Best Drill Bits For Wood: Honest Reviews And a Buyer’s Guide 2020
Whether you’re a homeowner or a workshop worker, chances are you need a good drill. Hanging a family photo? No problem! Construction work? Done! With the right kind of drill, you’re always ready to go. But what about drill bits?
Drill bits are an often overlooked, albeit crucial, part of any drill. No matter how good your drill is, without the right drill bit set, it will simply not do its job properly & drilling will be a chore.
When it comes to drill bits, some are versatile. However, if you’re looking to cut wood specifically, you need the best drill bits for wood. How to find them, how to choose them, and which ones are the best? To answer those questions, simply read our complete buying guide to the best drill bits for wood!
What Are Drill Bits?
Drill bits are what your drill can’t function without. They’re cutting tools used to create holes, most commonly circular. Drill bits come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to adjust to each and every project. It’s not good to use the wrong drill bit for a project you’re working on, so it’s fortunate that there are so many options, everyone can take their pick.
Drill bits work on a number of different materials, from steel to wood. There are also drills that can work on plastic, ceramic tile, concrete, porcelain, aluminum, cast iron, sheet metal, fiberglass, copper, brick, vinyl, and more.
The way they function is simple — they’re attached to the drill, which then powers them and allows them to cut through the material and create a hole. This is typically done by rotating the drill bit very rapidly.
While most drill bits create circular holes, there are also specialized bits that can drill in a non-circular cross-section. Drill bits also vary not just by size, but also by depth, ensuring that you can drill as deep a hole as is needed for your current workpiece.
Drill bit construction
If you want to ensure that you’re buying the exact drill bit for your current needs, we need to tell you about the way drill bits are constructed. We’ll make it short and snappy!
Where drills are concerned, there are two easy to identify parts that you need to keep in mind when you purchase drill bits. They are called the shank and the chuck. The shank is the back part of the drill and it fits directly into the drill. It’s secured by the chuck.
Round shanks are what helps the bit be centered in the chuck accurately. When it comes to hex shanks, flat surfaces on those allow the chuck to grip the drill bit safely, preventing any possible disasters.
A ¼-inch hex shank bit is meant to be used on ¼-inch impact drivers. Those hex shank bits can be quickly changed. As for SDS (slotted drive system) shanks, they are best used in concrete drills and for demolition bits that work specifically with rotary hammer drills of the SDS-Plus and SDS-Max kind.
As for the chuck, that is the part of the drill that keeps the drill bit attached. Most power drills you may find at home or at the workshop utilize a ⅜-inch or ½-inch chuck. There are also larger chucks that come in ⅝-inch and ¾-inch variants. However, those are usually fitted on heavy-duty power drills and drill presses, as well as industrial machines.
Best Drill Bits For Wood Reviews For 2020
Equipped with the knowledge about the best drill bits for wood, are you ready to choose the ones that will suit you? Our buying guide is here to help! Be it twist bits, twist drill bits, cobalt drill bits, and more, there’s plenty to choose from.
To make things easier, here’s a list of some of our recommendations. Tried and tested, these drill bits will make quick work of any kind of wood.
DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set
|DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set, Pilot Point, 21-Piece (DW1361)||12,832 Reviews||$29.99||Check on Amazon|
Browsing our guide, you will find that DeWALT is one of the most recommended brands for drill bits. This is because the product they deliver is of top-notch quality. This 21-piece drill bit set is a great example of the brand’s leading qualities, such as its focus on durability and ease of use.
These DeWALT drill bits have a titanium pilot point. This greatly increases their lifespan, adds to their strength and power, and ensures that they are safe to use. The drilling process begins on contact, which in turn produces much cleaner holes.
Instead of using spin shanks, these drill bits use a clip latch for greater security of closing. They stay put and don’t give way to even thick pieces of wood. This is also due to the tapered web, which greatly reduces the chance for the bit to break.
- Titanium strength and amazing durability
- Huge set of 21 drill bits
- Clean holes
- Spiral tool flute type
- Several sizes, from 1/16-inch to ½ inch
- Not recommended to use on any other type of metal except aluminum
DEWALT Drill Bit Set, 14-Piece
|DEWALT Drill Bit Set, Titanium, 14-Piece (DW1354)||48,721 Reviews||$16.39||Check on Amazon|
If you don’t quite need a 21-piece set, how about a 14-piece? This DeWALT drill bit set is affordable yet powerful, delivering exactly what you need in a drill bit kit.
Made out of titanium, these DeWALT drill bits feature pilot points that start directly on contact. This prevents movement of any sort and lets you maintain a strong, steady grip on your work project.
You can use this 14-piece drill bit set to work on a wide range of metal and wood applications, as well as masonry drill jobs. When you’re done with your work, you can pack them back up in the sturdy plastic carrying case which comes as part of the set.
- Durable carrying case included
- Titanium pilot point
- Twice as long life versus black oxide drill tips
- Pilot points start on contact and will drill holes efficiently
- Does not come with a ⅜” nut adapter
PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set
|PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece (PC1014)||1,492 Reviews||$61.07||Check on Amazon|
When it comes to Forstner drill bits, PORTER-CABLE is a brand that makes some of the best drill bits for wood out there. If you’re looking for something high-end with premium performance, this is the product for you to get.
This is a 14-piece set of Forstner drill bits that are optimized to improve cutting angles and deliver clean edges. These drill bits are quick to produce flat bottom holes in wood and other material.
As this is a set, you get the full scope of drill bit sizes, including the most common sizes such as ¼ inch and 2 inches. All of these drill bits were made with longevity in mind, so you can use them both for hobby projects and for work.
- Perfect for quick drilling flat bottom holes
- Clean edges guaranteed
- Durable & long-lasting
- High-end set with a higher price tag
BLACK+DECKER Screwdriver Bit Set
|BLACK+DECKER Screwdriver Bit Set / Drill Bit Set, 109-Piece (BDA91109)||7,779 Reviews||$17.98||Check on Amazon|
If you want an absolutely comprehensive set of drill bits, one that will meet your every need and then surpass it, BLACK+DECKER has got you covered. This is a drill bit set that comes with a whopping 109 pieces, as well as a sturdy carrying case.
The set covers a large range of 1-inch and 2-inch screw driving bits. The various types and sizes guarantee that this is the best set of drill bits for any hobbyist or professional with a drill.
- A massive set of drill bits
- Several different sizes
- Comes with a carrying case
- Affordable & better than black oxide drills
- If used daily, they may wear out with time
Bosch 65-Piece Drilling and Driving Mixed Set
|Bosch 65-Piece Drilling and Driving Mixed Set MS4065||5,834 Reviews||$34.94||Check on Amazon|
This is yet another huge set of drill bits. It’s a mixed set, which means that there’ll be options for wood, metal, and more. Made out of alloy and coated with a black oxide finish, these hex shank type drill bits are powerful & reliable.
As this bit set contains not just drilling bits but also driver bits, it’s a full kit of accessories that any drill user might ever wish for. It comes with a number of useful tools, such as insert bits, a socket adapter, sockets, hex shank black oxide drill bits, a bit holder, Brad point bit, and even a measuring tape.
The bits are sturdy enough to be used on a daily basis, so no matter if you work in a workshop or garage or you like to tinker on the weekends, you’ll find a great use for them.
- Convenient jobsite carrying case included
- Damage-reducing design thanks to the split drill bit tips
- Versatile use
- Includes Brad point bit, auger bit, twist bit, and more
- Not the cheapest option, albeit worth it for the brand alone
DEWALT Drill Bit Set of Spade Bits
|DEWALT Drill Bit Set, Spade Bits, Assorted, 3/8-Inch to 1-Inch,...||3,795 Reviews||$10.50||Check on Amazon|
If you’re looking for a spade drill bit set, DeWALT produced this assorted set of bits that will cover most of your needs without being too much. You won’t always need a hundred or more pieces — when it comes to spade bits, this set of 6 will perfectly suffice.
The spade bits come in six of the most common sizes: ⅜-inch, ½-inch, ⅝-inch, ¾-inch, ⅞-inch, and 1-inch. They’re versatile and efficient, with their edges sharp and ready to cut through wood with ease.
Equipped with a ¼-inch ball groove shank, these spade bits are compatible with the majority of drills. They’re strong and durable thanks to the reduced heat and loading, stemming from a higher stock removal.
- Compatible with most drills
- A set of most common spade drill bits
- Sharp and efficient cutting
- No spade drill bits bigger than 1″
Amoolo Titanium Step Drill Bit Set
|amoolo Titanium Step Drill Bit Set (3Pcs), Total 28 Sizes HSS 1/4" Hex...||830 Reviews||$14.99||Check on Amazon|
This set of high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits may only contain three pieces, but that’s surface-level. In reality, those three pieces cover 28 sizes of high-speed steel (HSS) ¼” drill bits, and they all do their job very well.
Featuring a hex shank unibit, this set of HSS drill bits has a wide application thanks to their varying sizes. You can safely use them on wood, metal, plastic, copper, and aluminum. They’re perfect for DIY projects but also favored by professionals.
The ¼” hex shank fits a vast majority of pistol drills. The design is made to last, keeping the bits in place even if you work on a tougher job.
- High-speed steel (HSS) titanium drill bits
- 28 step sizes, including sizes such as 3/16″, 13/32″, 11/16″, and more
- Titanium coating for industry-grade durability
- Centering them may require a bit of work
Bosch 13-Piece Daredevil Spade Bit Set
|Bosch DSB5013P 13-Piece Daredevil Spade Bit Set in Pouch,Blue||1,394 Reviews||$23.99||Check on Amazon|
Good spade bit drills are hard to come by, so it’s fortunate that Bosch has produced a set that contains a full 13 of them. If you like to cover all your bases, we recommend this exact set as one of the best drill bits for wood.
The design of the spade bit is nothing short of excellent. Including a contoured paddle that allows for quick removal of the chip, the drill bits also feature a full-cone threaded tip. The tip is sharp and strong, drilling quickly and with little to no effort on your part.
If you want to produce cleaner holes and you’re tired of the rough edges, these spade bits will help you in that regard. Their hex shank power groove reduces slippage and thus creates clean, smooth holes.
- 13-piece set of spade bits
- Made out of high-quality high carbon steel
- The design promotes fast & efficient drilling
- If the wood is very hard, you may find drilling more difficult to do
DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set
|DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set, 21-Piece (DW1342)||3,500 Reviews||$24.29||Check on Amazon|
We’re back, once again, to DeWALT — one of the rulers of the drill bit market. This titanium drill set with a spiral tool flute type produces great results without straining you.
These drill bits are versatile, performing well on metal, wood, and plastics. Their design promotes low-slippage, as they are equipped with a speed tip that greatly reduces walking. This is further expanded by the titanium coating that makes these have a lasting life.
They come with a dedicated carrying case that is shock-resistant and will survive even in a construction environment.
- Reduced slippage
- Titanium drill bits for extra durability
- Versatile use
- The bits fit tightly in the case, making them harder to remove
Amoolo Hex Shank Drill Bit Set
|amoolo Hex Shank Drill Bit Set (13Pcs Set+3 Pcs Free), Premium 4341...||1,208 Reviews||$12.99||Check on Amazon|
When it comes to hex shank drills, you can almost never have too many. It’s good to buy something that covers a wide range of sizes. This Amoolo set provides you with 13 pieces included, as well as three pieces free!
For the number of tools you get in this set, the price is almost shockingly low. Fortunately, how affordable these drill bits are is not reflected in their performance. This set of masonry drill, metal drill, wood drill, point drill bit, step drill, and plastic drill options, will drill quickly and efficiently.
- Covers most popular sizes ranging from 1/16″ to 1/4″
- 16 pieces in the set, three of which are free
- Premium HSS titanium coating & an industry-grade 4341 drill bit set
- Recommended for softer pieces and not too hard materials
Types Of Drill Bits
As mentioned above, drill bits come in not just different sizes, but also different types and shapes. When it comes to wood, some drill bits will do a better job than other models, which is why it’s important that you know your way around drill bit types before you make a purchase.
Before we begin, remember that these drill bits, while they may fall under a specific type or category, will still differ from each other. The final product falls down to different makes and designs. As such, make sure to check not just the type but also the bit itself to ensure it’s made for your project.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the specifics. Below, we will cover some of the most common drill bit types available on the market.
These bits look, no surprise there, like spades. The shaft ends in a spade-shaped blade which is flat at the ends and has a very sharp point at the center of the spade. This pointer is used as a guide and it helps you center the hole when you start drilling. While it might look like the pointed, sharp end at the center is what does the drilling, it’s not actually true. The cutting edges of the spade are what do all the drilling.
Spade drill bits are quite cheap and they are capable of drilling holes efficiently and quickly. Their design is simple and straightforward, which allows you to modify them, should you need a smaller-sized bit.
These are some of the bits where you really have to be careful about what you’re choosing. They come in different designs, so they will vary in their use. There are wood-boring augers, triple-fluted wood bits, concrete auger, earth auger, ice auger, and carbide-tipped auger bits. However, our interest today is focused on the wood auger bits.
Auger bits are the perfect tool of choice if you’re going to drill large and deep holes. They especially excel at drilling through thick wooden boards or dry timber. As auger bits have a screw thread added to the very tip of the drill bit, the bit is drawn into the material. This eliminates the need to push down on the surface.
Auger bits are known to provide a smooth finish, as the single spur cutting edges scribe the circumference of the hole. This results in a smooth cut with no rough edges.
Hole saws are drill bits that feature two parts: the blade and the mandrel. The mandrel is the shaft, so the blade is attached to it. This means that the mandrel fits directly into the drill and allows the whole unit to be rotated.
The blade of a hole saw is a hollow cylinder that has little nooks at the edges, closely resembling teeth.
Hole saws are designed to fill in the gap between spade bits and saber saws. They can drill through both wood and plastic, but they can also handle metals, such as aluminum, steel, and iron. They’re versatile and that makes them a worthwhile addition to any toolbox.
When it comes to woodwork, you will find yourself using hole saws for things such as installing conduits, tubing, piping, and cables.
Ship auger bit
The ship auger bit features all the same things that the general auger drill bit design does. However, they are capable of making lengthy holes in pieces of timber that are really thick. They can cut through just about anything, even nails, without getting damaged. As such, we recommend these for all your heavy-duty woodwork.
Forstner bits are special drill bits that are ideal for installing concealed hinges. They’re usually used on diameter sizes of 26mm-35mm, so they are capable of making large diameter holes in wood. Some of them feature a saw tooth rim while other models are equipped with a continuous rim.
The Forstner bits equipped with a continuous rim deliver a clean cut with a smooth edge. They are best used for drilling small holes. On the other hand, saw tooth rims are recommended for larger holes with more rugged edges.
Other drill bits
There are several more slightly less common drill bit types that are great for wood. Some of these are bit sets will include:
- Installer Twist drill bits/twist bits
- Brad point bits / Brad point drill bits
- Self-feed bits
- Cobalt drill bits
- Twist bit bits
Picking the best drill bit for wood is not an easy feat. Many factors come into play, and as it’s such an important thing to get right, it’s a great idea to do some initial research.
If you need some trusty recommendations, feel free to check out the drill bits we reviewed, and have another glance at them. They’re strong & capable of cutting through the wood as if it’s butter, so they’re bound to make your day much easier!