Drill Bits Buying Guide

With so many available drill bits at ToolStoreUK, it’s not always straightforward choosing the right drill bit for your drill. Depending on what material you are drilling into, selecting the appropriate wood, metal or masonry drill bit for your task is crucial to a job well done. You can even drill into glass or tiles using diamond or tungsten carbide tips. The material used to make the bit will determine which material the drill can successfully drill into. This guide aims to help you select the right bit and answer some of your most commonly asked questions.


Choosing drill bits for wood

wood-drill-bits

Most wood bits are made of tempered steel. For drilling large diameters over around 13mm, consider a flat wood bit. Twist bits are mainly supplied with diameters ranging up to 17 mm, sometimes even more, and are generally more appropriate for drilling thicker materials. Auger bits have been designed to remove shavings while drilling wide holes.

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Choosing drill bits for metal

metal-drill-bit

Designed to drill effectively through metal materials, our range of metal drill bits range in size from 1 to 16mm. They are available individually or in sets and include cobalt drill bits, HSS step bits and more.

Standard metal drill bits are fine for drilling into softer metals like aluminium and copper. But for harder metals, you’ll need cobalt or titanium carbide drill bits.

If a drill bit is labelled HSS, this stands for high-speed steel and indicates that the drill bit is made of a harder grade metal. As well as being more robust, HSS drill bits are highly resistant and can be sharpened.

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Choosing drill bits for masonry

masonry-drill-bitsIf you’re drilling into light concrete, any masonry drill bit will suffice. There are masonry drills bits made of low carbon steel that are cheaper but less efficient and may not last as long. However, for harder concrete and natural stone you’ll need a bit with a tungsten carbide tips. These tips are stronger and will penetrate hard surfaces more efficiently than a standard bit.

Other types of Masonry bits are SDS Plus and SDS Max.

SDS plus drill bits are used for drilling into hard materials such as brick and concrete with minimal effort. These drill bits are especially useful where multiple use is required, for example 5.5mm when using red plugs and 7mm for brown plugs.

The SDS part refers to the shank type, which has two sets of grooves that snap into the chuck making it more secure and allowing the bit to slide up and down giving you the hammer action that is supplied from the striking piston in SDS plus hammer drills that hits the drill bit directly. The tip is often made from strong tungsten carbide giving them extra strength and resistance to extreme loads. SDS Plus drill bits are available in sizes from 3.5mm up to 30mm

For larger heavier duty jobs and larger diameter drill bit/chiselling requirements of 30mm and up, we suggest the use of SDS Max machines and SDS Max accessories. These bits work in the same way as SDS Plus drill bits, just on a larger scale.


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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Are drill bits universal?

You’ll need to choose drill bits that are compatible with your drill type. Most drills have an adjustable bite (usually three prongs) that grip onto the drill bit. Examine the shank of your drill and ensure the bit you’re choosing will be perfectly grasped by the chuck of your drill. This does not necessarily mean that you have to buy bits from the same brand as your drill – there are many universal drill bits that are compatible with almost all drills so do your research. If you are unsure, we are more than happy to help you find the right bit. Give our friendly team a call on 03330 043777.


Can drill bits be used with an impact driver?

Although an impact driver looks like a drill, it is a very different tool, starting with how you load the bit. A drill has a keyless chuck that you twist to secure a variety of round and hex shank bits into place. An impact driver has a collet that you pull forward to secure 1/4-inch hex shank driver bits. If a regular drill bit is used instead of an impact driver bit, it could easily break as they tend to have much lower ductility.


What drill bits should I use for plasterboard?

You can use just about any drill bit to get through plasterboard. A wood drill bit, a masonry bit or a general purpose drilling bit will go through plasterboard with considerable ease. Some homes may have solid walls with added studs and then plasterboard on to those studs. In these cases, you would have to drill through the plasterboard, then a small gap where the stud is, and then through into the solid brick wall. For that you would need a hammer drill and a masonry bit.


What drill bits should I use for tiles?

Opt for either carbide-tipped or diamond-tipped drill bits. Diamond tipped drill bits can be more expensive but will stand up to the rigours of drilling through even the hardest tile surfaces, like porcelain and natural stone. They will also not burn out as quickly as standard masonry drill bits. Ensure that your drill bit isn’t old or worn, as it will be far less efficient and you’re more likely to damage the surface of the tile while drilling.


More Drilling Accessories

With bits and attachments for all applications, you’ll find everything you need in our wide range of drilling accessories.


Our wide range of versatile wood drill bits come in various sizes to suit a range of different applications.
Wood Drill Bits

Our wide range of versatile wood drill bits come in various sizes to suit a range of different applications.

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Find what you need in our large selection of chisels, points and other chiselling attachments.
Chisels and Points

Find what you need in our large selection of chisels, points and other chiselling attachments.

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Drill perfect holes in wood, plastic or metal with our wide range of holesaws, available in different sizes.
Holesaws

Drill perfect holes in wood, plastic or metal with our wide range of holesaws, available in different sizes.

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From pilot drill bits to shank adaptors, we stock a wide range of holesaw accessories at competitive prices.
Holesaw Accessories

From pilot drill bits to shank adaptors, we stock a wide range of holesaw accessories at competitive prices.

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Our metal drill bits are hard-wearing and heat resistant, designed to drill effortlessly into metal at great speed.
Metal Drill Bits

Our metal drill bits are hard-wearing and heat resistant, designed to drill effortlessly into metal at great speed.

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Drill quickly and easily into tough materials like stone, block or concrete. Available in a selection of shank types to suit all tools.
Masonry Drill Bits

Drill quickly and easily into tough materials like stone, block or concrete. Available in a selection of shank types to suit all tools.

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SDS Plus drill bits are used for drilling into hard materials such as brick and concrete with minimal effort.
SDS Plus Masonry Drill Bits

SDS Plus drill bits are used for drilling into hard materials such as brick and concrete with minimal effort.

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Suitable for the heaviest masonry work, view our range of SDS Max masonry drill bits up to a diameter of 18mm.
SDS Max Masonry Drill Bits

Suitable for the heaviest masonry work, view our range of SDS Max masonry drill bits up to a diameter of 18mm.

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Designed to be used in a wide range of common building materials, our wide range of multi-purpose drill bits will help get the job done.
Multi Material Drill Bits

Designed to be used in a wide range of common building materials, our wide range of multi-purpose drill bits will help get the job done.

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