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Buying Drill Bits

A drill is one of the most essential tools in any toolbox, and with the right drill bits, you can tackle a wide range of projects. Whether they're boring holes to put up a wooden fence or countersinking screws, there are many types of bits you can use to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Before choosing drill bits for your home improvement projects, here are some important factors to consider.

Why buy drill bits?

  • Just as you use different nails, screws and fasteners for different projects, drill bits are designed for specific purposes. The type of drill bit you need typically depends on whether you're working with wood, metal, concrete or tile.
  • Many drills usually come with a screwdriving bit, but a power drill is much more than an electric screwdriver. When you have a variety of drill bits, you can drill an appropriately sized pilot hole before putting a screw into a surface.
  • Stopping in the middle of a project because you don't have the right bit can be a hassle. Having a basic set of drill bits can help you avoid interruptions.
 
 
 
 

Features of drill bits

Shanks

  • Straight shanks offer the most accurate centering
  • Triangle shanks typically have high torque transmission
  • Hex shanks help prevent slipping

 

 

 

 

 

features of drill bits

Material

  • Carbide and carbide-tipped bits can cut through glass and are often used in hammer drills
  • Titanium bits are among the longest-lasting but can't be sharpened because of their coating
  • High-speed steel bits are strong and can be used on wood, metal and plastic
  • Hardened alloy steel retains a sharp cutting edge
  • Cobalt steel bits retain their strength at high temperatures and can be sharpened
  • Black oxide coating helps fend off corrosion

 

features of drill bits

Types of drill bits

Auger bits

An auger bit is perfect for boring deep holes, especially through lumber or other thick materials.

 

  • Material: Carbide tipped, hardened alloy steel or high-speed steel
  • Head: Screw tip
  • Flute size: Large

 

 

types of drill bits

Auger bits are best for…

Boring holes in wood: When you're building a deck or privacy fence in your yard, an auger bit comes in handy for drilling holes through those thick pieces of wood.

 

Creating more force: Thank to the large flutes, this type of bit can quickly remove wood, metal or other tough materials to create ample pilot holes.


Brad point bits

A brad point bit has a sharp top that's perfect for drilling accurate holes.

 

  • Material: Hardened alloy steel or high-speed steel
  • Head: Pointed tip
  • Flute size: Wide

 

types of drill bits

Brad point bits are best for…

Furniture making or cabinetry: Making furniture or cabinets requires precise holes for screws, bolts or brackets. This type of bit provides the pinpoint accuracy needed for these projects.

 

Projects that require dowels: Whenever you use dowel rods to connect materials together, a brad point bit's wide flutes and sharp head will create a smooth hole without splinters. This makes it easier to insert a dowel snugly into the hole.


Woodboring spade bits

This specialized bit creates large diameter holes through thick pieces of wood.

 

  • Material: Hardened alloy steel or high-speed steel
  • Shank: Spade-shaped
  • Head: Sharp point

 

types of drill bits

Woodboring spade bits are best for…

Making wide holes: If your project requires large diameter holes, this type of bit can do the job with its spade-shaped head.

 

 

Plumbing or electrical work: Pipes and wires are typically constructed to run through the studs inside your walls. Woodboring spade bits can create clean, wide holes to fit almost any size piping or wiring.


Masonry bits

A masonry drill bit can make precise holes through concrete, tiles and glass.

 

  • Material: Carbide, carbide tipped, hardened alloy steel or high-speed steel
  • Heads: Wide pointed tip
  • Flutes: Deep

 

 

types of drill bits

Masonry bits are best for…

Drilling brick and stone: This type of bit is made of strong materials that can bore holes through bricks, stones or other concrete facades. It might be best to use a masonry bit with a hammer drill, which typically can create enough force to drive through concrete.

 

Working with tile fixtures: When working with ceramic tile in a kitchen or bathroom, a masonry bit can create a clean and defined hole through the tile. Another type of bit might leave a rough hole or cause damage.

 

 


Screwdriving bits

Screwdriver bits come in a variety of shape to securely fasten almost any screw, bolt or nut.

 

  • Material: Carbide, carbide tipped, hardened alloy steel or high-speed steel
  • Head: Phillips head, flathead, nut setter and bit holder

 

 

types of drill bits

Screwdriving bits are best for…

Fastening drywall screws: Once you've drilled a pilot hole, use a screwdriving bit to evenly drive a drywall screw into the wall. Using this bit creates ample force to ensure the screw is secure.

 

 

Assembling and disassembling equipment: Whether you're installing large furniture or assembling machinery, each screw you use needs to be securely fastened. This bit comes in handy for tightening all types of screws or disassembling equipment when components need to be cleaned or replaced.


Countersink bits

A countersink bit is commonly used for making a recessed hole for a bolt or screw.

 

  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Heads: Cone-shaped
  • Flutes: Four or five-fluted tops

 

 

 

types of drill bits

Countersink bits are best for…

Concealing screws under flooring: When laying down new subfloor as a base for tile, laminate, or wood, it's important screws don't protrude and damage the floor. A countersink drill bit creates recessed holes so screws lie below the surface of the subfloor.

Attaching drywall to studs: Drywall needs to retain a smooth finish without having screws sticking out. When drilling holes with a countersink bit, the screws or bolts will sink properly, creating a smooth finish.


Bottom Line

Drill bits are essential components to any novice or professional's workshop. Having a wide variety of bits will prepare you for almost any type of project. Whether you're undertaking woodworking projects or assembling machinery, choosing the proper drill bits can ensure a project is completed in a timely manner with very high efficiency.