A Beginner’s Guide to Drill Clutch Settings

Posted on by Ruwag UK

A Beginner’s Guide to Drill Clutch Settings

If you’ve just gotten a new drill, one of the first things you will need to figure out is drill clutch settings. The clutch gives you control over the amount of torque applied when drilling so that you can adjust the power according to your needs. Depending on the drill type and model, there could be just a few basic settings on your drill or many different settings. We've put together a few useful pointers to help you better understand drill clutch settings and how they work.

Understanding Drill Clutch Settings

Speed settings are easy to figure out. Drill clutch settings can be a little daunting if you are still getting the hang of your new drill. Luckily, once you understand how they work, you’ll soon find it easier to change the settings on your drill’s clutch. Here’s what you need to know about these settings.

What is the clutch?

The main role of the clutch is to control the driving force of drill bits or screws. The term for this force of power is torque. Essentially, when the clutch is engaged, you are controlling how much torque is applied when drilling. Torque works alongside speed. While speed controls how fast the drill rotates, torque controls how much pressure is used. Together, speed and torque enable you to adjust your drill’s settings to drill through a wide variety of materials. 

Why is it needed?

The clutch ensures that you control the amount of force needed before the drill’s motor disengages. If there is too much resistance when drilling, the clutch disengages the motor. Without the clutch, you won’t be able to tell your drill when to stop. By controlling the driving force, you can adjust your drill’s clutch settings according to the depth of the holes, the material you are drilling, the drill bits you use and various other factors. As an example, for driving screws or drilling into drywall, you would need a low setting to prevent drilling all the way through the wall. Softer materials would not need as much power as these can be drilled into easily. Tile or other hard materials would need more power, but slower speeds to allow drilling without overheating the drill bit or damaging the material or drill.

How do you adjust it?

Adjusting the clutch is very easy. Use the collar to twist to lower numbers if you want less power or higher numbers if you want more power. As a general rule of thumb, starting with a lower setting is always recommended - whatever material you are drilling. It is easier and safer to increase torque as needed rather than starting with a higher torque that can damage your drill or materials. You shouldn’t assume that you can leave it in any setting for every type of project. Before you get drilling, always adjust the clutch so that it is ready for the specific project you are planning. Practising on off-cuts is a good way to get an idea of how each setting works. Another thing to note is that not all clutches are universal. Some drills may have different settings. The simplest way to know which settings your drill has is to carefully go through the manufacturer's instructions. 

We hope that this guide helps you understand your drill clutch settings better so that you can get the most from your drill.