Driving your first power drill is a bit like driving your first car – exciting, but with the possibility of ending up in the emergency room. Take on board these tips to ensure you’re not a casualty.
Go see the experts
If you’re a first time power drill user, you’ll need all the help you can get to make sure you do more drilling, less destroying. Go to your local hardware shop and talk to the men there – they know what they’re doing and have been doing it for years. They’ll also be able to point you to good brands, like STIHL, that have been around for years and have a reputation for excellence.
Choose your style
Are you an old school purist who’s only just now deciding to give power tools a go, or a Gen Y looking to participate in a bit of self-sufficiency by building a bookshelf for your share house? If you’re of the older school of thought, an electric drill that plugs into the wall can give you the weight and power that will make you feel at home, while the Gen Y handyman will appreciate a battery-powered drill’s lightweight handling and ease of manoeuvrability.
Have a play
Before you buy your drill, have a play with different models and see how they feel in your hand. Can you drill vertically and horizontally without contorting yourself like that yoga instructor at the gym? Is the grip ergonomic and user friendly, maybe with contouring or rubber cushioning? The last thing you want is hand cramp while you’re trying to add the final screw to your new home brew cabinet. Also see how easy it is to change clutch settings and speeds, so you don’t have to waste time constantly referring to your manual once you start using it.
It’s great to have enthusiasm, but if your enthusiasm turns you into a crazy dude with a massive drill, destroying stuff for fun, it’s probably a good idea to put down the power tool and take yourself off to a quiet room to calm down for a while. Choose a power drill that’s a basic model, fit for a beginner, with defined speeds so you can start on the slowest setting and then increase from there once you’ve honed your precision and got a bit of confidence in your skills. Keep in mind the lower speeds are for driving screws and the high speed is for drilling holes – don’t confuse the two or things could get ugly.
Consult the Internet
If you’ve done something silly and it’s after hours, check Youtube and blogs to see if there’s an answer to your stuff up on there. The Internet can also be a handy resource for learning the basics or upgrading your skills, and to help you track promotions and sales to buy new gear on the cheap.
Follow these tips and you’ll be leaving your power drill training wheels behind.