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3 Basic Types of Wood Bits

There are three basic types of wood drill bits. Wood drill bits are, obviously, used for drilling wood.

Special wood drill bits are required for larger holes to be cut with greater accuracy.

The first type of wood drill bit is a lip and spur bit, which are also known as dowel bits. These drill bits are like standard twist drills but have a singular sharp center point and two outer cutting spurs. Because they have the single center point, it provides for a precise placement and the spurs provide a very clean hole. The lip and spur bit is particularly useful in dowel work where a precision hole is necessary for an accurate fit. Lip and spur bits are available in sizes from 3 mm to 30 mm diameters but the larger sizes of drill bits are quite expensive. Smaller sized lip and spur drill bits often come with dowel kits and usually come with an adjustable collar so the hole depth can be determined more easily. They also often come with indexing inserts, which are inserted into the hole to give you a center for drilling.

Another type of wood drill bit is a flat bit. Flat bits have a centre point but have a flat cutting edge and look similar to a spade. A sharp, flat bit will quickly cut a clean hole. These bits can be sharpened after use with a file. Flat bits are relatively inexpensive because of their uncomplicated construction. Flat bits are available in 6 mm to 38 mm sizes. A pumping action is required when using a flat bit to remove excess sawdust to help avoid their tendency to wander when drilling thick timbers. Some varieties of flat bits have a screw style thread instead of a center point to help pull the drill through the timber.

Auger bits are another type of wood drill bit that look like corkscrews. Auger bits have a wide chisel-like cutting edge which gets rid of the excess waste sawdust while you are working, and one outer spur which cuts into the wood in front of the cutting edge to produce a very clean hole. The deep coiled groove helps the waste sawdust to be removed quickly. Auger bits are usually slower drilling than flat bits, but thusly produce a cleaner hole in the wood. Because of the length of the corkscrew, the hole in the wood will be more precise. Auger bits are available in lengths of at least 100 mm up to 450 mm and in diameters of 4 mm to 30 mm. Auger bits can also be sharpened with a file.

Sizes Explained

You can actually custom order a drill bit to any size, but most drill bits – the actual cutting part on the end of the drill – are manufactured to standard sizes.

In the United States, fractional inch sizes are still used; in most other parts of the world, metric bit sizes are normally used.

Because of the two common different measuring systems – fractional and metric – it can be a little confusing buying the right drill bit size. To confuse things even more, there are two other ways of measuring – letter sizes and wire-gauge sizes.

If you are purchasing drill bit sizes in the United States, the size will probably be measured in fractions. The standard “twist” drill bits, which most people use begin at 1/64 of an inch and continue in 1/64 increments up to 1 inch. One disadvantage of this method of bit sizing is that the size increment between drill bits is extremely large for the smaller sizes – a difference of 100% between the first two sizes.

Metric drill bit sizes were introduced by the British Standard in 1959. The British Standard BS 328 identifies bit sizes ranging from the smallest, 0.2mm, to the largest which measures 25mm.

Letter sizes for drill bits are perhaps the easiest to understand. These bits are used to make precise small hole sizes and are simply labeled from the smallest – A – to the largest – Z. Even the largest of these is a mere 0.4 inches in diameter, so you would use letter sizes for detailed and close up work.

Wire gauge sizes, as the name suggests are standard measurements used for drilling holes for particular diameters of wire, especially wires conducting electricity. Most of these sizes are extremely small – a size AWG 36, for example is just 0.005 inches in diameter.

Drill bits with a “twist” on the end are also sold in standard lengths as well as sizes – the length is in proportion to the diameter of the bit.

Unless you are an expert and need a particular size, it is probably best just to purchase a variety of drill bits of varying sizes, ensuring you always have one that’s the right size for the job.

Drill Bits for Plastic

Plastic drill bits were designed to deal with such materials as Plexiglas® and Acrylite® along with other plastics.

It’s entirely possible that by looking at the title of this article you may be inclined to think that a new drill bit has been developed using plastic as the primary component of construction. However, when referring to plastic drill bits we are actually referring to a drill bit specifically designed to bore through a variety of plastics while producing a smooth hole.

Many have mistakenly tried to use a standard wood bit to achieve this goal and wound up with cracks and jagged edges in their plastic (we’ll talk more about this later).

If you are using a plastic drill bit for the first time it is important to make sure that when you drill as a guide for an attaching screw that you make the hole size slightly larger than the screw to allow for any contractions in the plastic.

While a standard drill can be used to drill holes in plastic, a drill bit specifically for plastics may have best results when a drill press is used. The primary reason this is true has to do with the slow even pressure needed to achieve the smoothest desired result. If you do need to use a hand drill, be sure to ask which plastic drill bit may be best to use with this type of drill.

There are nearly 90 separate drill bits for applications involving plastic – all an inch or smaller.

Some experienced handy folk have found that regular wood drill bits can be used for this application, but require modification to the existing drill bit. Small flats must be ground on each side of the edges that will cut into the plastic. The speed of the drill must be reduced to supply gentle, continuous pressure to the plastic material.

If you’d rather purchase the plastic drill bit you need simply visit your favorite hardware store or shop online for the greatest variety and information.

Quick Release – for the Overachiever

With these new time saving devices you can drill a pilot hole and switch a Philips screwdriver or nutsetter shank to a drill bit in a matter of seconds.

Many tool sheds house a tool that may no longer be in service. Sure there was a time when the drill was used on a regular basis, but that was before the chuck key wore off the edges and the chuck never stayed tight enough to hold the drill bit securely. Because it was a faithful friend is remains as an ode to what once was.

Today there is an entirely new era in drill bit progression. With the advent of the quick connect drill bits it becomes possible for a home improvement specialist or weekend warrior to simply remove a hexagon shaped shank from universal connector and move on quickly from one function to the next. With these new time saving devices you can drill a pilot hole and switch a Philips screwdriver or nutsetter shank to a drill bit in a matter of seconds.

If you recall former experiences with drills you may remember skinned knuckles and frustration when you learn that you just tightened the wrong drill bit in the chuck. Today, all major power tool companies provide quick connect drill bits and these new connections are rendering their predecessors entirely obsolete.

Manufacturers will use either knurled metal or rubber to allow the custom hex shank to grip inside the quick release chamber. The locking mechanisms are generally ball bearing while the release chamber requires users to generally push or pull the locking mechanism to release the quick release drill bit.

With so many handy folk using cordless drills it is a safe bet that they can be outfitted with a quick release drill bit system. It is an equally safe bet that once you try quick release you will never want to go back to common keyed chuck drills again.

Check your favorite hardware store or shop on line. The selection is outstanding, and with a quick online search you will be able to compare vital information on name brand quick release drill bits so you can make your selection with confidence.

And the first time you use your new quick release drill bit kit you might just remember this article and discover feelings of gratitude.

There are just two words left to say, “You’re welcome.”

Tools and Bits to Drill Holes in Concrete?

If you have ever tried to drill holes in concrete using a regular drill and a high-speed steel drill bit, you know that it is a useless exercise. High-speed drill bits are perfect for drilling through wood, which is fibrous—the best way to make a hole in wood is to cut or slice your way through. The job goes faster with the sharper your drill bit is.

Regular twist drill bits are sharp at the tip as well as down the edges of their spiral flutes. Well made twist drill bits stay sharp for a long time; however, they become dull if they are exposed to hitting too many nails. Twist drill bits and regular drills can also make holes in metals, including steel. However, you can drill for a longer period if you use a drill bit made of material that is harder than high-speed steel, such as titanium or cobalt.

Drilling in concrete is a whole different ball of wax. Concrete is granular, where wood is fibrous and metals are generally smooth and monolithic. Concrete is made of grains of sand and chunks of gravel glued together with cement. Trying to drill through concrete with a regular drill bit or even a titanium or cobalt drill bit will dull the bit as fast as sandpaper. You cannot cut or slice concrete; you macerate it and pull apart the grains. When you clear away the powder of concrete, your hole is there.

Masonry drill bits were invented to drill through concrete. Masonry drill bits are a wedge of carbide, which is only a little less tough than diamond, which is attached to a spiral shaft. The shaft is not intended to stay sharp, but rather to gather the resulting powder and pull it out of the hole. The shanks of masonry drill bits are smooth and either hex-shaped or rounded. They can be used in your regular drill to drill through concrete, albeit quite slowly. If you need to make larger holes in concrete, then masonry drill bits are not going to meet the grade. You will need a hammer drill or a rotary hammer to achieve larger holes in concrete.

What Kind of Drill Bit do You Need for Your Next Project?

By taking a little bit of time and reading this article to learn about the right one to use can help you to get the job done faster, and safer.

Drill bits come in all sorts of types and sizes. In order to get those holes made in a particular material you need the right drill bit. Using a wrong one could ruin the drill bits and damage the surface of whatever it is you are trying to drill. By taking a little bit of time and reading this article to learn about the right one to use can help you to get the job done faster, and safer.

Drill Bits For Wood

There are a number of different drill bits that can be used – depending on the job needed. Here are the most common.

Twist Drill Bits

These are the kind most people think of when they think about drill bits. They have two twisted spirals cut into a round shank, with cutting edges built in. Wood bits are made of carbon steel. These bits do tend to clog frequently and need to be cleaned out often as you drill.

Spur Point Bits

These are also called wood bits, or dowel bits. They have a center point and two spurs on the outside edges – which help it to drill straight holes. Excellent for dowels because they provide clean sides.

Flatwood Drill Bits

These are often called spade bits. They have a center point and flat metal on the sides enabling it to take away wood fast. They generally are made for larger holes – up to 32mm.

Drill Bits For Metal

These look like the standard drill bit but are made of high speed steel (HSS). Some of these have a gold color to them, these are made of titanium oxide.

Drill Bits For Masonry

These look like the average twist drill sat first glance. But they have an added piece of metal on the front tip which is made of tungsten carbide to provide hardness.

Drill Bits For Tile

This bit is for cutting ceramic tiles and glass. When you use it to put a hole in glass it is
necessary to use some kind of lubricant – such as turpentine (flammable). A masonry bit may also be used.

Drill Bits come in a variety of other kinds, too. If in any further doubt about which to use in your particular task, be sure to go online for a little further research.

Some Thoughts about Using Drill Bits

Find Your Drill Bit

We hope to help you find the right drill bit for your job by providing information about the different types. If you are shopping for a new set to replace an old worn out set, need a specialty bit for a specific job you are working on or looking to purchase a gift for that handyman in your life you’ve come to the right place.

We have assembled helpful articles and how to information on purchasing, using and selecting the best ones for the job. With special feature articles on building toys, organizers and shelves we have also brought you some unique crafting projects as well. Please take a few moments to read through our articles and feel free to bookmark our site if you find it especially helpful.

Handy Tools for Every Tool Box

They are such a handy tool that every toolbox should contain an assortment of the different types and sizes. The versatility lends themselves for use in the building of various items and is quite a handy item to have on hand for quick repairs as well. They are ideal for use on many of your indoor and outdoor projects.

They are strong enough to drill into masonry and other hard surfaces, and yet they are equally adept when used on softer surfaces such as wood.

Need to pre-drill some holes for screws before hanging a shelf or a few pictures on the wall? Metal bits should do the job with ease. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to use a drill versus attempting to make these holes with a screwdriver and a screw! You can have the shelf or pictures up and be sitting on the couch with a cool drink in just a few minutes using a drill.

How about building a bookcase to hold all those books you have accumulated? Of course for projects using hard surfaces such as masonry will require diamond type bits due to the strength of this material.

They aren’t very expensive and this is especially true when you consider how versatile and handy tool they are to have. They’re easy to find too. They are sold through the internet (we even have some listed here), and at department and hardware stores. They are usually sold in sets containing several kinds, sizes and styles instead of sold individually. The best ones will contain a variety of different types and sizes to be used on a wide-assortment of building projects.

No one that calls themselves ‘handy’ when it comes to building things should have a toolbox that doesn’t have a set waiting to be used on a project. And even those who aren’t braggarts about their building skills; should consider them to be an item that every toolbox should have. They are by far the ‘handiest’ tools to always have a supply of. And keeping them in your toolbox ensures that you will be able to find them when you need them.

Use A Dremel tool

The Dremel tool, and other rotary tools, makes a good power drill for first time users. Because of their multi-speed, they allow those leery of power tools to become familiar with their use. Speed can be increased as the user becomes comfortable with the tool.

If your rotary tool includes the flex arm attachment, this can allow you to use it in places that a normal power drill cannot reach. The flex arm attachment can also assist in drilling small holes in intricate patterns or where a power drill head cannot fit.

By carefully angling the bit head, lines can be carved into flat surfaces. Woodcarvers enjoy using their rotary tool to remove excess material from caricatures, decoys and other carving projects. A Dremel and a wood bit are also a good tool to use to pre-drill holes to insert small jigsaw blades within the work piece. Once you have discovered the versatility of using a rotary tool, you may never pick up a power drill again.

When to Pre-Drill

Ask twenty do-it-yourselfers how important pre-drilling is, chances are you’ll get at least ten different answers.

So, is pre-drilling necessary or just an added step almost never needed? That depends on many factors.

You need to pre-drill if:

  • You are using green wood. If the piece of wood you are drilling is heavy for it’s size, it is likely green, or young, wood OR
  • You are using treated wood. Treated wood is usually used for outdoor structures or decks OR
  • You are using hardwood. Birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, poplar, rosewood, teak and walnut are all hardwoods OR
  • Your final hole will be larger than 3/8” OR
  • The wood you are using has been stored in humidity greater than 20% for more than 24 hours before drilling OR
  • You want to pre-drill.

You do not need to pre-drill if:

  • You are using dry wood that has not been pressure or chemically treated AND
  • You are using softwood like pine, cedar or redwood AND
  • The final hole will be smaller than 3/8” AND
  • The wood has been stored in dry conditions for more than 24 hours AND
  • You don’t want to.

Pre-drilling Tips

  • If you don’t pre-drill treated or green wood, it will likely split when it dries.
  • Hardwood typically takes years to completely dry so you should always pre-drill hardwood, since it’s possible it still has drying to do.
  • Holes larger than 3/8” can put undo stress on wood. If you pre–drill these holes before inserting a screw or nail, most of the wood will be removed from the hole before nail or screw is inserted, reducing stress.
  • Always pre-drill with a bit slightly smaller than the final hole.
  • If the final hole will be 3/4” or larger, pre-drill in increments of 1/4?. Example: pre-drill with 1/4” bit, then 1/2? bit, then 5/8” or 11/16” bit.

Building Shelves with Drill Bits

Using a drill to fashion shelves can help your project last longer and retain it’s shape longer and better than shelves that are made with a hammer and nails.

The reason for this is that screws put in using a drill with the proper bit won’t pull away as the shelves are bumped and used like a standard nail will, the ridges on the screw simply provide sturdier hold. Once you have chosen the material for your shelves, and have the plans in hand. The next task at hand is to find the correct drill bit for the project.

Types of bits for the job. There are several types of drill bits to accomplish the job at hand, the one you chose would be dependent on the material the shelves are made of. For example, if the project is to be made from a relatively thin plastic, or soft wood you can use a twist bit. This general purpose bit works well for many simple shelves or shelves that come in the form of a kit.

A brad point bit is advantageous for wood shelving. In addition the bit head has special brads (high spots) that are good for accuracy and precision. An auger bit might be useful for speed in boring into wood. A general all purpose drill bit for shelf making is the adjustable wood bit. This practical tool is adjustable for hole size with a blade that will adjust from 3/4″ to 3″. Other types of bits that are available for an assortment of shelving materials include; glass and tile bits, a step bit, and a drill saw bit for wood or metal in particular in unusual contours.

Carefully measuring where you want the screws placed before you drill will save you a lot of aggravation. When you have found exactly where you want the screws to go mark the spot with a marker. It can be helpful if you pre-drill using a smaller headed bit, before inserting the screw. This predrilled hole will help insure that the screw goes in easily and straight. Taking the time to choice the right drill bit, measure their placement and pre-drilling will ensure your shelving retains their beauty for years to come.

What Every Woman Should Know About Drill Bits

Some simple tips to know for women (and men) that aren’t inclined to do it yourself projects or repairs.

Today’s take-charge, career-oriented woman juggles family and job responsibilities with ease and looks great doing it – but when it comes to simple home repairs or rummaging through the tool chest, she may find herself baffled by the wild assortment of gadgets, whatchamacallits, doodads, and worst of all, cases and cases of drill bits.

Fear not. While the mythical supermom might take the time to research each and every tool to find just the right one, a few facts will take you through most basic repairs.

Nearly everyone knows what a hammer looks like and what it is used for. Ditto for pliers, those handy gripping tools that can be used from construction to crafting. Drills, particularly cordless ones, are amazing time and arm savers, but choosing the right drill bit for the right job can be daunting. Here’s what you need to know about drill bits:

* drill bits come in a variety of sizes, including both metric and imperial measurements, ranging from tiny, nearly invisible bits, to larger ones that will make a very big hole. If you are pre-drilling a hole, it’s best to choose a bit that is slightly smaller than your screw or screw anchor. Not every drill bit has its size engraved on the side, but if you bits came in a case, it’s likely the size will appear near the bit’s slot there. Drill bits also come in different lengths, from standard shorter sizes, to longer bits – up to about 10 centimeters long for household use.

* not all drill bits are created equal; in fact, the drill bit you choose should depend on the material in which you hope to make a hole, whether it is metal, plaster, stone, cement, wood, fiberglass, etc.

The most commonly seen and used household drill bit is called the twist drill bit. Aptly named, it looks like a piece of metal that has been twisted along most of its length, and can be used to drill holes in a variety of materials including wood and plastic.

Other kinds of drill bits for metal include center bits, core bits, and step bits. The more popular wood drill bit collection includes brad point bit (a more specialized version of the twist bit for wood), spade bits for rough boring, Forstner bits for making flat-bottomed holes, and the adjustable wood bit among others. Masonry bits are reinforced with tungsten carbide inserts, and are usually used with a hammer drill (hopefully you’ll never need to use one of these!).