No matter whether you’re busy hanging a picture, putting up shelves or assembling a garden shed, a drill is an essential power tool you’ll turn to again and again. Though you’re probably very familiar with your drill and how it works, it’s important not to get complacent when it comes to taking the proper safety precautions.

Drill Safety

Whether you’re using a hammer, SDS, or combi drill, or just your standard drill driver, here’s a bit of advice on making sure you do so safely.

Safety First

  • Make sure you buy your drill from a reputable dealer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • It’s important to register a new drill with the manufacturer so that you can be contacted if a safety notice or recall is required. It also makes it easier for you to return a faulty product or order a repair. To register any of your appliances, regardless of age, visit Register My Appliance.
  • Use our free online checker to see if you have any recalled electrical items.
  • Check that your appliance has a UK plug; if it doesn’t, don’t try to use a UK travel adaptor. Get in touch with the retailer and ask for their advice.
  • Do regular checks of the plug and socket for burn marks, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling) or if it feels too hot to touch. If you have fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping then contact a registered electrician to investigate.
  • Any socket you plan to use to plug in a drill should have RCD (residual current device) Protection. An RCD is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. If you don’t have RCD protection in your fuse box for your sockets, consider using an RCD plug to protect you and your property from serious appliance faults.
  • Before you start work, ensure that the cord is long enough to easily reach the area you’re working in – if it isn’t, plug the drill into a fully-unwound extension lead to extend your reach.

Using your drill safely

  • It’s a good idea to put on a pair goggle when drilling. If you’re going to be drilling for a long period, you might also want to consider ear protection.
  • Avoid wearing long sleeves, baggy clothing or dangling jewellery that could get in the way. You should also tie long hair back.
  • Always unplug the drill before inserting or removing the drill bit.
  • Never try and pick the drill up by the cord, drill bit or trigger.
  • If you’re drilling into loose material (for example a block of wood), always secure the item with a clamp or another heavy object.
  • When drilling, apply light, steady pressure to push the bit into the material; if you find you’re having to press hard to drill the hole, you’re probably using the wrong bit.
  • Make sure you start at a low drill speed, and only increase it if the drill isn't moving smoothly.
  • Drill bits can get very hot during use, so make sure you give it time to cool down before touching or storing it.