You could use drills for your entire life and never hear about jobber drill bits. If you’re the type who simply grabs a set of bits off the shelf at your local home improvement store, then you might not know the difference.
So, what exactly is a jobber drill bit and what does it do?
In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at jobber drill bits and explain what they are, when to use them, and even talk about the alternatives. By the end, you’ll know all you need about jobber drill bits and will be able to determine if they’re a tool you require or not.
Jobber Refers to Length
The real question is, what does “jobber” refer to when talking about jobber drill bits? It’s actually referencing the length of the drill bit.
Long ago, tool manufacturers weren’t producing loads of different lengths and styles of drill bits like they are today. Instead, drill bits were quite generic; intended to fill many purposes. Since these were moderate length bits, they were usable for a wide range of different jobs, they were nicknamed “jobber-length” bits. Soon after, jobber-length became sort of a catchall term, with a similar meaning as multi-purpose.
To be specific, jobber length bits are 8-14 times longer than they are wide. They’re measured using several different systems, but all will be a similar ratio of length to diameter.
Furthermore, jobber bits have much longer flutes than other types of bits. The flutes on a jobber bit run all the way to the shaft, allowing you to use the bit’s full length for drilling.
What’s the Alternative?
There are many different types of drill bits on the market other than jobber bits. You’ve got specialty bits like masonry bits and paddle-bore bits. But the main type of drill bit you’re as likely to use as a jobber bit is a mechanic’s drill bit.
Like jobber bits, mechanic’s bits are meant to fill a wide range of different jobs and can be used to drill through many materials. But mechanic’s bits are shorter in overall length. Moreover, their flutes are shorter, covering less of the bit’s length.
Mechanic’s Bits vs Jobber Drill Bits
We’ve already noted the main differences between mechanic’s bits and jobber bits, but how do these differences play out in real life?
Since mechanic’s bits are shorter, they tend to be much harder to snap. Naturally, this means that jobber bits are easier to break when applying pressure.
But the additional length of a jobber bit means that it can drill much deeper than a mechanic’s bit. With shorter flutes, a mechanic’s bit can’t even use its full length for drilling, unlike a jobber bit.
The Price of Jobber Drill Bits
Because jobber bits are elongated, they require more material to make. As such, they do tend to be a bit costlier than shorter bits such as mechanic’s bits. But the price difference isn’t massive by any means. Jobber bits are still priced affordably, making them a great choice in many instances.
When to Use a Jobber Drill Bit
Now you know what jobber drill bits are, the question is; should you use one? For ordinary, everyday drilling, they’re a perfectly viable option. They’ll work as generic drill bits, allowing you to make holes in a variety of materials.
But keep in mind, these bits are far more likely to bend and break than mechanic’s bits since they’re so much longer. You might find that you go through bits much faster when using the longer jobber bits.
On the other hand, if you know you need to drill deep holes, not just an inch or two, then you might want to go with jobber drill bits. They allow you to drill much deeper than other options, making them the ideal tool for anyone who needs to drill deep holes more often than shallow ones.
The name “jobber bit” doesn’t give much away. But in truth, these are multi-use bits that are perfect in a variety of situations. Their extended length allows for drilling deeper holes than other bits. But they’re also more likely to snap or bend. If you drill deep holes often, then they’re a great choice, though you might benefit more from shorter bits if you don’t drill deep holes on a regular basis.
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Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.