Wondering which drill bit you should use for your home DIY project? Take a look at this guide for more information about the different types of drill bits and their best uses.

There are a ton of different drill bits available, and it can be overwhelming when you’re at the hardware store. Choosing between the types of drill bits is even harder when you’re buying them online since there’s varying information on which drill bits work best for each job.

Ahead, we’ll take a look at some of the basic drill bits you’ll see in the store, as well as some of the more specialized bits. This list should give you a better understanding of which bits work for which jobs.

If you’re focusing on DIY home repair, the top list should give you all the information you need to get started. Of course, you should also remember to use your drill safely before starting any projects.

Common Types of Drill Bits

These bits are some of the most common types of drill bits you’ll use for most applications. If you’re tackling small DIY projects in your home, these drill bits will suffice most of the time.

You should probably purchase a few specialty drill bits to be safe as well, but you might not need them. It’s easier to buy specialty drill bits as you need them so you can avoid spending unnecessary money on bits.

1. Twist Drill Bit

Photo of twist drill bits.
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Twist drill bits are among the most common types of drill bits. Image: CC0 Public Domain via PX Here.

If you have a drill at home, you likely also have a twist drill bit to go along with it. The twist bit is among the most common types of drill bits for DIY projects.

The types of tips and lengths vary on twist drill bits, so it can be confusing to determine which is best for a specific job. If you’re looking for a durable drill bit that can tackle most projects, though, the twist drill bit will get the job done.

2. Auger Drill Bit

Photo of auger drill bit.
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Types of drill bits: Example of an auger brace bit with a hollow center. Image: CC 2.0 A-SA Luigi Zanasi via Wikimedia Commons.

The auger drill bit is best for drilling into wood. It looks a bit like an extended screw with a hollow center, which helps with the removal of dust and other debris while you’re drilling.

The auger bit is a lot older than some of the other bits you’ll see in this guide. They’ve been dependable for years, producing smooth, straight holes consistently over the years.

Long auger bits are best for woodworking applications. They make deep, smooth holes while removing shavings from the area at the same time.

Some of the drawbacks of auger bits are speed, durability, and versatility. Auger bits are the best for a select few applications, but you can’t use them on everything. They tend to break after continued use and drill much slower than some of their similar counterparts.

3. Spade (or Paddle) Bit

Photo of a spade drill bit.
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Types of drill bits: Example of a spade drill bit for drilling wider holes. Image: cc by-SA 2.0 Andersen MRH via Flickr.

A spade bit or a paddle bit is another wood drill bit that you’ll find frequent use for in your home. This bit focuses on drilling wider holes than some of the other wood drill bits we’ve covered.

The blade of the bit is flat and comes to a point at the tip to help burrow holes more efficiently. While this bit is far quicker than the auger, the holes won’t be as smooth when you pull the drill away.

4. Brad-Point Drill Bit

The Brad-Point bit is a lot like the auger, but it has a few more uses. The strengths of the two are relatively similar, as they provide smooth, clean holes through wood and are best at removing debris as you drill.

The brad-point bit is a bit better than the auger bit when it comes to exit holes. IT’s often hard to tell which side you started drilling from when using a Brad-Point bit.

5. Self-Feed Drill Bit

If your drilling holes through wood, another option is the self-feed bit. Much like the auger and the brad-point, the self-feed drill can create smooth holes in wood. It’s typically quicker and more durable than the auger while drilling holes, though.

The downside of the self-feed drill presents itself if you have to drill a deeper hole. This bit isn’t the best at removing dust and debris, so you’ll have to pull it out and remove some yourself from time to time.

6. Forstner Drill Bit

photo of Forstner drill bit.
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Types of drill bits: The Forstner drill bit for getting smooth, round holes in wood. Image: CC by A-SA 4.0 Emrys2 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Forstner drill bit is another way to get smooth, round holes in wood without applying too much pressure. You might need a drill press to help control the bit and make sure the hole is straight, but it’s satisfactory for most wood drilling applications.

Like the salt-feed bit, you’ll have to remove it once and a while to take care of the debris inside. It’s not adept at removing shavings on its own, so make sure you don’t clog it up while drilling.

7. Installer Drill Bit

Installer bits are one of the types of drill bits which name gives it away. It’s best for installing wires and other appliances in your home. You’ll notice that these drill bits are long and thin with a smooth area at the base.

These drills are relatively sturdy and can drill through most surfaces in your home. You’ll have the best luck drilling through wood walls, which is the primary purpose of this drill bit.

You can create a hole, then feed your wire through that hole to the other side. Connect the wire to an outlet then drag it through. If you want to hide some of the wires in your house, this is the drill bit you’ll want to use.

8. Hole Saw Drill Bit

Photo of hole saw drill bit.
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The hole saw drill bit is another one of the many common types of drill bits. Image: CC by-SA 2.0 Andersen MRJH via Flickr.

A hole saw, like an auger bit, is one of the ways to get smooth holes when drilling through wood and metal. Hole saws, though, are even more specialized than auger bits are due to their limited uses.

The hole saw attaches to another drill bit, drilling a wide hole through wherever you’re cutting. If you want a side hole for wiring in your home or are setting up other kinds of hardware a hole saw will be the best choice.

There are also different strengths of hole saws you can find at the hardware store. A bi-metal hole saw is best for wood and metal, but a carbide edge hole saw will be better for thick masonry materials. A diamond edge hole saw is another good choice, especially if you’re experienced and want to expedite the process.

9. Tile Drill Bit

These drill bits are what you’ll need to tackle serious tile drilling in your home. Using regular drill bits on tiles can lead to cracking and splintering in areas where you don’t want it.

If you use the proper drill bit, though, you can make a hole without disturbing the surrounding area. These bits are perfect for making holes in kitchen tiles and other places in your home that have tile on the walls. If you’re trying to put an outlet in a room of with tiles, the tile bit will help you get the best outcome.

10. Masonry Drill Bit

Photo of Masonry drill bit.
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Types of drill bits: When drilling concrete or brick, a masonry drill bit does the job. Image: CC A-SA Emrys via Wikimedia Commons.

The masonry drill bit is what you need if you’re going to drill into hard materials like concrete and brick. You can sometimes use them on rotary drills, but you’ll have to most luck if you attach them to a hammer drill.

These drills are effective at removing debris as they go deeper, but you might not need them for most home applications. If you’re drilling into a brick wall, you should be well versed in drill bits before you try. You can end up damaging the wall and the drill if you aren’t careful.

11. Step Drill Bit

Pair of step drill bits.
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Types of drill bits: This pair of uni-bits are also called step bits. Image: CC 0 Public Domain Junk Yard Sparkle via Wikimedia Commons.

The best use of the step drill bit is drilling small holes in metal. You can also find a use for it in wood if you don’t have any other bits on hand, though.

You can find the diameter of the hole on the side of most step bits, making it easy to determine how wide your hole will end up being. It’s adequate at clearing debris as well, so you usually won’t have to remove the bit from the surface to clear any shavings it creates.

12. Specialty Drill Bits

These drill bits have more niche uses than the common drill bits above. You’ll need them for more advanced DIY projects, as fundamental home drilling often won’t require specialized bits.

Even though these bits have a bit less versatility than common bits, they’re still a necessary part of any handyman’s toolbox. If you want to be safe, buy a few of these along with your drill purchase to save you time in the long run.

Along with some of the above-mentioned bits, here are some examples of specialty drill bits.

Choosing the Right Bit for Your Project

It’s imperative that you pick the right drill bit for your specific job. A lot of these bits may seem interchangeable, but you need to do a bit of research before you drill your first hole.

On top of making sure you have the right type of bit, you have to pay attention to the size of the bit you’re using. Keep in mind that you can always make a hole bigger, but once you create the hole you can’t make it any smaller. If you’re unsure, start with a smaller bit and expand from there.

Here’s a video on choosing among the different types of drill bits for your project.

Featured image: CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

Last update on 2022-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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