If you're in the market for drill accessories to help you get the most out of your drill, here are some top tips for what to invest in
Apart from drilling holes, your cordless drill can do a number of other jobs if fitted with the right accessory. Here are some of the most useful.
Remove rust or old paint from metal surfaces with one of these. There are two types, cups and wheels, both available in a range of sizes.
A wire brush is useful for cleaning metal surfaces
Between them, they will allow you to get into awkward corners as well as tackling flat surfaces. Most have a built-in spindle; some have a separate spindle called an arbor so you can fit different brushes on one spindle.
These good all-rounders allow you to carry out small-scale sanding jobs on flat surfaces if you do not have a power sander. Sanding discs fit on a stiff rubber backing disc and are held on by a washer and screw.
Their only disadvantage is that they can leave swirl marks across the grain of the wood if you use too coarse a paper. Make sure you finish a job with medium or fine grades for a very smooth, unmarked surface. Paper discs are fine for sanding wood if the job is reasonably small.
"These good all-rounders allow you to carry out small-scale sanding jobs on flat surfaces"
For bigger jobs with wood, or with metal or masonry surfaces, choose more durable abrasive-coated metal discs instead. Coarse discs can remove material very quickly.
Flap-wheel sanders have tongues of double-sided abrasive paper fixed to a centre spindle, and are good for sanding curved surfaces. Also good for curves are drum sanders. They consist of a thick disc of foam plastic, coated with abrasive paper.
Take the hard work out of polishing your car's paintwork or the furniture with a lambswool pad or bonnet, which fits over the rubber backing pad of a disc sander. Foam drum polishers work in a similar way.
To mix and stir paint and other mixes such as wallpaper paste and tile grout, fit one of these to your drill. They are made of plastic or metal and will give paint or other liquids a thorough mixing. Use them only with a slow speed setting on your drill to avoid splashing.
This accessory can cope with jobs such as emptying a garden pond or mopping up after a plumbing disaster.
The drill drives an impeller inside the pump casing, which has inlet and outlet spigots to take lengths of standard garden hose. Make sure you use the manufacturer's recommended setting on your drill.
If you have to cut a perfectly round hole in a piece of wood, the best way to do it is with a hole saw. It is a cylinder of steel with teeth at one end and a central twist drill that makes the starting hole.
A hole saw will allow you to cut a perfectly round hole in a piece of wood
Hole saws can be bought singly or in sets, and can cut holes of up to 65mm in diameter.
Aids to accurate drilling
If you do a lot of woodwork, it will be worth investing in a bench-mounted drill stand. For everyday drilling jobs, a drill guide is a cheaper and more versatile option.
It has a flat baseplate and a spring-loaded clamp to hold the drill body at 90° to the baseplate. Fit the drill in the guide and tighten the securing clamp.
"If you do a lot of woodwork, it will be worth investing in a bench-mounted drill stand"
Press the baseplate against the surface you are drilling—wood on the workbench, or a tiled wall in the bathroom—and start drilling a perfect 90° hole. Use the centring guide to drill holes in the centre of the workpiece edge.
The baseplate can also be adjusted to allow drilling at any angle between 45° and 90°, should you need this facility.
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