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1 Jul 2017

Some Quick Tips On Selecting The Right Drill Bit


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Posted By Leland D.

When it is time to bore a hole, a drill bit attached to the end of a power drill is often the most efficient method. Bits need to be selected to match both the job and the material. While there are special types that do not fall into traditional measuring standards, most are made in either standard or metric sizes. Most bits are used to make round holes, but some of the special ones create various shapes.

Most homeowners have several of the most popular type, which is the spiral or twist bit. There are many different properties these bits can possess, and depending on the one chosen, they can be used on plastic, metal, or wood. They can be made in many different sizes, although the smallest standard size is around 0.0020 inches and the largest is about 4 inches. Those produced for general consumer use can reach almost 40 inches long.

Center bits often are used for metals to make a starter hole that will be drilled with a larger bit. However, the true purpose of center bits is to make an indentation for a lathe. Spotting bits are actually the preferred choice for starter holes.

When the job calls for enlarging a hole that already exists, core or reamer bits can be used. The choice is determined by how much the hole needs to be enlarged. Reamers should be used when only a small increase is needed, while cores should be used when much more material must be removed.

A dowel, brad point, and lip and spur bit are terms used to describe the same bit. They are commonly used with plastic and wood. Though related to a twist bit, they provide a cleaner hole. Twist styles may catch on fibers and pull them, creating a hole that is not as neatly done.

A spade or paddle bit is used for wood, and may cause the wood to splinter on its backside. They most often are made for use with hand drills. Many woodworkers feel that they leave a cleaner hole than a twist bit.

One type that is very popular with construction workers is the speed or step bit, also called a Unibit. These can drill holes in numerous sizes, eliminating the need to switch bits for each new task. They work with plywood, particle board, sheet rock, and many more materials.

Masonry bits are designed for use with an electric or battery powered hammer drill. Hammering of the masonry at the end of the bit helps increase penetration. They are marketed in a wide array of sizes as well as lengths.

A bell hanger bit is often used with a portable electric drill for plumbing or electrical jobs. They are sometimes referred to as installer bits. They have a hole in their tips, and once the hole has been drilled, they can be used to snag wiring in the wall to pull it through the hole.

Choosing the correct size and type of bit for the task that needs to be done can make the job easier and produce better results. Some jobs may require that you put away your power drill and resort to old fashioned methods. Luckily, however, these tasks are few and far between.


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