Drills and drill bit sizes can be a bit of a maze to navigate. Is there a one-size-fits-all drill bit available?
There is a disparity between drills and drill bits. For use with a 1/2-inch drill, you can use either a 1/2-inch or a 3/8-inch bit. Only 3/8-inch drill bits will fit in a 3/8-inch drill chuck. Normal drill bits cannot be used in an impact driver because they do not have a hex shanked bit holder. Meanwhile, standard drills are compatible with hex shanked bits.
A bit later, we’ll investigate “universal” drill bits that are said to be effective on any materials.
Does Every Drill Accept Every Drill Bit?
Drill bits are available for use with any material imaginable. Specialized bits with unique shafts and slots are required for use in some commercial power drills so that the bits do not become twisted and break when drilling.
In addition, if you have the right drill bit, you can make holes in a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, glass, and ceramics.
What Kinds and How Many Sizes of Drill Bits Are There?
There is a practical upper limit to the size of a drill bit, typically between 1/2 and 3/8 of an inch in diameter, the standard size of drill shafts. Specific drills, such as those used for model creation or industrial purposes, feature shafts that are notably smaller or larger than the norm.
Here are some examples of drill bits for specific materials:
Metal Drill Bits
Drill bits made of HSS (High-Speed Steel) are commonly included in tool kits because they are durable, resistant to heat, and efficient in drilling through soft metals. Without coolant or lubricant, HSS bits can easily overheat.
Similarly, HSS pieces will dull over time and with abuse. However, HSS bits can often be revitalised through honing.
In comparison to other metals typically used for DIY drilling projects, cobalt bits have a much higher melting point. If you take good care of your cobalt parts, you can use them for the rest of your life without replacing them.
Tungsten and titanium bits are available, however they are more costly than cobalt and HSS options. Tungsten and titanium bits are too expensive and too heavy to use in most home improvement jobs.
Concrete Drill Bits
The slower rotational speed and wider cutting diameter of masonry drill bits push material away from the bit’s tip and toward the hole’s exit. Tungsten carbide tips, found on many such bits, can cut through brick and other hard stones.
Wood Drill Bits
Self-feeder bits and installer bits are only two examples of the many varieties of wood drill bits available.
The needle-like tip of a brad point aids in accurately pinpointing the location of the entry hole. When using these bits, you may easily drill straight, clean holes in wood.
The auger will draw the bit into the wood as long as it is rotating in the correct direction. To utilise bolts, you’ll need to drill long, straight, and wide holes, and these bits are perfect for the job.
The large and shallow holes made with a wooden spade or paddle are perfect for countersinking a screwhead. If you push the drill too quickly into a hardwood, the spade can break.
Special Drill Bits
It is possible to utilise your drill for a wider variety of tasks with the help of the following specialised drill bits:
Even with a tile bit, pushing the drill too hard might cause the tile to crack. But rather than trying to cut through the tile’s glazing, the unique abrasive coating on the tip grinds into it.
Similar to tile bits, glass bits have arrow-shaped cutting edges made of tungsten carbide. Glass drilling is an intricate process best accomplished with a drill press.
A saw can be used to make cuts in nearly any material, and they range in size from a few inches to many feet in diameter. Great for putting plumbing in a house.
Screwdriver — Allows you to convert your drill into a high-powered screwdriver, so maximising its usefulness.
When Using an SDS Drill, Can I Use Regular Drill Bits?
If the chuck isn’t screwed on securely enough, a standard drill bit will begin to slip. Slotted Drive System (SDS) is more commonly found on industrial strength and professional grade drills. Impact drivers typically feature SDS slots as well.
The drill’s SDS bit lock is designed to accept SDS bits. Drilling doesn’t require a chuck or attention to bit depth. Because of how easily they may be swapped out, these bits are widely used in industry.
When using an SDS bit, you won’t have to worry about the bit twisting even when applying a lot of torque thanks to the slot’s unique square form.
Because of this, SDS bits are the best choice for drilling large holes in tough materials like concrete or thick metal. SDS chucks, which fit into SDS drill heads like a key, make it possible to utilise conventional drill bits.
Do Particular Bits Work Best with Hammer Drills?
Standard masonry bits are used in small hammer drills, which rotate and vibrate into the material, boring a round hole. For drilling into reinforced concrete, big hammer drills will provide a non-rotating oscillation.
Higher torque means more likelihood that you’ll require SDS bits to keep the chuck from spinning. Regular bits can be used in most smaller hammer drills, but masonry spade-heads are required for drilling into concrete and stone.
Does an Impact Driver Work with Regular Drill Bits?
Unless it is a special type of impact driver called an SDS driver, the shaft on most drivers will be 1/4 inches in diameter and hex. Because of its design and absence of chuck, only a specific variety of bit can be used with it.
These universally accepted 1/4-inch designs streamline the process of exchanging cutting tools. When compared to a rounded bit, hex bits can withstand the torque of an impact driver far better.
Is there a single drill bit that can bore through everything?
There is a reason for the plethora of drill shaft configurations, chuck sizes, and bit kinds; yet, this may seem more convoluted than it actually is. Though “the proper tool for the job” advice suggests a well-rounded toolbox, you could be better off keeping your drill bit collection to a minimum by sticking to universal sizes.
I was wondering if you knew of any drill bits that worked everywhere. All Materials Share the Same Bit
In spite of the fact that universal drill bits are available, they are not without their restrictions. Glass, ceramics, and certain metals still require specialised drill bits.
All-purpose drill bits can be used in a wide variety of materials, including metals, woods, plastics, and even concrete. Depending on the size and depth of the hole you need to create, a specific type of universal drill bit will need to be chosen.
The same bit used for drilling different materials may dull more quickly in concrete. Cutting through metal with a universal bit is going to take longer, and the holes you cut in wood are going to be rougher.
Can You Use Different Brands of Drill Bits Together?
It’s no surprise that some universal drill bit manufacturers provide higher-quality tools than others. But it will work if the bit is of the right size and form to fit into the drill’s shaft.
If the chuck or socket on a Makita drill is compatible with a set of DeWalt drill bits, for instance, you can use the bits in the Makita drill. You should not, and will not be able to, use a drill bit that is too big for the drill.
You can damage or even destroy your drill’s motor by attaching a drill head that is too big to the bit, even though the bit itself is compatible with the drill. Several common manufacturers use the SDS and 1/4-inch hex standards. If it’s compatible with SDS or 1/4-inch hex bits, you’ll know it from the label on your drill.