When boring into any type of material, the drill bit has a propensity to “walk away” from the mark you start it on. To avoid this, center-punch the position in the work before you begin to drill. First, find the work area with a ruler and intersecting lines or dots where you want to drill. Next, punch these marks using a center punch or an awl to supply a seat for the drill point and to keep it from going away from the mark when you put on pressure. Drill from a dead start: don’t turn the motor on till the drill is in position. When the drill is excessively heavy for accurate guiding, furnish a guide by drilling the proper size of hole in a waste block of wood, then clamping the drilled block into the suitable position. This is almost always needed if the hole must be drilled at an angle.
The underside or breakout side of a hole usually splinters unless special safeguard is taken. One safety device is the backing block—a waste piece of wood clamped to the bottom. Some drills (Stanley All-purpose 80797, 1/2-inch) includes a neoprene cushion to avoid damage to the top surface at the breakout, when the housing might hit the surface of the wood.
Every time you drill, align the drill bit and the axis of the drill in the direction you wish the hole to go and put on pressure only along this line, without any sidewise or bending pressure. Altering the direction of your pressure can snap small drills or deform the dimension of the hole. The amount of pressure you put on to the drill must be enough to keep the tool cutting but not so much that it overburdens or stalls the motor. If you don’t apply enough pressure, you may just be polishing the bottom of the hole, as well as wearing out the point of the drill.
Experience in drilling and some experimentation would give you a feel of what is the suitable pressure for various materials and drill bits. The harder materials and larger-size holes will, of course, demand more pressure. Heavy-duty drills have an extra handle with which you are able to get both hands on the drill. On smaller models you could place both hands on the drill itself for putting on extra pressure. Small pieces of wood or metal that should be drilled must be clamped or held in a vise, since the twisting force of the drill, particularly when it breaks through, is considerable. Here, it is especially important to back up pieces you’re drilling with pieces of scrap lumber. This will avoid damaging your workbench and will also minimize splintering while the drill breaks through. On a hard job, particularly on hardwood or metal, drilling a hole of smaller bore first, a pilot bore, will frequently make drilling easier and more accurate since the larger drill bit will have less stock to take out and will go through easier since the center of the twist drill does not actually cut.