Best Drill Bits Review & Buying Guide [2019]

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Having the best drill bits is important to the outcome of your tasks. This is true for both professional contractors and DIY enthusiasts. The bits come in a range of sizes and shapes. They are made using different coatings and materials to suit different projects. These include cobalt steel, high-speed steel (HSS), carbide, titanium, and carbon steel.

This review features the top five drill bits based on durability and quality. We have also included a detailed buying guide to help you know what to look for while shopping.

Our Top Drill Bits Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Dewalt DW1361
Best for the Money
Makita T-01725
Best Cheap Pick
Neiko 10197A
Product
Premium Pack DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit...
Makita T-01725 Contractor-Grade Bit Set, 70-Pc
Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...
Material
Metal
High Speed Steel
High Speed Steel
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Dewalt DW1361
Product
Premium Pack DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit...
Material
Metal
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Makita T-01725
Product
Makita T-01725 Contractor-Grade Bit Set, 70-Pc
Material
High Speed Steel
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Neiko 10197A
Product
Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...
Material
High Speed Steel
Rating

Best Overall Drill Bits: Dewalt DW1361

Premium Pack DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit...

Dewalt is a reputable brand known for manufacturing superior power tools both for industrial and domestic applications. For this reason, the Dewalt DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point drill bit tops our list.

The drill bit set utilizes titanium coating rather than the widely used cobalt coating to ensure the device lasts longer. The set is equipped with pilot point technology. This makes an excellent option for drilling through various materials like wood and plastic.

The Dewalt drill bits can also be used to drill through PVC pipes and metal due to their sturdiness and versatility. Additionally, the set experiences no difficulties boring through steel sheets of various densities. This is because of their outstanding performance on metals.

The steel bits together with the titanium casing gives it a tough design while protecting it against the corrosive effects of tough metals. This makes it perfect for domestic applications as well as heavy-duty industrial use.

The DW1361 drill bit has no spin sharks. Therefore, when tapering of the web is combined with the robust casing, you will have a tool that can last you for a long period. The drill bit is also unlikely to break because it is resistant to high temperatures produced when drilling through steel and metals.

The drill bits have the twist construction feature that eases boring through materials to ensure a smooth drilling experience. The set begins boring after coming into contact with the materials that are being drilled. You will have cleaner holes due to less boring debris.

The Titanium Pilot Point set gives you a lot of flexibility when choosing the most ideal drill bits for your projects. It is equipped with 21 pieces of drill bits to choose from. The drill bits come in various sizes that range between ½-inch and 1/16-inch.

Dewalt provides a durable carry case to make the bits easier and convenient to transport to different project sites. Apart from making it convenient to carry all the drill bits, the carry case also protects the bits against damage or accidental loss.

Overall, the Dewalt drill bit set is perfect for heavy-duty applications as well as improvements and occasional repairs around the house. With the set, you will be able to complete time-consuming and labor-intensive projects within a short time.

What We Like

  • Titanium coating that ensures high-performance and durability
  •  21 drill bits of various sizes
  • Smooth and clean holes
  • Ideal for heavy-duty and domestic applications
  • Carry case
  • Ease of use

What We Don’t Like

  • Costly

Best Drill Bits for the Money: Makita T-01725

Makita T-01725 Contractor-Grade Bit Set, 70-Pc

The Makita T-01725 drill bit is the right set for you if you are a price-conscious DIYer or contractor. It is equipped with additional essential features you won’t have to buy separately. This offers value for your money.

All the drill bits have a black oxide coating that ensures the effects of corrosion are kept at bay. The coating also ensures smooth boring through different materials. This is because the pieces are resistant to high temperatures and are well lubricated.

The T-01725 drill bits also have a heat treatment to make the set sharper, long-lasting and more durable. In addition, the bits are compatible with a range of tools you may have in your toolbox.

These include drivers running on battery or electricity, impact drivers, and quick-change connector systems. The inclusion of Ultra-Lok ¼-inch hex shanks makes such compatibility possible. It also saves a lot of effort and time when changing the drill bits.

High compatibility means you do not have to be very selective while choosing the tools to pair with other pieces. This enables you to work on several projects using compatible accessories.

The Makita drill bits are equipped with split point tips that are angled at 135 degrees. They are constructed from high-speed steel to ensure faster drilling. The flat design of the split point tips reduces the energy used in boring through tough materials.

However, you will have to look for a pilot hole. This will prevent the drill bit from wobbling on the surface of the material being drilled. The split point tips are not self-centered.

The set can be put to various uses including fastening, driving, and drilling. While boring through various materials, you will not experience any resistance despite their densities. The drill bits are perfect for drilling through hard and softwood, fiberglass, light metals, and plastics.

The package comes with a comprehensive set of nut drivers and screwdrivers of different sizes to make drilling an enjoyable experience. With 70 bits at your disposal, your fastening, driving, and drilling needs will be addressed adequately.

Makita backs this drill bit set with a 1-year warranty and 30-day replacement/return money-back guarantee.

What We Like

  • Black oxide coating for resisting corrosion
  • Heat treatment for increasing sharpness and durability
  • Compatibility with battery and electric-operated drivers/drills
  • 70 drill bits of different sizes
  • High-speed steel

What We Don’t Like

  • Drill bits unsuitable for heavy-duty use
  • Split point tips aren’t self-centering
Sale
Makita T-01725 Contractor-Grade Bit Set, 70-Pc
  • Compatible with 1/4 inches impact drivers and 3/8 inches or 1/2 inches driver/drills
  • For use in wood, plastic and metal
  • Made from S2 modified steel, and heat treated for longer life

Best Budget Drill Bits: Neiko 10197A

Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...

The advantage of having Neiko 10197A drill bits is that the bits are made from titanium HSS. A step-design is used. They are also the perfect combination of performance and power.

The drill bits are sturdy and durable since they have a tough titanium nitride coating. This helps drill through dense materials effortlessly. The coating also increases drilling speeds, resulting in more precise and cleaner holes.

The Neiko drill bits design boasts of a slip point tip that is angled at 135 degrees. This ensures the bits remain stable on the surface of the material being drilled. The set also has the two flute construction feature to reinforce the performance of the slip point tips. The features will allow you to expel chips in a way that increases their productivity and efficiency.

The shank of the drill bits has a tri-flattening design that makes it possible to use the bits together with a shank. The design also enhances your safety by holding the bits firmly in place. This prevents them from slipping during use.

Another advantage of the step design is that it makes it easy to use the drill bits, especially when it comes to increasing the sizes of the holes. Additionally, each drill bit can perform exceptionally well even after being exposed to extreme temperatures because they are heat-treated.

The heat treatment also provides resistance to abrasion. The step and tri-flattened design of the 10197A drill bits make this set perfect for boring through different surfaces of varying toughness like masonry, wood as well as metal. We do not recommend using these bits on aluminum.

One remarkable feature of this set is that the five-piece set will enable you to access fifty different sizes. The drill bits arrive organized in an aluminum carry case to make carrying them easy and to prevent misplacing them.

What We Like

  • Ability to work with 50 different sizes using 5 bits
  • Tri-flattening and step design combination
  • Perfect for drilling through different surfaces
  • Tough titanium coating
  • Heat treatment
  • Slip point tips

What We Don’t Like

  • Low quality carry case
  •  Inexpensive
Sale
Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...
  • Classic high speed steel with titanium coating for proven capability and durability in drilling...
  • 135° split point and two flute design increases cutting speed with self-centering and prevents...
  • Tri flatted shank fits into power tools chuck securely and eliminates slip

Best Drill Bits for Versatility: Drill America DWD29J-CO-PC

Drill America 29 Piece M35 Cobalt Drill Bit Set in...

The DWD29J-CO-PC is one of the top drill bits from Drill America. The 29 piece boasts of high resistance both to wear and tear as well as heat. The set can drill effortlessly through various abrasive materials making it versatile.

Drill America made the drill bits using cobalt steel and finished off with a gold oxide coat to make the set resistant to heat. The cobalt steel also increases the shelf life of the bits by many years. The drill bits ability to self-lubricate will ensure you have a set that rarely suffers any damages while drilling through the densest materials.

The 29 piece set features a self-centering capability. The split point, at which it can cut angles, is fixed at 135 degrees. In most cases, drilling through materials creates a lot of debris in the boring area.

However, the pilot hole is unnecessary in the case of these drill bits. The 135 degree split points can focus themselves. As a result, the bits will create small chips that minimize the chances of clogging.

You will experience an increase in time efficiency and drilling speed due to the reduced clogging. The Drill America drill bits come in a plastic casing that is easy to keep. The casing includes 29 drill bits organized carefully. It includes a bit index to make it easy for you to differentiate the sizes of the bits.

The sizes range from ½-inch and 1/16-inch with increments of 1/64-inch. The shanks of this set are round making them suitable for most chucks. Additionally, the jobber-length of the drill bits creates the correct balance between reach and length. This makes the set perfect for working on a range of applications and surfaces.

What We Like

  • Marked index that makes identifying drill bit sizes easy
  • Gold oxide coating that increases resistance to heat
  • Self-centering split point tips
  • Ability to drill through abrasive materials
  • 29 drill bits

What We Don’t Like

  • Low-quality casing
Drill America 29 Piece M35 Cobalt Drill Bit Set in...
  • Set of 29 jobber length drill bits includes inch sizes 1/16" to 1/2" in 1/64" increments
  • Cobalt steel provides extended tool life compared to high-speed steel drill bits when drilling hard...
  • Gold oxide finish lubricates the drill bit and provides wear resistance

Best Drill Bits for High-Performance: Bosch T118

Bosch TI18 18-Piece Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set...

The Bosch-T118 has a keen eye for longevity, professionalism, and quality. The 18-piece titanium drill bit is ideal for DIYers and professional contractors. The bits feature a titanium nitride coating. This increases their shelf-life and gives them maximum protection while drilling through dense materials.

When compared to other standard sets, the titanium coating increases their speed and endurance. The coating makes the drill bits strong and ideal for heavy-duty use like boring through materials of various compositions and densities.

The durability of the set is also increased while their shelf-life is extended by at least three times that of standard sets. The Bosch drill bits can bore abrasive materials faster than the speed of a standard set. This saves a lot of effort and time while using these drill bits.

The bits derive their fast drilling speed from the impressive engineering that uses the speed helix. Faster drilling will enable you to save a lot of money and energy. The sturdy and durable design of the T-118 is perfect for drilling through materials like metal, wood, and plastic.

The package comes with 18 drill bits that are adequate for all your drilling needs. The bits are secured safely in a durable carrying case to minimize the chances of misplacing them, especially when working in a busy environment. The case also protects the bits from getting damaged accidentally.

What We Like

  • Speed helix design to speed up drilling
  • Titanium coating for extending shelf-life
  • Durable carry case
  • Perfect for metal, wood and plastic
  • 18 drill bits

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsuitable for heavy-duty applications
Bosch TI18 18-Piece Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set...
  • Super-hard titanium coating lasts up to six times longer than high-speed steel
  • Self-starting point starts on contact
  • Balanced double flute eliminates chatter and vibration

Drill Bits Features and Considerations

Selecting the right drill bit for your projects is not an easy task. There are many options for materials, shanks, and tips to choose from. Here are the things you should look for when searching for the best drill bits for your project.

Drill Bit Materials

Different materials are used to manufacture drill bits depending on the application that is required. Hard materials like carbide stay sharper longer and are versatile. However, they are more brittle compared to steel. They are subject to breaking especially when the drill is not held at a constant angle to the material.

Here are some common materials:

Low-Carbon Steel Bits

These bits are affordable. They require frequent sharpening and do not hold edges well. They can only be used to drill softwoods. Working with hardwoods can shorten their lifespan.

High-Carbon Steel Bits

The bits are more durable compared to their low-carbon steel counterparts because of the properties conferred by tempering and hardening the material. If you overheat the bits by frictional heating when drilling, they will lose their temper and result in a soft cutting edge. You can use the drill bits on metal or wood.

High-Speed Steel (HSS)

HSS drill bits are sturdy and resistant to heat compared to high- carbon steel bits. You can use them to drill hardwood, metal, and other materials whose cutting speeds are greater than carbon-steel bits. These bits have replaced carbon steels largely. 

Carbide

Carbides can drill any material and are extremely hard. They can also hold an edge longer compared to other bits. The material is more brittle than steel and more expensive. They are used for drill-bit tips.

Cobalt Steel Alloys

These are variations of high-speed steel containing more cobalt and provide better heat resistance. They are used to drill hard materials including stainless steel and cast iron. They tend to hold their hardness at higher temperatures. These are extremely strong for tough projects. One major problem with cobalt steel is that they are more brittle than standard high-speed steel.

Drill Bit Coatings

Drill bits are equipped with sharp tips that require a coating to enhance their performance and versatility. The two most popular types of coatings include:

Titanium Nitride

This is a hard ceramic material that can last six times longer compared to other bits. Titanium minimizes the friction on the drilling surface to offer cooler drilling. The coating is designed for the hardest and most demanding materials.

Titanium Nitride can be used with plastic, drywall, steel, and wood. It can also be used to coat high-speed steel bits especially twist bits to extend the cutting life.

Black Oxide

This coating improves the lubrication and heat resistance of drill bits. It also provides corrosion resistance while increasing the shelf- life of high-speed steel drill bits. The inexpensive coating also offers protection from rust and water damage. It is best for drilling with plastic, wood, and certain metals.

Drill Bit Shapes and Angles

Majority of drill bits for domestic use have a straight shank while those for industrial drilling have a tapered shank.  There are also other types of shank shape like the hex-shaped drill bits. Here are the most popular drill bits characteristics you will come across:

Lip Angle

This angle provides the cutting edge support and helps create more aggressive cuts using less pressure than small lip angles. It’s important to note that the point angle is what is used to determine the right blip angle.

For instance,  a flat drill bit is more prone to small changes within the lip angle due to the smaller surface area provided by the cutting edge.

Point Angle

This refers to the angle that the tip of the drill bit is equipped with. The correct point angle is determined by the material you intend to drill. For example, hard materials need a bigger point angle while a sharp point will be ideal for soft materials. Choosing the point angle of the drill bit is essential for creating the right shapes of holes.

Spiral

This determines the twist rate while in drill bits. The twist rate is used to determine the size and rate of removing materials. A low spiral has a higher cutting speed and a high spiral removes bigger chips. The low spiral bits are used with materials that clog the drilled hole or materials like copper and aluminium.

Drill Bit Type

Various drill bit shapes make it difficult to know the correct type of drill bit. However, getting the right bit shape is easy when you know what you plan to drill and the material you intend to drill. Here are the most popular drill bits you will come across while shopping:

Twist Drill Bits

These are the most commonly manufactured drill bits nowadays. They are great for using on various materials including metal, plastic, and wood. The twist bits are also found in many variations and styles. They are also affordable and a staple in the bits market.

The twist shape is meant for cutting smaller holes instead of bigger ones. The only issue with these bits is that you will have to remove them while drilling. This is to prevent the material from clogging up the bit’s rotation.

Auger Drill Bit

These bits are usually the best choice for those people who want to drill larger or deeper holes in wood pieces. The shape is crafted to help remove bigger amounts of material when boring to ensure you drill consistently without clogging. However, this type of drill head cannot be used in hand-held power drills.

Countersink Drill Bits

These drill bits are commonly used with soft materials like softwoods and plastic. The bits are used to make counterbore or countersink holes to enable screw heads to fit in. Using them on metals is not recommended as they won’t function well.

Flat Wood Drill Bits

Also referred to as paddle or spade drill bits, you can use them to make flat surfaces at the bottom of holes. Their sharp pointed tips and flat blade shape make them easily recognizable and are perfect for use with wood.

The centred tip shape creates an accurate and continuous hole while drilling and helps you maintain your position. Splintering can occur while using these drill bits. However, you can avoid it by drilling from the other side of the initial hole has begun to splinter.

Masonry Drill Bits

These types of bits are perfect for breaking through tough materials like brick or concrete. They use flutes to remove excess materials and break the materials while rotating. Remember to remove any debris or dust between usages and allow them to cool down when drilling on tough surfaces.

Forstner Drill Bits

These bits are used in conjunction with a drill press to make flat bottom holes in pieces of wood. A drill press is meant to control the position and movement of the drill bit. The bit requires regular cleaning because it does not remove excess material as the twist bit does.

Spur Point Drill Bits

Also known as brad or dowel point tip, the bits drill straight due to the sharp central tip that is surrounded by elevated spurs. These bits are ideal for cutting accurate and clean holes through wood. 

Hole Saw Drill Bits

If you want to create a big width hole, use these bits. The bit shapes are easy to recognize as they resemble a hollow cylinder that has jagged edges at the bottom of the edge. The hole saw drill bits are an excellent choice when you want to create wire holes or install doors.

Tile Drill Bit

These drill bit are great for installing tiles as they reduce cracking. They implement a spear shape to ensure you drill safely through brittle and hardened materials like tiles or ceramics.

Though these bits are a safer alternative, it’s advisable to use power drills at low speeds. Cracking can still occur. Use a good lubricant if you are using these bits to drill glass to prevent overheating.

Drill Bit Points

The shape of the bit’s point is another aspect worth considering because it will determine the materials it will be used with. Here are some types of point bits:

Speed Helix Bits

These bits offer long life and faster drilling and are the most aggressive bits available.

135 Degrees Point Bits

These types of bits are designed to be used with sturdy materials like stainless steel and metal.

118 Degrees Point Bits

The bits are crafted for use with wood, plastic and light metal.

Drill Bit Shanks

Drill bit shanks come in different shapes including:

Tri-Flat Shanks

These shanks ensure spinning does not take place under high torque loads.

SDS Shanks

The SSD shanks do not require to be tightened and are designed to be used with hammer drills.

Round Shanks

These shanks offer more accuracy by enabling you to centre the drill bit in the chuck.

Straight Shanks

If you are looking for shanks that are easy to center, the straight shanks are an ideal option.

Hex Shanks

The hex shanks have a hexagonal shape that ensures the tool grips the bit tightly for maximum torque.

Wrap Up

Drill bits are a necessity at home and in the workshops of professional contractors. However, the most important thing you should check is the quality of the set and the intended use.

Some drill bits are for boring smaller holes. Others work best for bigger holes. Some are manufactured to drill holes into softer materials while others are used to drill into harder materials. So, inform yourself properly before choosing your drill bit.