Different types of drill bits and their main uses 10 January 2022

There are 4 main types of drill bits you can use and it's key to know their characteristics to make sure your project goes completely to plan.

When you're just about to do some DIY, knowing about the different types of drill bits is essential! Whether you're building a built-in bench or adding a little shelving, using the wrong drill bit for your project could cause damage not only to your drill bit but also to your entire project and wall.

The 4 main drill bits you’ll need for your walls or DIY projects are a wood bit, a masonry bit, a tile bit and finally a twist bit.

Masonry Drill Bits

Featuring a larger angled tip, masonry drill bits are used to bore into concrete, brick, quarry tiles, stone, and breezeblock. These are best used at a slow rotational speed to prevent overheating and can be used in hammer mode and gear 1 for tougher jobs. You will need to pull out the bit from the material often to prevent dust build-up as this can make drilling more difficult and cause overheating. These bits range in size from 4mm to 16mm and can come in huge lengths of up to 400mm to enable you to drill through walls.

Tile Drill Bits

If you're installing shower tiles or tiling a wall, you might find yourself having to drill through the porcelain, ceramic tile, or even glass. A standard drill bit will crack and chip the material. Tile bits feature a spear-like point that helps cut into the material and prevent cracking and chipping. These sizes usually range from 3mm to 10mm.

Twist Drill Bits

These can be used on several materials including metal, wood and plastics and will likely be your most used type of bit. The pointed tip cut through the material and the spiral length allows the material to be drawn out of the hole and keep the bit straight as you drill. They come in two types – Carbon steel or HSS.

Carbon Steel bits are specifically created for drilling wood and should never be used to drill metal as they would just break and shatter (which could be very dangerous). It’s probably a waste of time.

These bits come in sizes ranging from 0.4mm, up to 12mm, but are only really designed to drill small holes with not much debris output. The tinier sizes do snap easily, so extra care is required when drilling. If drilling a larger hole or drilling into hardwood, withdraw the bit occasionally to remove the debris and not clog up the hole. Also, personally, when working with wood, I prefer using dowel drill bits.

Wood Drill Bits

It’s not often you’d need a wood drill bit for walls, as you can drive screws straight into wooden studs for a superior hold, but when working with plasterboard or working with timber on other building projects, you’ll come across a few different types of wood bits to get the job done right. The most common you’ll find is a spur point bit, (commonly known as a dowel bit).

These have a sharp point on the end to help grip the wood when beginning to drill. They also have a sharp double-bladed thread which helps keep the hole straight and clean when drilling through the timber. They can be used to drill fast through the timber of any type as well as plasterboard and also some plastics too and are mostly used for drilling holes for dowels when a clean parallel hole is required. The sizes for this drill bit range from 3 to 10mm.

There are also other common types of wood drill bits you may come across for your projects: a countersink with a clearance drill bit, a flat wood bit, a plug cutter, a hole saw and a Forstner bit.

So, for all your timber requirements look no further than the team at Johnsons Timber Supplies Ltd. Call us today on 0121 706 0404.

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