More Unusual Uses for Your Cordless Drill

More Unusual Uses for Your Cordless Drill

For our Reader’s Survey in the May/June 2016 issue, we asked questions about cordless drills – including the question “What is the most unusual application for which you’ve ever used your cordless drill?”

We got so many responses to that question that we couldn’t fit them all into the print magazine, so we’re sharing some more here.

A couple of things to remember:

1) Almost all of these uses were cited by multiple survey responders. However unique you think you are … you aren’t.

2) Woodworker’s Journal is not advocating these uses, merely reporting. For many of them, the sane advice would be: “Don’t try this at home!”

And now, to how survey respondents have used their cordless drills …

… the perfect accessory for any holiday.

“Winding Christmas lights”

“Carve a pumpkin”

“Spinning sparklers for kids on 4th of July”

… or a visual aid.

“As a flashlight when a screw I was drilling hit a live wire, tripped the breaker and inevitably I lost all basement lights”

“As a flashlight to find my keys in the dark”

“I have used the LED light to find an item in the bottom of my purse”

Pet supplies.

“Grinding my dog’s claws.”

“Using the light to play with the dog.”

“Scaring the cat.”

“Used a variable speed drill to massage my dog’s hip and comb his coat.”

Or kitchen supplies/cooking utensils/a way to liven up a party.

“Stirring chili at a BBQ”

“Mixing frozen orange juice”

“Took the handle off of a countertop snow cone maker and chucked the spindle for the ice shaver into my drill to crank out shaved ice quickly for a party”

“Peeling apples”

“Turn an ice cream freezer”

“Making mashed potatoes when mixer broke at Thanksgiving”

“Crushing grains for brewing beer”

“Making watermelon cooler drinks”

“Making whipped cream”

“Mix five-gallon batch of barbecue sauce”

“Peeling potatoes”

“Attaching a new toilet brush and filling a pail full of water, place muddy potatoes in the pail, then turn on the drill to scrub the spuds!”

“Stir cake mix at camp site”

“Shelling peas”

“Removing sweet corn kernels from the cob”

“Pull a cork out of a wine bottle”

“Mixing gingerbread for my wife. Mixer broke, put beater in the chuck. It worked great.”

In looking at the previous uses, and then looking at this next batch – thank goodness that the majority of woodworkers in our survey have more than one cordless drill. You do not want to know where that thing has been.

“Drilling small hole in toenail to relieve pressure after smashing toe with truck tire rim”

“Killing flies in my truck with a sponge wheel buffer. (RAID works better.)”

“Doctor. Used it in the OR.”

“Removing a large hairball from the bathroom sink drain”

“Drilling holes in deer skull mount”

“Using it to scrape a bird skin for taxidermy”

“Fleshing animal hides for tanning”

“Keeping an aerobic septic tank aerated during a six-day power outage”

Cordless drills also come seem to come in useful in the gardening and outdoor pursuits.

“Drilling holes for planting flower”

“Put in a paint mixer attachment to remove string algae from my pond”

“Power a take-up reel on a clothesline”

“Winding weed whacker line”

“Clean BBQ grates”

“Digging grass out of the sidewalk cracks”


Pursuing hobbies like fishing, or automotive restoration.

“Rewind my fishing line when reel broke — with fish on the line”

“Spinning monofilament for making fly-fishing leaders.”

“Polishing headlights on my car”

“Starting a car”

Or more playful pursuits.

“Blowing bubbles out of a large bubble maker”

“Helping my daughter build a catapult”

“Spinning wheels on a Pinewood Derby car”

“Start my remote control boat”

“Launching a toy helicopter”

“Winding up a huge ball of kite string”

“Flying a kite!”

“To power a rock tumbler”

“Cleaning gourds”

“Powering a lacrosse ball cleaner”

“Wind yarn for wife’s knitting”

“Power a go-cart my son made”

“Running a Van de Graaff generator for kid’s science project”

“A buddy and I once put a pencil in the end and tried to draw pictures”

“To spin a bicycle generator to test the lights on the bike because I had a short that was intermittent and I couldn’t pedal the bike and wiggle wires and bounce lights so it kept it spinning for me”

And just generally coming in handy.

“To advance the calendar on my watch”

“As a doorstop”

“Used one to step on so I could reach the extra two inches to get something out of the attic”

“My oldest is dedicated for cranking open the skylight”

“A crutch, to help this fat old man up off the floor”

In summary …

“What is unusual? I use them for any- and everything.”

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