Drill bits are one of the most integral parts of any handyman’s toolkit, self-proclaimed or otherwise. And yet, while these budding craftsmen are more than willing to fork out the big bucks for an all-encompassing drill bit set, far too many do not take the time to properly research and understand exactly what these bits are intended for. Although most DIY jobs can be achieved with a relatively basic set of bits, knowing the difference between a bit suitable for the task at hand and one intended for other purposes will save you time, hassle and money. Correctly used bits will last longer, be easier to master, and could mean the difference between a flawless finish and a scratched surface.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Drill bits are specifically created to perform a certain task on a certain material. Think of them as utensils. Can you eat ice-cream with a fork? You can, but when you have a full set of utensils at your disposal, wouldn’t it be an awful lot simpler to use a spoon?

Universal twist bits are the most commonly used type of bit by DIY enthusiasts across the world. If you have a standard set of drill bits in your garage or toolbox, they are more than likely going to be twist bits. These bits are designed to be gentle enough so as not to damage the material as they bore, but strong enough to carve through the material without excessive force being applied. So called due to their spiralled design, which allows the excess material to be smoothly removed from the newly drilled hole, twist bits can generally be used on most surfaces, such as wood, soft metal and plastic. These drill bit sets are usually made of high speed steel (HSS), and are frequently either coated in titanium nitride or diamond tipped for greater strength and longevity.

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Wood bit sets are a more specialised type of twist bits. Their sharp points effectively dig into the timber to provide a straight cut and prevent the bit straying from its intended course. Usually made from high carbon steel, these bits will not quickly lose their edge if used on materials other than wood.

Masonry drill bit sets are the real stone cutters. Most effective when used with a hammer drill, masonry bits work via dual action, both hammering and twist drilling the bit into the material. When drilling concrete, brick or stone a good set of masonry bits is vital, as other types of bit will simply not be robust enough for the task. A tungsten carbide composite or tip provides the necessary hardness required for such tasks.  You need best miter saw stands for work

If you know the difference between these three types of drill bits, you won’t go far wrong. Have a look in your toolbox. Can you tell what kind of drill bits you have in your collection? If not, perhaps it’s time to get reacquainted. Stop cutting your steak with a butter knife folks. Sort out your bits today.