The best drill bits in 2023
For any drilling task it’s crucial to choose the right drill bit for the job. Drill holes with ease with our pick of drill bit sets for masonry and wood.
When planning any drilling project, you first need a good set of bits to drill with. Lengths of shaped metal, drill bits are fitted to hand or electric drills and used for boring holes. Using the right drill bit for the job in hand is safer, easier, and minimises the risk of breakage. To help you find the right bit for your task, see our guide, below.
If you’re looking to start a drilling DIY project, consider our expert tested reviews of the best cordless drills, best electric screwdrivers, best multi-tools, best screwdriver sets and best hammers. For DIY inspiration, why not consider making a wooden planter with our expert’s guide? Wooden planters are a fantastic addition to most gardens, and can help you make a great vegetable bed if you’re strapped for space. And if you need a place to store your tools, consider our article on the best shed tool storage, or consider a DIY tool rack to give your shed’s storage a boost.
- The Best Drill Bit Sets
- How to choose the right drill bit set
- Which drill bit materials are best?
- What are drill bit treatments and coatings?
- Drill bit jargon busting
Bosch Professional 8pc. Brad Point Wood Drill Bit Set
These eight drill bits are tailor-made for woodwork. Each bit is sharpened to bore clean holes with minimal wear, and comes with a pointed tip for centring. This set’s design encourages accuracy and boring neat holes into soft and hard wood.
More like this
Buy the Bosch Professional 8pc. Brad Point Wood Drill Bit Set from Amazon
Makita P-51873 Straight Shank Titanium Plated HSS Drill Set
Designed for wood, the nine drill bits in this set are made from two durable materials, High Speed Steel (HSS) coated with titanium nitride (TiN). Tough and long lasting these drill bits should be capable of drilling the hardest, knottiest wood.
Buy the Makita P-51873 Straight Shank Titanium Plated HSS Drill Set from Amazon
Bosch Hex-9 Multi Construction Drill Bit Set
Made from tough carbide, these masonry bits have centering tips for accurate drilling and are designed to extract compacted dust while drilling. Sharp and durable throughout repeated use they're ideal for impact drivers.
Draper 18550 Masonry Drill Bit Set (15 Piece)
Each bit in this 15 piece masonry set is tipped with tungsten carbide steel, one of the toughest drill bit materials available. Offering a variety of sizes to suit your needs, each of these 15 bits is designed to remove waste and compacted dust while they drill.
Einhell Kwb 41 Piece Combination Drill Bit Set
This drill bit set features 41 drill bits in a lightweight, easily organised case and is a great variety of drill bits for someone looking to make a budget purchase. Although these chrome vanadium bits won’t be as strong as their HSS counterparts, they should be up to the task of drilling lighter materials.
Buy the Einhell Kwb 41 Piece Combination Drill Bit Set from Wickes
Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set
Including both titanium-coated HSS drill bits and black oxide coated HSS bits, this large drill bit set has quality materials and an abundance of choice to suit any project. Held in a sturdy plastic storage case, the set includes specialist bits for woodworking, masonry and metal as well as 96 screwdriver bits. Electric screwdriver bits can fit into drills, making these screwdriver bits a nice bonus.
Buy the Terratek 246pc Combination Drill Bit Set from Manomano
Vonhaus 99pc Drill Bit Set
A set of 99 drill bits in a blow mould carry case, each drill bit is made from titanium coated steel, and suitable for use on copper, bronze, cast iron, hard plastics, and Perspex.
Buy the 99pc Drill Bit Set from VonHaus
Amazon Basics High Speed Steel Drill Set for Metal, Wood, & Plastic, 14 Pieces
Made with HSS and coated with titanium for drilling soft metals, wood, and plastic, these 14 drill bits come in a neat black carry case to keep them organised.
Buy the Amazon Basics High Speed Steel Drill Set for Metal, Wood, & Plastic, 14 from Amazon
Ryobi HSS Drill Bit Set (19 Piece)
This 19 piece set has a wide variety of bit sizes, including a good range of smaller bits to create pilot holes. Made from ground HSS they‘ve been designed to execute accurate drilling, making them a great choice for beginners.
Buy the Ryobi HSS Drill bit set (19 Piece) from Ryobi
- What you’re drilling and the drill you're using should be the first considerations you make when choosing your drill bits.
- Always choose the right bits for the material you’re working with, e.g. those designed specifically for drilling masonry or wood as well as for the drill driver or impact drill you’re using.
- Choosing drill bits with appropriate toughness for the job is important, to avoid weak bits snapping mid-task and overspending on unnecessarily expensive bits. Drill bit material and coating will determine a bit's strength and durability.
- Finally consider any accessories you may need. Most bits come with a case but these can range from simple plastic holders to fully bespoke moulded cases with a carry handle.
Drill bit materials make an enormous difference to their toughness and heat resistance. However, the most durable and heat resistant materials often tend to be more expensive, so consider the tasks you’re using drill bits for carefully before purchasing.
For example, if you need something that can withstand intense, high speed drilling, drill bits made from black oxide-coated HSS would be best. If you’re only working with softwood, titanium-coated steel would suffice.
The most common drill bit materials are explained below:
Steel (Also referred to as ‘carbon steel). Steel by itself is not a durable drill bit material and is often bolstered with coatings, tips, or a high carbon content. Simple, untreated and untipped steel drill bits are suitable for low-temperature and low-speed drilling in wood and plastics. Steel bits require regular sharpening and maintenance to perform, however, they tend to be an inexpensive drill bit material.
High Speed Steel (HSS) - Considered one of the best drill bit materials, High Speed Steel has high durability, hardness, and heat resistance. It’s ideal for handling high-speed drilling and more than capable of handling low-speed drilling jobs.
Tungsten carbide steel - Tungsten Carbide Steel, often referred to as just 'Carbide', is an extremely durable drilling material, but is only used for the most abrasive and difficult materials, such as masonry. To save on costs it’s more common that drills are tipped with carbide, rather than used throughout the entire bit.
Chrome vanadium - Chrome vanadium, or Chrome Vanadium Steel, is a hard steel alloy which is reinforced with Chrome and Vanadium, making it harder and more heat resistant. Some types of chrome vanadium can be used as a High Speed Steel
Drill bits are often treated or coated with additional materials to increase their durability, heat and stress resistance and to make them more effective at drilling and longer-lived.
Some of these materials include -
- Titanium, or titanium nitride - HSS drill bits are often coated with titanium nitride, also known as TiN, to boost their surface hardness and durability.
- Black oxide - These HSS Drill bits have been treated with a chemical coating process which decreases the friction the drill bit will generate and increases their durability.
When choosing and buying drill bits you may come across a variety of terms and jargon, which can be confusing. To make the task easier we explain some of the more common drill bit parts and terms below:
Shank: The smooth base section of the drill bit which fits into the chuck.
Fluting: The twisting channels which corkscrew up the length of a drill bit.
Centring Tips: A sharpened point at the tip of a drill bit.
Grounding: The process of removing all superfluous, or unwanted pieces from a drill bit, leaving only a clean, sharp, bit.
Dust Extraction channel: A channel built into the fluting, made with the purpose of removing dust and debris as the drill rotates.
This product guide was last updated in April 2023. We apologise if the price or availability of the products listed have changed.