Choosing the Right Drill Bit for the Job

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Drill Bit Glossary of Terms

Drill bits are used for all types of building and renovation work. They are used by builders, designers, artists, and DIY enthusiasts. A drill bit is a tool used for cutting cylindrical holes in various materials, including metal, wood, leather, glass, and plastic. There are also specialized drill bits that can make non-cylindrical shapes. There is a vast array of different types of drill bits, designed for using with various materials. Each type of drill bit comes in a range of standard sizes. Drill bits are generally made of steel, although they can also be made from carbide materials and polycrystalline diamond. When buying a drill bit, one can feel a little overwhelmed by the choices available. When buyers understand some basic drill bit terms, they can better ensure their purchase decision is correct. Drill bits are available from any hardware store. eBay also has a wide range of drill bits for sale.

Drill Bits

Different drill bits are available for use on different types of materials. Some drill bits are universal, designed for use on various types of materials, and others are designed for specific uses. Drill bits are commonly divided into those used on metal and those used on wood. There are also some specialized drill bits for use on different types of materials, such as stone, plastic, ceramic, and glass.

Universal Drill Bits

Universal drill bits are general-purpose drill bits, designed to be used in a variety of materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. They tend to be durable and sharp, and are a useful type of drill bit to have available. The most common universal drill bits include twist drill bits, step drill bits, and hole saws.

Twist Drill Bits

Twist drill bits can be used on metal, wood, plastic, concrete, and various other materials. It is the most common type of drill bit available. The cylindrical drill bit features helical grooves that spiral up to near the top of the bit. A twist drill bit is easy to use, inexpensive, and durable. Because they are inexpensive, they are usually discarded when they break or become blunt. Twist drill bits are ideal for those who like DIY, as they are very simple to use and take very little knowledge or experience to use effectively. Twist drill bits range in size and diameter, as well as in their point angle.

Step Drill Bits

A step drill bit is often called a Unibit. It is designed for use on thin metal or plastic material. It is cone-shaped, and increases in diameter as it extends up the bit. One single Unibit can be used to drill several different sized holes. These bits are more expensive than twist drill bits, and may need to be specially designed for use in various applications. Step drill bits range in diameter size. Smaller bits have a sharp tip and are self-starting. Larger step drill bits have a blunt tip and are used to increase the diameter of holes. Step drill bits are most commonly used by sheet metal workers, electricians, and carpenters, as they work well on softer materials, such as plastic, plywood, and laminate.

Hole Saws

Hole saws feature a cylinder with saw-like teeth. Hole saws are designed to drill large round holes in various materials. They are easy to use, durable, and relatively inexpensive. They are designed for use on thin materials, as well as softer materials. They are commonly used to make large holes in wood, plastic, and sheet metal.

Metal Drill Bits

Metal drill bits need to be tough, sharp, and precise. There is a large number of different types of drills designed for use on metal. Metal drill bits tend to be quite expensive. The following are the more common types.

Core Drill Bits

A core drill bit is designed to remove a certain amount of material. The piece this bit removes is referred to as the core. It works in a similar way to a hole saw, except that a core drill bit creates a thin, long core. The drill bit features a hollow cylinder. The aim of a core drill bit is not just to create a hole, but to use the core the drill created. Because the bit is hollow, the core is left intact once it is removed.

Center Drill Bits

Center drill bits are commonly used by metalworkers, to create a center hole for accurate use with a lathe. They are similar to spotting drill bits, and both are often used interchangeably. Center drill bits are short, and feature different sized tips at each end.

Spotting Drill Bits

Spotting drill bits are very similar to center drill bits, but spotting drill bits are used to create a hole, for which a larger drill bit will be used. Spotting drill bits are designed for creating accurate drilling holes.

Indexable Drill Bits

An indexable drill bit is a very precise, hardwearing drill bit, used for high precision applications. They are the most expensive type of drill bit available. They produce a very fast and accurate cut, and are most often used on relatively thin metal materials.

Wood Drill Bits

For those who wish to create accurate holes in wood materials, they should consider the various wood drill bits available. There is a large number of drill bits designed specifically for using with wood.

Wood Spade Drill Bits

Wood spade drill bits are also known as paddle bits. They have a wide, flat face, with a starting spike at the tip. They are used for boring rough holes in wood. Because they only have two cutting blades, they tend to create an unclean, splintered hole. They are used for drilling larger sized holes in wood. Wood spade drill bits are used with high speed electric drills in order to create the cleanest cut possible.

Lip and Spur Drill Bits

Lip and spur drill bits are designed to create accurate drilling into wood. Also called a brad point, it is similar to a twist drill bit. Their sharp center point improves their accuracy and guidance even when drilling at minimal depths. Its angled cutting tip cuts the peripheral section of the hole first, creating a cleaner wood cut.

Forstner Drill Bits

Forstner drill bits are commonly used in woodworking and furniture making. They create accurate holes with a flat bottom. They are not designed to be used with hand drills and are often used with lathes and drill presses as they require a great amount of force to cut through wood. They can remove large amounts of wood material in a short amount of time. The hole it creates has very smooth sides. They come in a range of diameters, and are often sold in sets.

Auger Drill Bits

Auger drill bits are commonly used by carpenters and woodworkers. It features a deep spiral flute, able to remove the wood chip cleanly and effectively. There are single and double fluted auger drill bits available. They are designed for hand use, with portable electric drills.

Other Types of Drill Bits

There are various other types of drill bits, designed for accurate and effective use with various materials, including masonry and glass.

Masonry Drill Bits

Masonry drill bits need to be very strong in order to cut through stone, concrete, and other types of masonry materials. Therefore, masonry drill bits are usually coated with a tungsten carbide coating on their tip. Many masonry drill bits are designed to be used with a hammer drill, making them more effective and easier to use. Masonry drill bits are best used at slower speeds to ensure accuracy and prevent the bit from overheating. They range significantly in diameter and length.

Glass Drill Bits

Glass drill bits feature a carbide coated tip. They tend to have a short lifespan, and are best used at low speeds. There are also diamond coated tips that should be used with water to keep the glass from cracking. Diamond coated drill bits last longer than carbide coated tips, and they also cost more.

Drill Bit Point Angles

Drill bits differ in the angle of their tips. Some have sharp angles, while others have very shallow angles. The different angles are designed for use with different types of materials. The following table provides a list of the common materials, and the best angled tip to use for each material.


Angle of Drill Bit Tip

Stainless Steel

118 to 135 degree angle


90 to 135 degree angle

Cast Iron

90 to 118 degree angle

Mild Steel

118 to 135 degree angle


90 to 118 degree angle


100 to 130 degree angle


60 to 90 degree angle

Before buying any type of drill bit, buyers should ensure they understand what angle tip is required. Using an incorrectly angled tip can lead to an inaccurate drill hole, and can also cause the tip to blunt, damage, or break.

Drill Bits for Sale on eBay

eBay has a wide range of drill bits for sale, where buyers can utilize eBay's simple search methods, secure payment options, and easy buying options to find the right drill bit at the most competitive price. eBay offers products from sellers all over the world. Whether new to eBay or a frequent user, eBay offers many useful tips and information for all buyers in eBay's Learning Center. Here, buyers can find specific information about How to Buy and Getting Started on eBay.

Simple Search Method

To find any type of drill bit, buyers can simply type "drill bits" into the search bar on eBay's home page to see a full list of products available for sale. Alternatively, buyers can navigate to this same section by selecting Business & Industrial, then clicking on Construction, selecting Tools & Light Equipment, and then clicking on Drills & Hammers. Once here, buyers can select Bits, Chisels & Breaker Points. eBay even allows users to search from their smartphone, by using eBay ' s mobile application. It is a useful application where buyers can keep updated on their buying activity, and even grab a bargain, all from their phone.


Drill bits are a useful item to have in any toolbox. They are used for all sorts of building, repairing, and DIY jobs, from repairing furniture to putting up a picture frame. For simple DIY jobs, a universal drill bit is a useful bit to have around the home. For more specialized drilling jobs, buyers should choose the drill bit designed to do the job. The most common types of drill bits are grouped into universal drill bits, metal drill bits, and wood drill bits. There are also specialized drill bits designed to cut through other materials, such as masonry and glass. The angle on the tip of the drill bit differs, and particular angled bits are designed for use on certain types of material. Before making any purchase, buyers should consider what type of drill bit would most suit the job. Drill bits range in quality and size, and it is best to have a selection of different types and sizes of drill bits available. eBay offers a good selection of drill bits for sale at very competitive prices.

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