The Ultimate Drill Bit Set – Buyers Guide

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Drill Bit Set Buyers Guide

If you have a combi drill, or any type of drill for that matter, you will know the amount of jobs that they are able to complete. You can pretty much rely on them for any job around your home, in your garden, or for professional jobs too! However, the same cannot be said for drill bits! The types of drill bits that you are going to need will change for a variety of different reasons including the type of material that you are working with, the thickness of that material and the overall job that you are trying to complete!

The same drill bit that you need to drill into concrete or stone is never going to be the same one that you need for cutting into wood, or even glass or metal. You can always try “getting away” with using the same drill bit but you risk damaging the material, the drill and a really low quality finish on the job that you are completing! The best way to avoid this is to purchase a drill bit set! The best drill bit sets will include a wide variety of drill bits that are suited to a range of different jobs so that you are never left trying to make do!

There are lots of different drill bit sets out there, ones that are designed for general use, use on wood, building works and more. You also need to consider the extras that come with your drill bits, such as a case to keep them all safe and organised! We have compiled all the information that you are going to need and found some of the best drill bit sets, so that you don’t have to!

Only got 5 minutes

You own a drill. Chances are you’re going to need more than one drill bit. Agreed? The easiest, most cost-effective way of making sure you’ve got a drill bit suited to the task in hand is to invest in a decent drill bit set. For small sets with around 4-5 pieces, up to sets which contain 100+ drill bits, you can be sure you’ll find a set that gives you enough variety, without wasting your money on drill bits you’re never going to use.

Bosch 34pc. X-Line Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set (for Wood, Masonary and Metal, Accessories Drill and Screwdriver)
64,396 Reviews
Bosch 34pc. X-Line Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set (for Wood, Masonary and Metal, Accessories Drill and Screwdriver)
  • The 34pc. X-Line Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set from Bosch - suitable for a wide variety of applications in wood, masonry and metal
  • Suitable for all handheld and stationary drills with a practical Bosch X-Line case for the clear layout of the content
  • Twist drill bits for metal, plexiglass and plastics, masonry drill bits for masonry, sand lime bricks, natural stone and cast stone, brad point drill bits for soft and hard wood
  • Scope of delivery: 5 x twist drill bits Ø 2/2/3/4/5 mm for metal, plexiglass and plastics, 5 x CYL-1 masonry drill bits Ø 5/5.5/6/7/8 mm for masonry, sand lime bricks, natural stone and cast stone, 5 x brad point drill bits Ø 4/5/6/78 mm for soft and hard wood
  • 13x screwdriver bits length 25 mm (3x Cross-Head PH 1/2/3, 3x Pozidriv PZ 1/2/3, 3x Slot Head S 4/6/7, 4x Torx T 15/20/25/30), 3x sockets Ø 7/8/10 mm, 1x socket connector, 1x magnetic universal holder, 1x countersink 13 mm

Last update on 2022-11-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Choosing the best drill bit set

The world of drill bits is rather complex and can be a little overwhelming for us DIY novices, but leave the more technical jargon to the professionals. If you’re clear on the basics and take the time to shop around and compare a few different drill bit sets to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money, then you’ve done what you need to do.

The three main points you need to be clear on before starting to shop are:

  • The material(s) you’ll be drilling
  • The type of hole(s) you’ll be drilling
  • The size of the hole(s) you’ll be drilling 

Once you’re clear on the above, you can make a decision on what material you want your drill bits to be made of. Many different materials are used for drill bits with the most common choice being HSS (High-Speed Steel), which can drill holes in a variety of materials and, depending on the material being drilled, can be combined with other materials if needed, such as carbide, titanium or cobalt, to strengthen the drill bit for drilling holes in really dense masonry and hard metals.

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Bosch 70-Pieces X-Line Titanium Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set (for Wood, Masonry and Metal, Accessories Drills)
64,396 Reviews
Bosch 70-Pieces X-Line Titanium Drill and Screwdriver Bit Set (for Wood, Masonry and Metal, Accessories Drills)
  • X-Line drill and screwdriver bit set, suitable for a wide variety of applications in wood, masonry and metal
  • 11 metal drill bits Ø 1.5-6.5 mm (for metal, plexiglass and hard plastics). 6 masonry drill bits Ø 4-10 mm (for masonry, limestone, natural and cast stone). 5 wood drill bits Ø 4-10 mm (for hard wood, soft wood and plastic). 3 spade bits, titanium Ø 16/22/32 mm
  • 24 screwdriver bits L = 25 mm (PH 0/1/1/2/2/3, PZ 0/1/1/2/2/3, S 4/6/7, HEX 3/4/5/6, T 10/15/20/25/40), 10 screwdriver bits L = 50 mm (PH 1/2/3, PZ 1/2/3, S 4/6, T 20/25), 7 screwdriver bits Ø 4/5/6/7/8/9/10 mm, 1 connector for nutsetters
  • Compatibility: For all handheld and stationary drills
  • Practical Bosch X-Line case (236 x 259 x 64 mm) with clear layout of contents

Last update on 2022-11-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

The most common drill bit materials:

Material Use
Soft low-carbon steel Inexpensive, used for drilling wood, not particularly hard-wearing
High-carbon steel bits More durable than low-carbon steel, can be used on wood or metal
High-speed steel (HSS) Most-common material of drill bit, durable, more resistant to heat than high-carbon steel, can be used to drill the majority of materials including metal and wood, impressive cutting speed, easy to sharpen  
Cobalt steel alloys A variation on HSS that contains more cobalt used to drill stainless steel, aluminium and other hard materials, durable, pricey but widely regarded as being the best drill bit
Chrome vanadium steel Resists corrosion the chrome/vanadium combination creates a harder metal than HSS. Stays sharper for longer than HSS  
Tungsten carbide and other carbides Exceptionally hard (tough ceramic) Can drill virtually all materials, expensive – normally found on top-quality masonry, tile, and glass drill bits, more brittle than steel drill bits and so is mainly used for drill-bit tips

Once you’ve figured out which material of drill bit is best suited to you and your DIY plans, choosing the best drill bit set becomes much easier as you’ll be able to narrow down your search considerably. In terms of the size of your drill bit set (how many pieces), generally, the more ambitious your DIY projects are, the bigger the set you’ll need to purchase as you’re likely to need a variety of drill bits to hand, in a variety of sizes, capable of drilling into a variety of materials. Of course, there’s always the option to add to your drill bit set further down the line – adding more specialist drill bits – but a decent-sized combination drill bit set should be sufficient for the majority of DIY household tasks.            

Desirable features

The higher your budget, the more swanky your drill bit set and case is likely to be. If you’re looking at around the £30+ mark, you’re likely to get a good number of drill bit pieces, made from good quality HSS, with a range of accessories and features, all designed and included with the aim of making your drill bit set easier to use:

  • Magnetic bit holder
  • Durable, waterproof, lightweight storage case
  • Transparent case cover
  • Roll mat keeps drill bits and accessories safely stored and easily accessible
  • Screwdriver bits to fit most common screw types
  • Ratchet and sockets
  • Hex key set for loosening and tightening of nuts, bolts and screws
  • Duplicates of the most commonly used drill bits
Sale
Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set, Includes HSS Titanium Twist Drill bits, Masonry Drill Bits, Wood Drill Bits, Screwdriver Bits & More in Storage case
2,600 Reviews
Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set, Includes HSS Titanium Twist Drill bits, Masonry Drill Bits, Wood Drill Bits, Screwdriver Bits & More in Storage case
  • 246pc Drill Bit Set Includes - 57pc HSS titanium twist drill bits, 30pcs HSS black oxide twist drill bits, 17pc wood drill bits, 4pcs flat wood drill bits,21pc Masonry drill bits
  • 66pc 25mm Screwdriver bits - 10pcs Slotted, 12pcs Phillips, 12pcs Pozi, 10pcs Hex, 8pcs Torx
  • 6pcs Inch Hex, 6pc Metric Hex, 12pcs Square
  • 30pcs 50mm Screwdriver bits: - 4pcs Slotted, 7pcs Phillips,7pcs Pozi,4pcs Torx,4pcs Square, 4pcs Metric Hex, 1pc Cupped Nail Punch, 58mm Magnetic bit holder, Robust plastic storage case
  • 2 YEAR GUARANTEE: For your peace of mind we offer a 24 month guarantee on our Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set

Last update on 2022-11-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

An overview of drill bits

Drill bits are to drills what hammers are to nails: you can’t achieve much without them! Depending on the material you want to drill, there’ll be a drill bit specifically designed for that purpose. Metal, stone and even glass can all be drilled with the use of specially designed drill bits. There’s a big difference between the drill bill that results in a perfectly round and smooth hole drilled in ceramic for holding a soap tray, compared to a rough-and-ready hole drilled in the wooden frame of a garden shed. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a set that has a variety of drill bits, which are suitable for a range of different scenarios. Having the best drill bit is crucial to the successful outcome of any DIY project.

Choosing a set

When it comes to choosing a drill bit set you’re faced with two options – buying a drill bit set that contains the same type of drill bit in various sizes or choosing a combination drill bit set which is often the preferred option for DIY enthusiasts as they contain wood, steel, and masonry drill bits, all in the same case.

The different types of drill bits

There are so many drill bits out there to choose from but there’s no need to overcomplicate your search if all you’re looking for is a general-purpose drill bit set. Most sets, which class themselves as combination sets, will include the most common types:

  • Step bit: ideal for drilling thin metals and wood; the stepped design allows holes of different diameters to be drilled using just the one drill bit.
  • Wood drill bit with a ‘brad-point’ – the fine point enables you to drill more precisely; also commonly used for drilling plasterboard.
  • Flat/spade drill bit: used for drilling large holes in wood.     
  • Tile & glass drill bit: used to drill bathroom and kitchen tiling with minimal risk of cracking due to the carbide tip.
  • Masonry drill bit for drilling into brick, cement, concrete or plasterboard; you’d need to use this kind of drill bit with a wall plug.

Some types of drill bit will be more relevant to you than others, so decide which ones you’re most likely to use and these will be the priority when it comes to choosing your set.

Drill bit coatings

The important thing with any coated drill bit is the thickness of the coating. Buying from a reputable brand will normally ensure you get a drill bit set with a decent thickness, however, the downside of buying a cheap drill bit set is that often the coatings are thin, and so aren’t particularly hard-wearing, meaning the coating will soon wear away, exposing the core metal.

Three main types of drill bit coating:

Black-oxide Titanium-coated Diamond-coated
Resists corrosion DurablePopular choice for both domestic and professional use Resists corrosion DurablePopular choice for both domestic and professional use, gold in colour Used for drilling glass and making large holes in masonry

Drill bit sizes

The best drill bit sets will offer drill bits with a range of diameters:

Drill bit type Commonly used for Common size range
Standard twist drill bit Small holes in wood, plastic, some metals 0.8 – 12mm 
Masonry drill bit Brick, stone, concrete, masonry 4-16mm    
Bullet pilot point drill bit Drilling clean holes with minimal breakthrough damage 1.5 – 13mm
Spade drill bit   Large holes in wood ¼’’ to 1½’’ 
Hole saw drill bit   Large holes in wood and light metal ½‘’ to 6’’
Adjustable wood drill bit Drilling multi-diameter holes ¾‘’ to 3’’

 

Compatibility

When choosing your drill bit set it’s important to check whether the set you’re going for is compatible with your type/brand of drill. Some drill bit sets will be universal fitment, meaning they’re compatible with the majority of drill chucks (the part of the drill that the drill bit fits into), whereas more specialist drill bits may only work with particular brands or types of drill, so it’s important to check this before clicking the all-important ‘Buy Now’ button.

Cost

With so many options of drill bit sets out there on the market, it can make the process of finding the ideal set a little overwhelming but, as drill bits as used for such demanding work, it’s worth bearing in mind that buying cheap may well result in you buying twice, particularly if you plan on drilling steel and masonry – cheap, poor-quality drill bits just simply won’t be up to the job. Stick with a reputable brand that you trust; check the reviews and buy the drill bit set that is best suited to you and your drilling needs. You can pick up a basic drill bit set for around £10 which can contain anything from around 5-40 drill bits. At the top-end, you can expect to pay anything up to around £100 for a larger, branded, good quality drill bit set, which is likely to come with some extra accessories.

Sale
Makita Power Drill Accessory Set (100 Pieces)
1,827 Reviews
Makita Power Drill Accessory Set (100 Pieces)
  • A truly cost effective range of accessory sets, the 'trade' Range has a comprehensive array of essential bits to suit most general applications.
  • 100 piece trade set full of everything you may require for different jobs. 50x screwdriver bits and an array of brad points, masonry, hess, outdrives and hole saws
  • Suitable for PVC, wood, metal, masonry

Last update on 2022-11-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently asked questions

What is the best drill bit set for drilling metal?

Cobalt drill bits are the best choice for drilling holes in stainless steel and harder metals because they are stronger than HSS bits; this is usually reflected in the price. Copper in colour, cobalt drill bits also stay cooler than HSS bits, which makes them a better option for drilling hard metal.

What is the best type of case for my drill bit set?

The best drill bit sets are normally contained in a durable plastic case, which is both hardwearing and water-resistant. Inside, a magnetic bit holder is great for keeping drill bits organised and secure. A transparent front/lid means you have a clear view of your drill bits and a lightweight case means your drill bit set is easily portable.

What accessories will I get with a drill bit set?

The best drill bit sets will come with at least a few accessories to help you get going with your drill bit set. Obviously, the higher your budget, the more accessories you’re likely to get. The most common accessories included with a decent drill bit set are an arbor adaptor; bit driver; centre punch; and a countersink.

Can you use any brand of drill bit set with any brand of drill?

Yes! All good quality drills (and drill bits) will be compatible with all different models. The only thing that you need to check is whether they are actually the correct size and design to work together, but this comes down more to the jobs that they are designed for rather than the actual make and model! For example, some drill bits come in at 3/8″ whereas others are 1/2″ inch, and different drills are designed to work with different sizes.

About Mike Jones 193 Articles
I have been a keen DIY enthusiast for over 15 years, I’m constantly tinkering in my garage, taking things apart and building things. Along the way, I seem to have acquired a bit of a tool collection, as you do. The issue I found was that the information online when it comes to finding out what you need to know when buying new tools was somewhat limited. I didn’t necessarily need to know which tool to buy, but more what was important when making that buying decision. Also, a bit like a child in a sweet shop when I see new tools and things I can do with them I find it hard to resist. I started this blog back in 2017 to try and put together some buying guides, not really reviews but more what you may want to know before going and deciding on a new tool. I’m also a keen gardener and if there is a tool or gadget that helps me in the garden I’m going to let you know. I hope these musings and buyers guides are of use to you in some way. All the best, Mike.

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