Power Tool Buying Guide for Drill Bits

Having the right drill bit will make all the world of difference. Trying to drill a hole with the wrong bit will be enough to make any sane person go insane.  Also, make sure your bit is sharp.  Most drill bits will do the work themselves with only a little bit of pressure from the user.  If you find yourself having to use a lot of force to drill, then it is probably time to throw that bit away and get another as the bit is dull.  Not only can dull drill ruin your work, but they put extra strain on your drill.

Drill Bit Materials

  • Steel Bits – Inexpensive and good for softwoods.  Will dull quickly with hardwood and even break.
  • High-Speed Steel Bits – Harder than steel blades and will stay sharper slightly longer.
  • Titanium Coated Bits – Cost more than High-Speed Steel, but this is a tougher material and will stay sharper longer.
  • Carbide Tipped – More expensive than the previous bits but will stay sharper longer than any of them.
  • Cobalt Bits – Extremely hard and great for applications with heat build up because it dissipates the heat.  Good for Stainless Steel and other metals.

Drilling Tips

  • Use a twist bit for general drilling. A high-speed bit is the best.
  • When drilling concrete, brick, slate or plaster use masonry bits at low speeds.
  • When drilling tile or glass use the spear point at low speeds.
  • A hole saw is great to make large holes, but make sure the drill can handle the extra force or your burn the motor out very quickly.  Always use your side handle.
  • For metal, a step bit is best used at slow speeds.

The drill bit is what makes the cut or bore into your work.  I would suggest spending a little more money and getting a better drill bit.  It will last longer and cause less frustration in the long run.

Drill Bit Styles


Twist Bit
The most common to find and is used for general drilling into wood, light metal, and plastic.


Brad Point Bit
Great for drilling into wood. There is a point on the end to make sure the bit stays in place when you drill. They have extra wide flutes to help with wood removal.


Spade Bit
Great for drilling bigger holes from 1/4″ to 1 1/12″. If you need to drill bigger holes use the hole saw.


Adjustable Wood Bit
Not as popular, but drills large holes to adjustable widths from 3/4″ to 3″


Auger Bit
Wood boring bit. Large wide flutes to help with wood removal.


Hole Saw
Large wood boring and light metal ranging from 1/2″ to 6″



Forstner Bit
Boring flat bottom holes into wood. Great for drilling a flat hole and not going through the whole wood.



Drill Saw Bit
Cuts irregular contours and holes in wood or metal.



CounterBore, Countersink
The bit can be changed and is great for making the top of the hole a little wider so when you put the screw in, it is flush with the top of the board.


Installer Bit
Has a hole in the head and is used for pulling wire through the hole. Used for installing phone wire, TV cable, security wire and cat 5.


Left Hand Bit
For extraction stripped or broken right handed screws or bolts.


Step Bit
Drilling in steel, copper, brass, plastic, aluminum and wood.




Glass/Tile Bit
Used for drilling into glass or tile



Masonry BitMasonry Bit
Used to drill into concrete or masonry. This is used with a hammer drill or rotary drill



Scaling Chisel
Used to chip away at masonry and is primarily used in a rotary drill.