Pro tips for using a drill, a staple gun and a hammer

Don't let tools intimidate you! Here are some simple tips to help you use a drill, a staple gun and a hammer like a pro.

Pro tips for using a drill, a staple gun and a hammer

Use a drill properly

Always disconnect a drill from the power source when you're changing bits, or when you're leaving the drill unattended (this applies to all power tools).

  • When working with a drill, grip it firmly with both hands: this is safer, and it will make your drill hole neater and more accurate.
  • When drilling holes in walls or floors, check first for cables and pipes below the surface using a battery-operated detector.
  • When using the hammer-drilling function, wear safety spectacles to protect against the increased risk of flying debris, and ear defenders to shield you from the additional noise.
  • When sanding with a drill, wear a dust mask.
  • Always use the right kind of bit for the material that you're drilling, whether it be wood, masonry, metal or glass.

How to use a staple gun

A staple gun is often quicker and neater than a hammer and nails when you need to fix something thin to a solid base or backing. They are good for repairing upholstery, picture framing, fixing chicken wire to posts or hardboard on floors and securing carpet underlay or insulation, for example, as well as for displaying papers on a noticeboard.

  • Staple guns can be manual or electrically powered, but all work by firing the staple into the materials to be joined together, so should always be used with care. Different grades and sizes of staple and stapler are available depending on how heavy-duty the job in hand is.
  • Hold the gun firmly and make sure it's in position before you fire the staple.
  • Take great care to observe safety procedures: keep your fingers out of the way and never fire the gun toward anyone.

Choose and use a hammer correctly

Make sure you have the right hammer for the job.

  • Hold the hammer near the end of the handle, and keep your eye on the nail.
  • Tap gently at first to fix the nail in position. For the heavier blows, pivot your arm from the elbow, so that the handle is at right angles to the nail at the moment of impact.

Before starting your DIY renovation project, make sure you know the right way to use some common tools. Keep these tips in mind and get the job done the right way.

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