Drill Bits: A Guide to the 5 Most Common types for Students in Carpenter Courses

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The majority of construction carpenters would agree that their trusty drill is probably the most important tool in their collection. With the right attachments, drills become much more than a high-powered screwdriver, they can be used to bore holes, carve grooves, and reshape wood into useable structural components.

When it comes to drill bits, the angle of the tip is what determines which type of materials that the bit is able to drill through. Bits with flatter points are better used for dense wood and harder materials, but when using these, some professionals prefer to make a pilot hole to keep their bit from wandering off-center. Bits with pointier tips are best suited for soft wood. Bits with finer points are also known to produce cleaner entry and exit points.

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in construction carpentry, knowing your drill bits can be helpful for choosing the right one for any job. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common drill bits you’ll use throughout your career.

1. Twist Bits: You’ll Have them in all Shapes and Sizes Once you Become a Carpenter

The twist bit is a carpenter’s go-to for day-to-day use in home construction. Like the name indicates, a twist bit is shaped in an upward twist, and you’ll learn from carpenter courses that they’re the most common type of bit used in home construction. Twist bits are great for general-purpose drilling and can bore different-sized holes in several types of wood, as well as thin plastic and light metal sidings.

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You’ll have a roster of twist drill bits in different lengths in your carpenter career

2. Auger Bits: for Practical Wood Boring After Carpenter Training School

Auger bits are commonly used for boring holes through wood. They have a screw tip that will start a hole, and then allow the rest of the bit to go through wood quickly and cleanly. Auger bits have a twisted shape, with deep flutes or hollow centers that help remove wood chips and dust to allow for clean wood boring.

3. Installer Bits: Helping you with Wiring Installations

Installer bits are twist-shaped bits used to drill through wood, plaster, and even certain brickwork in order to install wiring. When you drill through walls or floors using these bits once you become a carpenter, you can also insert wiring through the small holes they have and use the bit to feed wiring through the hole you just bored.

4. Spade Bits: for Boring Larger Holes Once you Become a Carpenter

Spade bits bore holes through wood up to 1 & 1/2 inches in diameter. They have a flat blade head with a sharp pointed tip that helps steady the bit before you start drilling. Some spade bits even have another two pointed tips at the edges to help you produce cleaner entry and exit points in the holes you’ll make.

5. Forstner Bits: Creating Clean, Precise Holes in your Carpentry Career

Forstner bits have a pointed tip and rounded head for creating clean holes in wood. They can be used to drill right through wood, or create flat-bottom holes that only go midway through so that you can insert dowels, or other pegs used for holding a structure together.

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With a forstner bit, you’ll be able to create precise holes at any depth you choose

You’ll learn in carpenter training school that it might be tough to accurately create mid-point holes in wood with a handheld drill, so in these cases, a drill press might be a better option.

Learn the best drilling and wood boring techniques at carpenter training school!
Visit PAT Institute for program details, or to speak with an advisor.

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