Don't Ask, Drill!

Updated: Jun 16, 2018

Okay, true story...I was once intimidated by the drill set my mother gifted me one birthday. It sat in the closet for a year before the time came to hang up a shelf, and I decided to face the fear head on. Did you know that a drill is basically the Kitchenaid of the powertool world? Depending on the attachment you use, you can tackle any DIY project Pinterest throws your way. Trust me when I say, it beats using that tiny L-shaped (also known as an Allen Key) Ikea “tool” you have floating around.

To master the drill (get your mind out of the gutter), you’ve got to get comfortable with each part of the tool (seriously, stop being gross). This cordless drill has a lithium battery at the base, which slides off when it needs a recharge. The trigger is like the gas pedal in a car, it controls the speed. The rotation direction does exactly that, it changes the direction of the bit; just think righty tighty, lefty loosey.

The collar with the numbers around the neck of

the drill allows you to change the torque; the higher the torque setting, the more power to drive the bit. The torque setting depends on the type of material you’re drilling into, or the length of the screw you’re using. Short screws and softer wood require a low torque setting, while long screws and harder wood require a high torque setting.

Now that you understand how the motor of the drill works (by adjusting the speed, direction and power), it’s time to actually put in a bit into the chuck, the clamp that holds the removable bit in place. The bit can be anything from a drill (to make a hole), a screwdriver tip (to set screw), or even a paint mixer (to do your taxes...jk, to mix paint). Turn the chuck counterclockwise to widen the opening so you can place the bit inside, then turn turn clockwise to tighten the clamp to hold your bit in place. This is important, it’s the seat belt that secures your drill bit.

Taming of the Screw:


Drill, hammer, drill bits, screwdriver bit, screws and corresponding plastic anchors.

So you’re ready to get all Bob Villa up in this old house? Let’s screw this! Before we put anything into the wall, we need to make a hole. Measure exactly where you need to place the screw and mark it with a pencil. Using a drill bit the same size in diameter as the screw, drill a hole into the wall, keeping your drill level with the ground. Reverse the drill out of the wall by changing the rotation direction.

(Note: This is specifically for drywall, when screwing into a stud, you will not need to use an anchor. Stay tuned for a follow up post on when and how to screw into a stud.)

Take the hammer and gently tap the plastic anchor into the hole until it’s flush with the wall. What’s the point of the anchor? It does exactly what the name suggests; it anchors your screw into the wall. If you skip this step, the threads of the screw cannot fully bite into the wall, making the holding strength pretty weak. When choosing your screws and anchors, make sure you check the weight they can support. If you’re trying to hang a shelf, for example, think about the weight you’ll be putting on it and choose your screw/anchor combo accordingly.

Now you’re ready to drive the screw into the anchor. Loosen the chuck and replace the drill bit with the screwdriver bit. Place the screw into the anchor and slowly drill it into the wall.

Don’t have a drill? You can still hang up things!


A screwdriver, EZ-Lock Drywall Anchors with matching screws (make sure you choose the weight needed)

Mark a spot on the wall, and take your EZ-Lock Drywall Anchor and screw it in until it’s flush with the wall. Take the matching screw and drive it into the anchor. It will require no battery power, but a little bit of elbow grease.

Stand back, admire your work, and take pride in knowing you’ll never have to call the handyman again.

School Supplies:

Dewalt 20v Cordless Drill

Dewalt Drilling and Driving Bit Set

EZ Ancors - Drywall and Stud Anchors


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