Different Types of Woodworking Drill Bits

We’re all guilty of using the wrong tool at least once in our lives. Using the right tool helps bring about the best possible results in anything. This is truer for drilling woods since it requires precision so the wood won’t shatter or splinter.

Drill bits come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and there are literally over a hundred different types of woodworking drill bits out there. Although we won’t be able to cover every one of them, we’ll try to highlight some of the most important types of drill bits for wood in this article.

Types of Drill Bits For Woodworking Project

1. Brad Point Drill Bit – For Exact Drill Position

Brad Point Drill Bit

The unique look about this bit is that it has a centering tip that allows you to have the exact drill position. These bits come in handy for making clean and precise holes with a particular depth. Brad-point drill bits are mostly used for furniture making and general woodworking.

2. Countersink Drill Bits – For Countersink Wood Screws

A countersink bit creates a conical hole on top of a regular hole. These bits are used for countersinking screws to facilitate subsequent tapping. By creating a shallow recess in wood to accommodate the screw head, a countersink drill bit lets the screw head dig parallel to the wood surface without protruding outside. These bits are mostly used for furniture making.

3. Dowel Drill Bits – Best For Clean-Sided Hole

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Dowel bits have a true center tip for easy drill placement and a wide flute for quick and efficient chip removal. This design also helps in faster drilling and precision ground. Dowel bits are mostly used to cut timber to have a clean-sided hole.

4. Flat Drill Bits – For Wide-diameter Holes in Wood

Flat Drill Bits

Flat bits have 2 main cutting edges, 2 cutting spurs, and a centering point. While drilling these bits make a wide-diameter hole. These bits are the cheapest option to make larger holes into the woods, though they tend to leave a rougher finish. Besides, you’ll need to apply considerable pressure while using this bit.

5. Forstner Drill Bits – Best For Flat Bottom Holes

Forstner Drill Bits

When you want to make a large diameter hole in wood you’ll need a Forstner drill bit. But unlike the flat bit, it leaves a nice and clean cut. This bit is also unique for its ability to drill overlapping holes. The main advantage of this bit is that it can create flat bottom holes with a very small indent at the center.

6. Adjustable Drill Bits – Use For Uncommon Sizes

Adjustable Drill Bits

This is a type of expansion bit that was designed for easy and accurate adjustment. It has two movable tool-steel cutters that help to change the hole size. Drills of very high torque are needed to use these bits.

Adjustable drill bits can drill a wide variety of holes, even of uncommon sizes. Usually, a ruler or vernier scale is used to measure the adjustments of its bit sizes.

7. Auger Drill Bits – Best for Thick & Dry Wood


Generally, these bits are used to drill holes into thick and dry wood. They have an innovative design with a spiral drill bit head with a screw tip. This tip creates the initial hole and you don’t need to apply too much pressure to pull the bit into the wood.

8. Gimlet Bits – Manual Dilling Tools

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It is not a drill bit in the traditional sense but it can make similar holes in wood. It has a spiral flute and a sharp threaded point that cuts instead of wedges into the wood. Gimlet is a hand tool for making small holes in wood without splitting.

9. Hinge Sinkers – Best for Softwood

These are typically used by kitchen furniture manufacturers for creating wide and shallow holes in softwood. However, these are ideal for pre-drilling holes for concealed cupboards, hinges, handles, drawer slides, etc.

10. Hole Saw – Use For Wide Circular Hole

A hole saw cutter is a specialist drill bit that allows you to make a wide circular hole. It is a small cylindrical metal blade that consists of a circular saw blade mounted on an arbor. A hole saw is used when drilling out locksets for doors or removing a plug from wood.

11. Installer Bit – For Wiring Holes In Wood

Installer bits are used to bore holes for wiring installation. Interestingly the tip of this bit has a tiny hole to insert the wire for passing through the material. These bits are very long reaching up to 18 inches.

12. Masonry drill bit – Best For Hardwood

These bits are specially designed to drill into hard and tough materials like concrete, bricks, and hardwood. Masonry bits look like larger twist drills with a wide arrow-shaped head. These bits tend to wear out quickly due to heavy-duty tasks.

13. Screwdriver Drill Bit – For Driving Screws in Wood

It is a tool for driving screws that is useful for building projects, renovations, and machine work. Each screwdriver bit has different types of shanks and tips and all can be fitted to most drilling tools.

14. Self-Feed Bits

Often confused with a Forstner bit, self-feed bits feature a screw tip for positioning the bit. This bit is mostly used for drilling larger holes and they usually go all the way through the wood. These bits can be a tad more aggressive than other large-diameter wood bits.

15. Spade Drill Bit

Spade drills are two-fluted, end-cutting tools with a broad, flat area for boring larger holes in wood. These bits bore holes with a large diameter. However, a spade bit has no flute. So you might have to back off a bit after regular intervals.

16. Step Drill Bit – Best for Different-sized Holes

These are conical-shaped drill bits where the diameter increases gradually in different steps. You can make multiple different-sized holes with a single stop bit. These are used on both metal and wood.

17. Twist Bits

These are the most general-purpose drill bits that can be used in a wide variety of surfaces like plastic, steel, and wood. They resemble corkscrews and make small holes in a surface.

18. Annular Cutter – For Accurate Burr-free Hole

An annular cutter is a form of core drill bit for drilling through steel. Also used on woods, these cutters only cut the outside edge of a hole, resulting in an accurate burr-free hole.

19. Bullet Point Bits

It is a special kind of drill that resembles spur point bits. It cuts through metal, wood, and plastics. Bullet point bits have twisted flutes that are ground away. Their pointed tip makes its small pilot hole preventing any walking. They cause little damage to the surface and make clean holes.

20. Rivet Bits

Rivet bits feature a special design that allows for drilling holes for rivets. They are ideal for drilling shallow holes through thin sheets of metal.

21. Hammer Bit

Hammer drills are designed to quickly drill through brittle materials. They have a specially designed clutch that allows them to punch and drill at the same time.

Final words

Drill bits are vital for any woodworking job and having a good collection of them is necessary for becoming an expert woodworker. We hope the information provided benefits you in having a clear idea about the major types of drill bits for wood that you can get for yourself.

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