When starting out in private Podiatry clinic or a mobile domiciliary business, many practitioners will look to smaller non dust extraction, non spray or the “domiciliary drill” as they are often called.
Used primarily for routine nail and skin work as well as callus reduction treatments.
For the purpose of this article I am classifying domiciliary drills as non dust extraction, non spray versions. Technically any podiatry drill can be classified as “domiciliary” if is is able to be used in that context.
What are Podiatry domiciliary drills?
Domiciliary drills could be loosely defined as a drill that’s is small, battery operated, economical and basic in features.
These types of smaller battery operated drills can be a cost effective way of getting started, as well as reducing the amount of kit that needs to be carried around.
Although limited in features, dom drills are an effective way to speed up routine foot care treatments. They vary in size, weight, cost and reliability. For more information on regular podiatry drills check out this article.
In this guide I look at the main features as well as considerations when purchasing a domiciliary drill. I take a close look at the podiatry domiciliary drills available on the UK market.
In the handy comparison chart I’ve listed the main features for easy reference.
What’s the best Domiciliary Podiatry nail drill?
This is a difficult question to answer as each practitioners way of working might be slightly different, leading to different considerations. Some of the larger, more well known brands sell some of the more popular models. Names like Berchtold S12 & S14. The Hadewe Xantos featured in the photo above as well as the K38, are some of the best selling models.
How are dom drills different to surgery based drills?
Consisting of a small mains or battery operated unit and a hand piece connected on a lead, domiciliary drills are a cheap and convenient way of providing a quicker, more efficient service.
The main difference is they lack the sophisticated features such as suction or spray for controlling dust. This is an important point to consider.
TOP TIP: Using a mask with Dom drills is essential. Nobody wants to breath in nail dust.
- More cost effective than dust extraction or spray drills
- Smaller, easier to transport
- Less to go wrong
- Easier to maintain
- Lower maintenance costs
- Battery operated options
- No dust extraction or spray to control dust
- Limited in features
- Prone to failures if not maintained or cleaned
- Short battery capacity if using Ni-Cad batteries
Frequently Asked Questions
How big are Domiciliary drills?
Domiciliary drills are generally quite a bit smaller than traditional surgery based drills. They lack the need for ventilation from the heat generated by suction motors. Weights can range from 500g up to 3.2.kg for a smaller dust extraction drill.
Can they be run from the mains?
Yes, some can. It is advised to use the battery facility as it can harm the batteries by partially recharging and discharging them.
As with many popular devices such as laptops and mobile phones, the lithium batteries in modern drills will degrade over time.
How do clean a domiciliary drill?
As with all podiatry equipment, cleaning is important to maintain the life of the drill. Domiciliary drills are prone to problems associated with dirt and dust getting into the components and causing failures.
Making sure your drill is wiped down between uses with a good quality hard surface cleaner is a good first step. Make sure no liquid pools in areas of the drill. Use a clean towel to wipe up any moisture.
Do domiciliary drills require servicing?
The main part of a domiciliary drill that requires maintenance is the hand piece. There are usually bearings that require changing.
Depending on the brand this job is best carried out by a qualified technicians familiar with the make & model.
Is getting a case for my drill important?
I consider a case for a domiciliary drill a wise investment. As dom drills are more prone to being knocked or damaged with moving between visits, a case can provide valuable protection.
Cases range in size and internal compartments. Most drills that offer a case are designed to protect the drill, offering little space for additional consumables.
Is the Dremel or craft drill sufficient?
I make no apologies for my dislike for the Dremel drill. Whilst they maybe sufficient for putting up your shelves at home, I do not think they present a professional image.
I do understand the cost implications of purchasing a purpose made option but purpose made drills are often an investment in your practice that should last many years.
What brand of drill do you have? Do you have an experience you’d like to share?
Leave a comment below.