To drill any surface, we need two essential elements, a drill and above all, the drill bits. One without the other is useless tools, but they are indispensable for any small DIY or decoration job.
Choosing the right bit for each job to be carried out will not only facilitate its execution and completion in perfect condition. In some cases, it is essential, as some materials are impossible to drill without the right bit.
As an example, with a universal bit, we can drill wood or metal, but with a bit specially designed to drill the wall, it will be impossible to drill metal or wood. In addition to the type of drill bit, you will find different qualities, especially when performing precise and professional work. An obvious example is wall drills in hardened materials such as tungsten carbide, popularly called widia or high-performance carbide, and lately, wall drills with hardened points with diamond tips. They are not jewelry diamonds; they are synthetic diamonds specially designed for this type of tool.
Table of Contents
- Helical Or Universal Drill Bits
- Drill Bits For Wood
- Drill Bits For Metals
- Drill Bits For Drilling Tiles And Glass
Helical Or Universal Drill Bits
For sale, there is a type of drill that is called universal. It is used to drill all kinds of medium-hard materials, such as plaster or plasterboard, chipboard, plastics, and woods that are not excessively hard.
It can also use them to drill holes in walls or in hard materials that do not require percussion since they are not prepared for striking the hammer.
I have used them a lot to drill chipboard and beech wood, despite not being specially designed for wood.
They are very similar to metal drill bits. The difference is in the material with which they are made, the tip’s cutting angle, and the belt’s edge (the grooves of the bit).
At first glance, they may look the same, but they are not.
Drill Bits For Wood
Woodworking, whether in carpentry or joinery, has a wide variety of bits, designed to carry out different work types, but all with a common denominator: Wood and chipboard are materials that require cutting bits.
Three-Point Drill Bits
Three-point bits are the most common for wood drilling. They are so-called because the tip of the drill ends and never better said “tip.”
But the mouth does not have a drilling angle, as is the case with other bits. The bit’s band, which is the area of the bit with cut and runs through its entire surface, ends in two points.
While the central point guides the drill, the lateral points, together with the bit’s band, which is very sharp, “cut” the wood.
These bits are used to drill all wood types, whether hard or soft, and other materials derived from wood: chipboard and plywood.
Flat bits are used in carpentry to make large holes, such as the one needed to mount door handles.
The operation is similar to the three-point bits but with a much larger, more pronounced, and advanced center point than the other two.
The central point defines the exact place of the drill. It roughs the wood until the other two points come into contact, which defines the hole’s size.
Long Drill Bits For Wood
Its use is not very common. They are not bits that are mainly used to make deep holes; instead, they are used to make holes inside, which would otherwise be very difficult to make.
They usually have a point like a brace so that when we go to carry out the work, we are very sure of the place. The rest of the body of the drill is identical to those with three points.
In the countersink bits, we have two different types. On the one hand, there are the drills that I mentioned at the beginning and that I used thousands of times, the twist drills.
These drills can lead to the end of the same, a thickening, to perform the “countersink.” It is nothing more than a widening of the hole right at the end so that when we mount a screw, the head is at the same level as the perforated surface.
They are very common in furniture assembly and cabinetmaking.
You can find bits made with that thickening, but you can purchase some spindles independently to mount with any universal bit.
Each countersink spindle will be suitable for a different drill diameter.
Besides, we can find countersink drills, which, once the hole is made (or previously), make that hole thickening so that the screw head is in line with the drilled surface.
I recommend the first option since, with a single drill, the expected result is achieved.
So why are independent countersink bits used? Very simple, if you are working with different bits to mount different screws with different heads, the best option is a countersink bit, which is suitable for all screw heads and drill sizes.
The core bits are fitted with a central helical bit, which serves as a guide for the drill, and around it, they carry a saw blade or toothed crown to make large holes.
Although they are very common in wood to make large holes, there are also bits of this type to drill other materials, such as walls or glass.
In wood, I have used them to mount cable glands on study tables or when chipboard walls are covered, and it is necessary to “remove” the keys from the light or the plugs at the coating level.
Forstner bits are named after their inventor, Benjamin Forstner. Little by little, they have been displacing the spade bits.
The advantage of these bits is that they make almost perfect circular holes.
They bear a slight resemblance to Forstner bits. They usually have a central point, although they can also have three points like the typical wood drill bits.
In the center, they also carry metal pieces that cut the wood and expel the shavings. They are the ones used by professional cabinetmakers to mount cup hinges.
Drill Bits For Metals
Drill bits for metals are also helpful for drilling other types of materials, such as plastics, plasterboard, and softwoods, as long as excellent working precision is not required.
Within the drill bits for metals, there are different types of qualities:
HSS (High-Speed Steel) drills, high-speed steel are the most widely used for metalworking, as they have good resistance to temperature caused by continuous work and withstand wear well.
As a general rule, the materials with which HSS drills are made are molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium, and chromium.
The most basic of the HSS drills, which are the laminated ones, are designed and thought to work on soft metals, such as aluminum.
They quickly lose their edge, and if we use them on hard materials, we will need to make a greater effort, and the result will not be as accurate.
They are more durable than the previous ones; they can pierce steel and its alloys, cast or synthesized iron, malleable cast steel, as well as other types of non-ferrous metals and high-hardness plastics.
Rectified Cobalt Alloy HSS
The big difference between this drill and the previous ones is in the material with which it is made, a cobalt alloy that offers excellent resistance to wear and provides thermal protection.
It is especially suitable for tough metals resistant to acid or heat.
Rectified Titanium HSS Drill Bit
HSS titanium drills are not titanium; they have a titanium oxide coating that makes them especially durable and capable of drilling tough metals.
They are the ones that are usually used in workshops for column drills, which have to do many holes and with great precision. In many cases, it is necessary to refrigerate them.
They are not the typical drill bits that you will buy to make a few drills at home, but if the work to be done is challenging and needs high quality, it may be worth the financial expense involved.
Drilling Walls: Wall Bits
Drilling walls is probably the most frequent use that we give to a drill inside a home. We need to hang all kinds of objects on the walls: pictures, souvenirs, and a drill are essential.
Unlike metal drills, which we could use to drill plastics, wall drills are exclusive to do that job.
They are prepared to be used with the drill’s hammer system, which reproduces a constant but precise hammering.
The drill bit’s tip is reinforced with a solid and hard material, which can stand up to ceramic wall materials, plaster, or cement.
There are two types of wall drill bits:
Widia Drill Bits
Widia drills are short for WIe DIAmant (like a diamond), which is the material from which the drill’s tip is made, tungsten carbide.
They are very hard, specially designed for drilling medium-hard materials: brick, cement, plaster, or stones.
With Diamond Tip
They are called diamond bits, although as you will understand, they are not Tiffani’s diamonds.
They are drills with tips reinforced with high-performance carbide (diamond), designed to drill rigid materials, such as concrete or granites.
They do a very efficient and perfect job, as long as the drill has good power and speed.
Read More: How To Use A Drill Safely: Step by Step Tips
Drill Bits For Drilling Tiles And Glass
Indeed, it is not a task you regularly face, but you may need to drill the glass within DIY jobs.
Well, you know that there are bits for glass.
The original thing about these bits is their spearhead shape. Its mouth is made of different materials, although the most common is tungsten carbide.
With these bits, you can not only drill glass. You can also drill porcelain, tiles, mirrors, or very delicate ceramic work.
They are usually used by professionals, using column drills or vertical supports, and cooling the drill so that no breakage occurs.
Drill Bit Stop
We cannot stop all the drills, but there are movable stops for twist drills, which we can attach by limiting the drill’s depth.
This accessory is handy when we carry out work that requires a certain precision in its depth, such as blind drills.
The drill is one of the best power tools for doing all kinds of DIY jobs, but without the bits, they are nothing.
Depending on the material to be drilled or worked, we will have a completely different tool. There are some interchangeable bits. It is possible to drill wood with a universal bit, but it isn’t easy to drill wood specifically for a wall.
Choosing the right tool will make our work much more accessible and make it possible for us to get the finish we want.
A wrong choice can be disastrous, choose well which bit you need, and you will save yourself a lot of headaches.