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20 Different Types of Drill Bits & Their Uses – Which is Right for You?


different-types-of-drill-bitsDrills are handy tools that benefit everyone from a DIYer to professional craftspeople. However, to ensure that you do not destroy the material you are attempting to drill into, it is imperative that you use the correct drill bit.

The following is a comprehensive list of the most common drill bits and their uses. Read on to find the most appropriate drill bit for your project.

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Materials & Coatings of Drill Bits

There are numerous types of drill bits. To help you understand them better, we shall first discuss the construction of different bits:


Drill bits are made from different materials to suit their purpose. Using the right bit material enhances your efficiency. It also prevents you from losing money, purchasing a drill bit that cannot handle your project.

While almost all bits are made from metal due to its toughness, the difference comes in the metal composition. The following are some common materials used in drill bits.

High-Speed Steel

High-speed steel (HSS) is one of the most commonly utilized materials in the manufacture of drill bits. It is suitable for drilling wood, plastic, and soft metals. High-speed steel bits are made from carbon steel with chromium and vanadium additives.

three drill bits
Image: Pixabay


Thanks to cobalt’s immense structural strength, cobalt drill bits are especially adept at drilling through stainless steel and other tough materials. Cobalt alloys have an exceptional ability to withstand heat and resistance. Sometimes, these drill bits consist of an alloy of cobalt and HSS. Such an alloy guarantees you a bit that can go through just about any surface.


Carbides are one of the strongest substances on the planet. In fact, some carbides rival diamond for the hardest material known to man. They are formed when carbon is combined with a metal. Nonetheless, carbide is extremely expensive. As a result, it would not be feasible to make an entire bit out of the substance.

This is why manufacturers prefer making only the tips out of carbide. Carbide-tipped bits are typically used for masonry, tile, and concrete drilling.

Solid Carbide

When handling projects involving extremely tough materials, it would be a good idea to consider solid carbide bits. Unlike carbide-tipped bits, solid carbide bits consist entirely out of carbide.


You can also classify drill bits according to the coating they have. They include:

  • Black Oxide: helps the bit to retain lubricants to prevent the onset of rust.
  • TiN Coated: TiN refers to titanium nitrate, which slows the progression of wear on bits that drill hard metals
  • TiAIN Coated: titanium aluminum nitrate coating increases a bit’s resistance to abrasion and heat
  • SG Coated: a silicone multilayer that helps a drill bit to penetrate dense metals.

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20 Different Types of Drill Bits & Their Uses

1. Twist Bits

DEWALT DWA1184 14Piece Set Black Oxide Coated HSS Twist Drill Bit Set

Also known as high-speed bits, they resemble corkscrews and are some of the most popular bits. They are typically used to drill small holes into wood and walls. Their unique design allows them to channel dust from the hole as they work.

2. Brad Point Bits

DEWALT Drill Bit Set, Brad Point

Brad point bits come in handy when you need to make clean and precise holes. They come with rubber stoppers to allow you to set a particular depth. Their precision makes them a popular bit among woodworkers.

3. Masonry Bits

Owl Tools 10 Piece Masonry Drill Bits Set

These are what you use when looking to create holes in bricks, stones, or concrete. Due to the tough nature of those materials, masonry bits wear out quickly, meaning that you will need to replace them frequently.

4. Rivet Bits

Ajax Tools 3:16 Brazier Rivet Set

Rivet bits feature a special design that allows them to drill rivets into thin sheets of metal.

5. Spade Bits

IRWIN Tools 45002 Lockhead Adjustable 7:8-Inch to 3-Inch Adjustable Spade Drill Bit for a Drill Press

Spade bits have a spade-shaped tip that allows them to bore into softwoods. They are typically used to create holes for running cables.

See: How to Drill a Hole in Ceramic

6. Installer Bits

Eagle Tool ESP75036 Installer Drill Bit

Professionals use installer bits to bore holes for installing wiring for entertainment or security systems. The tip of the bit has a tiny hole where you insert the wire you are looking to pass through the material. Installer bits are incredibly long, reaching lengths of up to 18 inches to facilitate their work.

7. Step Bits

CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit Set with Aluminum Case

Named after their tip that resembles a series of pyramid-shaped steps, these bits are what professionals use to drill into sheet metal. Their stepped design allows you to create holes with varying diameters. Step bits are renowned for their versatility.

8. Auger Bits

WoodOwl 6 Piece Set Auger Bit

These are the bits to use when looking to drill into thick and dry wood. Thanks to their innovative design, you do not have to apply a lot of pressure when drilling into tough materials. Auger bits have a screw tip that creates the initial hole for the rest of the bit to fall. As a result, holes by auger bits are incredibly clean and precise.

9. Self-Feed Bits

IRWIN Drill Bit Self Feed

Like auger bits, self-feed bits also feature a screw tip for positioning the bit. They create clean, precise holes, as well. However, since they do not channel the dust away from the hole as they work, you must halt the operation periodically to clear the dust away.

10. Forstner Bits

IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set

These are what you use when looking to bore smooth and clean holes into woods. This bit also comes with a pointed tip to allow for easy positioning of the bit.

11. Hole Saw

LENOX Tools Hole Saw Bit with Arbor

Hole saws are bits that allow you to drill large holes such as those for door hardware installation.

12. Countersink Bits

Snappy Tools Quick-Change 5-Pc. Countersink Drill Bit Set

These are versatile bits that allow you to drill holes such as counterbore, countersink, and pilot holes into wood.

13. Plug Cutter

Rocaris 8pcs Wood Plug Cutter Drill Bit Set

Plug cutters are helpful in professional projects, as they drill holes into wood while cutting the wood plugs you require to hide recessed fasteners.

14. Tile Bits

Bosch GT400 5:16inch Carbide Tipped Glass, Ceramic and Tile Drill Bit

These bits come with carbide tips to allow you to bore holes into tiles without creating chips or cracks in the tile. Different tile bits are designed for different types of tiles. Therefore, ensure that you check its package to confirm that it can drill into your tiles.

15. Adjustable Wood Bit

IRWIN Tools 45002 Lockhead Adjustable 7:8-Inch to 3-Inch Adjustable Spade Drill Bit for a Drill Press

As their name implies, these bits can be adjusted to create holes of varying sizes, thus eliminating the need for purchasing bits of different sizes.

16. Annular Cutter

Jestuous Annular Cutter

These bits have a special design that allows them to drill a hole into a material with the purpose of extracting its core.

17. Bits for Metal

DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set

Metal bits are built for heavy-duty work, such as cutting steel. They are one of the costlier bits out there.

18. Glass and Tile Bit

These are a special type of bit that can drill through plastic, tiles, glass, marble, and brick. They can also withstand high temperatures.

19. Hammer Bit

Makita 5 Piece - SDS-Plus Drill Bit Set For SDS+ Rotary Hammers

You use a hammer bit to create precise holes into concrete slabs when looking to determine the amount of humidity in a concrete slab.

20. Bullet Point Bits

These are a special kind of bit that can drill through wood, plastic, and metal. They create remarkably clean holes.

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Drill bits come in all shapes and sizes. The ideal drill bit is the one that suits your needs best. Consider buying a drill bit kit, as it comes with different types of drill bits to ensure that what you need will always be close by.

Featured Image: Pixabay

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