Once you’ve learned the basic skills of using a power drill, it’s important to thoroughly understand all of the various bits and accessories that make your drill such a versatile tool.
Here we’re going to get into some drill bits that are less commonly used in our DIY projects, and various other power drill accessories that will allow you to get even more out of your drill.
Unlike the standard twist bit, Forstner bits are optimized for woodworking applications and cut exceptionally precise, clean-edged holes in wood. Because they’re designed to produce a minimum amount of tear-out when exiting the material, Forstner bits are the best bit for drilling through-holes. Forstner bits drill a flat-bottomed hole making them a necessary tool for many hardware installations.
These carbide- or diamond-tipped bits are designed specifically for drilling holes in tile or glass. Unlike some other drill bits, using low speed and high pressure is often recommended.
Drill bit extension
As the name implies, this accessory is an extension to an existing drill bit. The extension fits into the drill and the bit fits into the extension, allowing you to drill a deeper hole or a hole in a tight spot where the drill won’t fit. They commonly come in 6” and 12” lengths. The chuck of the extension works with any bit that has a ¼” hex shank (just like an impact driver).
The “chuck” of the extension is wide in diameter, so you won’t be able to drill narrow holes past the chuck of the extension (for those, you would need to buy a longer drill bit).
You can also use an electric drill as a power source for sanding—which saves a lot of time and effort compared to sanding by hand. Wire brushes or sanding discs fit into the chuck of drill bits and speed up the stripping or sanding of metal compared with using a hand brush.
A paint mixer is a drill accessory that can speed up the process of mixing paint or stain. There are lots of different styles, but we prefer the squirrel cage over a standard propeller mixer.
Investing in a single power drill can expand your DIY tool kit by a whole handful of tools. We hope this accessory guide gives you a sense of just how versatile the power drill is, and inspires you to use your drill in new ways! Be sure to check out the rest of our drill bits 101 videos: how to use twist bits and how to use spade/paddle bits.