The 10 Best Drill Bits of 2022
If you're drilling a hole in anything — wood, metal, brick, plastic or concrete — make sure you've got the best drill bits for the job.
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Buying a Drill Bit
The foundation of any home tool kit is a power drill, and with that, a set of reliable drill bits. These small tools are designed to bore through a variety of materials and allow you to create holes quickly and easily. This capability is essential for a wide range of tasks and projects, like mounting items to your walls using drywall anchors, creating pilot holes in wood for screws or heavier-duty jobs like drilling holes in studs for wiring or water lines. Although most drill bits look similar, there is actually more variety to them than you might think, and it can be intimidating to choose which bit is best for your specific application. Here are some factors to keep in mind when considering which bit to purchase.
- The material being drilled: Most general-purpose drill bits are suitable for wood, PVC and some metals, but others are designed to be used on specific materials, like masonry bits for brick and concrete, or those that can be used on glass and tile without causing cracks. Always make sure your bit can safely and effectively drill through your material, or you can end up with a ruined workpiece and/or broken bit.
- Bit Size: Make sure the bits you choose are the correct size for the task at hand. As a general rule, a range of 1/16- to 1/4-in. bits should prepare you for the majority of light-duty household jobs. Heavy-duty mounting projects can require up to 1/2-in. bits, so check to make sure your drill bit set has one before you get started.
- Bit Type: There is some variety in drill bit types, and each is beneficial in its own way. Twist bits, the most common type, use a pointed tip and fluted sides to remove waste from the hole as you drill, and are your best bet for general use on wood, plastic and thin metal. Spade bits are paddle-shaped, with a wide head for creating extra-large holes, and are best for rough woodworking. Countersink bits are used to create a recessed hole to allow for your screws to sit flush with the surface of the wood, and are essential for fine woodworking and furniture building. Step bits are shaped like a pyramid, and allow you to drill multiple hole sizes, and because each “step” is labeled on the bit, you simply stop drilling when you’ve reached the size you want.
Best Budget-Friendly Drill Bits
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly drill bit set that delivers high-quality and durability, this DeWalt pack could be the perfect fit. It provides a good range of options, from 1/16 to 1/2 inch in size, and the three-sided shank reduces the chance of it spinning out in the drill chuck. I’ve purchased this exact set several times, and am a big fan of its transparent case, which allows me to always know that I’ve got the right bits on hand.
Best Step Drill Bits
Although they’re expensive, these step drill bits from Milwaukee are essential for any DIYer who needs to create perfectly round holes in metal, like when working with junction boxes or creating a faucet hole in a stainless steel sink. Made of heavy-duty titanium, they’re extremely durable and suitable for frequent use. Their clear size labeling also makes them easy to read, which is essential for ensuring maximum accuracy and precise holes. Keep in mind that these specific step bits are designed to be used with sheet metal and won’t be useful for other materials.
Best Overall Drill Bits
If you’re looking for a great all-around bit set for yourself or as a gift for your favorite DIYer, this drill bit set from DeWalt is a perfect choice. It includes 21 bits for a variety of tasks and projects, and their titanium coating reduces friction, allowing you to drill quicker and with less effort from you and your drill. Their pilot point tips also help to reduce any “walking” or damage to your workpiece, and allow you to complete your holes quickly and easily.
I’d prefer if these came in a transparent case, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker.
Best Masonry Drill Bits
The unique multi-sided tip and extra-sharp carbide edges of these Milwaukee bits make them well suited for use on concrete, brick and cinder blocks. Their 1/4-in. shanks are compatible with virtually any drill or impact driver, and when paired with a hammer drill are even more effective. They’re also suitable for use on more typical materials like wood, PVC and sheet metal — essentially anything except for porcelain tile. I’ve used these bits on a complicated mounting job on a brick fireplace, and they worked perfectly.
Best Drill Bits for Glass and Tile
These bits work great on glass and tile, thanks in part to a tip that is specifically designed to reduce the chances of the bit wandering as you start to drill. The bright red color of their tips makes them easy to use and improves accuracy because you’ll know exactly where your hole will be drilled. Even if you don’t have any specific glass or tilework in your future, get these bits and toss them into your toolbox just in case. If you’re looking for more variety, this set is also available in an 18-piece set.
Best Drill Bits for Rough Woodworking
These Diablo spade bits feature a threaded tip, making them well-suited for boring large, rough holes, like those needed for running plumbing through wall studs. This tip is designed to make the drill do most of the work for you, saving you time and energy as you go. They also use a slightly curved paddle to remove chips and dust efficiently, which is especially important when using a cordless drill with a limited run time. These wouldn’t be ideal for precision tasks or finish woodworking, but if you just need to quickly and easily chew some holes in wood, they’re a great choice.
Best Drill Bit Set Splurge
Although they’re much more expensive than any of the other options on our list, these Norseman bits, and their high-quality, super-durable construction are absolutely worth the investment. This set comes with 29 bits, from 1/16 to 1/2 inch diameter, and is housed in a space-saving cylinder, which is convenient for fitting into a toolbox or drawer. I’ve worked around multiple tradespeople who used Norseman bits, and I trust their judgment when it comes to the reputation and long-lasting durability of the brand.
Best Drill Bits for Countersinking
I’ve been using these DeWalt countersink bits for years, and love how easy they are to adjust, as well as how long they’ve lasted. The set includes the necessary 1/4-in. hex wrench for quickly customizing their length to your specific project, and their four-cutter heads create the perfect space for your screw head. If you’re working on furniture or shelving that requires your screws to be flush with the workpiece, these bits will be a lifesaver.
Best Drill Bits for Stainless Steel
Most drill bits aren’t designed to be used on stainless steel, but these 15 bits from Irwin are an exception. Constructed of a steel alloy with 5 percent cobalt, they’re able to withstand the high temperatures that come from metal on metal drilling, which increases their durability and extends their lifespan. The size labels are clearly printed on the shank too, so you’ll always know you’re using the correct one for the job. These bits are also available in a 29-piece kit if you want more variety.
Best Self-Centering Option
These Bosch bits use a spring-loaded guide that ensures your bit is centered exactly where you want it, and are essential for installing door hinges and strike plates. Their stable construction and firm fit ensures that you won’t experience any wobbling or shifting during use, and with three size options, are compatible with a range of screws. I was first introduced to these while working in a furniture shop, and they immediately saved me a ton of time and energy when installing closet door hinges.