Drill accessories refer to the bit that goes into your drill. There is a wide variety of bits for driving, drilling, polishing, sanding, sawing and more.
Learn how to choose the right bit for any job! Check out our overview video with Ana White and be sure to review the Glossary for common terms and lingo.
Pilot Holes prevent wood from splitting
Not only does a pilot holes prevent your wood from splitting but it also helps keep the screw on a straight path. For large and long screws, pilot holes make it much easier to drive into the work piece. If you're driving a screw within two inches of the board's edge it is more likely that wood will split, drilling a pilot hole will help keep the wood from splitting.
A pilot hole needs to be smaller than your screw
Drilling a pilot hole too large for your screw will make the screw unable to grip the material. Charts are available as reference guides. A quick way to pick the right size drill bit, is to compare the drill bit with the screw's shaft. The spiraling ridges of the screw stick out from the center of the shaft. Find a drill bit that is close to the same size as the center of the screw, and smaller than the spiraling ridges.
You can use an awl or nail as an alternative to a pilot hole
For shorter screws, a pilot hole may not be needed. You can help get the screw started without a pilot hole by using an awl or nail to make a small indention in the wood. Place your fastener into the indention and begin to drive your fastener.
Use countersinks for cleaner finish
Countersinks create pockets for the screw head to fit into. You can create a countersink with a counterbore, which is a pocket with a hole that matches the size of your screw head. This makes it easy to cover the screw with a plug or putty. It's great for hiding screws heads in furniture or any other projects where you don’t want the screw to show.
Avoid stripping your screws
To keep your screws from stripping, make sure you're using the correct driving bit to match your screw head and be careful not to use more torque than needed.
There are bits for drilling holes and bits for driving fasteners.
Instructions: Loosen the chuck by hand, insert the drill bit's shank and tighten firmly.
A bit used to "bore" or create deep holes in wood.
Awl hand tool
An Awl hand tool is a tool with a long metal spike used to mark or to drill holes in different materials.
Black oxide bits
High Speed Steel Drill Bits with a Black Oxide finish which is created by a combination of chemicals and heat during the manufacturing process. Because of this finish, they have a higher resistance of rust and stay sharper longer; for use in general purpose drilling
A bit with 3 small points at the tip. Prevents the bit from "walking" when you start drilling. For precise drilling and for wood only.
A bit that creates a pocket for the screw or fastener to fit in and be flush with the top of the material. The size of the pocket should match the size of the screw head. High Speed Steel countersinks can also be used to clean the edges of holes in metal and plastic.
Used for drilling holes in various materials.
Forged or milled metal piece with a tip and a shank used for driving in all types of fasteners
Hardware that keeps two or more pieces of material together
A screw whose head is exactly level with the material it is fixed to. Might be used for molding or furniture
A wood drilling bit that makes a clean flat bottom hole. These bits shoould only be used on a drill press because of high torque they produce.
High Speed Drill Bits
General purpose bits used for drilling in wood, plastic, and metal. High Speed refers to the metal used to manufacture these kind of bits.
A pilot drill bit attached to a cylindrical cutter. Used for making large holes, ussually in 2 by material; Can be used for installing lighting under cabinets
Impact rated bits
Driving bits manufactured with a special material or profile that withstand the high torque of an impact driver; for use with impact drivers
A Lag Screw is a heavy-duty wood screw used for structural support . Might be used for building a deck or trellis.
Drill bits with a carbide tip used to drill holes in brick, mortar, block and concrete.
A hex design bit used for driving in nuts, bolts and other hex head fasteners.
Pilot holes are used primarily to prevent the wood from splitting. They can also be used to keep the screws on track and make it easier to drive.
A piece of wood used to cover a hole usually made by a fastener driven below the surface of the workpiece material. Might be used for decorative pieces
A hole is made for driving screws at an angle. Commonly used for furniture
Pocket hole jig
An accessory that helps you drill pocket holes.
A chart with holes that can be used to determine the size of the screw to be used and the pilot hole needed.
A fastener that makes its own hole as it's driven used for driving into sheet metal.
The section of the bit that goes into the drill's chuck. The most typical shanks are round, 3-flat, reduced and hex shaped.
To drive a fastener into material.
Spade bit / Paddle bit
A drilling bit with a flat, spade shaped head. Used for making larger holes.
Stripped/ Stripping Screws
A stripped screw has a head in which the tip design has been deformed by a spinning driver bit. They can be very hard to get out.
Sub flush screw
A screw whose head is below the surface of the material it is fixed to.
Tapered head wood-screws
A common type of fastener used for wood work.
Tile Bits / Glass Cutting Bits
Drill bits with a triangular carbide tip or tips used to drill holes in glass and tile.
Titanium coated drill bits
High Speed Steel Drill Bits with a Titanium Nitride coating which helps the drill bit stay cooler when in use, especially when drilling metal. This helps the drill bit stay sharper longer. For general purpose drilling
How do I pick the right bit for my job?Ask yourself several questions about the project to help you know which bit is best. Are you drilling a hole or driving a screw? If you're drilling a hole for a fastener, you need to select a bit smaller than your fastener. If you're driving, you simply match the screw's head to the appropriate bit.
Why are there so many different kinds of screws and driver bits?Each screw type is designed to interact with your tool in a different way. Many DIY-ers prefer torx (star-shaped) or square head (square shaped) because they are much harder to strip out, and they allow more torque to be transferred to the screw without damage. Slotted heads and Phillips heads are losing popularity as more powerful tools are developing.
Why are there so many different kinds of drill bits?There are all kinds of drill bits that are made to drill all kinds of material. Wood, metal, plastic, glass, stone…etc. All these materials have their ideal kind of bit.
What kind of bit is best for wood?Twist bits, brad-point bits, auger bits, forstner bits, spade bits and hole saws are all great choices for creating holes in wood. The bit you choose will depend on the size and finish needed.
What kind of bit is best for plastic?Twist bits work great in plastic, however the size of the hole you desire will play a big role in the type of bit you choose.
When do I need to use heavy fasteners like lag screws?Deck building and other weight/load bearing projects are typically best for larger fasteners.
How do I drive a lag screw?Clamp your material together and drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than your lag screw. Attach a nut driver bit or socket adapter with a socket and drive the lag screw till it is fully fastened. Some DIY-ers recommend driving lag screws quickly as opposed to starting slowly and increasing the speed.
How do I know how long my screws should be?Measure the pieces you're joining and pick a screw that will go all the way through the top piece and about 1/2 way through the bottom piece. In other words, 3/4 of the total thickness of the two pieces.
How do I know how thick my screws should be?Screw gauges (thickness) are rated 2-16. The smallest ones are best for small detail work and the largest are meant for structural/heavy load use. A mid-range gauge is usually best for general DIY.