How to buy the best drill bits

You've got your drill, but it's not going to really do you much good without drill bits. Instead of feeling overwhelmed in the drill bit section of your hardware store, do a little research ahead of time. You'll be a lot better off in the long run. Check out these tips about what to look for when you're shopping for drill bits.

Check out the material

Not all drill bits are made of equal material. That means, you can find drill bits made from every metal from steel (cheap and good for softwoods) to titanium-coated bits (tougher and sharper) to cobalt (used for drilling into stainless steel and other metals, and will be the most expensive bits).

A high speed steel drill bit is good for common uses, but if you're faced with a hard wood, consider a titanium drill bit instead. It'll dissipate the heat better.

Keep your drill in mind

You can't just fit any drill bit into whichever drill. Make sure you take a copy of your manufacturer's recommendations with you to the store. Nothing is more annoying than getting a bit that doesn't fit and you've got to take another trip to the store to return it.

Uses of your drill bits

There are specific drill bits for specific projects. Here are some you should consider getting:

  • The Twist bit is a general purpose bit, used for drilling into wood, plastic or light metal.
  • The Brad Point bit is good for boring into wood and makes more accurate cuts and allows for easy positioning.
  • The Adjustable Wood bit lets you drill holes of varying diameters, anywhere from ¾” to 3”.
  • The Installer bit helps you install wires in your home.
  • The Glass/Tile bit would come in handy if you plan to bore in glass or tile.

You can even buy a drill bit set if you know you're going to use a variety of drill bits.

How big is your hole going to be?

If you get a drill bit and it's not the right size for your project, you could be worse off. You don't want to get a drill bit that will make too large of a hole or split the wood. To know what size drill bit to get, you'll need to look to the screw. You'll want a drill bit that's a little smaller than the screw shaft.

Safety first

Always wear safety goggles when you're working with a drill. You never know when something could come flying into your eye. Also, never lean in on your drill to force it into the object you're drilling. You'll ruin your drill bit and your drill in doing so.


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