7 Best Drill Bit Sets of 2024

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The Best Drill Bit Sets

The Best Drill Bit Sets
  1. Best value for home workshop - Bosch X-Line 50 Piece Titanium Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set

  2. Best for range of bit sizes - Hi-Spec 130 Piece Multi Drill Bit Set

  3. Best for quality and value - DeWalt DT71563-QZ 100 Piece Drill Drive Set

  4. Best for quantity and assortment - Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set

  5. Best including hole saws - Makita ‎P-90249 100 Piece Trade Accessory Set

  6. Best budget selection - Umi 55 Piece Drill and Driver Bit Set

  7. Best value set with nut drivers - Amazon Basics71 Piece Multi-Bits Set for Drill and Driver

Drill Bit Set Reviews

Editors Choice
  • Drill bits with a titanium coating are far superior to cheap steel bits. They last for much longer than standard twist drill bits, so you won’t need to throw them away and start again too soon.
  • The included diameter gauge is a very handy bit of kit to have on hand. They’re a quick and easy way to determine the size of drill holes, so you can select the right drill bit fast.
  • The HSS bits all come in half millimetre sizes, from 1.5 – 6.5 mm. It’s always good to have each size because when some are skipped, you know it’s the one you’ll need!
  • The case is extremely well made. Compared with the flimsy plastic Amazon Basics case, you get metal clasps and a quality rubberised handle. It should keep everything safe for ages.

  • This is not a professional level set of drill bits. They’re excellent quality, but there’s just not enough of them for anyone other than a light DIY user. Once one breaks, that’s it.
  • I would prefer it if there were doubles of popular sizes of drill bit, like the 5 mm. Half sizes are useful to have, but you’re much less likely to need to drill 5.5 mm holes.
  • Several users have complained about the quality of the drill bits. They should be completely reliable if they’re coated with titanium oxide.
Total No. of Pieces
50
Metal Drill Bits
11
Masonry Drill Bits
6
Brad Point Bits
5
Spade Drill Bits
2
Screwdriver Bits
18
Hole Saws
0
Nut Drivers
3
Overall Score 4.3
Durability
4
Performance
4
Value for Money
5

One of the first names in tools, Bosch are constantly getting new and improved products into the hands of DIYers. Supplied in a handsome box and filled with quality drill and driver bits, the X-Line titanium drill bit set is incredibly handy to have around the house or in the shed.

Boasting titanium oxide-coated drill bits for extreme hardness and corrosion resistance, these are serious drill bits that shouldn’t go blunt on you after just a couple of uses. The star of this 50-piece show here is the impressive collection of 24 drill bits. You get six masonry bits, 11 high-speed steel (HSS) bits and five wood drill bits in a well-thought-out range of sizes.

The case itself is worth a mention. The twist drill bits all sit in a holder that hinges out, making them much easier to grab than ordinary blow moulded cases. The front of the case has a clear window as well, so you can always see if you’ve got the right drill bit. It comes with a handy collection of screwdriver bits, a diameter gauge, a set of spade bits and a few sockets.

It’s an excellent set to have in a drawer at home for when you need to drill holes or set a screw, but with the added advantage of the drill bits being well made and incredibly durable.

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Runner Up

2. Hi-Spec 130 Piece Multi Drill Bit Set

Best for range of bit sizes

best drill bit set Hi Spec 130 Piece Multi Drill Bit Set
  • You’ve probably already got plenty of screwdriver bits knocking about, so you don’t need another mixed set of bits. This dedicated set of drill bits is for a serious toolkit.
  • The range of HSS bits is brilliant in this set. Starting with tiny 1 mm bits, they go all the way up to 10 mm. It’s likely that you won’t need any bigger than that around the home.
  • Anyone who’s done a lot of drilling will tell you to stock up on drill bits. The good thing about the number included here is that you’ve got plenty of spares!

  • This is a big set of drill bits for the casual DIYer. The average home owner probably doesn’t need twenty 1 mm drill bits, but it’s always good to have a few spares.
  • Some users have complained about these drill bits snapping too quickly. Although you can’t expect the best quality in the world at this price, technique goes a long way in making them last.
  • The bit sizes are quite weighted towards the smaller end of the scale. You only get one of each type of 8 and 10 mm bit but loads of small ones. This isn’t the right set for heavy work.
Total No. of Pieces
130
Metal Drill Bits
78
Masonry Drill Bits
26
Brad Point Bits
26
Spade Drill Bits
0
Screwdriver Bits
0
Hole Saws
0
Nut Drivers
0
Overall Score 4
Durability
3
Performance
4
Value for Money
5

Hi-Spec are one of those brands that make honest gear for decent prices. One of the best ways to make sure you’ve always got a sharp drill bit is to have lots of them! So, this 130-piece multi-drill bit set is absolutely essential for keen DIYers or seasoned pros. There’s a good range of sizes to choose from and more than enough HSS bits to keep you working for a long time to come.

You get three types of drill bit to choose from, 78 titanium coated HSS bits for drilling through metal, 26 different brad-point wood bits, and 26 tungsten carbide tipped masonry bits for drilling into brick and block. They’re all round shank bits that will fit your combi drill chuck.

They come in a large plastic case with a metal clasp and hinge pin. Each bit is separated into its own little plastic tray that’s printed with the bit size on there. I like that when they arrive, they’re all in separate bags, making them easier to keep tidy and easy to find. There are so many of them, that it might well be the last set of drill bits you ever need to buy.

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Also Good
  • The removable quick access bit box is ideal for busy tradespeople. You don’t need to carry around the entire kit, it’s easy to slip the box in a pocket and grab a new bit when it’s needed.
  • DeWalt know how common size 2 driver bits are. Besides the 25 PZ2 bits, you even get four PH2s included. It’s the doubling up of common sizes that makes this a kit that will last.
  • I think DeWalt understand that driver bits are consumable parts of a toolkit. You can’t expect them to last for years, so I’m pleased they’ve added so many.
  • It’s good to have a comprehensive set of wood and HSS drill bits. You get two 5 mm wood bits as well, it’s always good to have doubles of these popular sizes.

  • This kit doesn’t include any spade bits. I find them to be incredibly useful to have around and think this kit could really benefit from their inclusion.
  • Compared with the Makita drill bit set, you don’t get anywhere close to the range of useful driver bits here. If you’re looking for a home DIY kit to cover all angles, this set is lacking.
  • Getting the drill bits out of the Bosch X-Line’s hinged holder is so much easier compared to this DeWalt set. The hard plastic holders are a real pain to deal with.
  • Several users have complained about the flimsy plastic catches that keep this set together. Compared with the metal catches on the Makita and Bosch kits, they’re useless.
  • It’s a shame that this set doesn’t come with a magnetic bit driver. There are plenty of times when you’d be better off using one of those rather than a heavy drill driver.
Total No. of Pieces
100
Metal Drill Bits
12
Masonry Drill Bits
3
Brad Point Bits
13
Spade Drill Bits
0
Screwdriver Bits
27
Hole Saws
2
Nut Drivers
7
Overall Score 4.7
Durability
5
Performance
5
Value for Money
4

One of the biggest tool brands to come from the USA is DeWalt. Their yellow and black tools have made their way into sheds and onto building sites all around the world. Their DT71563-QZ 100 piece set is a no-nonsense collection of quality drill and driver bits that do the job incredibly well.

Starting with the large collection of drill bits, DeWalt have included 13 wood drill bits, 12 HSS bits and just three masonry bits. They’re nicely arranged on the top half of the carry case, while the bottom half is dedicated to a range of long-reach driver bits, nut drivers, hole saws, short bits and one of DeWalt’s excellent quick access drill bit boxes full of 25 PZ2 25 mm bits.

Alongside the common PZ2 bits are a small range of other useful driver bits. You get a few Phillips, flathead, Torx and hex bits to keep you going, but this is more suited to a trade user who will go through PZ2 bits daily.

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4. Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set

Best for quantity and assortment

best drill bit set Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set
  • You can’t say that Terratek have skimped on what’s included in this set. You get multiples of most drill bit sizes, up to six of them for the small diameter ones.
  • For the serious home DIYer, this is an ideal set at a good price. Once you’ve got this set stashed in your workshop, it’ll be a long time before you need to buy another one!
  • The range of driver bits included in the set is impressive. There are 19 different Torx bits alone! There won’t be many times around the house when you’d need another set.
  • You get six different nut drivers alongside the huge piles of bits. They’ll come in handy when tackling bolts from 6 mm up to 11 mm.

  • More than a few users have complained about the quality of the individual drill bits. It doesn’t matter how many come with the set if they’re unreliable.
  • The case is quite flimsy compared with the excellent Bosch X-Line set. The individual drill bit holders are quite brittle, and can be hard to handle, especially when it’s cold.
  • Cupped nail punches are handy bits of kit to have around, but it’s a strange addition to this set that’s full of drill bits and driver heads. You don’t get a hammer or any nails to go with it.
  • This is a rather big and heavy set. It weighs 3 kg, so it’s not the sort of thing you’d be able to slip into a kitchen drawer. Compared with the slimline Makita set, it’s a bit unwieldy.
Total No. of Pieces
246
Metal Drill Bits
87
Masonry Drill Bits
21
Brad Point Bits
17
Spade Drill Bits
4
Screwdriver Bits
96
Hole Saws
4
Nut Drivers
6
Overall Score 4
Durability
4
Performance
4
Value for Money
4

Terratek have been making useful and budget-friendly tools and accessories for many years. Their bright orange tools are easily recognised, and pair up nicely with this mega-sized collection of 246 drill and driver bits in a rugged case.

While there are far too many drill bits to list here in full, you can rest assured that if you need it, this Terratek drill bit set has probably got it! Just for drilling alone are 30 black oxide-coated HSS bits, 57 HSS bits with a titanium coating, 17 wood drill bits, and 21 masonry bits. You even get four spade bits and a handy extender, and four different hole saw bits.

If that huge pile of drill bits wasn’t enough, there’s an equally large pile of driver bits to get you out of trouble as well. You get 96 different driver bits, ranging from 5 cm long bits with quick-release shanks to all sorts of 2.5 cm long bits. They all come in a large black plastic case and should meet just about any DIY need you might have around the house.

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  • Compared with the Bosch X-line case, there’s a lot less wasted space in this set. The box isn’t as bulky and there’s 30 more bits to choose from.
  • If you’re going to attempt drilling through any sort of sheet metal, it’s a good think Makita have included a centre punch. They’re essential to stop the drill bit from skating around.
  • Torx bits are becoming more and more common these days. I’m pleased to see a whole range of them included here as well as a double of the common T8 size.
  • The included magnetic bit driver is excellent. The rubberised grip is comfortable and helps you give it a bit more torque, and the magnet holds the bits securely.

  • The countersink bit is fine for working with soft wood, but don’t try it on steel. It’s not hardened enough and will wear down quickly, becoming useless.
  • If you look hard enough, there’s a spelling mistake on the blow moulded case. Unless there’s such a thing as a bit driver, Makita have failed in one part of quality control here.
  • Several users have complained about the quality of the individual drill bits. As is the case with a lot of DIY level sets, you get a lot of variety, but the quality can vary wildly.
  • If you want a wider range of high quality drill bits, go for the Bosch X-Line set. In comparison, Makita have focussed more on the driver bits.
Total No. of Pieces
100
Metal Drill Bits
6
Masonry Drill Bits
6
Brad Point Bits
6
Spade Drill Bits
3
Screwdriver Bits
50
Hole Saws
4
Nut Drivers
13
Overall Score 4.7
Durability
5
Performance
5
Value for Money
4

The big blue Japanese tool brand Makita have been at the forefront of professional and DIY tools for well over 100 years. Aside from making excellent tools and equipment, they make one of the best drill bit sets I’ve had a chance to own. The 100 piece “trade” accessory set contains everything you’d need for getting the job done at home or even at work.

The tough blow moulded case holds an incredible number of accessories without taking up much room at all. You get a comprehensive range of drill bits, six masonry, six HSS and six wood drill bits covering a decent range of sizes. Where this set really comes into its own is with the enormous range of 50 driver bits though. You get everything from two different lengths of common bit shapes to an amazing range of Torx bits.

But that’s not all that comes in this blow moulded case. There’s an impressive range of nut drivers included, four different sizes of hole saw, three spade bits, a centre punch, a countersink drill bit and a depth stop attachment. If you’re a home DIYer, you really don’t need anything else!

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6. Umi 55 Piece Drill and Driver Bit Set

Best budget selection

best drill bit set Umi 55 Piece Drill and Driver Bit Set
  • The quality of the individual twist drill bits is much better than you might expect from a lesser known brand like Umi. They’re heavy, sharp, and feel like they’re going to last for a long time.
  • I prefer this style of case compared with the often brittle plastic on the Terratek set. You don’t need to prize out bits with your fingernails from the soft EVA foam rubber insert.
  • This set might be more useful for serious DIYers than for light weekend users. The quality of the bits, the range of large diameter spade bits and multiples of driver bits are really useful.

  • As much as it’s useful for tradespeople to have multiples of common drill bit sizes on hand, it’s not so useful for light DIYers. They would probably be better off with a wider range of bits.
  • Umi have swapped out standard brad-point wood bits for a collection of spade bits. It’s an unusual choice for a DIY kit as small diameter wood bits are used a lot more often.
  • Compared with the Bosch X-Line kit or Makita set, you don’t get much in the way of useful accessories. This set lacks a magnetic bit holder, depth stops or diameter gauge.
Total No. of Pieces
55
Metal Drill Bits
8
Masonry Drill Bits
8
Brad Point Bits
0
Spade Drill Bits
7
Screwdriver Bits
32
Hole Saws
0
Nut Drivers
0
Overall Score 4
Durability
4
Performance
4
Value for Money
4

One of those brands that make everything from wireless headphones to yoga mats, Umi have also managed to make one of the best budget drill bit sets on the market right now. They’ve taken some of the good ideas made by professional brands like DeWalt and packaged it up for the savvy DIYer in this 55 piece drill and driver bit set.

Before I get on to the contents, it’s worth mentioning the excellent little box that they all come in. Rather than a simple folding plastic case, this one feels like a miniature toolbox on its own. There’s a carry handle on the top, and when you open it up the bits are held in place with foam rubber. I know I prefer pulling drill bits out of soft foam rather than brittle plastic holders.

The collection of drill bits is plenty for use around the home. You get eight masonry cobalt drill bits tipped with tungsten carbide, seven high-speed steel bits, and eight spade drill bits to choose from. They all feel heavy and well sharpened, not brittle and flimsy as you’d expect from a budget brand. What this kit lacks in variety it seems to make up for in quality.

The range of driver bits are contained in two quick access boxes. Similar to the DeWalt set, these can be taken out of the case and onto the job with you. It’s much easier to handle one of these than balance the entire set up on a ladder! Rather than providing every type of driver bit under the sun, you get a set of eight of the most popular drill bit sizes to work with: flathead, Phillips, PoziDriv, and Torx.

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  • Unless you’re a serious DIYer, you don’t need to overspend on the best drill bit set. Rather than collecting stacks of bits that may not be needed, this basic drill bit set will always come in handy.
  • Compared with the Umi drill bit set, this one comes with some accessories that DIYers will find useful. A magnetic bit holder is one of those essential pieces that should come with all sets.
  • Weighing in at just over 1 kg and measuring just 22 cm across, this is the perfect “bottom drawer” drill bit set. You could throw one in the car as well, just in case.
  • There’s a good collection of nutdrivers in this set. Ranging from 6 – 13 mm, most of the bolts around the house or in the car can be dealt with.

  • This is another annoying “basic” set that doesn’t come with a manual screwdriver. You can’t use the kit on its own, you’ll need a drill driver.
  • The same goes for the nutdriver set. Without a ratchet handle, they’re not particularly useful. It’s not advertised as a set to go with an electric drill driver, but it should be.
  • Some users have complained about some poor quality drill bits. Although you can’t expect top quality at this price, if they break there aren’t any doubles to fall back on.
Total No. of Pieces
71
Metal Drill Bits
12
Masonry Drill Bits
6
Brad Point Bits
6
Spade Drill Bits
3
Screwdriver Bits
30
Hole Saws
0
Nut Drivers
8
Overall Score 4
Durability
4
Performance
4
Value for Money
4

In-house brand Amazon Basics has a dizzying array of product lines and thousands of different tools and gadgets that won’t break the bank any time soon. Their 71 piece drill and driver bit set is a good example of what the brand is – it’s basic, but it works.

Starting off with the drill bits, you get six masonry bits, 12 high-speed steel bits, and six wood bits. They’re quite sturdy looking and should easily get the job done. To go with these bits are a trio of spade bits, for when you need to make a much bigger hole.

Now onto the driver bits. There are 29 assorted driver bits, with a useful little set of hex bits, Torx, Phillips and PoziDriv. There’s also a set of three depth stops and a countersink bit for when you need to be tidy. And for nut drivers, there’s a decent set of them when you come up against small bolts.

These all come packaged in a basic plastic box with sliding clips to keep it all shut. The clear plastic window on the front is a nice touch though, as you can see if any bits are missing before you put it away. It’s the ideal sort of kit to throw in a cupboard at home for when it’s needed.

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Harry's Smart Buying Tips

Before you grab your wallet, it’s worth having a good think about what exactly is the best drill bit set for you and your needs. For the average homeowner who only wants to put up a few pictures or the odd shelf, a small but useful kit is the right idea. However, if you’re planning on renovating your property or you know you’re going to be doing a lot of drilling, make sure your kit has multiples of the same drill bit, so you’re not caught short when one inevitably snaps.

The Case

The vessel that holds all your drill and driver bits might not seem important, but it really is. If you live in a flat and you’re a light DIY user, just get yourself a small and compact kit that fits in the kitchen drawer. You’ll be thankful it’s easy to store, and if you need to take it with you, you can. A honking great case will just get in the way, and you probably won’t use most of it anyway.

For those of us that need to go “on-site”, a flimsy little plastic box isn’t going to last in the back of a van or rattling around in a big tool case. The blow-moulded cases with metal clasps like you’ll find on the trade-level drill bit sets are much stronger. They won’t break if you drop them a couple of times and the hinges can usually take a good beating.

The Setup

The contents of the best drill bit set are down to you and what you need it for. If you want a little kit to get you out of a jam, there are a few basic things to look out for. The one that often gets left out is a screwdriver. It sounds simple, but a lot of “advanced” kits supply you with hundreds of bits but nothing to drive them with.

Some drill bit sets are designed for DIYers or tradespeople who already have the basics with them and need a more specialised set of accessories to get the job done. They leave out the entry-level kit because for the prepared user, a screwdriver or tape measure is just taking up more space.

So, if you’re planning on getting a kit and nothing else to leave at home in case of an emergency, look for these items in your set. These are my personal go-to tools if I could only choose a few: A screwdriver, a craft knife, a tape measure, a spirit level, a small selection of quality drill bits, a hammer, and a set of pliers.

Buying Drill Bits – Quality or Quantity?

The old saying goes “you buy cheap, you buy twice”, and in most cases this is true. It takes a few hard lessons to know if you’re saving money by buying the cheapest drill bits or driver bits on offer. If a cheap drill bit breaks after a couple of uses and you’re forced to buy another one, is it worth it?

I would, however, suggest that most DIYers don’t need to buy professional-level consumables like drill bits and driver bits though. Unless you’re using them all the time and putting them under a lot of pressure, save your money and get something that’s good enough.

A decent set of drill bits and driver heads will last for a long time, make short work of most materials and really grab on to screw heads. But don’t forget that there’s a lot to be said for technique. Practise the proper way to drill holes and learn to use the right amounts of pressure when you’re drilling or screwing, and you’ll probably find you chew through a lot fewer drill bits.

Signs of a Good Quality Drill Bit Set

It’s fine for me to tell you to buy the best quality drill bit set, but how can you tell if a drill bit is any good? There are a few things to look out for in a quality drill bit:

  • The grind on the tip of the drill bit is uniform. The normal grind angle is around 60°, but it’s more important that the grind is equal on both cutting surfaces. Cheap drill bits might be uneven.
  • The plastic used to make the case itself needs to be rigid, but not brittle. Some low-quality drill bit set cases are made from hard plastic that easily shatters. Look for cases made from plastics like high-density polyethylene. They’re hard-wearing but won’t snap.
  • Driver bits aren’t all made equally. The best driver bits are hardened by heating them to a high temperature then quenched in a cold liquid. They’re then tempered to make them extremely hard and difficult to break.
  • Another way that manufacturers make strong driver bits is with coatings of things like titanium and tungsten carbide. These bits are extremely hard, but they can also be brittle. Rather than bend, they’ll shatter under extreme pressure.

Compare Product Features

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature you want to see.

  • Bosch X-Line 50 Piece Titanium Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set
    best drill bit set Bosch X Line 50 Piece Titanium Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set
    • 4.3
    • 50
    • 11
    • 6
    • 5
    • 2
    • 18
    • 0
    • 3
  • Hi-Spec 130 Piece Multi Drill Bit Set
    best drill bit set Hi Spec 130 Piece Multi Drill Bit Set
    • 4
    • 130
    • 78
    • 26
    • 26
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
  • DeWalt DT71563-QZ 100 Piece Drill Drive Set
    best drill bit set DeWalt DT71563 QZ 100 Piece Drill Drive Set
    • 4.7
    • 100
    • 12
    • 3
    • 13
    • 0
    • 27
    • 2
    • 7
  • Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set
    best drill bit set Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set
    • 4
    • 246
    • 87
    • 21
    • 17
    • 4
    • 96
    • 4
    • 6
  • Makita ‎P-90249 100 Piece Trade Accessory Set
    best drill bit set Makita ‎P 90249 100 Piece Trade Accessory Set
    • 4.7
    • 100
    • 6
    • 6
    • 6
    • 3
    • 50
    • 4
    • 13
  • Umi 55 Piece Drill and Driver Bit Set
    best drill bit set Umi 55 Piece Drill and Driver Bit Set
    • 4
    • 55
    • 8
    • 8
    • 0
    • 7
    • 32
    • 0
    • 0
  • Amazon Basics71 Piece Multi-Bits Set for Drill and Driver
    best drill bit set Amazon Basics71 Piece Multi Bits Set for Drill and Driver
    • 4
    • 71
    • 12
    • 6
    • 6
    • 3
    • 30
    • 0
    • 8

How to Choose The Best Drill Bit Set

Before you grab your wallet, it’s worth having a good think about what exactly is the best drill bit set for you and your needs. For the average homeowner who only wants to put up a few pictures or the odd shelf, a small but useful kit is the right idea. However, if you’re planning on renovating your property or you know you’re going to be doing a lot of drilling, make sure your kit has multiples of the same drill bit, so you’re not caught short when one inevitably snaps.

The Case

The vessel that holds all your drill and driver bits might not seem important, but it really is. If you live in a flat and you’re a light DIY user, just get yourself a small and compact kit that fits in the kitchen drawer. You’ll be thankful it’s easy to store, and if you need to take it with you, you can. A honking great case will just get in the way, and you probably won’t use most of it anyway.

For those of us that need to go “on-site”, a flimsy little plastic box isn’t going to last in the back of a van or rattling around in a big tool case. The blow-moulded cases with metal clasps like you’ll find on the trade-level drill bit sets are much stronger. They won’t break if you drop them a couple of times and the hinges can usually take a good beating.

The Setup

The contents of the best drill bit set are down to you and what you need it for. If you want a little kit to get you out of a jam, there are a few basic things to look out for. The one that often gets left out is a screwdriver. It sounds simple, but a lot of “advanced” kits supply you with hundreds of bits but nothing to drive them with.

Some drill bit sets are designed for DIYers or tradespeople who already have the basics with them and need a more specialised set of accessories to get the job done. They leave out the entry-level kit because for the prepared user, a screwdriver or tape measure is just taking up more space.

So, if you’re planning on getting a kit and nothing else to leave at home in case of an emergency, look for these items in your set. These are my personal go-to tools if I could only choose a few: A screwdriver, a craft knife, a tape measure, a spirit level, a small selection of quality drill bits, a hammer, and a set of pliers.

Buying Drill Bits – Quality or Quantity?

The old saying goes “you buy cheap, you buy twice”, and in most cases this is true. It takes a few hard lessons to know if you’re saving money by buying the cheapest drill bits or driver bits on offer. If a cheap drill bit breaks after a couple of uses and you’re forced to buy another one, is it worth it?

I would, however, suggest that most DIYers don’t need to buy professional-level consumables like drill bits and driver bits though. Unless you’re using them all the time and putting them under a lot of pressure, save your money and get something that’s good enough.

A decent set of drill bits and driver heads will last for a long time, make short work of most materials and really grab on to screw heads. But don’t forget that there’s a lot to be said for technique. Practise the proper way to drill holes and learn to use the right amounts of pressure when you’re drilling or screwing, and you’ll probably find you chew through a lot fewer drill bits.

Signs of a Good Quality Drill Bit Set

It’s fine for me to tell you to buy the best quality drill bit set, but how can you tell if a drill bit is any good? There are a few things to look out for in a quality drill bit:

  • The grind on the tip of the drill bit is uniform. The normal grind angle is around 60°, but it’s more important that the grind is equal on both cutting surfaces. Cheap drill bits might be uneven.
  • The plastic used to make the case itself needs to be rigid, but not brittle. Some low-quality drill bit set cases are made from hard plastic that easily shatters. Look for cases made from plastics like high-density polyethylene. They’re hard-wearing but won’t snap.
  • Driver bits aren’t all made equally. The best driver bits are hardened by heating them to a high temperature then quenched in a cold liquid. They’re then tempered to make them extremely hard and difficult to break.
  • Another way that manufacturers make strong driver bits is with coatings of things like titanium and tungsten carbide. These bits are extremely hard, but they can also be brittle. Rather than bend, they’ll shatter under extreme pressure.

Drill Bit FAQs

The material a drill bit is made from determines its relative strength and suitability for drilling into different densities of material.

In a nutshell drill bits made from the softest metal are only suitable for drilling the softest materials.

A soft metal bit would fail when drilling anything other than a softwood – the softest drill bits are the least versatile but also the least expensive.

Most drill bits are made from titanium steel or cobalt. They can have modified tips to make them more resilient and be coated with compounds to reduce friction and heat.

Traversing the soft to hard scale, steel and carbon steel bits are the best choices for general woodwork.

High Speed Steel (HSS) bits can handle soft woods, hardwoods, most plastics, and many metals. These are the most versatile and reasonably priced general-purpose twist bits.

Then come carbide-tipped drills which can for instance drill into screws. They can handle heat better than HSS bits.

Next up are cobalt drill bits. They can drill into stainless steel, other thicker metals or even other drill bits (usually when those bits are broken and need removing).

Finally come tungsten carbide drill bits with a coating of diamond grit, and diamond core bits. These are used for drilling hard materials like rock and stone, and the hardest metals.

Most drill bits are coated with a chemical compound. The most basic is black oxide, used for protection against oxidation and rust.

Then comes Titanium Nitride (TiN), recognised by its gold colour.

Titanium Aluminium Nitride (TiAlN) is the most effective and can extend the life of the drill bit several times over.

Serious drilling into hard materials builds up heat from friction. When drilling into ceramics, concrete or stone you’ll need to douse the drilling hole with water, or with a special lubricant if you are drilling into metal.

For general-purpose drilling, Titanium drill bits would be a practical and affordable choice.

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