Drill Bit Guide – [Which Drill Bits Should I Use]

Whether you want to drill through glass, plastic, metal, or wood, the level of success you can expect to attract will depend on the drill bit types you have chosen to use. Drill bits are not all the same. You can find them in various categories, with each category boasting various attributes that make it compatible with some jobs and incompatible with others.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing A Drill Bit

You have to base your choice on the need at hand, with your options including:

  • High-Speed Steel

These so-called twist drill bits typically feature a cylindrical shank. Though, some models have a ¼-inch hex shank that makes the drill compatible with impact drivers and cordless screwdrivers. You can use them to drill through wood, metal, and plastic.

  • Saw

The longest section of this bit features a unique abrasive pattern that allows you to saw holes through materials such as wood and metal. But the tip mirrors an ordinary high-speed steel drill tip. You are supposed to apply lateral force when you use this bit.

  • Masonry

Masonry drill bits are used on hard surfaces such as concrete, stone, and brick. They have tungsten carbide tips. The bits tend to overheat in response to rapid and extensive use, causing the tungsten brazing to melt. Once this happens, the bit will become unstable, moving, and chipping as you work.

This is why you are encouraged to use masonry drill bits in phases, taking them out every so often to clean the flutes. Some of them feature hexagonal shanks. Others use cylindrical shanks.

  • Plug Cutting

People that use timber plugs (that fit into and conceal recessed screw holes) use plug cutting bits to make them. You are supposed to cut the plugs out of the same wooden piece you are working on to maintain the color and grain.

  • Brad Point

Tasks like doweling require the use of brad point bits which feature a W-point tip. The bit will cut the diameter of the hole before the center breaks through. By preventing the bit from grabbing, the drill will produce a clean hole. This bit is compatible with plastic and wood.

  • Step

The step drill bit is quite unique because it has a staircase profile etched into the surface of a conical shape. It has a narrow point and a wide base, permitting you to make holes of multiple sizes using a single bit.

You can also use it to make small holes bigger. Boasting a titanium-nitride coating that will combat overheating, the bit is compatible with soft and thin materials. If the bit doesn’t have steps, it is called a conical bit.

  • Multi-Purpose

Normally paired with rotary drills and hammer modes in standard drills, this bit uses a special diamond ground tungsten carbide tip to drill into any material you can imagine, including ceramic and metal.

  • Special Direct System

SDS drill bits, which were invented by Bosch in 1975, work with rotary hammer drills and rotary hammer drilling modes to punch holes through dense masonry. You can get them in categories like SDS Plus and SDS max depending on the power output of your drill.

  • Titanium Nitride HSS

These are just like regular high-speed steel drill bits except for the fact that they are coated with titanium nitride which reduces the build-up of heat whilst also increasing lubricity. This will extend the life of the bit. It is compatible with wood, plastic, and metal.

  • Diamond

You use these specialized bits to cut into hard surface masonry like porcelain at 45-degree angles. The angle is necessary, at least at the start, to prevent the bit from slipping. You can make incremental changes to the angle of the drill as you progress until it is perfectly straight.

  • Cobalt HSS

Precision ground from solid cobalt alloyed HSS, these drill bits are used in projects that involve stainless steel and high tensile steel like cast iron.

  • Spear Point

These tungsten-coated precision diamond ground carbide-tipped bits are used to drill into ceramic, glass, and porcelain. They are perfect for tile and glass. The bits shave rather than cut. The holes they make are quite smooth. They are not compatible with hammering movements. You have to run them at a slow speed.

  • Reduced Shank HSS

Compatible with wood, metal, and plastic, you can use these bits to drill larger holes than your drill’s chuck normally permits.

  • Self-Centering

You use this bit to drill holes into hardware such as hinges. It fits in the countersunk holes and aligns with the center of the hole. It has an internal HSS bit that can be replaced using a small grub screw.

  • HSS Rivet

As the name suggests, this bit, which has flutes on both ends, drills holes for rivets. It is supposed to make shallow holes in thin metal.

  • Drill/Countersink

This is an HSS bit and a countersink bit contained within a single unit. You can attach the bit to the drill using a small grub screw that allows you to adjust the bit until it reaches the length you want. People use this bit to drill pilot holes for countersunk head screws.

  • Spade

This is a unique bit with an expanded brad point tip. The tip has angle spurs and a distinguished spur. You use it to make large holes in wood.

  • Countersink

Available in 13mm, 16mm, and 19mm sizes, and various styles that are compatible with wood and metal, this bit makes a bevel opening at the top of a pilot hole.

  • Auger

This bit has a screw thread at the tip that allows you to easily drill very large holes into thick, hard, dry timber without pushing. The holes it makes have a smooth finish because of the single-spur cutting edge. The large flutes will remove the woodchips quickly and easily.

  • Forstner

You use these bits to install concealed hinges. The specialized bits can make holes of a large diameter in wood. Because of the flat-bottom design, you can pull them out just before they go through the wood.

Some Forstner bits have a continuous rim that creates a smaller but very clean hole. Others feature a saw-tooth rim that produces a bigger but rougher hole.


Q.What Does a Masonry Bit Look Like?

ANSWER: A masonry bit looks like a twist drill bit. The tip has a larger diameter than the shaft below. It is primarily soft steel. It is machined with a mill rather than ground. It has cutting edges

Q.How Do I Know What Drill Bit to Use?

ANSWER: The drill bit you select will depend on the material you want to drill. For instance, you can use spade, hole saw, step, and HSS bits to drill wood. Drill bits that work on wood can also work on plastic if you drill slowly. Drilling too fast might melt the plastic.

Tungsten carbide and diamondhole saw bits are perfect for hard surfaces such as masonry. Glass and tiles are compatible with spearhead and diamond bits. The type of material you want to drill will determine the type of bit you will use.

Q.Can I Use a Metal Drill Bit on Masonry?

ANSWER: You can use a metal drill bit but the process will take longer because you have to drill slowly. Eventually, the bit will wear out, becoming dull. You can only rely on it to drill a few holes before it becomes useless.

Q.What are Surgical Drill Bits?

ANSWER: Surgical drill bits are just like ordinary bits except that they are used to drill into the human body, lifting craniotomy bone flaps and removing skull base bone. Some situations require surgical twist drill bits which you can find in various sizes and configurations. Other situations require cannulated drill bits.

Q.How Do People Choose Drill Bit Sizes?

ANSWER: The size of the bit depends on the need. Bits come with charts that will guide you in this area. In most cases, the size of the bit should match the size of the hole you want to make.

If you want to make holes in softwood, though, the bit should be 1/64 inches smaller than the size of the hole. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about the right bit size, you should go the safe route by using a bit that is 1/64 inches larger than the hole you want to make.

Q.What is a Drill Bit Sharpener?

ANSWER: As the name suggests, a drill bit sharpener is a device that sharpens drill bits. Drill bits become dull from use. A sharpener will reverse this wear and tear, returning them to their original state and allowing you to cut through materials like wood and concrete with ease.

They come in various sizes. The best sharpeners can sharpen multiple drill bits at a time. You can also use them to sharpen other tools such as chisels and knives. Some people prefer to replace dull bits but that is a waste. A sharpener allows you to reuse them.

Q.What is the Best Concrete Drill Bit?

ANSWER: The only suitable drill bit for quickly and efficiently cutting into concrete is a masonry bit. It has a tungsten carbide tip.

Q. What is the Best Glass Drill Bit?

ANSWER:If you want to safely drill glass, you have to use tungsten carbide spear tipped bits. You can also use diamond-tipped and diamond-coated bits. If the glass is non-tempered, carbide-tipped drill bits will work.

Q.What is the Best Metal Drill Bit?

ANSWER: If you want to drill into metal, invest in high-speed steel drill bits with a titanium oxide coating and cobalt drill bits which are made of cobalt steel.

Q.What is a Flexible Drill Bit?

ANSWER: Flexible drill bits are popular because you can twist and turn them in any direction you desire. This allows you to drill holes in complicated locations that you cannot reach with a normal drill bit.

They are not a different type of bit. Rather, they are ordinary bits that are mounted to an extension to help them reach difficult spots. The extensions can bend in ridiculous angles to simplify seemingly impossible work.

Q.What is a Drill Bit Extension?

ANSWER:Drill bit extensions are used to enhance the capabilities of your drill by extending your reach and allowing you to work in complicated drilling situations. Extensions can also handle different torque loads. You can use them to add an element of flexibility to your operations.

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