Are All Drill Bits Universal?

Drill bits are essential for you to handle a project at home or even at a professional level. It is why you may want to invest in high-quality drill bits always.

What happens if you need to use other drill bits when the main one breaks? Are these drill bits universal or interchangeable?

If you are asking yourself this question, then chances are you have tried fixing a ½” drill bit in a ⅜” drill and it did not work.

Well, not all drill bits are universal and it is all based on their size.

A quick point to note is that the ⅜” drills will only work with the ⅜” drill bit shafts. However, the ½” drills will work with ½” drill bits and also the ⅜” drill bits. That is the biggest difference between these two drills.

Also, the regular drill bits that have no hex shanked bit holder will not work with impact drivers. However, the hex shanked drill bits can be easily used in regular drills.

The SDS bits are not interchangeable. They only work when used in SDS machines.

You can now see how best to use the drill bits from the statements above. It all depends on the drill size and type to determine where it fits.

Drill Bit Types and Where They Fit

When you start researching drill bit types, sometimes the information can be overwhelming. Well, all you have to consider first is the size of the shank of a drill bit. The shank is the end a person puts in the drill to attach it.

Read More:  Milwaukee 6232-20 Vs. 6238-20 Vs. 6232-21 Vs. 2629-22 Band Saw

So, if you have a drill with a ⅜” chuck, then it can only accept drill bits with a diameter no larger than ⅜”.

As for the ½” chuck drill, it can accept all drill bits up to a diameter of ½”. That is how it would be able to fit even the ⅜” bits.

We now also have the specialized bits. This includes those meant for SDS equipment. In such a case, these bits would only work with SDS equipment and not the regular drills.

The type of project you need to accomplish may also affect which bits you are using. An example is you cannot use some bits for drilling into wood and metal. But some can work for metal and wood. So, choose based on the material you are looking into working on.

Here is a video on drill bit types and their uses

YouTube video

The Birth of Universal Drill Bits

So far you have seen how possible it is to interchange some drill bits while at times that may not be possible.

A universal drill bit is one that can work in different drills while also being used on different surfaces. This means you do not need to switch it out all the time when changing the surfaces or applications.

Of course, having universal drill bits can make your work easier and faster. Also, you do not have to buy too many bits that you may sometimes not use often. In addition, the versatility would make working on DIY projects more fun.

Universal bits can be good for you, but they may have a few downsides including;

  • They need cleaning more frequently based on how often you are using them
  • They will definitely be more expensive since you can use them on different surfaces unlike other bits
  • May not work so well for ceramic or glass materials
  • May also need regular sharpening to help with maintaining quality
Read More:  Do You Need Special Bits for Impact Drivers? [Solved]

Drilling into glass always needs specialized drills that can do a good job because of how these materials are fragile.

Here is a video on how to drill into glass

YouTube video


Will drill bits work in impact drivers?

Impact drivers will only work with hex shanked bits. This means if you want the bits to work in an impact driver, it needs to have a hex shank.

Also, know that an impact driver and a regular drill are made for different applications so use them appropriately.

Can you interchange drill bits from different brands?

What matters the most is the size rather than the brand in this case. Manufacturers will make their bits in many size configurations so that it is easy for you to get a bit that works with your drill.

Can the normal bits be used in an SDS drill?

SDS or slotted drive system drills do not work with regular drill bits. Such drills are designed to only take SDS bits.

These SDS bits will be slotted to fit perfectly in the chuck of the drill. They are designed this way to improve the hammering action and torque too.

Do drill bits have a standard size?

The manufacturers of drill bits have the flexibility of making different sizes of bits so long as they do not go beyond certain sizes in terms of diameter.

That is why you will mostly come across drill bits with sizes ranging from 1/16″ to ¼”. The bit that can be used is based on the size of the drill’s chuck.

Leave a Comment