Is 5/8 Drill Bit Bigger Than 1/2? [Solved & Explained]

Whenever you have the right drill bit, you can expect to do the job right. That is why people often buy drill bits in a set to make their work easier.

Let us say you are working on a project over the weekend. What happens if you have to choose between the ⅝ drill bit and the ½ drill bit? Which one is larger?

Looking at these drill bits in fraction form might not be the easiest way of telling the difference between them. It is best to put them in decimal form to understand the figures.

The ⅝” drill bit means that the diameter of the hole it makes is 0.625 inches while the ½” drill bit will make a hole with a diameter of 0.5 inches.

So, from the illustration above, you can see that the ⅝ drill bit will be bigger than the ½ drill bit.

Common Types of Drill Bits and Sizes

You are likely to come across different drill bits in the market based on the application in mind. For the most part, the material you are drilling into will affect the choice of a drill bit.

We can take a multipurpose drill bit set as an example. You may find it has up to 29 pieces. Here, you will also get a chart with instructions on the size and which materials to use it with.

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Some of the specified materials would include titanium, high-speed steel, concrete, black oxide, and more.

Below is an image showing the possible sizes of twist-type drill bits in the market.

Common Types of Drill Bits and Sizes

You may still come across larger sets too. They would have specialty functions compared to the sizes displayed above.

Below is a video on the drill bit types and their applications

YouTube video

How Do You Choose the Right Drill Size?

Some people love working on their projects over the weekend. However, how do you pick the right size of the drill bit when you have so many available?

It is possible this is something you may struggle with as you begin using drill bits, but it gets easier with time. You would simply start to eyeball the drill bits and easily get what you need.

However, if you are still new to using the ⅝ bit and ½ bit, it is best to use a drill bit hole card. This is a simple chart sheet with holes representing the size of the hole each bit is able to make.

Having such a chart makes it easier for you to insert screws in the holes to see which ones will fit once you are done drilling.

It is still the same thing when you insert the drill bits in the holes to know exactly which size you are working with.

The drill bit hole card would also be useful in case the engravings on the drill bit are no longer visible.

A screw sizing chart may also be necessary so that you know more about finding out the exact sizes of screws to pair with the drill bits.

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Here is a video on drill bit sizing you should check out also

YouTube video

Drill Bit Materials

Drill Bit Materials

As mentioned earlier, you are likely to come across different materials used to make both the ⅝” and the ½” drill bits.

The first material and popular is high-speed steel or HSS. The bits made from this material will be good for drilling into wood, plastic, and soft steel. People love them since they are also cheaper.

You will then come across the cobalt bits too. This is a slight upgrade from the HSS bits. In this case, they feature an 8% cobalt blend designed to harden the bits. The result is that now you have stronger bits that can go through even stainless steel.

Carbide is another material that is used for making the bits. In the case of carbide bits, they are the hardest. You should expect to use them in a place where a high-quality tool holder is used.

Carbide bits are also brittle, meaning they should not be used in drill presses and hand drills.

In addition to drill bit materials, you also have to consider the drill point angle. The standard version is 118 degrees. You can also come across the 135-degree self-centering one in case of applications that need fast drilling.


What are the decimal and the metric equivalent of the ⅝-inch drill bit?

The decimal equivalent of a ⅝ drill bit is 0.625 inches. As for the metric, it is 15.875 mm. Always have a conversion chart close just in case you need to convert from one format to another.

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Which drill bit type should you get for drilling stainless steel?

You may want to consider opting for cobalt drill bits. The material is hardened and the bits have enough capacity to handle faster drilling to penetrate stainless steel.

Which drill point coatings are mostly used on ½” bits?

This does not apply to the ½” bits alone, but rather most bits. The common options for coatings include black oxide, titanium nitride, titanium carbonitride, and more depending on the manufacturer.

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