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The right bit for the job

Drilling holes the faster, safer way

If you need to drill a hole, it seems like a simple matter to grab a drill and a drill bit and go to work. But if you ever check out the aisles of a hardware store you'll find quite a variety of bits for different applications. Knowing the right one for a specific job will help you get the project done faster, safer, and with better results. Twist drill bits: These are the bits that do-it-yourselfers are typically the most familiar with. Twist drill bits are usually made of high-speed steel (HSS) and have a flute -- a recess in the side of the bit -- that spirals up from the point of the bit toward to the top. The flute allows for chip removal as the hole is being drilled. Twist drill bits have a shallow point and are used primarily for drilling metal. They will also work fine for smaller holes in wood and plastic, but their shallow point can cause them to chip the material when drilling larger holes. Sizes, which refer to the diameter of the bit, commonly range from tiny ...