Brad Point Drill Bits (Used & Functions) Everything You Need to Know

New to woodworking? If yes, you probably are looking for the best drill bit to make holes into the wood.

Unfortunately, you cannot use the regular twist drill bits because they have a tendency to wander when drilling. So, this is where brad point drill bits come in, as far as making precise clean holes is concerned.

But now you are probably wondering, what are brad point drill bits used for and what exactly are they? Keep reading to find out more.

What are Brad Point Drill Bits?

Simply out, brad point drill bits are a cross between a spade bit and a regular twist bit. However, they have a long sharp point at the end that looks like a brad nail.

Additionally, this bit has a central point designed to help you position it accurately, thereby preventing it from skating.

Also, the brad point drill bit features two spur cutting edges that produce clean holes with minimal tear-outs on wood. For this reason, the bit is also referred to as spur point bits.

But here is the thing; brad point drill bits come in two types, including for use with hardwoods and softwoods. The difference between the two types is in the design of the outlining spurs.

For instance, brad point drill bits for softwoods have rounded edges to hold down the end grains when rubbing occurs. The bits for hardwoods, on the other hand, feature a sharp point that cuts the grains off clean.

Uses of Brad Point Drill Bits

Brad-point drill bits are mainly used for woodworking. Thanks to their long sharp point, these types of drill bits create clean holes in both soft and hardwood.

Unlike other bits, brad point bits use a sharp tip that bites into the wood when you start drilling. Therefore, the bit cannot bend or even move easily as you drill, which is a common issue with twist bits.

So, overall, brad points are a superior choice to twist bits as they can drill anywhere in the wood. You see, certain parts of wood tend to be tougher than others. For this reason, this is usually an issue for twist bits but not brad points.

But although mainly used for woodworking, brad point drill bits may sometimes be used with thin sheet metals and soft plastics.

However, brad point bits are not suitable for drilling through metals. This is because the sharp point in the center of the wood cannot penetrate into hard materials like metals. If you want to drill metal, you will need a twist drill made out of carbide, HSS, or high-carbon steel.

How to Use Brad Point Drill Bits

Generally, these types of bits are more efficient when used in a drill press. This is because they allow you to clamp your workpiece. As a result, this enables you to drill at the correct angle for precise results.

Additionally, you can use them with a handheld drill. However, you will need a jig with bushings to keep the brad-point bit straight for perfectly angled drilling.

That said, below is a quick step-by-step guide to help you learn how to use a brad point drill bit correctly.

Step 1: Choose bit size

The first step is to select the correct bit size. However, you will need to first measure the size of the hole you’re planning to make. Also, make sure to choose a bit whose body length is longer by at least two flutes. This will allow the shavings to escape to avoid clogging.

Step 2: Select drill speed

Now that you have the right size of the brad-point bit, the next step should be to choose drill speed. For hardwoods, you should select a speed of at least 1000 RPM for a 3mm bit. But if using a 25mm bit, choose a speed as slow as 250 RPM.

For drilling softwoods, start at a speed of 1700 RPM for 3mm bits and 1000 RPM for 25mm bits.

Step 3: Align the bit

Next up, make sure to mark exactly where you want to drill before aligning the brad-point bit. The tip of the bit should be aligned on the surface of the wood.

Step 4: Start drilling

Lastly, apply gentle pressure on the brad point drill bit and begin drilling. Most importantly, make sure to maintain your focus and don’t rush.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, it’s worth mentioning that brad point drill bits are available in different brands, materials, and sizes. Therefore, choosing the best for the job is important. Just don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest you can find.

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