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Creative Ways to Use Drills and Drivers

7/23/21

Drills make holes, while drivers install screws and tighten nuts. These tools are workhorses for maintenance crews and shop floor teams, streamlining the tasks once completed using manual screwdrivers, wrenches and ratchets. But just because they do one thing really well doesn't mean you can't get creative.

Cordless drills and drivers run on battery power, making them portable and easy to use just about anywhere. The rotational power behind these tools and their attachments and accessories are useful in ways you may not have tried before.

Here are seven creative ways to extend the usefulness of your cordless drills and drivers.

1. Assemble office and shop furniture. The need for a manual hex key often makes flat-pack furniture assembly frustrating and time-consuming. Most drivers come with Phillips and flat-head bits, but adding a hex bit set to your driver can take a lot of the pain out of ready-to-assemble furniture.

2. Stir things up. Add mud and paint mixer attachments to your drill to mix paint, drywall mud, joint grout, thin-set and thick liquids that come in cans, buckets or drums. This works faster and more consistently than hand-mixing. With a cordless drill, you can do this at a job site, workshop or an industrial setting.

3. Smooth the rough edges. Most drills come with bit sets that create fairly small holes. Specialty bits make larger, more uniform holes compared to jigsaws. Rasp and sanding drum bitscan be used to sand these holes and smooth their edges.

4. Create your own drill press. The straightness of drilled holes depends entirely on the steadiness of the operator. If what you’re drilling must be at precise angles, use a driver drill guide to hold your handheld power drill stationary from 45° to 90° so you can create precise holes.   

5. Scrub away mold, mildew and algae. Pressure washers are probably best for big jobs, but a drill or driver with a brush attachment works well on smaller jobs. These attachments come in different sizes and bristle types, but can be used to clean tile, grout lines, vehicle tires, siding and dirty or stained equipment.

6. Remove rust. Wire brush attachments can help maintain your other shop equipment by removing rust buildup, stripping paint and smoothing out weld spatter. This is a good alternative if you don’t have a handheld cordless angle grinder.

7. Plant seasonal bulbs. Use your drill for landscaping chores. Add an augur bit to speed up seasonal bulb planting, which is especially handy with hard or compacted soil. Drill shallow holes in the ground to insert the bulbs, cover them with dirt and you’re done.

Get more equipment KnowHow here. If you’re looking for a new or upgraded power drill, read this power drill buying guide to help you choose.

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The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.