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Drill Bit Basics




JD Dictionary

Standard Bits

or Regular Point drill bits have a 118 degree included angle point with cutting relief angles suited to cut metal or wood. It is designed to be an all-purpose point to cut most all materials.


Twist Drill Bits

With 135 degree V-point as standard, these general-purpose bits are good for drilling wood, metal and plastics. They are excellent for cutting holes in end grain and are easy to sharpen.


Brad Point Bits

For wood only. Better for cross-grain cutting than the traditional twist drill bit. A brad point bit will leave a cleaner hole, won't walk at start of cut or drift during the cut. The Brad in the center of the point allows accurate positioning when starting a hole even if the hole is not 90-degrees from the surface. The outlining spurs sheer the wood grain and leave a clean edge around the opening of the hole, eliminating the need for sanding. In most woods, the spurs also help to produce a cleaner edge when drilling through the backside of the wood.


Taper Point Bits

are designed specifically to pre-drill for the shank and threads for standard wood screws. Available in sizes and lengths to cover a wide variety of screws.


Forstner Bits

are best for cutting through thin stock, cutting a flat-bottomed hole, cutting overlapping holes (for mortising and removing stock), for drilling at angles, including angles over 45 degrees, and for angled partial holes. Use them in portable drills or in a drill press.


Auger Bits

for hand drilling in wood. The lead screw pulls the bit into the wood allowing the operator to focus more on sighting the angle and less on feed pressure. Recommended for cutting deep holes. Not for use on a drill press. Two different shanks available: square for bit brace, hex for hand and electric drills.



Types of Metal for Drill Bits
Carbon Steel is the softest and the least expensive metals that we offer. Also can include High Carbon Steel and High Alloy Steel. Many craftsmen like Carbon Steel because it is soft enough to sharpen with a file. Fuller manufactures tools from Carbon Steel that are heat treated to 62c hardness and can not be sharpened with a file. A stone type of a grinding wheel is required to sharpen them.

Stainless Steel Not normally used to manufacture tools. However, there are some applications where the spring steel quality keeps the tools from breaking and are not that much more expensive than the Carbon Steel.

High Speed SteelSometimes abbreviated HSS, comes in a variety of different grades generally used in the metalworking industry to make drills, turning tools and other tools to cut metal. In woods and plastics, all grades of HSS far outlast the cheaper Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel. Tools made of High Speed Steel will always have HS or HSS stamped on them. Don't be fooled by imitations! We recommend HSS for most applications because the tools are reasonably priced, last a long time in woods and plastics and have more sizes and lengths available than any other materials. However, if you are cutting thousands of holes in a production application you will need some type of Carbide Tooling.

Carbide Tipped is the material of choice for high production applications. Carbide is super hard, resharpenable and replaceable. Carbide can cut faster at higher spindle speeds because it is impervious to the heat produced at those speeds. Since Carbide is so hard it is also very brittle and will tend to chip.


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