Types of Drills – Know Your Drills!

Are you looking for the right drill for a particular project? There are countless drills available on the market today and knowing what drill to use for the right job can be quite overwhelming!

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In this article, you will learn accurate information about the various drills one might find on the market today. We have also thrown in a few uncommon drills that still find a way to be useful today even though their designs date back over a hundred years! Here at Mechanic Approved we hope you find the information you are looking for in this post and we are happy to have you as a reader. Please feel free to drop us a comment below on whether or not you think a specific type of drill belongs on our list and we will be happy to look into it!

21 Types of Drills: Which Drill is the Right One for You?

1. Cordless Drill

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Cordless drills come with rechargeable batteries to function while being easily portable at the same time. Cordless drills are known for being versatile and easy to transport. They fit easily on a tool belt and can be used almost anywhere.

When using a cordless drill, make sure to carry a spare battery or two as battery packs have a limited charge. Having spare batteries allows you to charge the used-up batteries in between uses and use the fully-charged ones; thus, your work is not put to a halt.

Cordless drills are ideal to be used on wood, metal, plastic, and fiberglass. Most cordless drills are not robust enough to be used on masonry or concrete.

2. Corded Drill

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Corded drills look fairly similar to their cordless counterparts. This drill utilizes power from an electric outlet and not through battery packs. Corded drills deliver higher torque than the majority of other hand-held drills.

Although cordless drills have become more and more popular recently and cordless technology has continued to improve, many people still prefer using corded drills due to the dependability and efficiency it offers.

A corded drill’s pistol-style grip and various drill sizes make the tool useful and comfortable to use. It can be used on plastic, wood, fiberglass, and metal.

Although you don’t have to bring spare batteries when using a corded drill, an extension cord may be necessary.

3. Bench Drill

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Also known as benchtop drill press, a bench drill is typically mounted on top of a workbench, hence its name. This type of drill is a smaller counterpart of a floor drill press.

The drive of bench drills is positioned vertically on top of an adjustable platform. You can use bench drills for various workshop activities due to its ability to switch out drills for a hole saw or other accessories types.

Bench drills are mainly used to drill holes onto materials, including plastic, metal, and wood. However, this type of drill can be quite powerful and are not suitable to be used by beginners. On the other hand, this drill can be a very handy tool for experienced artisans.

4. Pedestal Drill

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Also referred to as floor drill press, pedestal drills are large-size drills that are typically used in workshops. They have the capability of adding drums for sanding as well as other accessories to expand their functionality.

A floor drill press is substantially bigger than bench drills, but it can be considered more portable in certain situations. This drill is used to cut holes through or into metal, wood, or other types of material.

If you have the area for a floor-standing drill press, make sure you have a great power source, enough stability, as well as a more spacious work area.

5. Impact Drill

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An impact drill or an impact driver is a stubby drill with a hexagonal socket instead of a traditional chuck. Because of this drill’s percussive action, it is extremely useful on more difficult projects.

Automobile work is among the cores for this drill, which delivers an exceptional at getting rid of various nuts and bolts. The impact wrench is the impact drill’s big brother; it is more powerful and larger.

Impact drills are typically used to cut holes and drive screws as well as other small-scale fasteners. They are also a great choice for doing quick home projects.

6. Hammer Drill

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Hammer drills deliver a substantial amount of power through torque from the cam plates to smash the drill bit into stone, concrete, or any other hard material. The hammering function of this drill can also be turned off so it can be used as a regular drill.

Hammer drills come in various models, including cordless, corded, as well as brushless. With this drill, you even get the option to swap between rotary, hammer, and combined modes.

Although hammer drills are great for stonework projects, their ability to shift to rotary mode makes them ideal to be used in basic projects too.

7. Rotary Hammer Drill

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Also called a masonry hammer and combination hammer, a rotary hammer drill is typically used in stoneworking projects. This type of drill is a sleek powered-drill that comes with a subordinate grip for ease of handling.

The majority of rotary hammer drill models come with an added hammering function, which results in a more powerful drilling action.

Although rotary hammer drills operate using electricity, there have been previous models that are steam-powered.

Rotary hammer drills utilize hammering and rotation action, thus breaking up concrete as the drill bit rotates. This type of drill is engineered for mundane use.

8. Right Angle Drill

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Right angle drills or also known as air angle drills have their drill bit set at about 90 degrees onto the handle. This type of drill is considered a pneumatic drill that functions similarly to its electric drill counterparts but without the use of electricity.

Right angle drills are engineered to fit into narrow spaces wherein a standard drill could not be used. The tool’s angle allows a shorter handle extension and a smaller gear, thus allowing the tool to drill the corners from the inside.

Thus, if you are looking for a drill that allows you to cut holes into tighter spaces, a right angle drill is a great choice.

9. Auger

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Although augers are still considered a type of drill, they are specifically used to create holes on wood or ground. Augers come in a vast range of models that are available on the market these days.

You can find one-person and two-person models that have mounted motors on top of the bit and handles positioned on either side of the motor. Moreover, manual augers are typically used for creating holes in posts as well as for tapping springs.

Most augers come with a “flighting,” a helical screw that rotates and works as a screw bearer to eliminate the drilled-out object.

10. Brace Drill

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Brace drill is a necessity in most woodworking shops. This U-shaped drill offers the ability to countersink in order to create precise holes. The top spindle of this tool is used to hold and position the drill whilst the middle part of the U-shape delivers a subordinate spindle grip to rotate the drill bit. Braced drills are typically used to create holes in wood.

The offset of the subordinate spindle provides better control and more powerful torque in terms of its intended purpose.

11. Breast Drill

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Breast drill is also known as a knee drill, chest drill, or belly drill. This tool is fairly similar to an egg-beater drill or a hand drill because this drill requires the user’s effort to increase the tool’s force. Breast drills are often used at industrial facilities and blacksmith shops.

A breast drill comes with a concave top, which is placed at the end; this part is where you should lean on the tool to boost its drilling force. In recent times, breast drills are used to create holes in iron, metal, and extremely hardwood.

12. D-Handle Drill

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Also known as the spade handle drill, a D-handle drill got its name because of its D shape. This tool is used in a vast range of tasks where powerful torque is required. This drill’s power allows it to efficiently deliver the performance needed for various applications such as mud mixing and drilling. Additionally, this drill’s handle gives users superior control and a highly secured grip.

13. Hand Drill

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Han drill, or also called an egg-beater drill, is mainly known for its resemblance to a traditional egg-beater tool. This type of drill is not very powerful as it is meant to be used with a gear and a hand crank. However, hand drills are still very useful in a wide range of tasks that require small, precise holes.

Hand drills are often used to bore tiny, accurate holes in metal and softwood. This tool is also used for applications that require a delicate hand. Thus, hand drills are prized tools in projects like woodworking and model building.

Moreover, a crank drill is a hand drill’s more powerful counterpart as it is capable of boring holes into very hard materials such as metal alloys.

14. Gimlet Drill

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A gimlet drill is essentially a small form of a hand-powered or manual drill. This small drill has a grooved shank, a screw point, and a cross handle. This tool also comes in a wide variety of shapes.

It is usually used to drill pilot holes quickly, and it is also extremely handy in woodworking for the task of drilling screw or nail holes. Gimlet drills are mainly used to bore holes in wood without it splitting.

The corkscrew is one of the gimlet drill’s variants; it has a T shape and a wooden handle. A corkscrew is widely used in restaurants and residential home kitchens.

15. Mill Drill

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Mill drills are considered great alternatives to milling machines because of their lighter weight. This tool combines a belt-operated drill press with similar X/Y coordinate performance of a drill press’s work table.

A mill drill comes with a locking collet that prevents the tool from falling off the spindle whenever it is exposed to forces sideways.

Although most milling machines are often restricted for industrial use, mill drills come with various models that are smaller and considered appropriate for industrial, commercial, as well as residential use.

Additionally, mill drills are mainly used to remove objects and not basic hole cutting. Thus, they are handy in various construction projects.

16. Radial Drill Press

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Also known as a radial arm drill, a radial drill press can pivot from its head, typically in both directions, and not pivot through the table. Some of these drill models also feature a sliding function that allows its headstock to glide from the front and the back just like a sliding miter works.

Additionally, because a radial press drill can be repositioned along the arm’s length, it allows users to drill straight line holes without adjusting the machine or the object’s position.

17. Push Drill

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A push drill closely resembles a screwdriver with its threaded shaft. This tool also works exactly like a screwdriver; you need to push on the handle so that the tool drills. Additionally, a push drill helps to make plumb and small holes for nails and screws very easy.

Push drills are among the most popular types of drills in terms of small hole drilling. Because of the exceptional precision a push drill offers, it is extremely useful in jewelry-making, woodworking, and even in dentistry.

18. Straight Air Drill

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Straight air drills are pneumatic tools that come in a vast range of sizes and shapes, including a gun-shaped that looks similar to corded drills and a flashlight-looking cylinder. The trigger in this type of drill is typically positioned on the underside along with the tool’s air regulator located at the back or on top.

Straight air drills function the same way as corded and cordless drills. However, straight air drills are a lot safer to use in areas where the drill may be subjected to water, given that they don’t use electricity to work.

19. Two-Headed Drill

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A two-headed drill or also known as a switch driver, is essentially a new concept tool that combines an impact driver with a cordless drill. This tool comes with two heads that are positioned on a rotating chuck.

The chuck also keeps the unutilized head to get it out of the way while engaging the target head with the tool’s motor. However, a two-headed drill’s battery may not be able to hold up tough use until the drill has substantial time to evolve.

20. Mini Hand Drill

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A mini drill or also called a precise drill, or jewelry drill is a tiny drill that resembles precision screwdrivers. Although manual mini drills are great for tasks that require utmost control, electric and air-powered mini drills are also available and are very convenient to use.

Due to the smaller sizes of mini drill bits, they are great to use for hobby projects such as model building and jewelry making.

21. Horizontal Drill Press

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A horizontal drill press is a floor-mounted drill that comes with a forward-facing bit. This tool comes with a motor assembly that is located behind the drill press on a hefty spring. A cam handle holds the object down on the drilling table whilst the tool is working.

Once the motor is turned on, the drill assembly is pulled forward into the object through the pedal.

A horizontal drill press is commonly used in woodworking shops. This tool is used to drill precise holes when preparing wood for projects such as furniture making.

Information Guide for Drills (Choosing the Right Drill)

Drills are useful tools but with so many kinds and options, choosing the best one can be challenging. To help you with that, here are some essential factors to consider when picking a drill:

The Type of Material to Drill Into

The drill you need depends on the type of materials you are going to drill into as well as the frequency of use. Choosing the right drill for a particular application is extremely important in order to ensure efficiency and safety. You wouldn’t want to use a drill that’s meant to drill on softer materials onto concrete.

Moreover, if you intend to use a drill on various materials, you can invest in a highly versatile drill to be used on a wide range of tasks.

Torque Requirement

The torque refers to the rotating force that turns an object. Torque control is often referred to as the variable clutch setting, which allows the user to adjust the tool’s torque.

If you are using a drill to bore a screw and it has not been fully bored onto the material, and the screwdriver and chuck portion have totally stopped, then that means you need a higher torque level.

Speed Settings

A drill’s speed is measured in Revolutions per Minute (RPM). This information is often referred to as the no-load speed, which is the drill’s max speed whenever it is not screwing or drilling.

Single-speed drills are typically not the most versatile types of drills, especially for applications requiring variable drill speeds. Thus, if you are planning on using your drill in different applications, choose a drill that can handle a wide range of materials and offers multiple speed settings.

Power Rating

A drill’s power rating is one of the first points you need to check when shopping for a drill, mainly a corded one. The majority of corded drills come with a power rating of 500 watts to 1300 watts. The more powerful a drill is, the easier it is to drill onto harder materials such as metal and concrete.

Moreover, you should also know the difference between output power and rated power. An output power refers to the power supplied after a loss of power. Rated power, on the other hand, refers to the electrical power that the drill consumes.

Corded or Cordless?

Depending on the type of application and the area you intend to use a drill on, you might need either a cordless or a corded drill.

Cordless drills are typically lighter, easy to carry and store, and give better mobility due to their absence of a power cord. However, cordless drills are typically not as powerful as their corded counterparts. On the other hand, the majority of powerful cordless drills are quite expensive.

On the other hand, corded drills, although they do not give too much room for mobility and are not the easiest to carry around, are more powerful and more efficient than their cordless sibling.

Brushless or Brushed Motors?

Depending on the drill’s technology, a drill’s motor may or may not come with carbon brushes. A drill’s motor brush is a specialized wear part that delivers current.

Brushed motors are considered first-generation motors that are typically only found in older drill models. On the other hand, Brushless motors come with an electric regulator and electric coils instead of carbon brushes. Due to the absence of friction, brushless motors are considered more energy-efficient than brushed motors.

Hammer Mode

A drill with a hammer mode is handy for drillings resistant and very hard materials such as concrete and stone. The hammer mode can be turned on and off through a button positioned on top of the motor unit.

When purchasing a drill with a hammer mode, make sure to check the impact speed. The minimum impact speed should be 43,00 strokes per minute.

Other Drill Features

Drill Chuck

A chuck is positioned at the front of the tool, and it holds the screw or drill bit. A keyless chuck allows you to easily and quickly change bits without using additional tools.

Drill Gears

Drills that come with multiple gears allow you to choose various speed changes. On the other hand, drills with one gear allow you to regulate the speed through the speed regulator trigger.

Depth Stop

A depth stop is an adjustable function that allows you to ensure that the hole does not go beyond your target depth.


A drill’s trigger lock enables you to use the tool for longer periods without tiring your index fingers.

Drill LED Light

The LED lights in drills are typically trigger-activated, in which the LED light automatically turns on once the speed is triggered. This feature is handy when you are drilling in dark conditions.

Drill Reverse Function

This function allows you to bits forwards and backward by pushing the reverse/forward button that is located on the drill’s side.

Other Factors to Consider

1. Comfort

When choosing a drill, make sure to pick one that you find comfortable using. The drill’s handle grip should have an ergonomic design for ease of handling.

You should also consider the tool’s weight as well as its batteries if you are shopping for a cordless drill. The tool should not be so heavy that you won’t withstand using it for longer periods.

2. Reliability

To ensure your drill’s quality and dependability, only choose to purchase one from a reliable manufacturer. Investing in a premium-quality drill gives you the assurance that you can depend on the tool for long-lasting use.

3. Spare Parts Availability

When picking a drill to purchase, make sure that the brand you choose sells spare parts just in case certain parts of your drill breaks in the future.

4. Price

Drills’ prices vary widely depending on the type, size, functionality, and brand. Depending on your needs and application requirements, you can find a number of great-quality drills for reasonable price points these days.

However, make sure to consider the drill’s quality and performance first and do not go for the cheapest brands as the quality may not be guaranteed to be good.

Maintenance Tips for Drills

When you own a drill, make sure to keep these maintenance tips into account.

Keep the Drill in a Dry Place

The majority of drills, especially electric-powered ones, do not get along well with water. Water can quickly cause the chuck and other inner parts such as the motor to rust. Thus, you should keep your drills at a dry place at all times. Store it on a workbench or on a shelf wherein they will be kept safe and moisture-free.

Only Use Sharp Drill Bits

Using worn-out bits forces your drill to work harder in order to get the work done. Overworking your tool can put extra stress on the motor. Thus, the tool can overheat due to the extra stress, and some parts can also get damaged. For this reason, you should only use sharp drill bits to avoid overworking the motor.

Allow your Heated Drill the Time to Cool Down

An overworked drill can potentially overheat, and as a result, parts, as well as the motor, can get damaged. Therefore, when working for extended periods, make sure to give the tool the leeway to cool off not to overstress the motor.

Clean Your Drill Every After Use

Cleaning your drill is extremely important in order to keep the tool in its optimum condition. Drills should be cleaned every after use and must be kept in a safe and dry place. You can use a cleaning cloth to wipe off the dirt from the drill’s exterior parts and compressed air to remove particles from the drill’s vents.

Avoid Placing Your Drill on the Ground

When using your drill outdoors, make sure to keep it off the ground in order to avoid dirt, moisture, or grass clippings from getting inside the tool’s casing. As much as possible, only place your tool on an elevated place such as a workbench in order to keep it safe and uncontaminated.

Lubricate Your Drill

In order to keep the moving parts of the drill work properly, lubrication is highly essential. You can check the lubrication instructions in your tool’s handbook. Keeping your drill well-lubed will help in avoiding the parts from overheating, chafing, and corroding.

Recalibrate Your Drill Regularly

Due to the fact that drills are precision tools and they utilize a number of moving parts to remain aligned, recalibration is extremely important. The drill’s user manual indicates when the tool should be recalibrated. Moreover, many manufacturers offer recalibration services for their drills.

Replace Worn Out Parts On Your Drill

As your drill gets used, several parts are eventually going to wear out and will require replacement. It is important to make sure that all of the drill’s parts are in their best condition in order to ensure the drill’s optimum performance.

Avoid Letting the Drill Batteries Overheat

If you have a cordless drill, it is important to make sure that the batteries don’t overheat to avoid damaging them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drills

Can you use a drill to drive screws?

Drill drivers can be used to drive screws. In fact, the majority of new cordless drills these days can be used to drive screws as well. Moreover, make sure to use a drill that is suitable for driving screws to avoid damaging the tool.

Can you use a cordless drill on concrete?

Although some cordless drills are not as powerful as their corded counterparts, some cordless drill brands, especially the more expensive ones, are robust enough to be used on hard materials such as concrete and stone.

What do the numbers in the drill bit mean?

Drills that can be used as screwdrivers come with numbered bits. These numbers signify the breaking point of the torque. Drill bits with higher numbers equate to more torque breaking point.

Do you need to drill a hole first before boring screws in?

If you intend to install hanging shelves or mount anything weighted onto the wall, then drilling holes before driving the screws in is the ideal option.

Are impact drill and hammer drill similar?

Just as their names suggest, hammer drills come with a hammering function, while an impact drill comes with an impact function. The difference between the two the amount of force applied to the drill head.

The hammer function delivers a knock on the hammer drill’s head, and it gives a pulsating action. The impact function, on the other hand, works in a similar way. However, the drill bit is being twisted and is driven with an impact motion.

Can you use a hand-driven drill on concrete?

You can bore holes into concrete with a regular hand-driven drill, but you will have to exert a lot more effort due to the fact that manual drills are not as powerful as the motored ones. Thus, more patience and variable drill bits are necessary when drilling hand-driven drills into the concrete.

Is it safe to drill in any area of a wall?

One thing you need to consider when drilling on walls is to be extra careful. Your kitchen and bathroom walls will normally have pipes, and you don’t want to hit one of them when you are drilling.

What are the types of drill bits called?

The main types of drill bits are twist bits, masonry drill bits, screwdriver bits, spur point bits, bullet pilot point bits, tile bit, countersink bits, and countersink with clearance drill bits.

What batteries should you use in a cordless drill?

The most commonly used batteries for the cordless drill are lithium-ion batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries.

What are the best drill brands?

Brands such as DeWalt, Black and Decker, Makita, Bosch, Hitachi, and Milwaukee are some of the most popular drill brands on the market. They are known for producing premium-quality power tools that are durable and dependable for long-term use.

Can I use a drill in the water?

Small hand-driven drills are completely fine to use in the waters as they don’t have any electric component that will get damaged when submerged into water.

When is a power drill necessary?

Power drills are ideal for pre-drilling holes for screws or nails. Pre-drilling holes with a power drill are helpful on extra-hard materials such as hardwood to avoid splitting.

What happens when drills overheat?

When the motor of a drill overheats due to extra stress and overworking, some parts can get damaged. As a result, the drill may fail to perform its intended function.

What should I do if my drill overheats?

One of the best things you can do when your drill starts to heat up is to turn off the power and give it enough time to cool off. If you notice that your drill is not working the way it should, then you need to send it for servicing as there may be damaged parts due to the overheating.

Why is my drill emitting smoke?

When a drill starts to emit smoke, then it is a clear indication of worn-out carbon brushes. Worn-out carbon brushes can spark, thus, causing the tool to smoke. When this happens, avoid using your drill until the motor brushes are replaced with new ones.

How long do carbon brushes last?

Carbon brushes typically last for up to ten years on most drill machines available in the market. However, the lifespan of carbon brushes heavily depends on the types of applications and the frequency of tool use.


Once you can choose the right drill for you, make sure to thoroughly read the product manual supplied by the manufacturer so you will know the proper ways to use and maintain the tool.

2 thoughts on “Types of Drills – Know Your Drills!”

  1. great content!
    But my question is for my knoledge, drills are not automotive niche product relavant. Why you have felt here to discuss. Please guide! I am also going to start a blog on automotive.

  2. I have worked in the automotive industry for almost 20 years and I can tell you that one of the most used tools in my shop is some type of drill! Knowing what drill to grab for each job is important and I don’t know any mechanic that would disagree with me. Cheers!

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