Tools

Best Drill Bits For Wood – Choosing the right drill bits and our top picks

Last updated on February 1st, 2022

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Choosing the best drill bits for wood

Are you looking for drill bits for wood for an upcoming project? Maybe you like working with wood and you are not sure of what drills bits to buy. Having covered the types of drills and drill bits in our Best Drill Bits Sets and Reviews article, this article will help you specifically find the best drill bits for wood.

They come in a variety of sets and designs all ideal for drilling holes in wood. Yet, there are also different types of wood and it’s important to know what type of drill bits goes through particular woods.

With the drill bits themselves, there are so many on the market, and picking the right one may be confusing. We have done extensive research and picked the Best 5 Drill Bits for wood that include both standard drill bit types and flat bit drill bits for boring larger holes.

After our research, we came to the conclusion that the Mannesmann Professional Drill Bit Set would be the best set for both professionals and for home DIY project enthusiasts. Amazingly they also come with a 10-year warranty and offer excellent value for money.

BEST PICK

Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set

  • Contains 8 drill bits made of special alloyed chromium steel.
  • The bits come in a tidy plastic container for keeping them together.
  • They feature milled grooves and centre for cutting through wood cleanly and accurately.
  • Long-lasting drill bits which come with a 10-year warranty.


Top 5 best drill bits for drilling into timber including standard and flatbit sets

  1. Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set – BEST PICK
  2. DeWalt DT7943BQZ Extreme Flatbit Tough Case Set – BEST FLAT BIT PICK
  3. Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Bit Set
  4. Irwin Blue Groove Drill Bit 6 Piece Set
  5. Bosch 2608587793 1/4″ 6 Piece Selfcut Flat Spade Wood Bits Set

Wood Drill Bits Buyer’s Guide

There are many excellent drill bits that will easily cut through wood, yet it comes down to the type of hole that you need to bore.

Understanding the types of wood

Before you decide on what drill bit is suitable for your job at hand, it is important to understand the various existing types of wood. Generally, there are two basic types of wood that you need to know about; hardwood and softwood.

Hardwood vs Softwood

Hardwood usually comes from trees that basically have leaves only. The typical hardwoods include ebony, ash, maple, cherry, oak, mahogany, teak and rosewood. On the other hand, softwood comes from corn-bearing trees. These include pine, larch, spruce, hemlock, yew, redwood and firs. This is only a general guiding principle although there are some exceptions.

When purchasing these woods, there are two buying principles that are often used:

  • Wood that requires an excellent finish usually called select lumber.
  • Wood that is for general use and typically it has defects like knots on it.

It is worth mentioning that hardwood is typically more expensive than softwood. It is also a bit harder to drill through than softwood, which is when the higher quality bits become valuable.

Different types of drill bits for use on wood

The most common drill bits are made from steel, high-speed steel (HSS), titanium coated bits, black oxide coated, cobalt, diamond coated and carbide-tipped bits. These materials have varying durability. For instance, steel bits are the cheapest and they are good for drilling through softwoods, but they will blunt faster if used on hardwoods. HSS bits are ideal for most purposes and drilling in all types of woods.

  • Auger bits – This drill bit features a screw tip thread that starts the hole. It then uses the tip in pulling the bit through the wood so as to make a hole. An auger bit will usually have a really large flute to help in removing the drilled wood. This method was initially used along with hand drills by carpenters and it is still valid today. A typical set of auger bits will contain up to 10 auger drill bits for a price of around £10 – £15. Buying a set is a great idea as opposed to individual drill bits because you’ll get the best value for money. Plus, a set contains drill bits of varying diameters so you can make holes of many sizes from a single kit.
  • Spade drill bits – Spade drills are the best option for drilling large diameter holes. They usually have a hex shank that gives a reliable grip in the drill whilst avoiding slippage or jarring. Spade bits tend to be faster than most other drill bits.
  • Hole saw – These are the alternative to spade drill bits because they are also meant for cutting larger holes through wood. They may not have a great deal of use but when the need arises, it is good to have a set that will get the job done. Hole saws are the most expensive of drill bits but they make large, accurate holes than an alternative would do. Hole saws are great for the odd jobs of which you want nothing but accuracy and efficiency.
  • Twist bits – Twist bits are all-rounder type of bits commonly used to drill through wood and plastics. They are the best bits for making straightforward holes or pilot holes in wood. You can pick these up individually but again it’s more cost-effective to buy a set. Ideally, different sets will have varying sizes of bits and total number of drill bits.
  • Brad point drill bits – These are extremely good for drilling wood due to the pointy end, called a brad, which ensures accurate positioning. The brad also helps to avoid any chance of slipping when beginning the initial drilling sequence. They also feature extra-wide flutes that help in removing the woodchips and shavings as you drill. These bits give you more confidence when pinpoint accuracy is required.
  • Forstner drill bits – The forstner drill bit is perfect when you need to create a hole with a flat bottom. You can buy these as individual drill bits if you need them, however, they also come in sets. Forstner drill bits are popular in kitchen trades, cabinet making, railings and other relevant works. They work well in softwoods and also in hardwood with a fair amount of pressure.
  • Pilot and countersink drill bits – There are times when you need to countersink a screw into wood. To achieve this, you’ll need to drill a pilot hole then make a screw head shape into the wood. Of course, this gives a pretty clean finish with the help of a pilot and countersink bit. These kind of jobs are rare so these bits are usually for occasional use.

Top 5 Drill Bits for Wood Reviews

After looking at the different types of drill bits for drilling through wood, here are our best drill bits for wood:

1. Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set

BEST PICK

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Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set in Plastic Box (8 Pieces)

This German-made set consists of 8 drill bits designed for the swift drilling through wood. The drill bit sizes range from 3 to 10 with 1mm increments. The bits are sharp and are sure to remain new even after sustained use.

They drill wood more cleanly and more accurately than ordinary HSS drill bits. The Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set comes in a plastic box is simply the solution to professional wood drilling. No wonder they are used in over 70 countries worldwide.

As you would expect, these typical German tools are sure to withstand extensive use with the manufacturer offering a 10-year warranty for the drill bits. They are made of special alloyed chromium steel that adds to the overall toughness.

They also feature milled grooves and centre that ensures clean and accurate cuts. Surprisingly, these high-quality drill bits are cheap and only beaten by fellow German tools, Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Bit Set, in our list when it comes to price.

Pros

  • Comes with 8 drill bits made of special alloyed chromium steel.
  • Durable drill bits that come with a 10-year warranty.
  • The bits come in a tidy plastic container for storage.
  • They feature milled grooves and centre for cutting through wood cleanly and accurately.

Cons

  • The carry case is a bit on the cheap side as opposed to the top standards of the contents, however, it isn’t a deal breaker.

Our recommendation

The Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set in Plastic Box is a great toolbox for use in the DIY, craft and industrial sectors.

There are 8 pieces in the box designed for drilling holes of varying sizes from 3mm to 10mm. The quality of these bits is unbeatable thanks to the special alloyed chromium steel construction that guarantees high durability. As such, the product comes with a warranty of 10 years, which is simply amazing, and just further shows the confidence the manufacturer has in their ability.

Furthermore, this set is cheap so almost anyone, in whatever sector, can afford to have a set, even the occasional DIY enthusiasts.

Apart from the case, that seems to be of cheap quality, we hope it lasts as long as the contents inside, this set offers real value for money. You don’t need to buy drill bits now and then because the Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set will serve you a long time.

Because of their high quality, affordable low price and 10 year warranty, it only made sense that these are the best choice for most people. This is why we decided to name it our ‘Best Pick’.

If however, you are looking at drilling larger holes then we have some equally impressive drill bits further down that will be more suitable and just as impressive from the DeWalt and Irwin.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


2. Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Set

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Bosch 2607017034 Professional 7-Piece Robust Line Brad Point Drill Bit Set (for Wood, Accessories for Drill Drivers) , Black/Silver , 14.1 x 8.3 x 2 cm

The Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Bit Set comes in a well-built case that opens and closes with ease. There are seven pieces designed to drill holes into all woods, whether hardwood or softwood, but we find them very efficient with drilling softwood.

This set is cheap, so if you are looking for drill bits to use with hardwood, then we would recommend spending a little more. They also get hot whilst drilling so you might be forced to give them some time to cool down in between the drilling to prevent them from breaking.

These drill bits have straight shanks that offer the great stability and strength required to drill precise holes. They are tough and super sharp and they seem to retain their edge after extensive use.

Another thing we like about the set is its low weight. At just 100g, this is an extremely lightweight package, perhaps the lightest on our list too. The storage box is clearly numbered for where to get every bit from and store after every use.

You simply can’t go wrong with these bits.

Pros

  • Made for accurate drilling into all sorts of wood.
  • Set consists of 7 tough, sharp drill bits – sizes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
  • Designed with a straight shank that increases strength whilst drilling.
  • The package is very lightweight weighing just 100g.

Cons

  • These bits tend to get hot during the drilling process and that usually leads to breakages if they are not left to cool down or if a lot of force is used.

Our recommendation

The Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Bit Set contains fantastic quality drill bits. They are sharp and therefore deliver very clean and precise holes. These bits also don’t lose their edge after a lot of use either.

The carrying case is sturdy and the complete package is extremely lightweight, which is a very likeable attribute.

Although Bosch says they are good with all woods, we find them efficient with softwood. Perhaps that’s the trade for the cheap price of these bits. You can spend a lot more on quality bits to use with hardwoods.

The major flaw is that they get hot whilst drilling, however, this can be managed to prevent warping or breaking. This is probably going to only be a issue with hardwoods that are more difficult to drill.

Overall, they are good drill bits for the price and perfect for home DIY projects or light trade use. A great selection at a great price.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


3. DeWalt Extreme Flatbit Tough Case Set

BEST FLAT BIT PICK

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DEWALT DT7943B-QZ Extreme Flatbit Tough Case Set

DEWALT is known for manufacturing tough, powerful, accurate, rugged and reliable tools and the DeWalt DT7943BQZ Extreme Flatbit sets the standards of their reputation.

The set contains 8 drill bits of different sizes meaning you can drill holes of varying diameters on wood. The pieces can drill holes in all sorts of wood including natural hardwood or softwood, chipboard and other materials such as plastic.

The set comes in a durable plastic case that is quite easy to open and close. The drills are very sharp with chamfered outer cutting spurs for clean, fast drilling and a longer lifespan.

In addition, the robust steel shanks also mean extra toughness and extended bit life. The bits have an accurate ground central point with an optimised design for faster material penetration and increased drilling speeds.

They can also be sharpened after a couple of uses just to keep them in high-performing condition.

Pros

  • The set contains 8 pieces of varying sizes; 12, 16, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28 and 32.
  • Suitable for the drilling of holes in wood including natural hard and softwood, chipboard and other materials.
  • Features extra thick sturdy steel shank for unmatched durability and bit life.
  • Chamfered outer cutting spurs for clean, fast drilling and longer drill life.
  • Accurate ground central point with optimised design for rapid material penetration and increased drilling speed.

Our recommendation

The DeWalt DT7943BQZ Extreme Flatbit Tough Case Set contains some of the best drill bits for wood we have ever reviewed.

They are built tough and are probably some of the best flat bits we have come across and are a must for anyone in need of flatbit drill bits. They can be sharpened to maintain their top performance, these bits are quite durable just like you would expect with DEWALT, thanks to the sturdy steel shanks and the chamfered outer cutting spurs.

The plastic case looks sturdy and easy to open/close, however, there are doubts about its durability, it could be better but it isn’t a deal-breaker. 

In any case, we recommend the DeWalt DT7943BQZ Extreme Flatbit Tough Case Set to those who like investing in durability and want a set that will stand the test of time.

The reviews on Amazon.co.uk for these drill bits are also fantastic with well over 3000 reviews.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


4. Irwin Blue Groove Drill Bit 6 Piece Set

A GREAT OPTION FOR LARGER HOLES

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Irwin 10506628 6X Blue Groove Wood Drill Bit, 6 Pieces

The Irwin Blue Groove Drill Bit 6 Piece Set consists of 6 pieces of augur type of bits. These are fiercely sharp drills bit that eats through timber with a lot of ease and they still remain sharp after extensive use.

Just make sure the drill you are using has enough torque to advance the bit through timber as the less powerful drill will struggle. The larger sizes especially do need a powerful drill to be able to keep them turning.

The bits feature full screw tips for easy drilling and pull through. Some practice before doing the job will get you used to them.

They have cutting spurs that deliver clean holes with quite minimal ‘break out’. These bits eject pretty quickly due to the Tri-Flute design whilst the tapered flute ensures there is minimal binding and increased ease of use.

They also have a full-length heat treat for increasing durability. The case that carries these bits is uniquely designed to open to the sides with three storage panels on either side.

Pros

  • The set comes with 6 pieces including 16, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 32mm.
  • Features full screw tips for easy drilling and pull through.
  • The bits have cutting spurs for delivering clean holes with minimal break out.
  • They take a Tri-Flute design for faster chip ejection.
  • Tapered flute ensures less binding and ease of use.

Cons

  • Driving these bits through timber requires a fair amount of strength in your arms. Even the larger bits, say 22 and over, need a strong drill with enough torque to keep them turning. You may need to invest in a new drill if you have a cheaper home DIY type drill.

Our recommendation

If you are looking for a quality set of auger drill bits, the Irwin Blue Groove Drill Bit 6 Piece Set is a good option and maybe the last set you will buy.

You will be able to drill holes of different sizes with the smallest being 16mm and the largest 32mm. These bits are sharp and you will love how easily they eat through wood, creating clean holes and pull out easily, thanks to the full screw tips and the Tri-Flute design. 

The downside with these bits is that they require a bit of strength to get the job done, not a bad thing you just need the right drill for the job.

Because a strong drill is required to drive the larger bits through timber sometimes you might have to invest in a more powerful drill.

All in all, they are great auger bits with a lovely colour and design. They seem a bit on the expensive side yet they are worth paying for because they perform very well and will last many years no problem.

They do a similar job to basic flatbit drills, in terms of performance, these are probably better than the DeWalt Flatbits we have reviewed above, however, they are also a little more expensive.

Which you use is probably down to personal preference. We are very impressed by both types, with both having amazing reviews on Amazon.co.uk so we will have to let you decide, which is more suitable for you. Whatever set you choose you won’t be disappointed.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


5. Bosch 6 Piece Selfcut – Flat Spade Wood Bit Set

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Bosch Professional 6 pcs. SelfCut Speed Spade Bit Set (for Wood, in Roll Up Case, 1/4 inch Hex Shank, Ø 13 - 25 mm, Accessories for Impact Drills)

Winding up our list is another set from Bosch that drills larger holes than the bits contained in the Bosch X-Pro Wood 7pc Drill Bit Set. The Bosch 2608587793 1/4″ 6 Piece Selfcut Flat Spade Wood Bits Set contains 6 pieces of spade bits, which include 13, 16, 19, 20, 22 and 25mm along with a ¼ inch hex shank, all of which is contained within a nice wallet.

The grey bits come in a sturdy foldable case for keeping together the bits, with Bosch embroidered onto it. 

The bits are incredibly sharp and eat through wood three times faster than standard ordinary bits. 

The self-feeding precision ground tips on these bits and cutting edges ensure accurate dimensional stability when eating through the timber. It’s worth noting that the total length of the bit is 152mm while the working length is 122mm.

Pros

  • A set of 6 drill bits ranging from 13mm to 25mm.
  • The bits have self-feeding precision ground tips and cutting edges for precise dimensional stability.
  • They drill three times faster than ordinary spade bits.

Our recommendation

The Bosch 2608587793 1/4″ 6 Piece Selfcut Flat Spade Wood Bits Set in Wallet contains good quality drill bits meant for professional and DIY uses.

The foldable case is quite unique in design although it’s not numbered like most other cases, the bits are.

What we like most about these bits are the fast drilling speeds. The packet says these screw end spade bits drill ten times faster than the pointy end ones and three times faster than standard spade bits. 

If you fancy fast drilling speeds, the Bosch 6 Piece Selfcut Flat Spade Wood Bits Set is one that delivers at a great price.

When compared to the DeWalt set, these are not on par, but they are good enough for most users. Personally, if you have the extra budget, we would recommend investing in the Dewalt Flatbits because they are of better quality. However, not everybody needs drill bits of such as high standard, especially people who are doing a little home DIY to which the Bosch Flat-bits are more than adequate.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Final Conclusion

Drilling through wood can be an easy task so long as you have the right drill bit.

Knowing the type of wood that you want to drill through, hardwood or softwood, will help you pick the most suitable drill bit for the job.

The kind of hole that you need to make will also determine the type of drill bit required, whether an auger bit, spade drill bit, hole saw or any other type.

Hopefully you find this article useful in your search for the ideal drill bits for wood.

BEST PICK

The Mannesmann Professional Wood Drill Set is our best pick overall. We liked the toughness of these bits and the 10-year manufacturer’s warranty is enough assurance on their top quality.

There are 8 pieces ranging from 3mm to 10mm that can be used in DIY, craft and professional sectors for drilling clean and accurate holes.

On top of the high quality comes a great price so definitely they offer great value for money.

BEST FLAT BIT PICK

The DeWalt Extreme Flatbit set is our top recommended set for drilling larger holes. We looked at around 8 sets of flatbits and the DeWalt set was by far the best choice which was further confirmed by over 3000 reviews on Amazon.co.uk alone. They are made to last durable and made to the highest standards.

The only other set designed for larger holes that really impressed me was the Urwin Blue Groove Bit set which is an augur type of bit.

They are equally as impressive and to be honest, it’s hard to decide whether you should invest in these or the DeWalt flatbits.


Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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