What Drill Bit to Use? – How to Drill Steel, Wood and Concrete

It is obvious that you can't cut iron blocks with a butter knife. Just like that, you can't use the same bit for all types of materials. Boring a hole with nominal effort and least possible time greatly depends on choosing the right bit for the right material.

Most of the newbies fall in confusion while choosing the right type of bit. In this article, you will come to know about how to drill in some common materials like steel, wood, and concrete using the right type of bit.

At the end of the article, you will find it as a piece of cake. You will know that drilling bit in staffs isn't that much hard. All you have to do is go through this article and get your job done. Let's have a deep drive. 

Note: If you need more info about wood and metal drill bit uses then read "wood vs metal drill bit"

Choosing the Right Drill Bit for the Workpiece

This is one of the most important fact when you have to learn to drill. There are different kinds of drill bits for different kinds of drilling surfaces. You can’t use the wood drill bit for the steel bit. So, the decision making is a part with great significance.

Here are some suggestions from our side on choosing the right drill bit for different types of surfaces-

Right Drill Bits for Steel

You have to choose different drill bits for different staffs. So you have to choose some certain drill bits for steel. There are many types of drill bits for steel - HSS bit, Titanium Coated or Cobalt Steel, Uni bit or Step Bit. These drill bits are perfect for steel staffs as they are specially designed for this job.

A Titanium coating over HSS steel makes the bit more durable than the ordinary HSS bits, therefore, makes it strong enough steels and other hard materials. In reality what happens is the titanium coating washes away if you try to sharp them.

The most suitable solution to this problem is using a bit made from alloy. Cobalt Alloy bits are such kind of them. Usage of cobalt makes the bit stronger and durable against high temperature.

But the problems that arise are the high cost of manufacturing, brittleness and losing of edge. They are quite good with mild steel and other soft metals.You have to know about the inputs and outputs. This is very important for your skill development. For the beginners, this is highly recommended.

Right Drill Bits for Wood

Again for wood, there are some specific drills. Wood is the most common staff where drilling is seen quite commonly. And its use for very useful purposes. We need wood for our day to day life. So drills on wood are also same important.

The drill bits that are used in this case are spade and flat in shape. The configuration of these bits is different from one another.

The spade or flat wood bits are widely used for rapid drilling and available in various size. The problem of spade bits is that due to an application of too much pressure they produce splintering effect.

The lip and spur bits are another option for drilling timber and are available in sizes (drill bits sizes) from 1/8 inches (3 mm) to 5/8 inches (16 mm).

These bits also work fine as they generate heat and melts plastic. But you have to be careful while using this kind of bits because of over melting you might not get the perfect hole.

Right Concrete Drill Bits

We also have to drill concrete for many purposes. When construction is on it is very important fact. So you have to know about these facts also. There are two main drill bits for this. They are tungsten carbide bit and diamond hole saw. The tungsten carbide bits have a wide range of use on brick, concrete and masonry blocks.

They are available in sizes from just under 1/4 inches (5 mm) to 1 1/2 inches (approx. 40 mm). Generally, you will find this type of bits as rounded shank which can be used in a normal chuck.

But in my opinion, this is better to go for an SDS made brick. The shank on this type of bit doesn't slip in a chuck and have very easy insertion and extraction process.

This type of bits is generally used in impact type of drill – like the Hammer Drill. The impact that is created with this type of bits pulverizes the concrete block. The diamond bits are almost identical with the hole saw but used for a large and wide hole. These are the main facts for these two type of drill bits.

How to Drill on Steel, Wood and Steel- 3 Easy Steps

So far, we’ve got familiar about the preferable selection of drill bits for steel, wood and steel. But how about installing them?

No matter what type of workpiece you are drilling on, there are some particular measures and precautions to make the job perfect. But to be frank, the process isn’t a child’s play.

Therefore, to make it easier to understand, we’ve spitted the entire drilling process on several surfaces into some easy steps. Here they are-

Step 1: Chose the Right Bit Set

As you know by now, there is preferred type of drill bit set for any surface of workpiece. Firstly, get the right fit of bit and place that on your drill.

Then, put the bit on the chuck. If you are new at this, here is the basic definition of Chuck- It’s a three-pronged holder that’s paced right after the drill bit.

Step 2: Tighten the Bit

For making the task smooth, you have to make sure that the bit is placed tightly. Otherwise, many damages can occur that will ruin the job and even reach injury to the user.
In general, the tightening can be done by just holding the big round part which is just after the bit.

In other models, there require hand-tightening. In some other drills, there is a key to tighten the chuck.

Step 3: Drilling the Bit into Workpiece

If you’re done with the first two steps, now it’s time to get the job done.

Firstly, set the drilling speed manually at the drill control panel. It generally depends on the type of surface- Steel, Wood or Concrete.

Later, insert the drill bit into the workpiece surface. To decrease the amount of friction, you can dip the tip of the bit into oil. It will also keep the temperature down. When drilling, make sure that the direction of drilling force is being straight from your hand. Don’t let the drill bit bend.

Removing the Drill Bit

As the hole is done, it’s time to remove the bit perfectly. If this is not done well, it can lead into burning.

To remove the bit periodically, shake of the shavings carefully. For better results, putting a few drops of lubricants will work fine. Also, don’t forget that, the temperature of the bit is quite high. So, don’t even think of removing the shavings with finger tips.


These are the basic staffs you have to know about in drill bits. So you can now easily define which drill bit to use in which case. We can hope that your confusion can come to an end if you are reading this article.

So you have to make sure that your confusions are gone. With this your skills might also get high. So make sure that you are using the right drill for the right staffs.

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