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Material Wasting - Powered Drill

With the introduction of the electric motor drills became portable and more versatile..

The pillar drill or drill press is a fixed drill mounted in a metal stand and bolted to the floor or workbench. It has a adjustable table that can be moved along the column and secured in place with a clamp. The electric motor sits at the back and delivers power via rubber belts to the spindle to rotate the chuck. Speed can be adjusted by repositioning the belts on the internal pulleys to change the gearing ratios under the top cover. The 'feed lever' is rotated at the side to bring the chuck and drill bit down into the material to cut. A depth stop can be set to ensure accuracy when drilling and a guard protects the user from swarf when cutting

As a pillar drill is often used by students, H&S consideration are key; Long hair tied back, one person operating at all times, PPE - goggles, no loose clothing/ties, emergency stop, guarded chuck & chained chuck key


Power drills are portable electric drills that are powered by rechargeable batteries. They often have a 18V DC motor attached to a variable gearbox and adjustable clutch sleeve for various torque/speed settings. The three jaw chuck sits at the end of the system and typically has a keyless operation to secure drill bits in place. They are ergonomically designed, much like a hairdryer, to balance the weight of the motor using and extended handle, which is also allows for pressure to be applied when drilling. The trigger switch is used to control the speed which is variable depending on the pressure applied

The gearbox in a power drill uses planetary gears to vary the torque and speed, which are typically made of plastic in low end drills. This reduces the durability as they wear quicker over time so metal gearing is always a better option. Often modern power drills have a Hammer drill setting which rapidly powers the chuck back and forth whilst the drill spins for use with masonry bits to impact brickwork. Recently, manufacturers have also been incorporating brushless motors to improve performance, battery life and lifespan of their drills

SDS drills or 'slotted drive system' are high performance hammer drills. They require special SDS drill bits with a slotted or indented shank which secures into the chuck by two sprung ball bearings. This method allows the drill bit to be thrust back and forth by the hammer action of the drill rather than the chuck. Compared to percussion drills which move the chuck, this is far more efficient and creates less friction inside the drill as well as requiring far less pressure from the user