What’s The Difference Between Drill Bits?

There are many tools in modern woodworking that you can use to drill holes: electric drills (cordless or cordless), drills, drills, hand mixers, straps, and more.

Drills are the electrical method of choice when precision is important. Cordless drills are practical and fast. Corded drills are fast, never need to be charged, and are generally lighter than their battery-powered siblings. Egg beating drills are great when you only need a few holes.

The brackets are great for making large diameter holes easily and drilling holes at odd angles (like in chair making) without too much mess.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about What Drill Bits Should You Use for Your Project

Source: Rusty DIY

Auger bits

Augers are used on a belt and come in two common patterns: Irwin (above) and Jennings. Both have automatic lead screws to help locate the cut and make a lead hole; The lead screws on both come in three iterations: thin (hardwoods), medium (hardwoods and softwoods), and thick (softwoods).

Both patterns have two sharp edges to mark the circumference and two sharp edges to make the hole. Unlike the Jennings, Irwin has a solid centerline; for every three spirals in the Jennings cut, there are two spirals for Irwin.

The latter is less likely to clog when drilling deep holes, but due to its larger spiral spacing, the starter bit is more likely to mill a hole while cutting. Like all drills, drills must be kept sharp and rust-free to work well. They are generally available in 1⁄4 "-1" diameter.

Twist bits

These drills are designed for cutting metal, but they are also used with success in wood. Placing a twist drill in a precise location can be tricky and can follow the grain in the cut. To combat this, use an awl or other sharp tool to poke a hole exactly where you want it. Rotating drills can cause splinters, especially at the back of the job site.

  • Common sizes: 1⁄32 "- 5⁄8"

Brad's Tip bits

These are the best choice for most small diameter holes in wood. The nail tip allows you to precisely locate the drill and prevents it from drifting. Pointed spurs cut a cleaner hole and reduce splintering at the entrance and rear. (Also, bits up to about 1⁄4 can be used with mixer bits.)

  • Common sizes: 1⁄16 "- 5⁄8"

Spade bits

These drills are best for removing debris quickly when a clean hole is not a problem; they often cause severe chipping, especially on the back of a workpiece (and a few chips on the front), although scribbling the cut backwards first alleviates this to some extent. Inexpensive spade bits can be easily ground to custom sizes.

  • Common sizes: 1⁄4 "- 11⁄2"

Forstner bits

These drills cut clean, accurate flat bottom holes to larger diameters. The lip edges cut through the material to clearly define the edge of a hole, and the center point makes it easy to locate the center of the hole. Due to the force required to make the cut, Forstner bits are best used in a drill bit or clamp.

  • Common sizes: 5⁄16 "- 2"

Level and Plumb Line

A drill is great for drilling precise holes at a predetermined angle, but you can too; It just takes a little practice. I guess most beginner woodworkers use a power drill, so let's consider the proper footprint.

Like a hacksaw or hand plane, a drill is best used with a three-finger grip. Use your middle finger to pull the trigger; Your index finger should point along the side of the tool, in the direction you are drilling. The index finger helps guide the body to go in the same direction. I know it sounds a little crazy, but give it a try; You will find that it works for almost any tool you have in one hand.

It is also important to realize that for many holes there is a critical and non-critical axis and align your tool and body on the critical axis.

Let's use accessory residue cleaning as an example. Looking from the end of the workpiece, the important thing is that you don't let the bit sit side by side; front to back is fine (except the edges). Therefore, side by side is the "critical axis".

Point the tip against a test square centered on the end of the abutment (or draw a centerline past the end of the abutment to guide it) and align your body in front of that guide. The test square or line, along with your body position, will help keep the tool on the critical axis.

Cut a clean hole

If you need to drill a hole in a display surface and are concerned about chipping, back up the cut with a piece to spare (you can also apply a piece of masking tape to the hole location before unfolding the drill, which is moderately effective). Better yet, trace the cut first by slowly moving the bit in the reverse direction by hand or, if using the drill press, lower the bit into the wood and rotate the workpiece.

Pilot hole vs. through hole

You have no doubt seen the instruction to "drill a pilot hole". This is simply a small hole centered in the cut to help show the way for what's next: a larger diameter hole, nail, or screw. A pilot hole is tight enough for the next drill (or hardware) to cut through the walls of the hole.

However, a through-hole opens a wide path for what follows, like a screw or bolt through the top of two boards coming together.


Despite the title, this is obviously not the whole story in pieces and it is tedious, but hopefully, it will be enough to get you started on the road to drilling success.

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