Home Improvement Tips

DIY Tool School: How to Pick a Drill Bit to Tackle Any Material

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However keen you are to get started with a DIY project if you are a bit of a novice and still trying to get to grips with the tools and the terminology, it would be a good idea to get a bit of a 101 on the right tools you are going to need.

Here is a look at the basics that you need to know, in particular getting the lowdown on how to get the most out of your power drill. Do you know what an HSS drill bit will do or when to use a step bit? If not, read on for a quick lesson.

Before you make a hole

There is something captivating about the sound of the drill whirring into action and you might be tempted to get going straight away and drill the holes that you need to make to put a picture up or hang a mirror.

Hold it. Whatever job you are planning to do with the aid of your power drill, you first need to know what sort of drill bit is the right one for the job in hand.

The correct bit is absolutely essential if you want to make a hole without making a mess and don’t want to cause damage to the surface or to your drill bit.

Trying to drill through brick with a drill bit that is intended for a wooden surface is not going to end well for the drill bit and could even be dangerous if it snaps, so take the time to learn about your options before you get started.

Tough enough for the task

If you need to drill through steel or other metals you will need HSS bits.

High speed steel bits are just one of the different types of drill bits you can get from suppliers like RS Components. But HSS is definitely what you need if you want to safely and competently drill through a tough metallic surface.

You could theoretically use HSS bits to drill through plastic and even wood, but primarily the carbon steel tips are intended to cut through steel, copper and other metals.

Hot tip

What you should be wary of if you do try to use an HSS drill bit to drill down into a deep piece of plastic is that it could get excessively hot and this will slow down the drilling process

When to use a step bit

Also known as a uni-bit, these drill bits are conical shaped and offer a variety of cutting edges and diameters.

You should be choosing a step bit to drill softwoods and laminates like plywood, and they will also drill through plastics and sheet metals.

Step bits are the go-to choice for electrical installations as you can cut varying sized holes to accommodate all the different cables that need to be connected up to the junction box.

The main advantage of having a step bit in your toolbox is that it offers you the convenience of being able to drill a number of different hole sizes without having to change drill bits.

These are just a couple of your options when it comes to drill bits, so if you unsure which one to use, ask your supplier for guidance.

Emily Jennings is a DIY enthusiast who is renovating her home 1 room at a time, learning new skills all the time as she completes project after project to make her house a special home.