Electric drills come in handy when assembling everything from bookcases to home entertainment centers. These electric tools mimic the function of screwdrivers and hammers, performing repetitive drilling or pumping at high speeds. Since the late 1880s, electric drills have played a significant role in commercial and residential projects involving wood, brick, concrete, metal and plastic materials. Moreover, early 20th century inventions, such as the trigger switch and pistol-grip handle, are still common in the electric drill’s present-day design.
Outside Components - The main components of an electric drill consist of the chuck, chuck jaws, chuck key hole, chuck collar, gear case, trigger switch and grip handle. While the pistol-grip handle allows you to hold and maneuver electric drills with dexterity and ease, the trigger switch turns the drill on and off. The chuck jaws, key hole and collar all comprise the chuck, or the area that holds and releases the bit. Consumer electric drills also include additional features, including a lock-on button, speed control mechanism and forward-reverse lever. For example, a lock-on button feature may be used for projects requiring continuous drilling for long periods of time.
Inside Components - High-speed motors operating the chuck comprise a series of gears, soft iron coils, a commutator and carbon brush. Sitting behind the drill chuck is the gear and bearing that fit into the housing. The bearing attaches to the fan, which connects to the armature assembly and bearing. Other inside components include the field assembly and terminal base. The field assembly, terminal base, armature assembly and fan all comprise the motor.
Types - Although electrical drills are typically used to replace manual screwdrivers, they vary based on size, shape and screwing power. Some electric drills operate as percussion hammers, moving the drill chuck in and out. Rotary pneumatic drills use compressed air to perform hammering action. These electric drills are ideal for working with hard materials, such as concrete. Engineering drills are specially designed to bore through material like steel.
Warnings - Sharp bits, a fast moving chuck and sensitive switches contribute to the need for safety and precaution when using electrical drills. Since constantly moving parts can cause injuries, you should wear rubber gloves and shoes with a firm sole. If you wear glasses, remove them prior to turning on the drill, since eyeglasses break easily. Moreover, the rotation of the electric drill will likely kick up dust and other wood particles during drilling. Wearing masks will shied your nose and mouth from wood particles, as well as prevent inhalation of dust into your lungs.