Wood Drilling Bits

Spur point bit

Spur point bitAlso known as a wood or dowel bit, they have a central point and two raised spurs that help keep the bit drilling straight. The bit cuts timber very fast when used in a power drill and leaves a clean sided hole. They are ideal for drilling holes for dowels as the sides of the holes are clean and parallel. Sizes range from 3 to 10mm. Spur point bits should only be used for drilling wood or some plastics.

Sharpening – a bit fiddly as it has to be done by hand. Sharpen the point and spurs with a fine file or edge of a fine grindstone; the angle between the point and spurs should be 90°.


Although not a true ‘drill’, it is used in a power or hand drill to form the conical recess for the heads of countersunk screws. These bits tend to be designed for use on soft materials such as timber and plastics, not metals. When used with a power drill to counter sink an existing hole, the bit tends to ‘chatter’, leaving a rough surface. Better results be will obtained if the countersink bit is used before the hole is drilled, then take care to ensure that the hole is in the centre of the countersunk depression.

Countersinks are available with fitted handles so that they can be used by hand twisting, often easier than changing the bit in the drill when only a relatively few holes need countersinking.

Sharpening: difficult, but can be done with a fine triangular file.

Flat wood bit

Flat wood bitIntended for power drill use only, the centre point locates the bit and the flat steel on either side cuts away the timber. These bits are used to drill fairly large holes and they give a flat bottomed hole (with a central point) so are ideal where the head of a screw/bolt needs to be recessed into the timber – always use this bit before drilling the clearance hole for the bolt.

The larger bits require a fairly powerful drill to bore deep holes. The bits cause a lot of splintering as they break out the back of the workpiece – using a sacrificial backing board will reduce this. Flat wood bits are not really suitable for enlarging an existing hole.

Sizes range between 8 and 32mm.

Sharpening – use a fine file, oilstone or grindstone.

Forstner bit

Forstner bitUsed to form holes with a flat bottom, such as for kitchen cupboard hinges. Best used in a power drill held in a drill stand as there’s little in the way of a central point. If used freehand, the positioning is difficult to control as there is no central pilot bit.

Sharpening – on an oilstone or with a fine file.

Wood Auger bit

wood augerThis is ideal when drilling large-diameter, deep holes in wood or thick man-made boards. Generally an Auger bit should only be used in a hand brace. The bit will cut a clean and deep, flat bottomed holes. The single spur cuts and defines the edge of the hole while the chisel-like cutting edge removes the waste within the previously cut circle. The threaded centre bites into the wood and pulls the bit into the timber. This ‘pulling’ action means that the bit is really unsuitable for use in a power drill.

Sharpening – use a fine file or oilstone to keep the spur and main cutting edges sharp.


Product Description

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Drilling Manual

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