There are several ways to make a hole in a piece of material. Nonetheless, the method you choose determines how much frustration you may face.
When making holes, your best bet is to use a drill with the appropriate bit. Drill bits are cutting tools used to create cylindrical holes in wood, plastic, concrete, and metal.
Of these materials, you will most likely be using a drill bit on wood.
Like the 7/8″ drill bit, we will delve into the most used tool to make cylindrical holes. More so, some specialized drill bits are configured to make other types of holes. So, let’s get started!
How Does A Drill Bit work?
A drill bit is designed to spin clockwise when fitted into the drill chuck, which holds it tightly. The spinning creates the torque and axial speed required to cut the hole.
The drill bit shank, at one end, fits into the drill chuck, while the cutting edges are at the other end. Shanks mostly come in a hexagon or round shape.
Hexagon shanks are more stable and more suited to drilling hard materials. On the other hand, round shanks center more reliably than hexagon shanks.
Metric Drill Bit Sizes
Drill Charts like the one above are good to have, so you have a handle on decimal, fractions, numbered drill bits, letter drill sizes, or metric drill bits.
Your standard metric lengths define metric drill bit sizes. You measure drill bits in the metric system, meaning instead of asking a coworker for a 1/4-inch bit, you ask for a 6-millimeter bit.
Though different types of bits are available in the same styles and materials, metric drill bits allow you to cut more precise holes because centimeters are divided smaller than inches.
Does There Exist a 7/8 Drill bit?
While not among the most common drill bits, 7/8″ drill bits are used fairly enough. When looking to make relatively bigger holes, something in and around the size of the 7/8″ drill bit will be your go-to.
Close alternatives to the 7/8″ drill bit are the 55/64 drill bit and the 57/64 drill bit.
What are the parts of a 7/8 Drill Bit?
The standard parts that cut across the varying types of bits will be found on a 7/8″ drill bit.
Point: The pointed cone-shaped end consists of a spur and a cutting tip.
Spur: The part at the center of the point that helps get the drill into position.
Cutting tip: This part scrapes away material during drilling.
Flutes: These spiral grooves on the body of the bit help the cutting tip remove the displaced material.
Shank: This part is clamped into the drill chuck or a spindle.
Tang: This part of the shank fits into the machine spindle.
Neck: The part connecting the shank and the body of the drill.
Body clearance: The part of the body with a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the drill.
Web: This part separates the two flutes.
How to use a 7/8 Drill bit safely?
In any drilling endeavor with power tools, safety considerations begin with the proper safety gear.
These include goggles, lung protection, and earplugs. When you pick up your tool and material, consider these steps:
Step 1: Select the appropriate drill bit concerning the size and depth of the hole you are drilling.
Step 2: Securely put the chosen bit into the drill and tighten.
Step 3: Check all other Settings, including battery and torque dial.
Step 4: Ensure your material is secured to a sturdy surface with a clamp or vice.
Step 5: Ensure the bit is touching the material, then start drilling, initially at a slow speed.
Step 6: Examine the Hole and make sure it is fit for use, e.g., making sure the screw fits.
Step 7: Clean up by putting drill parts away, then vacuum any chips or dust.
Best Drill Bits Set With Various Sizes in the Market
When selecting a bit, your considerations should go beyond the material you are drilling a hole in.
It would be best if you also took note of the quality of the hole you want to make in the chosen material, whether you want a smooth-walled hole or a ragged hole.
In addition, you should take note of the size of your drill’s chuck because the shank of your drill bit must fit perfectly into your drill’s chuck.
With that in mind, here are five drill bit sets with various sizes we recommend.
Professional Woodworker Brad Point Drill Bit Set
Our first pick is an affordable 25-bit set tailored for you if you are new to woodworking.
These bits’ sharp tips make it easy for precise drills, while its geometry, which resembles a cross between a twist drill and an auger bit, allows for good chip ejection.
Milwaukee Heavy-Duty Self-Feed Bit Set
Self-feed bits are ready to serve seasoned or novice handypersons with their clean hole-making.
They have a lead screw that pulls the bit through the lumber while an interior plane blade shaves the wood as the bit turns.
These processes will leave you with a fast and clean hole. The seven bits in this set can be sharpened to ensure longevity.
Irwin Drill Bit Set
This set was a wide range of drill bits that suit beginners or experienced contractors. It has 29 drill bits made with super-strong cobalt steel that can drill through even hard metals.
Each bit has a split point, which helps it penetrate easily and prevent slippage.
Irwin Speedbor Spade Bit Set
You will most likely be using these bits for quick-and-rough holes in lumber.
These inexpensive bits, numbering 17, won’t leave a clean exit hole, but that will not cause concern.
These tough bits can also be sharpened with a file and are incredibly durable. You may be able to get 30 years out of these bits, depending on your use.
Dewalt Titanium Drill Bit Set
You don’t ever want to come against hardened steel with the wrong drill bit. Thus, you may not even be able to make a dent, or worse, injure yourself.
This Titanium Pilot Point drill bit set was made precisely to power through tough steel.
This set has 21 titanium drill bits that are highly durable and resist chipping, dulling, and stalling, even after several uses.
What are common drill bit sizes?
Drill bit sets usually contain bits that range from 1/16 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. These are common sizes for home and shop projects.
Other common sizes include 1/2 of an inch, 7/16 of an inch, 3/8 of an inch, and 5/16 of an inch.
What are the things to consider in buying a drill bit?
More people struggle with drill bit selection than you think – not just users but even suppliers and distributors.
A fair amount of time, ready-made drill bits available in the market are not suited to the intended project leading to wasted time and money.
To get ahead of this common challenge, here are things to take note of.
1. Drill Bits Materials
Drill bits come in various materials, and the type of application will determine the type of material.
Some materials may be better suited to wood as opposed to concrete. Material types you will come across include carbon steel, cobalt, and carbide.
2. Flute Design
The three most common flute designs are the standard flute design, straight flute design, and Parabolic flute design.
Their functions range from the removal of chips to affecting spiral speed.
3. Coating Type
The coating of your bits goes a long way to affecting their durability. The wrong coating could increase the risk of rust or wear and tear.
The coatings you may come across include cobalt, titanium, zirconium, and black oxide.
4. Drill Point Angles
Attention to drill point angles may seem like a relic of the past when drilling was largely manual, and the drill bits were conventional conical shapes.
But this nuance can help you determine the right material for your bit.
The most popular angles in recent times have been 118°, and 135° have become dominant, with the former suited to materials such as aluminum and wood because of its sharper tip.
The 135° is better suited to hard materials like stainless steel.
5. Drill Point Length
The kind of accuracy you desire in your project should determine the drill length. Shorter drills are more suitable for high-precision jobs while being sturdier.
6. Customized Vs. Ready-made Drill Bits
Customized drills offer you more flexibility with features and reduce the risk of buying ready-made bits that may not suit the specifics of your project.
What Is the Best Way to Use a Small Drill Bit Size?
Smaller drill bits can be difficult to insert into the chuck. More so, when improperly secured, they can slip during use.
It is better if you insert it by hand instead of using a motor with some bits.
Also, it is especially important with small drills not to press down too hard when drilling. That’s the motor’s job.
What happens if you don’t have the correct size drill bit?
The right drill bit size will account for a screw’s body but not its threads. You can line up the drill and the screw to check if the drill bit is the same width as the screw without its threads.
You can also reference the labels on the packaging of the screws and bits. Most drill bits have their dimensions labeled, but for screws, you will have to find the packaging.
As an example, for a size 2 screw, use a 1/16 bit. You can refer to guides when necessary.
If you don’t have an exact match, go with the drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screw’s body.
How to determine the right drill bit size?
More experienced handypersons or contractors can make educated guesses in determining the right drill bit size.
But for the average person, or even if you find yourself working with a less common drill bit size, a drill bit size hole card will come in very handy.
This plastic card has perfect round holes and markings that allow you to size screws simply by inserting them into a hole then reading the marking.
You can also size drill bits by pushing them through holes.
Getting a 7/8″ drill bit is a relatively easier decision because they also come with shanks with smaller diameters than their cutting head.
It means they can fit in your handheld drills, and you won’t have to worry about getting a new bigger drill or hiring outside help just because a home project requires a few bigger than normal holes.