistency of the drill dust:

  • White to light gray, dusty but free-flowing, indicates concrete.
  • White or light-grey flour that sticks to the drill bit is typical for gypsum fiberboards. Dividing walls made of gypsum plasterboard sound hollow when knocked and bounce a little.
  • Yellow to red drill dust is probably brick.
  • White, sandy drill dust is probably sand-lime brick.


Detection of water and power lines before drilling

Detection of water and power lines before drilling
How to use a drill? – Detection of water and power lines before drilling / Image by skeeze from Pixabay

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Merely putting the drill bit on the wall and getting started is quick revenge: the holes are crooked, the distances are not correct, or you hit a water or power line!

If you want to evade water damage in your home and a short circuit, you should check where the pipes run in the wall before drilling.

A line locator from the tree market will help you find them.

The digital locating device quickly and easily shows power and water lines as well as reinforcing irons behind the wall covering.


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Check out here “drill” related and different products on Amazon:

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  • DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Brushless 3-Speed – See On Amazon.
  • Cordless Drill Driver Kit 48pcs Drill Set w/Lithium-Ion Battery Brushes Tape Measure – See On Amazon.

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