Learning the Drill: Drill Bit Types for Different Materials

DrillWhether you’re a DIY (do-it-yourself) specialist, a neighbourhood handyman or a professional construction or metalworker, there are many tools you need to learn how to use. You can only achieve certain parts of your job with the use of specific tools.

Drills are an example of such tools. But there are different drills for different applications, explains a specialist from PowerPac Group. There are also drill bits for every need. Here are three of the most common:

1. Concrete drill bit. Masonry and concrete are too tough for drills and drill bits that are not designed for the material. A concrete drill bit can bore through these materials. It is commonly used alongside an SDS (special direct system) drill, which offers three basic functions: regular drilling, hammering action and chiselling. A hammer drill may also be used in place of an SDS drill.

2. Metal drill bit. Non-ferrous metals such as iron, brass, zinc, aluminium and non-alloy steel can best be drilled through with the use of a metal drill bit. For stainless steel, however, your drill must be cobalt-alloy High-Speed Steel or HSS-E. You can also use titanium-coated drill bits, although these tend to cost more. If the piece of steel is particularly large and thick, you may need a mag drill. This drill is equipped with a magnetic base and it looks like a drill press. It allows you to lock it to a vertical beam for more power and precision.

3. Wood drill bit. These bits drill cleanly through wood because of their pre-cutting spurs and a long centering tip.

Not only do you need a specific type of drill and drill bits for a particular job or material, but you also need to master the recommended speeds for every job. Softer materials actually require higher drilling speeds than harder materials. Apart from the speed, the diameter of your drill bit is important when deciding on how to drill best through the material you are working with.