What are Drill Bits and Why are there So Many Options?

If you have a cordless power drill, please understand that the drill is just the motor that spins a head in which you insert a drill bit. It doesn’t make sense for drills to have a built-in drill bit. Why? 

Drill bits get worms down. As you can well imagine, when you are drilling something at a high rate of speed, that piece of metal is going around in circles thousands of times. When you put the tip of that spinning piece against a hard surface like wood, steel, or concrete, there’s a tremendous amount of friction. 

the types of drill bits
There’s a Drill Bit for Everything

This wear and tear quickly wear down the tip of the item that you are using to drill a hole. This is why it doesn’t make sense for drills to have a permanent bit. To make matters worse, sometimes, if you’re holding the drill the wrong way, your drill might output too much spinning power or torque, and there’s not enough stability at the tip of the bit, and the bit just flies off. 

It breaks because there’s so much pressure. After all, you’re holding it wrong, and the resistance from the surface that you’re pressing it against is just too strong, so it pops off. This is also part of the reason why it doesn’t make any sense for the typical drill to have a permanent bit. 

Drill Bits are Replaceable and Interchangeable 

what does a drill bit doThe great thing about drill bits is that they are meant to be replaced. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, wow, this is an excellent way for equipment manufacturers to make a lot of money. 

You would be correct. But these manufacturers make money for an excellent reason. 

As mentioned above, you can’t use a fixed drill bit that ships with your drill because, eventually, it’s going to wear out. You’re going to have to replace it, and it’s good news that drills only need to be adjusted to take out one bit to make way for another. This gives you all the flexibility and versatility you need to handle any kind of drilling work. 

If you are drilling into a piece of wood, you only need to use reasonably sturdy drill bits, and they would be able to handle the job. A lot of times, they have a serration or sharp designs on the edges to help you work the wood. 

On the other hand, if you’re going to be drilling into metal, there are specialized steel drill bits that would make quick work of even the sturdiest stainless steel. 

Finally, if you are drilling into concrete, there are specialized drill bits for that. Now, if you were to buy a drill that has a fixed bit, it won’t be able to accommodate all those different surfaces in the best way possible. 

Sure, it’s going to be able to create a hole, but you’re going to have to pay a very high price for that hole because that drill bit withstood more punishment than it needed to. 

The great thing about getting the best drill bits for wood and metal surfaces and jobs is that you can bet that they are specially designed for certain types of surfaces. They don’t break down quickly, they don’t heat up too much, and they’re able to do the job just right. 

Some drill bits are also tempered. Meaning, they go through a unique chemical process where extra carbon is put on the tip so that this extra hard tip could handle a lot more punishment than usual. 

Drill Bits give you Maximum Flexibility 

Whenever you buy a new drill, it’s always a good idea to buy different types of drill bits in various sizes. 

This way, regardless of the job that you’re up against. Maybe you’re going to be drilling into a pipe one day and then drilling into a concrete wall and then clay the next day. Regardless of the surface that you’re going to have to work with, you’re going to have the drill bit that will be able to do the job. 

These drill bits differ from day-to-day. This is the beauty of the standard drill design because you mix and match among different options to maximize the results that you get.

A little bit of specialization can go a long way if you are drilling from one type of surface to another. They have different materials, they have different levels of resistance, they often create different heat levels, and they also have different wear and tear profiles. All these differences add up to a lot. 

So, do yourself a big favor. Make sure that you buy a nice varied set of drill bits that would be able to handle the job. This means that you’re going to have to look through the different steel alloys and metal configurations. Also, pay close attention to the coating. High volume or high-pressure jobs may require a coating that will ensure that the drill bit will be up to the job. 

Remember, we’re talking about a lot of pressure here. We’re talking about a lot of heat. If your drill bit doesn’t have the right coating like let’s say titanium, it might not be able to handle that type of punishment. It might start to break down. 

Stress fractures might even start to appear. What makes this tricky is that a lot of times, those stress fractures are not visible to the naked eye. So you may be drilling away thinking that your drill bits and your equipment are in tip-top shape. 

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So do yourself a big favor. Invest in a wide range of drill bits so you can be ready for any kind of job regardless of where and when it materializes (learn more information on bits with this resource). The great thing about the typical drill unit is that it has a longer battery life now. 

Don’t be surprised if you’re in the middle of nowhere drilling away, and all of a sudden, you hit a surface that you were unprepared for. In that situation, you don’t need to sweat because you just need to switch into your toolbox, take out a specialized drill bit, put it on your drill, and get back to business. 

If you prepare well enough, you would be able to make quick work of whatever surprises you run into out there.