This is Why You Should be Using Brad Point Drill Bits. In this post, I’ll show you all of the advantages of using brad point drill bits instead of twist drills, and you’ll learn why this makes a big difference in your woodworking shop. Enjoy.
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Brad Point Drill Bits
There are several different types of drill bits that you can buy as a woodworker. There are twist bits, paddle bits, auger bits, Forstner bits, and brad point bits. Each of them has a purpose, and they are all useful for some aspect of woodworking.
The very first common drill bit that woodworkers tend to get is a twist bit. This is what you probably have in your mind when you think about drill bits, and it’s what the majority of woodworkers have in their toolboxes in their shops.
Brad point bits are similar in look, except they have a point right at the center that makes the design perform differently. There are a lot of great reasons to use brad point bits, and I’ll show you all of them coming up.
You’ll be happy to have some in the shop for sure, because the amount of times they will come in handy will definitely be worth it. I’ll show you why, plus several great tips and tricks along the way.
Twist Drills are Lazy Tools
The most common type of drill bit is also the laziest tool you will ever use. A drill goes exactly where a drill wants to go, no matter if that’s where you want it to go or not. This means drilling holes can actually be a lot more difficult than it sounds.
For example, if you need to drill a hole in a very exact location, and you have hard grain lines next to soft areas of wood, a twist drill will want to dig into the soft areas. It will almost bend sideways to get into them too.
The drill likes to take the path of least resistance, and when that path of least resistance is not where are you want to make your hole, it can be a problem. This is where drill bit manufacturers have started to develop tracking systems for drills.
See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker
Drill Bit Tracking Methods
A tracking method for a drill bit is simply a way of helping the drill bit overcome its tendency to be super lazy. The tracking system makes it so the tool travels straight through a piece of wood rather than take its own path.
There are a number of different ways to do this, and they are all engineered into the construction of the drill bit itself. Some use the outside edge of the drill for tracking, and others use the center of the drill to ensure straight holes.
No matter the system, the fact that the drill bit goes where it is intended to go a lot more reliably makes a big difference. Your accuracy goes way up with this type of drill bit, and that means better projects with less frustrations.
Brad Point Drill Bit Sets
The brad point is a tracking system that’s based off the center of the drill. This is easily visible on the tool itself by looking at the tip. At the center, you’ll find a taller center point that is used to guide the drill through the hole.
This enter point is very sharp, and it’s the first part of the drill that makes contact with the wood. When it does, it presses inwards, and helps prevent the drill from bending to one side or another in an effort to find the easiest path.
Since the drill can’t bend or move as easily, it tends to take a much straighter path through the wood, which leaves you a much better looking hole. It’s also easier to start the drill, because the point is so sharp that it’s easy to aim at your mark.
How Brad Points Make Woodworking Easier
One of the most difficult challenges in drilling holes is aligning the bit with your marks. Especially in the case of twist drills that can annihilate a larger section of wood around where you made that mark, making it even more difficult to see.
It’s a little easier to drill holes on a drill press instead of drilling them by hand, but the brad point drill bit makes both of these operations a lot easier. It all has to do with the center point being very sharp, and the perfect alignment tool.
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If you’re on the drill press, all you have to do is bring down the head until the point makes contact with the wood, hen, look at the little indent that the point of the drill made, and check your alignment.
If you’re slightly off, move the wood and test it again until you get the alignment perfectly on your mark, and then drill it. Your holes will be a lot more accurate, and the tool makes the whole process a lot more easier.
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Caring for Your Drills
Something that often overlooked in a throwaway society is caring for your smaller tools. Brad point drill bits are not expensive, and you can pick up a set for about the same price as twist point drills would be.
However, these are tools just like any other tool, and you can care for them just like you would care for an expensive set of drills. They can be sharpened, organized, and given a place of respect in your woodworking shop.
The biggest method of care that you’re going apply to a set of drill bits is to simply keep them organized, and keep the set whole. So often you’ll go into your drill index and find a couple of them missing. It just so happens that those will be the ones you need.
Now, you get to spend 20 minutes rifling through your shop looking for those missing drill bits. This takes away time from your project, and it also builds frustration. You take this frustration with you to when you go back to your project, and that’s a recipe for mistakes.
The biggest thing you can do to care for your drill bits is to simply keep them organized. Every single time you use a drill, put it back in the index. You’ll be very happy that you did, and every time you go for a drill bit, it will always be there.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know how awesome brad point drill bits are are, and how they can save you time and frustration by drilling much more accurate holes, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action.
If you don’t actually have a set of brad point drill bits, then pop on Amazon and buy a set that looks good. Again, it doesn’t have to be an expensive set to be a good set. These drills have been around long enough that the novelty has worn off, and the prices have come down.
When you get your drill bits home, take them for a test drive. Find a nice scrap of wood, preferably something that you know doesn’t drill very well with twist point bits. Then, try them out with your brad point bits.
I’m sure you’ll notice a difference immediately, and that difference will be well worth the small purchase price of your new set of drills.
If you have any questions about using brad point drill bits, and why they are awesome to have in your shop, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer it. Happy building.
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