Buyer's Guides Drill Bits

Best Drill Bits for Masonry, Woodworking, and Home Improvement: 2020 Buyer’s Guide with Pro-Quality Products

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The drill is considered one of the most handy and useful power tools to have. The biggest reason this power tool is considered so versatile is the fact that there are many different types of drill bits to choose from, based on the project and application. Most manufacturers that produce these tools will also produce an extensive line of drill bits. But not all drill bits are created equal. In order to get the job done right, you need to use the best drill bits based on material type, application, and even your skill level.

If you’re having a hard time finding the right drill bits for your home project, then my buyer’s guide and my top product reviews will guide you along the path to choosing the right model, based on durability, style, and overall quality. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the products that have made it onto my top six list, their stand out features, and how they rated.

Drill Bits Comparison Chart

Product Set Size Type Material Type Rating
EnerTwist Titanium
Drill Bit Kit Set


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230 PiecesCoated HSS Metal and Wood
DEWALT Titanium Drill
Bit Set


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21 PiecesPilot Point Wood and Plastic
DEWALT Black Oxide
Drill Bit Set


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20 Pieces Black Oxide Wood,plastic, and metal
Makita B-65399
Impact Gold


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14 Pieces Impact Gold Hard and Soft Metals, Wood,
and Plastic
COMOWARE Cobalt
Drill Bit Set


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15 Pieces HSS Hard and Soft Metals, Wood,
and Plastic
DEWALT Drill Bit Set


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29 Pieces Pilot Point Hard Metals

EnerTwist Titanium Drill Bit Kit Set


Our Rating: (5/5)

This is a full-sized set that comes with bits that range from 3/64-inch to half an inch. The bits are stored in a durable plastic case. The bits themselves have a titanium coating that’s designed to minimize heat buildup so you’ll get more use out of them compared to standard HSS bits with no coating. Very versatile, these multipurpose bits are perfect for drilling into plastic, fiberglass, wood, and metal. However, they should never be used for masonry work or on concrete.

Pros

  • 230 pieces
  • Titanium coating
  • Carrying case included
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Not designed for masonry work
  • Cannot be used on concrete

Conclusion

This set is perfect for woodworking, home repairs, and on the job tasks. The bits are versatile, tough, and equipped with a titanium coating that ensures these bits last up to six times longer than a conventional bit.

DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These pilot point bits come equipped with a titanium coating that improves durability. These uniquely designed bits feature a tapered web that will reduce breakage, even when working with tougher materials. This set includes sizes ranging from 1/16 of an inch to half an inch. Each bit in this twenty-one piece set can be neatly stored in the included plastic carrying case.

Pros

  • Twenty-one pieces
  • Titanium coating
  • Carrying case included
  • Low price

Cons

  • Cannot be used on metal

Conclusion

These titanium coated bits can handle hard and soft woods and soft metals. They should not be used on harder metals such as stainless steel since this can cause the tip of the bit to break or the drill to overheat. The bits are best suited for drilling in plastic and wood and will be a great addition to any home workshop.

DEWALT Black Oxide Drill Bit Set


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This set includes twenty drill bits with sizes that range from 1/16 of an inch up to half an inch. The black oxide finish is designed for greater longevity and wear protection. These bits have a one hundred and thirty-five-degree split point design that helps to reduce slipping during use and allows for easier starting. These bits can handle plastic, wood, and metal.

Pros

  • Designed for metal, wood, and plastic
  • Black oxide finish
  • Durable
  • Flute design for improved strength

Cons

  • Cannot handle glass, tile, or concrete

Conclusion

This drill set is versatile and includes a variety of sizes that you can use for most jobs around the home. The versatility of the bits combined with the black oxide coating will ensure you get the most out of this set, whether you’re working on plastic, wood, or metal.

Makita B-65399 Impact Gold


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These bits have a titanium coating that improves durability and allows the bits to last two and a half times longer than bits without a coating. The one hundred and thirty-five-degree split design prevents slipping and promotes a faster start. These bits will work on plastic, wood, and metal. They will work well on a variety of soft and hard metals, including abrasive materials such as cast iron.

Pros

  • Hard and soft metals
  • Titanium coating for improved durability
  • Split design prevents slipping
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Price
  • Not designed for glass or tile

Conclusion

These impact gold bits are built tough and can handle soft and hard metals, wood, plastic, and more. They’re not recommended for use on concrete, brick, or other types of masonry materials. However, they can get the job done around the home or at work. While the price may be steep for this fourteen piece set, once you test them out, you’ll realize this set is worth every penny.

COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

These HSS bits feature a one hundred and thirty-five split point design that prevents slipping. The gold oxide finish combined with the round straight shanks will clear particles and chips faster, while preventing walking. This ensures a smoother, cleaner drilling process.

Pros

  • Split point design prevents slipping
  • Gold oxide finish
  • Round straight shanks prevent chips
  • Low price

Cons

  • Not designed for masonry
  • Not recommended for tile

Conclusion

Many users will be blown away by the bit’s durability and clean exit and entry holes. These bits can handle a variety of materials including high-temperature alloy, hard plastics, and wood. They can also be used on softer materials, including green wood and aluminum. If you’re looking for pro-quality bits that you can use on the job or in your workshop, these are it.

DEWALT Drill Bit Set


Our Rating: (4/5)

These are pilot point industrial strength cobalt bits that are designed with speed in mind. These bits feature a split-tip design that eliminates walking, providing better than average user control, so this is a great set for beginners. These bits are specifically designed for use on harder metals, so they should not be used on soft materials, wood, or plastic.

Pros

  • Designed for hard metal
  • Bits will not slip or walk during use
  • Improved user control
  • Split tip design

Cons

  • Cannot be used on wood, plastic, tile, or glass

Conclusion

This is a twenty-nine piece set that’s durable, versatile, and specifically designed for hard metals. The bits have a split-tip design that prevents it from slipping or walking, even when you’re drilling into tougher materials. However, if you’re looking for a more versatile set of bits then you’ll be disappointed with this set’s limitations, since you will be unable to use the bits on plastic, wood, or other types of materials, aside from hard metals.

Drill Bits Buyer’s Guide

The different types of materials that drill bits are made out of and the finishes that are applied during the manufacturing process all play an important role in the performance and longevity of the bit. The type and style of bit you choose will ultimately depend on the project and the type of material you want to drill into. If you use the wrong type of bit, it may break, if it’s not tough enough to drill through the intended material, or it may damage the material itself. You’ll also run into performance issues with your drill, since it may start to overheat in an attempt to power the bit through the material. As you can see, there are many things to consider before you purchase new drill bits. Below, I’ll go over the different types of bits available, their pros and cons, and what type will work the best for you based on material and application.

Types of Drill Bits

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As I mentioned above, there are a variety of styles of bits to choose from, each of which will play an important role in your job, depending on the type of material you’re drilling into.

HSS

HSS, or high-speed steel is a type of bit that’s designed to drill into PVC, fiberglass, and wood. It can also handle drilling into certain types of softer metals such as aluminum.

Cobalt

This is a very tough bit that’s specifically designed to dissipate heat instantly. This type of bit is commonly used to drill through tougher materials such as stainless steel, however, it can also be used to drill into softer materials such as aluminum.

HSS with Black Oxide

This style has a finish that’s designed to increase its durability while providing some protection against corrosion. These bits tend to last much longer than many other types of bits and can handle drilling through many different types of materials such as fiberglass, PVC, aluminum, wood, and certain metals.

HSS with Titanium Coating

This bit is designed to produce less friction. It’s considered hardier than the standard HSS bit and is designed to remain sharper for a longer period of time, so you’ll definitely get more use out of it. This type will work well for drilling PCV, soft metals, hard metals, wood, and fiberglass.

Carbide

Drill bits with a carbide tip are another variety that is designed to stay sharper for longer, even when compared to titanium or standard HSS bits. They’re widely used for both masonry and drilling through tile.

Twist

These bits are probably the most common type of bit used since they’re very versatile and very affordable. They can be used on almost any type of material including light metals, plastic, and wood. This bit features edges located on the front, designed to cut material, while its spiral design will get rid of any type of debris that comes out of the material.

This bit is considered very versatile, especially the type that features high-speed steel, which is what allows you to drill into many different types of materials. They can also come with a type of titanium nitride coating which has a similar appearance to gold. This additional coating will increase its durability by adding a protective layer that will prevent the bit from breaking when you’re working on tougher metals. It’s also available in a variety of sizes that range from half a millimeter up to twelve millimeters. These bits will work better for smaller hole sizes. Additionally, if you use it on greenwood it can clog, so constant debris removal with this type of material will be important.

Step

This style of bit is specifically named due to its shape, which is stair-like. It can be used on a wide variety of materials, but it’s best-suited for plastic and aluminum.

Brad Point

These bits are designed for use on softer materials and wood. Its point provides better than average accuracy and allows the user to drill cleaner entry and exit holes.

Auger

The auger bit is perfect for use on soft and hardwoods. It comes equipped with a screw top that allows it to drill cleanly through. The unique design will also allow the user to remove material for a much cleaner cut.

Spade

This bit comes with a very simplistic design and it’s best suited for softer woods. These bits are very affordable and are often used for tough construction jobs, such as drilling holes for joists.

Forstner

This type of bit is perfect for soft wood use. The bit comes equipped with a point in the center and a flat bottom, both of which provide increased accuracy. This type is a great option for the woodworker.

Hole

This is another unique bit and one that features a circular shape. These bits are a great choice for cutting precise, large circles into thinner materials. They can also be used for drywall or light installations.

Countersink

This type can be used in wood only. However, they’ll definitely come in handy since they essentially allow you to countersink fasteners.

Masonry Bits

These bits provide a durable construction and fast hammering action, so they’re often used for materials such as bricks, and concrete and are a staple for most masonry work. This bit is coated with tungsten carbide, which is bonded to a spiral shaft that’s made out of steel. Some manufacturers may also use a type of silicon bronze alloy instead of tungsten for the cutting point. However, this type is not very popular. While you can use this bit for power drills, they can also be used with hand braces. Regardless of how you use the bit, you’ll need to be very careful since increased pressure tends to damage them, which can cause them to shatter if the drill’s action power doesn’t offer enough resistance. When you’re working with tougher materials, make sure you use a slower rotation speed to prevent overheating.

Drill Bit Design Explained

tool set

The angle of the point of the drill bit is designed to determine what type of materials it’s capable of drilling through. A bit that has a flat point is designed to handle tougher materials. A bit with a steep point is perfect for softer materials. These bits are designed to remain on the center much better than a flat pointed bit, which is why they often produce a much cleaner looking exit and entry hole. Bits that have a tip that’s split is designed to improve drilling accuracy. The split design will prevent the bit from wandering off the target. This also results in cleaner exit and entry holes.

Other Important Features

As you can see, there are several types of bits to choose from. Having to stop a project because you didn’t purchase the right type of drill bit can be very frustrating, which is why it’s important that you do your research prior to starting a project, to ensure that you purchase a basic set of bits and any specialty bits needed, based on the application and the type of material you’ll be drilling into.

There are many things to consider before you purchase a single or set of drill bits. You’ll need to choose the type of bit based on what type of material you want to drill through, the size of the bit, and you also have to choose a bit based on the type of drill you have, since not every bit will work for every drill. Let’s take a look at some of the other features you’ll need to learn about before you start shopping around.

Size

The size of a bit will reflect the diameter of the bit’s body. You’ll come across certain projects that will require drill bits of a specific size. However, most sets will include a variety of sizes that are designed to handle most jobs in the garage and around the home. If the set you purchase doesn’t come with the size you need, you can always purchase it separately.

Chuck

The chuck on a drill press or hand power tool will secure the drill bit in the shank. Smaller drills are used for work around the home and often come equipped with a chuck that measures in at 3/8 of an inch. Heavy-duty hand drills will have a chuck that measures in at half an inch. The average drill press will have a chuck that’s significantly larger, starting at half an inch.

Drilling Tips and Tricks

  • For general drilling jobs, you’ll want to use a twist bit, or an HSS bit.
  • When you’re drilling plaster, slate, or brick, you’ll need to use a bit designed specifically for masonry. Adjust the drill to the lowest setting.
  • For glass and tile, use a lower speed and a bit with a spear point.
  • For larger holes, go with a hole bit. However, be sure that the drill you have is able to handle this type of extra force or you may end up burning out the motor.
  • For tougher metals, using a step bit will be your best bet, placed on a lower speed.

A drill bit is what makes the bore or cut into your work. Because of this, I recommend spending more and investing in high-quality bits. These bits will last much longer than low-priced bits so you will save time and money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cobalt or Titanium Drill Bits Better?

The titanium coating on the bit can make a huge difference. As an example, the titanium coating can easily handle tougher materials compared to a standard HSS, but it shouldn’t be used for harder materials such as stainless steel, whereas the cobalt bits are better for the toughest materials such as cast iron or another type of material that’s considered very abrasive.

Can You Sharpen Cobalt Drill Bits?

Yes. These bits have a higher than average resistance to heat, which is why they’re perfect for repeated use. Over time, these bits will need to be sharpened as the edge becomes dull. If you have a grinder, then you can sharpen them yourself.

Is it Worth Sharpening Drill Bits?

You’ll need to use a bench grinder to sharpen bits. There are some types of tools that are specially designed to sharpen bits, but they’re very pricey. If you’ve invested in high-quality bits, then sharpening them will allow you to get more use out of them, however, for low-priced bits, you’re better off tossing them and purchasing new ones.

Final Thoughts

There are many different types of bits to choose from, based on application and material type. The best drill bits will allow you to work on different materials, easily, providing clean entry and exit holes, without causing the drill to overheat. Before you purchase a drill bit set or individual bits, make sure they’re compatible with your drill, application, materials, and skill level. The wrong bit can ruin your drill, the material you’re working with, and can break the bit itself. Using the information in this guide, and the included product recommendations, you should have no trouble finding the perfect set or individual bit that can help you get the job done, easily, and done right, the first time.