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Tips on Screwdriving, Drilling, Percussion, and Hammer Drilling

Festool offers a guide to drilling and choosing the right drill for the job.






Cordless drills such as the new Festool Quadrive TDC 18/4, Quadrive TPC 18/4 percussion drill, and the BHC 18 cordless hammer drill are highly versatile. They provide torque, speed and sometimes impact energy just like corded power tools, yet the drilling quality is not decided by these criteria alone. How do hammer mechanisms work? Which drilling function is suitable for which construction material? How is the construction material determined?



Every handyman, contractor or tradesperson knows that ease of use is necessary on the construction site. Professionals appreciate it when functions and attachments can be changed quickly. Therefore, Festool has united the CENTROTEC tool chuck and bit holder in one: It is half the size and 80% lighter than comparable chucks. It fits all Festool cordless drills and cordless percussion drills with the FastFix interface, enabling users to change tools in a matter of seconds.







Festool Cordless Hammer Drill BHC 18 LI-basic



Use and function of a hammer drill

Hammer drills have a pneumatic hammer mechanism, which generates powerful impact energy that works in the axial direction. The resultant rotational movement guides the drilling dust backwards. A hammer drill works at a lower stroke rate, but with significantly greater impact energy than a percussion drill. This enables work to be completed more quickly. Hammer drilling in concrete requires less force than percussion drilling. Georg von dem Bussche, head carpenter and Festool trainer, recommends the BHC 18 hammer drill for harder construction materials such as concrete.



Use and function of a percussion drill

The hammer action works in the axial direction for percussion drills, too. Here, however, the function is generated by two tooth and notch discs, which come into contact with each other and "slide" on each other. This process transfers hammer actions to the tool chucks, which act on the material via the drill bit. During percussion drilling, many small hammer actions act in the axial direction of the drill bit. Thanks to the notch discs, a higher stroke rate is generated than with a hammer drill, but the impact energy is lower.



To optimize drilling progress, the user can press the cordless percussion drill tightly against the drilling point. But for softer materials/panel materials, von dem Bussche recommends working without using hammer action – such as with fibre cement panels, plasterboard, gypsum fibreboard, stone with porous joints (aerated concrete, pumice concrete) and masonry made of perforated brick.



Festool Quadrive Percussion Drill



Tips for identifying the construction material

Construction materials are not easy to identify in a shell construction. As soon as the wall is plastered or covered, the exact construction material is harder to identify. Conducting a test drill with a small drilling diameter is the way to remedy this situation, making it easy to determine whatever is hidden under the surface:


  • Concrete exceptionally fine, white to grey drilling dust


  • Solid brick red drilling dust


  • Aerated concrete light grey, coarse-grained drilling dust


  • Perforated brick hollow spaces can be felt when drilling, light red drilling dust


  • Plasterboard hollow space behind the boards, fine white drilling dust


  • Sand-lime-brick fine-grained, sandy white drilling dust



Drilling dust in the drilled hole can reduce retention forces by more than 50%.



Cleaning the drilled hole

Cleaning the drilled hole is something that many people often underestimate: It is a key factor when installing mounting elements since drilling dust in the drilled hole can reduce retention forces by more than 50 per cent. Therefore, trainer von dem Bussche recommends cleaning the drilled hole before installing further mounting elements.



When drilling, the rotational movement of the drill bit guides drilling dust backwards but fitting a drilling dust nozzle considerable reduces exposure to dust for users. "The D 27-BSD drilling dust nozzle is very practical and clean. With its patented two-chamber system, it ensures dust-free drilling with drill bits up to 12 mm in diameter on floors, walls, and ceilings. This keeps the drilled hole clean, and dowels benefit from better grip," explains von dem Bussche.





Physical force and drilling quality are primarily dependent on the choice of drill bit.


The right choice of drill bit is key

In addition to the hammer mechanism principle, physical force and drilling quality are primarily dependent on the choice of drill bit. Festool offers drill bits and drill bit sets for working with wood, steel, and mineral construction materials. For construction materials such as plastic, and especially composites, Festool recommends special drill bits.



For hardwood, chipboard, plywood or MDF boards, spiral wood drill bits are perfect. When drilling in wood, the rule of thumb is: The harder the wood and the larger the drilling diameter, the lower the speed – and vice versa. Plastics can be worked using wood drill bits, but steel drill bits are better. For plastics, drilling must be performed particularly slowly and carefully to prevent overheating. It is therefore advisable always to keep removing the drill bit and remove chips.







Wearing the proper safety gear is paramount to onsite job safety



Safe working with the kickStop, ear protection and safety glasses

And if any hazards arise when drilling: With the TPC cordless percussion drill and the TDC cordless drill, the electronic KickbackStop reduces the risk of the drill suddenly jamming in the material, thereby minimizing the risk of twisting your wrist. In addition, always wear ear protection and safety glasses when drilling.



For more information about the unique Festool products visit their website or go to Festool is available from leading specialist outlets countrywide.





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