What do the Numbers on a Drill mean?

A drill has a number of numbers. Drills come with different functions with those numbers. If the you are unaware that what do the numbers on a drill mean, then driving the drill will be difficult. That’s why we have prepared this blog to help take the drilling works shabby to professionals.

The handyman, who does drill on plumbing, construction, electrical, roofing, or other projects, often need a corded or cordless drill. So they need different power and speed while drilling. Beginners will be confused at the first time of drilling. The numbers on a drill work individually and if you do not know the numbers meaning then the materials will be a waste.

What are the numbers on a drill mean

Numbers on a drill stand for torque settings that allow adjusting the torque to ensure precise drilling or driving. Besides, it prevents accidental situations whatever the material is wood, metal, concrete, or masonry. Despite the numbers on a drill, you will see a group of numbers in a different part of the drill that serves a specific purpose.

Moreover, the operator should know how those number works and how to use them during the project. Fortunately, our researchers spend ample time to gather all this essential info so any skill level operator can turn into a professional. So let’s gets deep info to ensure the most out of a power drill.

What do the symbols on a Drill Mean?

Except for the number on the spindle of the drill, you will find the different symbols on the power drill. To satisfy your curious mind which symbol stands for what?

Drill Symbol

The number that mostly confuses especially for the beginner handyman is the drill symbol. This setting is used to hole a drill. Removing the involvement of the torque settings, this function offers the user full torque and power to allow drilling a hole efficiently.

This setting is usable on all materials including soft brick, drilling metal, and wood. But don’t use this setting to drive fasteners or screws as it could ruin the screw. Even it could damage the material and there is a risk of getting hurt if it snags.

If you can’t drive the screw or faster with the normal torque settings, then use the drill setting only to give it a bit of nip but carefully.

Hammer Symbol

Apart from giving all the benefits of the drill symbol, the hammer setting is used to add a beating vibration to help drill through hard materials.

Hammer setting is a must need a function to drill through brick. It helps the drill bit break the brick efficiently as well as other masonry material.

Combined with a masonry bit, this function will offer ultimate cutting power. However, this hammer setting should not use in tiles, plastic, metal, and wood, as there is a change of creak down the materials.

Forward and backward symbol

This symbol is found on the Right beside the trigger button of the drill. Switching on the forward, the chuck will rotate clockwise and the backward button will let the chunk rotates anticlockwise.

Driving symbol

The driver bit symbol is also found on the power drill. This symbol is used to convert the drill into a driver to offer the operator perfect operation without overdriving the screw. While driving with a drill, the exact amount of torque setting is vital to keep the object from damage. This automatic mode is beneficial for starter operator who isn’t sure about the torque.

1 and 2 number mean on a drill

Though it’s a common option, many people don’t know what does 1 and 2 mean on a drill. The numbers 1 and 2 are found on the top of the drill that uses to control the speed of the chunks spin. 1 is preferred low speed with high torque which is ideal for driving screws.

what do 1 and 2 number on drill mean

Conversely, 2 stand for high speed with low/medium torque. This setting is best for driving and drilling some fixtures. Even some power drills come with 3rd setting which is better for accurate drilling. Make sure you set the numbers on the drill before starting drilling. It can cause the gears to wear and fail if you try to change the number during drilling. Wait till the drill stop completely if you need to change the speed.

How the Torque Numbering Sequence Works

Whatever drill in your hand, the number sequence is quite the same. The numbers on drill drivers can go up to 20 with some other variations; however, the variation of the ability is not huge.

The very first setting is 1 which indicates the lowest amount of torque. this setting isn’t used much due to the minimal amount of torque. In fact, the first 5 settings aren’t among the most usable setting. This setting is only used to drive short fasteners or drill on soft materials, sometimes on both.

Selecting the 10, 15, or 20 numbers offer maximum torque for any application. The number sequence is varying the drill’s brand, type, and quality.

Higher torque settings usually use to drive longer fasteners especially after drilling into hard and dense materials where more torque is required.

Especially some advance quality power drill comes with maximum bypass button. After pressing the button, the drill directly offers the maximum amount of torque that it can generate. It’s a helpful feature for a busy projects where often needs a maximum amount of torque.

How to use a Drill and adjust Torque settings

A common problem with almost all the power drill is they don’t have preset settings to indicate which number offer exactly which amount of torque. Besides, the brands and the model are different from each other which make it more complex. So testing out the number and adjusting is the own responsibility of the user to ensure precise drilling operation. Let’s have a look at how to use and adjust the drills torque setting

Get the same sample to drill into: Collect an exact sample of the material that you plan to drill into. Use a clamp or other device to secure it and prevent it from move around.

Obverse the different torque setting: Take the drill and set the torque setting to the middle. If you have a drill with 20 numbers or torque setting, set the number 10.

Take a screw and drill it into the sample to see how far that fastener goes. Observe the result, if the screw doesn’t go far enough adjust the torque setting by turning a bit up.

Makes it muscle memory: Adjust the setting till you don’t find the exact torque required for your certain job. Remember it will take a bit of trial and error to have the proper adjustment. With time it will become the muscle memory for you to let complete a certain job precisely with the right amount of torque.

Contributes of the torque setting for a drill

Following some key features that contribute to the torque setting of the power drill:

The drilling material: The form of every material isn’t the same. So each type of material needs different amounts of torque.

For example, a softer wood like cedar needs a lower amount of torque. So the torque setting number of 5 will be good enough for driving a 1-inch screw into this material.

Conversely, Oak board is harder wood comparing cedar that might need a higher amount of torque. The operator will have to change the torque setting to 12 to drive the same screw into this material.

The Amount of Pressure: Torque setting also varies considering the amount of pressure that the operator puts on the drill. If the operator put lots of downward force on the drill, it could cause prematurely activated torque setting. So the user will have to either increase or lessen the pressure.

The angle of the operator: If the operator drills at 90° angle with 10 number of torque setting and have good drilling season, then changing the position will affect on torque setting. Becoming a bit crooked to drive another screw will add extra binding that will cause the torque setting.

FAQs on What do the Numbers on a Drill mean

What are numbered drill bits?

Numbered drill bits were invented to make up the gaps between frictional and metric size. the common use of this drill bit is for using taps. However it won’t exactly match for fractional sizes, still, the user can refer them to the nearest fractional bit.

What is an ideal torque setting for a drill?

A drill with more torque settings is offered precise control over the project. Good tor setting varies considering the task. 4 to 15Nm torque is good for smaller screw driving tasks while 15 to 35Nm is better for drilling a hole and driving medium sizes screws

How do I know what size drill bit to use?

The size of the drill bit depends on the type of material that needs to drill. If it needs to drill a hole into softwoods, then pick a bit 1/64” smaller than the target hole. To make a hole into the other material, one can choose the same size bit as the hole.

Why is my drill so slow?

The drill can be slow down because of a few reasons. If you don’t fully compress the trigger on the drill, it can get slow. Besides, the wrong adjusting of the clutch knob is another reason that causes slow drill.

Do you drill wood fast or slow?

Slow to medium speeds are suitable for drilling on metal and masonry material. If it is needed to drill through wood, the user should drive the drill fast sped.

Hope you understand the drill numbers now

In short, what does the number on a drill mean? It represents the torque of the appliance. The higher the number, the user will have greater torque power.  It’s a superb feature that ensures precise control over the different material however it’s need adjustment. Hopefully, you have got all the info helpful since we have discussed all the relevant topics and numbers found on a power drill. Keep following those instructions and enjoy your drill for woodworking or DYI projects!

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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