Setting your Drill/Driver Clutch

If you use a drill to screw things together, you may be using it wrong!

Take a look at the drill and notice the numbers near the chuck.  There are numbers and a drill bit icon.  If you are screwing things together with the arrow pointing to the drill icon, you are risking stripping the screw and damaging the piece you are working on!

We commonly use the term drill, but in reality, they are actually called drill/drivers.

If you are driving screws with the drill icon selected as pictured, you are risking stripping the screw, and damaging the piece you’re securing.

The “drill” obviously referring to drilling holes.  When drilling, the tool will use as much torque as it can to spin the bit to make the holes.  The “driver” part refers to driving screws.  By turning the adjustable clutch, you control how much torque is applied and how tight the screw can get.  This is important!

The Wrong Way

If you are driving with the drill icon selected, you are using all of the torque that the tool has and turning the screw as hard as possible, and the drill won’t know when to stop.  The bit to will continue to spin and oftentimes bounce out of the screw and start to strip it, or it will over-tighten and possibly crack or damage the piece you’re driving the screw into.

The Right Way

Instead, by properly setting the clutch, once there is resistance, the clutch will activate and the bit stops turning.  The amount of resistance is adjustable by the dial around the collet.

Set the drill’s clutch to a low number, and drive the screw without over-tightening.

Don’t be afraid of the weird sound it will make!  It just means that it’s working!  Start with a low number and begin driving the screw.  If it doesn’t go in all the way before the clutch activates and stops the bit from turning, slowly increase the number.  Do this until you get to a point where the screw is secure, and hand tightening is no longer possible.

Once you set your clutch you can drive your remaining screws with confidence, knowing that you won’t worry about over-tightening and perhaps splitting your pieces, or stripping your screws!

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