The Best Drill Bits for Wood in 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews

A Carpenter drilling into a piece of wood with a drill

Working with wood can be a highly gratifying experience for contractors and DIY specialists. Wood it an incredibly sturdy material that can offer an excellent finish. As you probably know, woodwork can be tough to take on without the help of drill bits.

There are plenty of excellent bits available on the market, but we’ve scoured through the options to pick out seven of the best drill bits for wood.

The type of drill bit you require comes down to the job at hand and the wood you’re working with. I’ve broken down the various types below and for each type of drill bit I’ve given you my top pick.

The top seven drill bits for wood in 2020 include:

Our Top Picks for the Best Drill Bits for Wood

After examining the quality, size, and variations of numerous drill bits, I have settled on these seven top-notch products.

Top Pick Spade Bit — Bosch DSB5013P 13-Piece Daredevil Spade Bit Set in Pouch

Precision is the mark of a quality drill bit. It’s the reason I picked the Bosch DSB5013P. It allows you to quickly and effectively bore holes through wooden workpieces, thanks to the use of threaded tips on the Daredevil Spade drill bit set.

This spade drill bit produces a smooth finish on the holes being created. This is achieved with the Speedwave Paddle Design, which helps remove the chips away from the bottom of the hole as the drill progresses. This system also prevents the jamming of the drill bits.

The spur and reamer tips used by Bosch ensure that you can drill clean holes through most types of wood. This is largely thanks to the paddle body being embedded with spur and reamer tips on the top edge.

The only concern with this model is the “self-feeding tip” feature. When it comes to larger drill bits you really need to make sure your drill is up to the task.

The tip is essentially a screw, as the drill bit rotates it pulls the cutting edge into contact with the surface. This requires a whole lot of torque. But if your drill is up to the task it makes drilling large holes quick and efficient.

Another great feature is the hex shank. This will reduce the chance of the shank slipping in the chuck, ensuring you can delivery all the torque required to bore that hole.

Pros

  • Self-feed tip ensures effortless drilling.
  • Spur and reamer tips create clean holes.
  • A contoured paddle for fast chip removal.
  • Reduced breakout.

Cons

  • Requires a powerful drill.

If you value quality, precision, and a smooth finish when working with wood, you’ll be thrilled to bits when using this offering by Bosch. It’s a brand that’s synonymous with producing thoughtful and safety-conscious products. These values shine when you’re using this product. Click on the link below for more information.

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Top Pick Hole Saw — LICTOP 2.5 Inch BI-Metal Wood Hole Saw

Hole saws are the ideal tool when you need to make large clean holes. Available in a range of sizes this hole saw model by Lictop is an excellent tool for this job.

Materials maketh the tool, as they say, and this one is as tough as nails. It’s made using an M42 alloy high speed steel which offers a great lifespan and durability.

A hole saw is meant to cut through wooden surfaces smoothly, and this model does exactly that with the help of a non-binding clean edge design. It features a spring at its core that automatically pushes the disc out of the saw in one swift motion as soon as you’re done drilling the hole.

You can use this model for a range of materials including, gypsum boards, various woods, block board, PVC and even several thin metals.

One issue that you may notice after using this product is that the mandrel doesn’t come with locking pins. If you want to increase the lifespan and effectiveness of this tool, I’d suggest picking up a separate mandrel.

Pros

  • Made using high-quality M42 alloy.
  • Rust-proof finish.
  • Clean edge design with a non-binding finish.
  • Spring in the drill pushes out the wooden disc easily.

Cons

  • Mandrel does not feature locking pins.

If you need to quickly make a large hole in a wooden board then this hole saw is exactly what you need. For more information about this product, click on the link below.

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Top Pick Auger Bit — Bosch NKST5003 Daredevil 3 pc. Auger Bit Set

Are you really surprised to see another Bosch product featured in my list? I’m not, considering just how great their products have been over the years. This three-piece auger drill bit set stands head and shoulders above the competition. It’s definitely my favorite auger drill bit on the market currently.

These drill bit heads have been specially designed to work with cordless drills in high-speed mode. This is achived by the immense precision that goes into making each product. The tip is reinforced to ensure longevity, even at high speed.

The decreased pitch tip can deliver twice as many holes on a single charge by reducing drag.

There’s a lack of a push through when drilling through thick surfaces, but using a powerful drill should help you fix that issue.

Pros

  • Works extremely well on cordless high-speed modes.
  • Lasts twice as long as similar auger bits.
  • Can be used for tight spaces and in-between studs.

Cons

  • Lack of a push through.

The simple mention of the Bosch brand should assure you of the quality and performance of this model. For pricing information and other details, make sure to click on the link below.

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Top Pick Installer Twist Bit — IRWIN Installer Drill Bit 18-Inch x 5/8-Inch

Installer twist bits are an excellent tool when you have to make holes through wooden surfaces or drywall for routing cables or wires. The Irwin Installer drill bit should make an excellent addition to your tool kit.

This model has an 82 degree split point that helps you create smooth holes quickly in wood. Like all good installer drill bits there’s a hole in the flute. This enables you to easily pull wires through various surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and floors.

Slipping can be a big issue when using such a fine-pointed drill, which is why the design also includes a three-flatted shank to avoid slippages.

Thanks to the use of premium high carbon steel, the durability of the product is greatly enhanced.

One element you should be wary about when using this product is the possibility of the cutting edge chipping while drilling deep holes. It’s best to stick to thinner planks when using this fine tip for your own safety.

Pros

  • The 82 degree split point enables fast and smooth drilling.
  • Easy to pull wires through surfaces thanks to the hole in the flute.
  • Created using premium high carbon steel.

Cons

  • Edge can snap off when used on thick surfaces.

When taking on DIY projects around the home, you will invariably land at a point that requires you to drill some holes for pulling cables. When you land at this juncture, it’s best to have a quality tool in your possession, such as this model by Irwin. You can find out a whole lot more about this product by clicking on the link below.

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Top Pick Forstner Bit — Freud Precision Forstner Drill Bit 1-1/2-Inch

Forstner bits are what you want when you need to drill blind holes. These are holes guided from the rim instead of the center to allow the tool to enter the wood at an oblique angle. My top pick in this category goes to this model by Freud.

The product’s design features a double-ground, super-sharp serrated edge. The razor sharp cutting edges slice through the material as the drill rotates. This design allows for minimal splintering and chipping, creating perfect flat-bottom holes.

The use of the geometric design on the surface of this model, along with multiple cutting edges, allows you to create an intense shearing action. This provides leeway for using greater rotational speeds and highly efficient cutting.

Thanks to this European-made tool, you can take on various types of plywood, softwood, and hardwood effortlessly.

However, you may notice that the point on this tool isn’t quite the sharpest. This is made by design by the manufacturer, but it can be disheartening for some users.

Pros

  • Serrated edges enable easy cutting.
  • Steep angled cutting edges produce smooth and flat holes.
  • Quality materials used for an extended lifespan.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the sharpest point

Forstner drill bits are a great tool to create blind holes, and you can blindly opt for this product when you need a tool in this segment. The Freud brand is known for its high-end, premium products. You may feel like you’re paying a whole lot for one drill bit, but it ends up being cost-effective in the long run thanks to its durability. Find out more about this great product by clicking on the link below.

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Top Pick Brad Point Bit — DEWALT Drill Bit Set, Brad Point, 6-Piece

No review of drill bits can be complete without the inclusion of the Dewalt brand. In fact, our last two spots are solely dedicated to one of my favorite brands of all-time. First up is this high-quality Brad point bit that comes with six quality pieces.

Its design includes the use of precise cutting edges to help reduce splintering during the drilling process. The Brad point tips themselves help minimize walking when you’re getting the hole started.

You will also find superior engineering seen on the flutes of these bits to enable clean and effective chip removal.

This engineering marvel is topped off with the use of a high-speed steel construction delivering supreme durability.

Extended use of this product can lead to dulling over time, but you can try sharpening the bit yourself to improve the lifespan.

Pros

  • Features precise cutting edges that help reduce splintering.
  • Use of Brad point tips helps reduce walking.
  • Flutes have been engineered for easy chip removal.

Cons

  • Bits can dull fairly quickly.

This six-piece Brad point drill bit set comes in a wide range of sizes, all the way from ⅛ of an inch to ½ an inch. Thanks to these varied sizes you can tackle a wide range of woodwork projects with ease. For additional information and pricing details, make sure to click on the link below.

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Top Pick Pilot Point Bit — DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set, Pilot Point, 21-Piece

Pilot point bits are an excellent tool for creating accurate holes through wooden surfaces. When coupled with a decent power drill, you can execute a wide range of tasks with these specialist tools from Dewalt.

This model is made of titanium as it’s a premium choice for such tools. It’s designed to start on contact to help you create crisp and clean holes every single time.

The use of tapered webs in the design allows for greater durability and decreases the odds of the tip breaking off.

You will find various sizes of bits on this purchase, ranging from 1/16th of an inch to ½ inch; all encased in a tough plastic case.

The only small issue I could find with this set is the case. It’s a real pain trying to get the drill bits back into the case when you’re done using them. Obviously this doesn’t affect the drilling capabilities, so it is only a minor grievance.

Pros

  • Made using titanium for unparalleled durability.
  • No spin shanks.
  • Tapered web design increases durability.

Cons

  • Bad case design

This 21-piece set by Dewalt features the use of a titanium coating. This, along with some intelligent design features to help make wood working projects a piece of a cake. You can find out more about this product by clicking on the link below.

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What to Look for When Picking the Best Drill Bits for Wood

This buyers’ guide should help you understand the different types of drill bits used in this article. Once you understand the various options available, you may realize you need several different types of drill bits for wood to add to your tool kit.

Types of Drill Bits for Wood

There are various types of drill bits available on the market today, each of which is specialized to take on a particular task. When looking at drill bits for wood, it’s best to consider models that use high-speed steel and have been coated with either titanium or cobalt.

Spade Bits

Spade bits are often used by plumbers for various types of stud walls for the purpose of running wiring or pipes. They can also be used for fine woodworking projects to make holes with extreme precision.

You can’t use spade bits for metal, and they’re ideally best used on wooden materials. Plastic is another surface that you can use spade bits on, but it’s not the preferred option.

Hole Saws

Hole saws, aka hole drill bits or hole cutters, are another type of drill attachment that’s used to make holes on a wide set of materials, especially wood. They can also be used to install drainage pipes, cut through masonry, and even create holes for plumbing.

These are bits that allow you to make holes that are usually bigger than 1.5 inches—a size that standard drill bits are simply not equipped to make. To create such sizable holes, you will need a whole lot of torque and power on your side. This is why it’s best to pair hole saws with a powerful drill.

Auger Bits

This is a type of drill bit that can be used to make holes in wood or in the ground. This version often comes with a rotating helical screw blade that’s referred to as a “flighting.” This feature acts as a screw conveyor for the model and helps eliminate drilled out materials.

Auger bits are best used to drill holes in wood, bore holes in bulkheads, and a wide set of timber-related applications. The use of a spiral drill bit head in most models allows you to easily push the bit into the wooden surface without applying excessive force.

A ship auger bit is a type of heavy duty auger bit that can be used to make lengthy holes in sizable pieces of lumber. With good quality ship auger bits, you can cut through nails without worrying about damaging the bit, even the slightest. You can also use this tool to drill through other surfaces such as vinyl, heavy timber, and plastics.

Installer Twist Bits

Installer twist drill bits, aka bell-hanger bits or fishing bits, are a unique type of twist bits used in hand-portable power tools. You can use them to make holes on wooden surfaces for the purpose of wiring.

They tend to have longer shanks than other types of drill bit as you want them to protrude through the other side of whatever you’re drilling. Whether it’s a stud wall or floor boards.

Installer bits have a hole in the flute. When the drill bit protrudes the hole can be used to pull through a draw wire for pulling in cables.

Forstner Bits

You can use this specialist tool to create smooth, flat-bottomed holes and blind holes in wood. These are the type of holes that are guided starting from the rim instead of the center like other bits. This allows the tool to enter the surface at an oblique angle and create those blind holes.

Forstner bits are best used in drill presses for precision, though they can be used in handheld drills.

Brad Point Bits

If you’re looking for a tip to create accurate positioning when starting the hole, you need a Brad point drill bit. These twist drill bits are highly precise andcan be used for a wide range of woodwork projects. Including furniture making, cabinetry, and doweling.

Pilot Point

Pilot point bits are another type of twist bit designed to resist walking, and they help you create clean and precise holes, time and time again. They are best used with power drills and drill presses.

Drill Bits for Wood FAQs

Are Cobalt Drill Bits Good for Wood?

Yes, cobalt is one of the best materials that can be used for drill bits apart from titanium. If the product you’re considering has a cobalt finish, you can certainly consider it to be a strong and durable product.

What Does Straight Shank Mean?

A straight shank is one of the most common types of modern drill bits, especially when you consider the number of such products available in the market. In this tool, the entire bit, including the drill bit, shaft, and shank, has the same diameter. You can use this bit in a three-jaw drill chuck, and such a drill is often referred to as the blacksmith’s drill.

Final Bits

Drill bits for wood are diverse, much like the material that the bits are used for. You may have noticed an immense variation in the products, both in terms of size and features, and this tells you just how versatile working with wood can be.

Hopefully this article has taught you all you need to know when choosing the right type of drill bit for your next wood working project.

I would highly recommend you consider any of the seven products featured on this list, but if you have to nail down one product as the top contender, I’d recommend opting for the Bosch DSB5013P 13-Piece Daredevil Spade Bit Set in Pouch.

It’s an excellent product from a great manufacturer that ensures your safety and overall ease in operation.

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