How To Reverse Drill Direction: The Science Behind It

The direction of the rotation of a drill can be reversed. Let us discuss about how to reverse drill direction with detailed facts and science behind it.

Here is the process to reverse drill direction:

  • Supply the electric current to the drill machine.
  • Press the left button on a drill.
  • Current direction through the motor changes.
  • The magnetic field induced in a motor is reversed.
  • The magnetic force acting on the motor reverses.
  • The motor runs in the reverse direction.

The drill direction is reversed to remove the screw inserted between the disk, to prevent damage to a machine when it gets jammed, and also to spindle lock. We shall further discuss whether all drills including the hammer drills are reversible or not. We shall also see the rotational direction of a drill.

Are all drills reversible?

The direction of drills is reversed by changing the direction of the current flow. Let us see whether all drills are reversible or not.

All drills are not reversible. The corded drills are reversible and the multi-functioning drills that come nowadays are reversible and have a switching knob to reverse the direction of a drill, but the standard drill machines do not have this switching knob. The standard drilling machines use common drill bits.

Identifying if a Drill is Reversible

Reversible drills are multi-functioning and have good advantages. Let us understand how to identify whether a drill is reversible or non-reversible.

The reversible drill is identified by checking whether the rotor is capable to move in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction or not. The reversible drills move in both directions whereas the non-reversible drills move only clockwise. It can be analyzed even in the absence of the electric current supply.

Drill Rotation Direction

Drills show the rotational motion and front and back due to the vibrational energy generated. Let us discuss the drill rotation direction.

A drill rotation direction is clockwise for all drills. On pressing the left switch on the drilling machine, the drill direction is reversed and it moves anti-clockwise. The clockwise direction of a drill is suitable to drill through a hard surface and an anti-clockwise direction is used when the screw is jammed.

Image Credit: Drill Machine by Nikhil B (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Do hammer drills have reverse?

The hammer drills are powerful tools that built a thrust due to their rotational motion. Let us see whether hammer drills have reverse points or not.

The hammer drills do not have a reverse and it does not have a switch to reverse the drill. The hammer drills cannot be turned in the reverse direction as they work only in the forward clockwise direction. Well, it can be reversed a bit to remove the screw and while changing the screw.

Are hammer drills reversible?

The hammer drills are useful to drill through rigid concrete surfaces. Let us see whether the hammer drills are reversible or not in detail.

The hammer drills are not reversible as they cannot be reversed. The hammer drills cannot function in the reverse mode as it hammers by exerting the force only in the forward direction. Hence, there is no chance of protecting the machine and a screw if it is caught in the hard surface or got jammed.


We can conclude with this article that the drill direction is reversed by pressing a left knob on the machine that reverses the current flow direction through the motor. All corded drills are reversible and hammer drills cannot be reversed and move only in the clockwise direction.

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