Get More Out Of Your Drill With These Tips And Attachments

Get More Out Of Your Drill With These Tips And Attachments

A cordless drill is a handy tool to have around, but it can do a lot more than just drill holes. Here are some interesting attachments that go beyond your typical set of bits.

My 18v Makita drill has been by my side through three houses and the hundreds of projects (and thousands of beers) that come with them. And, while, yes, a cordless drill is primarily used to drill holes and drive screws, I’ve also found it to be useful in a myriad of other ways.

Sanding & Polishing

It’s not difficult to find different sanding and polishing bits that fit any standard drill. Drum sanding bits usually come in a variety of sizes and are great when you need to sand in an oddly shaped spot. They can take quite a bit of material off, so if you haven’t used these before, test them out on a scrap piece of wood first.

You can also find a variety of buffers — good for polishing, well, pretty much everything from silver to belt buckles. And, of course, wire brushes that all have almost unlimited uses in the shop and home.


While drills obviously drill holes, a hole saw is an attachment for uncommonly large holes.

You can use varying sizes of hole saw for everything from sawing a circular hole in wood to, say, drilling a hole for a beer tap in a refrigerator. There are a lot of potential uses here.

Power Winding

Last year I was installing a lengthy fence around one of my fields. It didn’t take long to figure out that there was probably a better way of winding up the string line I’d stretched every 20 metres or so to keep the T-posts straight. I ended up using a scrap piece of dowel stuck in my drill to wind up the string line at the end of a section, and while I wouldn’t necessarily say it was more efficient, it was definitely more fun than hand-winding that string at the end of the day.


There are also many “mixing” attachments for a drill. From paint to plaster to — on one desperate occasion — an ice-cream mix that refused to freeze, paddle mixing bits can be used for a variety of tasks around the house.


Here’s a clever use: put a standard screw hook in place of a bit to install other hooks (instead of hand turning them) or for twisting wire or sisal on occasion.


We’ve featured this one before: around the house, you can use a soft scrub brush attachment to clean…pretty much anything. Well, except my cat. I tried it. He was unamused.

Power Peeler

We’ve featured this one as well: attach a peeler to your drill for super-fast apple or potato peeling. Yes, it’s quite silly, but when we tried it out on video we found that it actually worked quite well. Just be sure to clean up the mess.

Lifehacker’s Workshop column covers DIY tips, techniques and projects.