Drill a Little Hole
Drilling pilot holes and countersink holes is essential for achieving a quality finish—so why not use a special set of tapered bits specially designed for the task? Most of the simple twist bits sold at hardware stores are actually designed to drill metal in a low-speed drill press, so consider upgrading to a set of brad-point bits designed for wood.
Make a Big Hole
If you work outside the standard drill bit set, you'll find numerous options for creating larger, perfectly round holes. Keep in mind that a specialty bit always creates a better round cut than a keyhole saw or jigsaw. Use one for cutting holes for recessed lighting in the ceiling or for plumbing pipes in floor joists—or for cabinets, countertops, or even an outdoor shower.
Most drills come with the standard flat and Phillips driver bits, which are essential for driving screws and bolts. By adding a set of hex drivers to your arsenal, you'll be able to speed up assembly of flat-pack furniture and more easily take apart household items for maintenance and repair.
Mix Paint, Grout, and Concrete
Much like the hand mixer in your kitchen, a cordless drill outfitted with speciality mixing bits can be used to stir all kinds of things, such as multiple cans of paint for consistent color. Eggbeater-style mixers for concrete, mortar, thinset, and grout are also available.
Sand Curved Surfaces
Flat sandpaper and sanding blocks are great for flat surfaces, but wood curves and arcs call for a curved sanding tool. Use your cordless drill and a sanding drum to give a smooth surface to even the most irregular shapes.
Grind Metal and Remove Rust
If you don’t own a handheld angle grinder, you can use an attachment that chucks into your cordless drill and lets you use wheels designed for angle grinders. Alternatively, pick up a brush bit to use with your drill to remove rust from iron, steel tools, and household items.
Looking to run multiple wires along the same length? Simply place each of them into your drill chuck and spin it for a neat bundle of safely intertwined wires. This technique also works for twisting steel cable to hang items from the ceiling, such as garage or basement lighting.
Create Strong, Hidden Joints
Many DIYers forgo the biscuit jointer for a pocket-screw jig, which—in conjunction with your indispensable cordless drill—allows you to build furniture, frames, and nearly anything you’d like with hidden, angled joints. The Kreg series of jigs enables you to use standard screws to safely and securely join wood in minutes, with no visible hardware.
Make a Turbo-Charged Pepper Mill
What workshop would be complete without a—pepper mill? Well, all right, this one's just for fun. Check out this handy trick for boosting your pepper grinder. America's Test Kitchen has all the details.
If you are interested in more tips and tricks around the house, consider:
16 New Ways to Store Kitchen Necessities
10 Handy Household Uses for Vinegar
10 "Zero Dollar" Storage Hacks
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!