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Drill Bits - Everything You Need To Know

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 29th Jul 2021

Are you looking for the right drill bit for your project? In this toolstop blog, we discuss the types of drill bit, their features & when you should use them.

Drill Bits - Everything You Need To Know

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What Drill Bit To Use

Are you looking for the right drill bit for your project? Knowing what drill bit to use and when to use it means you’re more likely to get the job done right first time. However, with so many types and styles of drill bits available, this can be confusing.

In this toolstop blog, we discuss the main types of drill bits, their features and when you should use them.


What Size Of Drill Bit To Use

A drill bit is designed to make a hole in a material. They come in many shapes and sizes to suit different applications, and some are more suited to cutting certain materials than others. It is important to choose a drill bit based on the material you're cutting and the size and depth of hole and the finish you wish to achieve. Some drill bits will create precise, accurate holes whilst others are designed for creating rough ones.

Whilst there are many types of drill bits, each typically comes with 3 common measurements that you should consider; the diameter, working length and total length.

  • Diameter is the size of the tip, or how big a hole it will drill
  • Working length is the depth of hole it will be able to drill
  • Total length is the total length of the drill bit including the shank

Once you know what size of drill bit you're after, you can choose one specific to the material you're drilling. At Toolstop, we have a huge range of drill bits for wood, metal, tile and masonry.

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What Drill Bit For Wood?

Drilling through wood is probably one of the most common applications you will come across. There are a few different types of drill bits for wood as explained below, each of which is designed for a different purpose.

Auger bits: Simply used to drill larger holes in wood in general timber applications. They have a spiral drill bit head which is designed to pull the bit into the wood when drilling so that you don't have to apply excessive pressure and have a sharp point on their tip which aids in precision drilling. They should be used at a slower pace than standard drill bits. They will drill deep, neat and smooth holes that are uniform all the way through. Their wide flute design prevents them from becoming clogged as easily as other drill bits. Shop all auger drill bits at Toolstop.

Flat Wood/Spade Bits: Flat wood drill bits, often referred to as spade bits, are perfect for making large, rough holes in wood. They are available in large diameters, ideal for creating holes for cables, wires etc. but will leave a rougher finish than alternative methods and can cause splintering around the entry and exit of a hole if driven straight through a piece of timber. Toolstop stocks a huge range of flat wood drill bits.

Twist drill bits for wood: These are standard drill bits for wood designed to make simple holes. They provide a clean, neat finish and are available in the widest selection of sizes. They are often made from High Speed Steel (HSS) for long life and durability. Twist drill bits are also available for metal, plastic and more. Shop drill bits for wood at Toolstop.

types of drill bit for wood

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What Drill Bit For Metal?

Standard HSS drill bits are the best choice for metal drilling applications.

What are HSS Drill Bits?

HSS stands for High Speed Steel. These drill bits are great for harder woods and metal. They are long-lasting and durable and are resistant to heat meaning they can be used at faster speeds compared to other drill bits. Use them for drilling into materials quickly and effectively.

Shop drill bits for metal at Toolstop.

drill bit for metal

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What Drill Bit For Masonry?

To drill through tough materials like masonry, it is inevitable that you will need a harder wearing drill bit. Masonry drill bits are the ideal choice for brick, limestone and concrete drilling. They are robust and durable, usually made from tungsten carbide for long life. We recommend drilling masonry at a slower speed to prevent the bit from overheating. Like other drill bits, masonry drill bits are available in a variety of sizes and styles.

Multi purpose drill bits can also drill through masonry, though for frequent use, we recommend getting one specific to this application. It's also worth noting that to drill through masonry, you will need a drill with hammer action. You can refer to our guide on how to drill brick for more info.

At Toolstop, we have SDS Plus drill bits for masonry, SDS Max drill bits for masonry and standard masonry drill bits for you to choose from depending on the type of drill you will be using.


What Drill Bit For Tile?

Tile drill bits are specific because they will easily drill into tiles while reducing the chances of chips and cracks. Regular drill bits and even masonry ones wont suffice as they're simply not strong enough to penetrate tiles. Most tile drill bits are either carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped. These materials are extremely hard-wearing and robust for use on tile surfaces.

When drilling tile, you should always opt for a new(ish) drill bit as these are much more efficient and are less likely to damage the surface of the tile. As already explained, tiles are hardwearing, so drilling through them can be tough. We recommend using a piece of masking tape to mark out where you want to drill to prevent the bit from wandering and starting on a low speed until you have bored through the top layer of glaze.

Shop all tile drill bits at Toolstop.

how to drill tile

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Other Types Of Drill Bit

You can also find multi-purpose drill bits, and these do exactly what they say on the tin. Multi-purpose drill bits are one of our favourite. They are suitable for every day use, able to drill through a variety of different materials which means you dont have to purchase a number of drill bits for different jobs. Multi-purpose drill bits can drill through wood, metal, plastic and masonry with ease.

Shop multi purpose drill bits at Toolstop.

Countersink drill bits: Countersink drill bits are used to create countersunk holes that flat-headed screws will sit flush against. The countersink bit drills a hole in which when a screw is inserted, the screw head is positioned in line with or just below the surface of the material being worked on. Countersunk holes are great for use in woodworking applications (see image). Shop countersink drill bits at Toolstop.

Diamond core drill bits: Diamond core drill bits are similar to hole saws, only they are manufactured with diamonds to provide excellent cutting efficiency and lifetime. They are used to drill large holes in tough materials and can do so with ease thanks to their quality construction. Shop Toolstop's range of diamond core drill bits.

countersunk drill

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You will often find that drill bits come sold in a set. Drill bit sets are ideal because they provide you with a wide range of sizes of bits for carrying out a variety of jobs. On the Toolstop site, we have handy filtering options so you can filter your drill bit search to the exact diameter or length you're after.

You should now be able to choose the exact type of drill bit needed for your project!


Shop Drill Bits at Toolstop:

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