Drilling and Shaping Tools

Learn about the drilling and shaping tools needed for carpentry and trimwork and how they will be used.

Along with power saws, you also will need a power drill or two and an assortment of bits and cutters for making holes. The tool to start with is a corded variable-speed reversible (VSR) drill with a 3/8-inch-diameter chuck. This tool handles 90 percent of your drilling needs. Along with the drill, purchase a set of twist drill bits, used for boring things such as pilot holes for screws. For larger holes, a set of spade bits does the trick. For really large holes, such as those for a lockset in a door, use a hole saw, which fits into a drill.

The next drill to acquire is a cordless drill/driver, which comes in a variety of voltages ranging from 7 to 24. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the tool (and the more money it costs). For most remodeling projects, a 14-volt model is ideal. Spend a little more money to purchase an extra rechargeable battery so the drill won’t run out of power in the middle of a project. A cordless drill/driver is handy for odd jobs and is probably most useful as a power screwdriver, especially when hanging drywall. To equip a drill as a screwdriver, buy a magnetic bit holder and a variety of screwdriver bits.

One of the nicest features most cordless drill/drivers have is a clutch, which causes the drill to slip out of gear when it reaches a certain amount of torque. This helps prevent overdriving screws and stripping out the holes or screw heads.

A router and a variety of router bits are useful for shaping decorative moldings and cutting mortises for door hinges.

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