How to know what size drill bit to use

Written by ehow contributor
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to know what size drill bit to use
. (nadyatess/iStock/Getty Images)

Many do-it-yourself projects involve drilling a hole. To properly drill a hole--no matter what material you're drilling--you must use the right size drill bit. Following these guidelines will help you decide what size drill bit to use for your task.

Skill level:

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Drill
  • Various size drill bits
  • Material to be drilled

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Understand what a drill bit is and what it is used for. The bit is the detachable part of your drill that cuts the material's surface and fits into the drill's "chuck."

  2. 2

    Use a standard twist bit if you are boring into wood, plastic and/or some metal. Primarily for drilling small holes, twist bits come in sizes 0.8 to 12 mm.

  3. 3

    Select a masonry bit if you need to drill through brick, stone or concrete. Bit sizes range from 4 to 16 mm. Long bits measuring 300 to 400 mm are available for use on masonry walls.

  4. 4

    Consider using a bullet pilot point drill bit for a cleaner hole with minimal breakthrough damage to the back of the material. Bit sizes range from 1.5 to 13 mm.

  5. 5

    Choose an adjustable wood bit if you need to drill multi-diameter holes. These bits adjust to a diameter that measures between three-quarters and three inches.

  6. 6

    Pick a hole saw drill bit that is ½ to 6 inches in diameter to make large diameter holes in wood and light metal.

  7. 7

    Elect to use a spade drill bit with a diameter between ¼ to 1 1/2 inches if you are making large holes in wood.

Tips and warnings

  • The size of the drill bit depends on the size of the area to be cut out.
  • Follow drill manufacturers' recommendations when selecting a drill bit.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.