Why You Should Choose the Correct Drill Bit

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Hi Folks, Wayne the Plumber back again with another few thoughts and ideas gathered from the last 33 years loving the job and cursing the weather!

Much is made of the performance of power tools, battery or corded there's always someone on a video somewhere holding his drill aloft giving it "THE POWER OF GREY SKULL" thinking he's He Man after drilling a few holes on a bench (never lay as if he has been tipped out of a sack in some painful contortion like we all do).

But how often do we get some information about what goes in them?

And by what goes in them, I don't mean motors, bearings, that sort of thing...I mean what we put in the end of them; drill bits!

Isn't it time we stopped and thought "Hang on which drill bits cut the largest holes using the least battery life and putting the least strain on my very expensive drill?"

How many of us on the jobsite grunt and shove harder, tighten till it farts (or you do), without realising that our 18v drill won't drill a hole in wood over 2" or 50mm?

It may be funny to watch some fool smoke his world beating pride and joy but it's damned expensive.

When this happens to us, do we blame the drill?

If you do, then I just want to put it out there, that having spent hundreds, maybe even thousands of pounds on power tools over the past 33 years, that you should look, think and invest more in the the bits we put in the sharp end.

Many bits are real rippers, but find a knot in a joist and it's a wrist breaker but also, in some cases, a drill breaker. These drill bits can seem the dogs doodaas but might using masses of the battery life, and put much more strain on you and your drill, than say a tungsten tipped hole saw.

"Yes but they're not deep enough to go through thick timber", I hear you cry.

Maybe you should be checking out one of the new generation spade bits or spiralaugers, then.

Maybe its time for the trade and weekend warrior alike, to encourage the manufacturers to show on the power tool's packaging the torque required to turn an auger bit, a tungsten tipped hole saw or a masonry bit.

And for ourselves to read the instructions on our drill, and think the bigger the bit the lower the speed and the higher the torque.

So, in summary;

  • don't push your drill driver, hammer drill, combi driver too hard. Stop and check the speed setting and the torque setting
  • use the correct drill bit for the job. Perhaps you should be using a spade bit, an auger bit, a hole saw or switching to a masonry bit!
  • check with the manufacturer. If your drill is struggling, and you're sure you're using the correct drill bit, check whether your drill was designed to do the job you're doing! Toolstop is here to help, too

And remember lads, old sparky's never die they just end up very well earthed...

If you have any comments or feedback on what Wayne says about drill bits, let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or use #DIYTradetips to tell us on Twitter.


Toolstop on Mon, 01 Jul 2013 07:34:58 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Sounds a bit dodgy Chris, are you willing to elaborate?

Chris Owens on Sat, 29 Jun 2013 12:18:59 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

This was brought home to me, trying to drill a hole in the blade of a garden tool (never mind why) with an HSS bit. Spent 10 minutes with 2 different drills ("try it with the corded if the cordless won't do it"). Because the blade I was drilling was hardened, I only succeeded in polishing the end of the bit, and getting it very, very hot.

Bought a cobalt steel bit, and it went through in 10 seconds.

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