Drill Bits - The Different Types Explained

Drill Bits – The Different Types Explained

Drill bits are an essential part of any DIY project that involves a good amount of drilling, but there are so many different drill bits that it can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t well versed in the subject and you don’t know which drill bit to choose to start drilling holes. 

If you find yourself struggling to know which drill bit to use for what, then keep reading, as we are going to be going through twenty of the most common drill bits and taking a look at exactly what each drill bit is used for when it comes to drilling holes! 

What Is A Drill Bit?

Before we go into detail on different drill bits, let’s first review exactly what a drill bit is. Drill bits are essentially cutting tools that are attached to either a drill press or a manually operated drill.

A drill bit is attached via a drill chuck in order to drill holes- which is a clamp that will hold the drill bit in place- and are used to make holes or enlarge holes within various materials, such as solid metal and wood using a drill bit.

Different drill bits can be used with different materials, as we will go into in this list. So without further ado, let’s get started and take a look at the different types of drill bits.

1. Twist Bits

The most commonly used drill bit, twist drill bits are able to cut through a wide range of materials such as plastic, concrete, steel, and wood. 

Made from all kinds of metals, these drill bits feature a cutting edge on the bottom end with a twisted groove that is cut onto the body and runs from the top to the bottom (also known as the flute).

This twisted flute is what gives the twist drill bit its name. They can be used with a drill press, hammer drills, or even thick drills and electric drills. 

2. Counter Boring Bits

These drill bits- also called step drill bits- are used for making existing holes larger so that screws are able to stand more firmly when placed within the hole. They lead to smooth holes that are perfect when working with softer materials and thin sheet metal. 

These drill bits also allow you to counterbore holes and drill in at the same time using different types of drill such as a glass drill, msonry drill, or even a handheld drill. 

3. Countersinking Bits

Used to create a cone-shaped depression within wood, countersink drill bits can create a recess that is able to let a countersink bolt sit completely flush with the material surface Which is great if you want to create a really secure drill hole even when creating large holes in soft metals . 

4. Center Bits

Center drill bits are used with a center drill, which is in turn used to center a hole and ensure that this is done accurately when drilling wood.

The drill bits themselves have two features that make them stand out, that being their wider countersink area and their narrow pilot point which makes it really stand out amongst all of the many types of drill bits like masonry drill bits, an auger drill bit, or a countersink drill bit. 

5. Straight Fluted Bits

These drill bits have either flutes or grooves that run parallel to the axis of the drill, and they are usually used when it comes to drilling copper, brass, and materials that are softer, allowing them to be drilled into without the worry of the drill digging too aggressively into the metal.

6. Auger Bits

Auger drill bits are perfect for drilling drill bits into dry and thick wood without having to apply too much pressure. 

Augers have a screw top which not only helps to make the hole but also makes it easier to create a clean hole when you are pulling the drill bit out. 

7. Spade Bits

As their name suggests, spade drill bits have a design similar to that of a spade, with a flat and wide blade. 

They are woodworking drill bits that are often used by professionals, such as electricians or plumbers, in order to drill holes in walls for wires or pipes.

8. Installer Bits

Another drill bit that is used for boring holes, installer drill bits are designed with a flute that has a hole in it so that wire can be pulled through it, making them ideal when it comes to installing devices with wires such as phones, security systems, or computers. 

They can be used with wood, metal, or plaster. The three fluted shank of the drill bit helps to prevent the chuck of the drill from slipping as you drill. 

9. High-Speed Bits

These durable and tough drill bits are usually used for high-volume production drilling, which involves very quick and repetitive drilling. They are also incredibly versatile as they tend to be used to work on all kinds of metals.

10. Rivet Bits

Rivet drill bits are unique in that they are able to drill precise and short rivets into sheets of metal plates, even when they are especially thin sheets. This makes them particularly popular amongst professionals that have this specific need. 

11. Hole Saw Bits

Also known as hole drill bits or hole cutters, these attachments are designed specifically for creating perfect, round holes in a range of different materials. 

They can be used for a variety of purposes, including making holes in walls for plumbing, drainage pipe installation, or cutting masonry. 

12. Plug Cutter Bits

These drill bits are used purely for wooden surfaces, more specifically for when a plug needs to be cut out. However, they are also useful when it comes to making a specific hole within a wooden surface. 

13. Bullet Pilot Point Bits 

These are drill bits that are great for general-purpose DIY, designed to create accurate and clean holes in materials such as plastic, wood, and metal. 

Bullet Pilot Point drill bits have a tip that is designed to immediately enter the drilled-in material on contact, without any irritating walking. 

14. Brad Point Bits

Usually made from either high-speed steel, carbide, or carbon steel, Brad Point drill bits are similar to twist drill bits, but they feature a long and sharp point at the end. 

These drill bits have a look that resembles that of a brad nail, hence their name. They also feature two spur cutting edges that allow for less splintering on wood, which is why they are primarily used in woodworking. 

15. Annular Bits

Annular drill bits are used for drilling metal and are able to cut grooves at the periphery of the hole that is cut into the metal, as well as extract the metal core at the center. 

16. Self-Feed Bits

These drill bits have outer teeth that are able to cut perfect holes, similar to hole saw drill bits. They also have a radial blade that can slice out the core, similar to that of a spade drill bit. They feature a threaded tip too, allowing the user to pull the drill bit through the wood. 

17. Dowelling Bit

This is another drill bit that is best suited for wood, though it is able to create holes in metal as well. 

Dowelling drill bits feature four spurs as well as sharp corners that can immediately pierce wood. They also have a lip at the center that maintains the stability and level of the material whilst being drilled. 

18. Forstner Bits

With a sharp, pointed center, Forstner drill bits have a range of different applications, though they are mostly used for woodworking thanks to being a large bore drill bit. 

19. Hammer Bits

Designed for quick drilling through materials that are brittle- such as concrete- hammer drill bits combine a pounding, hammer-like action with the rotary action of the drill. 

20. Adjustable Wood Bits

Finally, these drill bits are incredibly handy when you need to create different hole sizes as they can adjust accordingly, minimizing the need to buy multiple drill bits. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have twenty different kinds of drill bits for a wide range of applications.

There are more drill bits available too, but hopefully, our list has given you enough variety when it comes to drill bits so that you can find the perfect one to suit your DIY needs!


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