Like all drill bits, the 7/16 drill bit is a specialized cutting tool used to create cylindrical holes in varying types of material.
The 7/16 drill bit is mostly wood, but you can drill other materials like metal, plastic, composite, and masonry.
Even if you are looking for something other than a cylindrical hole, there are drill bits specifically designed to make other types of holes, as well.
Though this narrows focuses on the 7/16 drill bit, you will pick up lessons on the different types of drill bits and what you should keep in mind when using these tools.
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How Does A Drill Bit Work?
The 7/16 drill bit is fitted into the drill chuck, which holds the drill in place until removed.
When powered on, the chuck spins, creating the necessary torque (rotational force) and the axial speed needed to drill the hole. The drill chuck will hold the drill bit tightly, locking it in place.
Drill Bit Sizes Available
Drill bits come in different sizes because you won’t always want the same size of the hole. Aside from the standardized sizes, you can order a special drill bit from a machinist if you require an unusual hole.
The standard types and sizes of drill bits are:
- Metric Drill Bit Sizes
- Fractional Inch Drill Bit Sizes
- Center Drill Bit Sizes
- Screw Machine Length Drill
- Jobber Length Drill
- Long Series Drill Bits
Features of 7/16 Drill Bit
A 7/16 drill bit has the same standard features that cut across the many different types of bits. They generally consist of:
- Point: This is the cone-shaped, pointed end that consists of a spur and cutting lip. This part of the 7/16 drill bit does the cutting.
- Spur: The spur is at the center of the point, and it helps to get the drill into position.
- Cutting tip: The cutting tip of the 7/16 drill bit scrapes away the material during drilling.
- Flutes: A flute spirals its way up the body of the drill bit from the cutting lip to the shank. They help the cutting lip remove the displaced material.
- Shank: This part of the drill bit is either clamped into a spindle or straight into a drill’s chuck, with a straight shank drill bit.
How to Use a 7/16 Drill Bit Safely
It would help if you learned how to handle a drill correctly to prevent injury from flying pieces of broken material and the like. The safe use of a 7/16 drill bit begins with bodily protection.
Before reaching for your drill to start your project, you should make sure you:
- Wear safe clothing and eye protection.
- Wear ear protection if drilling regularly.
- Protect your lungs when necessary.
When you finally get your hands on the tool, there are some different things you should take note of before starting to make your hole in whatever material.
Choose the Correct Drill Bit
The wrong kind of material can cause the bit or the material you’re drilling to break. A general-purpose bit works on most wood.
But for other materials, like concrete, you should be using a masonry bit. For metals, an HSS (high-speed steel) bit should be your choice.
Properly Fit Drill Bit Into Chuck
The proper way to fit the drill in the chuck is to do so firmly. This can be done by hand, or you may need a chuck key located in a compartment in the top or handle of the drill.
You insert the drill bit into the chuck and then tighten again while ensuring the bit is straight and secure.
It is important to note that each chuck has a maximum size, and the shaft of the drill bit must be smaller than the chunk size.
Use a Clamp
When drilling into a small loose piece, clamp it down firmly before drilling. It is a bad idea to hold the piece down with one hand while drilling because the drill could slip and injure you.
Watch the Cord
It would be best if you did not try to move a drill using its chord. If you need to use a drill in a wet or muddy area, always opt for a cordless drill.
When plugging the drill into an extension cord, check the drill manual for the minimum wire gauge.
Drill Pilot Hole
Your drill job will be better if you start with a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the final hole size. This is to drill a shallow hole called a pilot hole.
Afterward, you then switch to the larger bit to finish the job. This will help prevent your drill bit from slipping.
Drill With Steady Pressure
When drilling, you should have a study hand and push it into the material you’re drilling.
Drills have a twistable collar with a series of numbers on it with which you can adjust torque. Selecting a higher number will give you a higher torque and vice versa.
You will create friction with drilling through hard materials or drilling at high speeds. This can cause overheating and lead to you burning the material you’re drilling if the bit gets red hot.
It would be best to start drilling at slow speeds and only increase when the drill is not moving smoothly.
Don’t Force When Jammed
If the drill bit gets stuck, don’t force it out by running the drill. Instead, unplug the drill, separate the bit and the chuck, and remove the bit using some manual tools.
Knowing What Drill Bit to Use
There are many drill bit types on the market right now to suit your needs. Find below a list of the common types of bits you are likely to find:
- Twist drill bits: These are the most common drill bits you will encounter in the market, known for their spiral patterns and debris removal from the hole they make in the material. They can be used on metal, plastic, timber, and related materials.
- Screwdriver bits: These are designed with a hex shank that fits into most drill types. They are good for drilling pilot holes but are, however, limited by the low power.
- Masonry bit: As the name implies, masonry bits are mostly used for drilling into stones, concrete, quarry tiles, blocks, e.t.c.
- Spur point bit: These bits are sometimes referred to as wood or dowel bits. They are designed to have a central point, and an additional two raised spurs on the sides. The two spurs are to keep the drill bit drilling straight.
- Bullet pilot point bit: A bullet pilot point bit can be mistaken for a spur point bit. However, this type of bit is designed to work on metal, plastics, and wood.
- Countersink bits: These bits help make the conical recess in the workpiece to install countersink screws. They work on softer materials such as plastics.
- Tile bit: If you have to drill into ceramic tiles and glass, you need the tile bit. It is built to have a tungsten carbide tip.
- Flatwood bit: A flatwood bit is designed for use by only a power drill. They have a pointy center that guides the flat part to drill into the wood.
- Hole saw: If your goal is to make large diameter holes in wood or plastic, you should be looking for a hole saw bit. These bits can drill as deep as 18mm.
- Forstner bit: It is designed to have a flat bottom and is commonly used for working on kitchen cupboard hinges and related applications because of its design.
- Wood Auger drill bit: When drilling large diameter holes in wood, you will require a special wood auger bit, commonly used in a hand brace.
- Step drill bit: The step drill bit incorporates a stair-like appearance and is ideal for drilling different hole sizes on sheets of metal. These bits are pricey but handy because of their versatility.
How to find equivalent drill bit sizes for your needs?
Drill bits are first and foremost organized according to the medium on which they can be used. This is followed by the material on which they can be used.
Bits are labeled for use on wood, masonry, and metal. Once you’ve identified your medium and material, you need to select the size that will work best for your project.
Drill bits also come with pilot hole charts based on the shank of the screw to help you choose the right bit.
The guideline below will be very helpful:
- Use a bit that is 1/64″ smaller than the target hole size for softwoods.
- Use a bit that is the same size as the hole when working on other materials.
- When uncertain, choose a drill bit 1/64″ larger than the hole you wish to create to account for screw type and wood density variables.
How to practice using drill bits for beginners?
When drilling into a piece of wood, you should make it a point to protect your work surface and the wood. You are likely to produce splinters called tear out on the board’s back.
To avoid this, rest the board you’re drilling into scrap lumber and hold it steady with a clamp to get the clean hole.
Place the drill bit perpendicular to the work surface and apply light downward pressure when ready to begin drilling. Then you gently squeeze the trigger.
As the drill spins, the bit will burrow smoothly into whatever you are drilling. When you are almost finished, pulse the trigger lightly until you reach your desired hole depth.
What can I use instead of a 7/16 drill bit?
To convert and find equivalent bit sizes, use a drill chart to help find alternatives in your toolbox. Take the item you need to put into the hole and hold the bit over it, such that it covers the item.
How do you get a match-size drill bit to an anchor?
For the right-sized hole, you must measure the shank of the drill bit against the front of the anchor. Its diameter should tally with the opening for the screw or measure at 1/16-inches more.
How do I get the correct drill bit size for a screw?
A drill bit size isn’t always the same size as the screw, but the drill bit should be the same size as the shaft of the screw without accounting for the threads.
To check this, line up a screw side by side with the drill bit, and if they’re the same size, you’re good to go.
Utilize the Right Drill Bit for your Needs
When getting started in building and construction-related activities, getting the hang of the right drill bits can seem like more of a chore than the project you are working on.
But it can save you time, money, and energy in the long run once you have a holistic understanding of all the factors to consider.