• icon-wishlist
  • icon-cart
Details

Selecting a drill bit

Drill bits are used to drill holes of various sizes into many different types of material. This guide will help you choose the kind of drill bit you’ll need according to your drill’s shank adaptor and the type of material to be drilled.

The Shank and the Chuck

A drill's chuck is the mechanism that holds a drill bit's shank in place. There are three types of shank: round, hexagonal and SDS.

1- Round Shank

The round shank, designed specifically for “ring” chucks is the most popular. The chuck mechanism has three “jaws” that move in and out, gripping the shank as you screw or unscrew. This system is highly accurate for aligning and centering a drill bit.
  • Round Shank Adaptor

2- Hexagonal Shank

The hexagonal shank has six flat sides. It is designed for drill bits used in chucks with a hexagonal hole or for a drill bit that undergoes a lot of torque, such as a multi-spur bit.
  • Hexagonal Shank Adaptor

3- SDS Shank

Drill bits with SDS shanks can be inserted with one hand into the chuck. Available on professional model impact drills, this type of shank uses a to-and-fro drill movement. This is considered the most effective system for drilling stone or concrete using a masonry bit. SDSplus and SDSmax shanks are also available and are used with industrial rotary hammer accessories.
  • SDS Shank Adaptor

Best Material for the Task

Drill bits are manufactured with various materials, each with their own strengths and weaknesses
Steel
Carbon Steel
High-Speed Steel
Titanium-Coated
Cobalt Steel
Carbide
Strengths
Most economical
Stronger than regular steel
  • Stronger than regular steel
  • Resists heat build-up caused by friction.
  • Widely available due to popularity
  • Reduces friction and heat
  • Can extend the life of a high-speed drill considerably
  • Very hard
  • Maintains its qualities at high temperatures
  • Very hard
  • Resists wear
  • Resists heat
  • Stays sharp longer than other substances
Weaknesses
Least resistant
  • Poor resistance to heat caused by friction
  • Very rare due to popularity of high-speed steel
Expensive
  • Expensive
  • Breaks more easily than high-speed steel
  • Expensive
  • Breaks more easily than high-speed steel
Main Use
Softwood
Hardwood and metals
Wood, metal, plastic
Wood, metal, plastic
Stainless steel and other hard metals
Concrete (carbide-tipped drill), metal, wood, fibreglass.
Steel
Carbon Steel
High-Speed Steel
Titanium-Coated
Cobalt Steel
Carbide
Strengths
Most economical
Stronger than regular steel
  • Stronger than regular steel
  • Resists heat build-up caused by friction.
  • Widely available due to popularity
  • Reduces friction and heat
  • Can extend the life of a high-speed drill considerably
  • Very hard
  • Maintains its qualities at high temperatures
  • Very hard
  • Resists wear
  • Resists heat
  • Stays sharp longer than other substances
Weaknesses
Least resistant
  • Poor resistance to heat caused by friction
  • Very rare due to popularity of high-speed steel
Expensive
  • Expensive
  • Breaks more easily than high-speed steel
  • Expensive
  • Breaks more easily than high-speed steel
Main Use
Softwood
Hardwood and metals
Wood, metal, plastic
Wood, metal, plastic
Stainless steel and other hard metals
Concrete (carbide-tipped drill), metal, wood, fibreglass.

Accessories

Several key accessories can maximize drill bit performance or help extend life:

  • 24" to 6' flexible extension
  • Right-angle head
  • Stop collars
  • Drill bit sharpener
  • Drill bit gauge to check drill bit size.

All accessories for rotator tools available

Suggested products

See all drill bits