Saturday, August 17, 2019

Knowing your drills !

You know your drills?  I thought I did.

I thought I was a competent DIY person.
Afterall, I did M&E engineering, I could weld, use a lathe, fix an armature motor, hell, I was even certified to work on the A4 Skyhawk aircraft! So I thought I knew my drills.
But, time, age and technology had overtaken this old man.

 I previously lived in an SIT flat, on a landed property and 30+ years ago moved to a prefab HDB home. All this while I DIY most of my stuff using a power drill. Graduating from a normal power drill (my first Black & Decker) which lasted years till it kaput, I went on to a Hammer Drill (also B&D) which I have till this day. This drill served me so well that I thought of nothing until I moved to a new HDB flat a year ago!

 My new HDB flat is a world of difference to my old HDB flat. It has bombproof flooring that is made of High Strength Concrete. I didn't know this till I started some DIY fittings when I renovated my home. My Hammer Drill just could cut it. It couldn't penetrate more than 10mm even with all my might. Previously, my hammer drill could make holes in walls and ceilings in my HDB flat like making holes in swiss cheese.

 Luckily at that time, I had renovation contractors and they drilled holes for me using their own tools, which I thought was 'heavy duty' which was why they could and I couldn't with my domestic drill.

 A week ago, I tried to install 2 window roller blinds and had to drill 8 holes on the ceiling. Spent about an hour with my hammer drill and it couldn't even make a dent! I didn't even manage a single hole deep enough for the screw. I literally had to force and push my hammer drill till it was smoking and still no go! I had to give up! (missus now angry and threaten this old man with expulsion if I wouldn't get professional contractors in)

 So I did what most people would do today. I googled. Found out that I needed a new kind of drill called a ROTARY HAMMER drill. I must admit I have never heard (or never needed to know about) this new drill. Newer HDB flats use concrete that are super tough (bomb resistant) which is why specialised tools are needed to drill into the ceilings, beams or even the bombshelter walls. Older HDB flats used normal concrete.

 Not wanting to buy new tools as I hardly do any DIY nowadays, I asked friends.
 Managed to get my hands on a borrowed rotary hammer this morning and it was a piece of cake. Drilled all 8 holes in less than 5 minutes. It went through the concrete like butter!

What this old man learned is that today there are different drills from those days when one size fits all.
 1. Normal power drills, for drilling and fastening functions.
2. Impact drills, when you need more torque or turning force.
3. Hammer drills, when a bit of hammering is given to the drill bit to make it 'bite'.
4. Rotary hammer drill, where a lot of punch and thrust is generated while turning at high speed. This is specially for concrete.

The top picture shows a Rotary Hammer drill (right) beside my 'normal' hammer drill.
You can tell the obvious difference in the 'normal' drill bit and the rotary drill bit.

 I hope you learn the drill a bit more now

(Apologies to readers for posting this irrelevant article in this blog. I'll find a better place for it later)
Thanks for visiting.

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