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7 Different Types of Drill Bits & Their Uses – Which is Right for You?

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different types of drill bits

The drill is one of the most important tools at any homeowner’s disposal. The many different bits available for this tool make it incredibly versatile, but they also make it a little bit confusing.

Which bit is going to be right for which job?

There are tons of different options out there, and if you want to keep your equipment as functional as possible, you will need to be sure to get the right ones.

That in mind, today we will be taking a look at a few different types of drill bits to see which ones will be right for you.

The Different Types of Drill Bits:

1. High-Speed Drill Bits

Pretty much anyone with a drill will have a high -speed drill bit. This is the twisty piece that looks a little like corkscrew pasta.

These can be used for a variety of basic drilling applications such as making small holes in woods, walls, etc.

high-speed drill bit

2. Brad Point Bits

Brad point bits are prized for the hyper-precise, clean holes that they leave behind on a workpiece. They also usually feature rubber stoppers that allow you to select a depth point, thus ensuring that you don’t make your holes deeper than you want to.

Because of the precision factor, brad point bits are often used in woodworking.

brad point bits

3. Masonry Bits

Masonry bits, as you might guess, are used for masonry. The tips are optimized for working with stone, brick and concrete.

By the work that they do, masonry bits don’t usually last for very long. In fact the process of drilling into a hard material like concrete can generate so much heat that the tips will literally start to melt.

Because of the volatile nature of masonry drilling, you will need to follow a specific recourse for safety purposes. Be mindful of your RPM output, and remember to regularly lift the drill from the workpiece to mitigate the risk of overheating.

masonry bits

4. Rivet Bits

Rivet bits are what you would call a hyper-specialized tool accessory. They are made for specifically drilling short rivets in thin pieces of sheet metal.

It has a limited range of use, but if you need one, you really need one.

rivet bits

5. Spade Bits

Spade bits are made for making really rough holes that you don’t need to look at. They feature a crude, paddle like tip, and they are great at working with soft woods, but not really anything else.

You might use them for making holes in things that are behind the scenes, for joists, or something of that nature.

The purpose of the spade bit is usually to facilitate running cables.

spade bit

6. Step Drill Bit

The step drill bit, so named for the descended stair like appearance of its shape, is made with the purpose of drilling holes of varying sizes on sheet metal.

These bits are pricier than most, but they are versatile enough to be worth the cost. The deeper that you drill with the step bit, the bigger the hole will become.

They do neat work that most other bits can’t rival.

step drill bit

7. Auger Bits

Auger bits are used for drilling into thick, dry wood. Thanks to the shape of these tools, the bit descends into the workpiece naturally, meaning you don’t need to worry about applying much pressure yourself.

As a result, they are easy to use, and they promote clean holes.

They also feature especially wide ridges for extracting wood chips from the hole.

auger bit

Which is right for you?

So, which of these bits is right for you? The only truly safe bet is the high-speed, twist bit. Virtually all drill owners have this bit, and in fact, many drills come with a few included.

The rest will mostly just depend on what you own the drill for.

For example, if you are working with stone, concrete, bricks, you will need a masonry drill bit. If you need to run wires, you might invest in a spade bit.

Chances are, the more that you use your drill, the more bits you will end up getting.


As you can see, there are lots of drill bits out there. And these aren’t even all of them! Though it may seem overwhelming, the good news is that is that choosing the right bits for your purposes is fairly intuitive, especially when you have read guides like this one.

Drill bits are a transient part of the toolbox in so far as the fact that you will go through them very quickly. Over time, you will find not just the classification of bit that works for you, but also your favorite sizes, brands, materials, etc.

Until then though, feel free to consult with this list anytime you wonder what drill bit you should use!

Header image credit: blickpixel, Pixabay

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!