Having the right bit on hand can make drilling a whole lot easier.
Here are a few that come in handy in most home repair and renovation projects.
These bits have a sharp tip, with a wide, flat, sharpened area directly behind the tip. They’re inexpensive, so they’re a good choice if you’re drilling where you might hit old nails or screws. Cutting spurs (sharp tips) at the edges give you a cleaner hole, with less tearout. When sharp, these bits drill well enough for a few inches of depth, but as they get dull, they can wear you down. Sharpen them with a file.
These long, spiralling bits — which are also called ship augers — make fast work of deep holes and hard old lumber. After using a spade bit, you’ll find an auger bit amazingly easy to use; they cut like butter. You need a drill with a reverse drive to back them out of the holes.
With extension bits, you can get at hard to reach places — such as wood inside walls or below floors. They’re also handy for drilling more precise angles, since the further your hand is from the hole, the less you’ll vary the angle if you move your hand.
A bit tip
If you’re drilling up into a stucco, plaster or drywall ceiling, and you don’t want to be covered in dust, slide a paper drinking cup over the shaft of the bit before installing it in the chuck. Position your drill, then slide up the cup so it meets the ceiling. Then hold on to it to stop it from spinning as you drill. The cup will catch the debris.