Do All Drill Bits Fit in All Drills? Drill Bit Sizes

I was recently working in my garage using a corded drill I have, which is a ½”. This means it takes drill bits with ½” shafts. I always use this drill for my drywall mud mixer (which has a ½” shaft) and never really thought about it, until it stopped working, that is.

I decided I would try fitting the mixer into my favorite cordless drill and was shocked (but not surprised) that it didn’t fit. I checked my Black and Decker cordless and it is a 3/8” – this means that it doesn’t take anything bigger than a 3/8” shaft. So long story short, off to my local tool supply store I went.

No, not all drill bits fit in all drills. 3/8” sized drills will accept up to 3/8” drill bit shafts. ½” sized drills will accept up to ½” drill bit shafts as well as and 3/8” sized bits. Regular drill bits without a hex shanked bit holder cannot be used in an impact driver, however, hex shanked bits can be used in regular drill drivers. SDS bits will only work with SDS machines.

Do All Drill Bits Fit in All Drills? Drill Bit Sizes

Now, if you aren’t familiar with the terminology (I know all of this can be confusing), hex shanked bits, impact drivers, drill drivers, regular bits – you may be wondering what it all means? However, if you’re already familiar with most of these terms, this shouldn’t be very difficult for you to understand.

In this article, I will discuss what drill bits fit in what drills as well cover any related questions regarding this topic. So, if you’re ready to learn more then let’s get started!

* This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

What are the Different Drill Bit Types and What Drills Do They Fit?

There are so many different types of drill bits that have their specific uses. I know, it can be a bit intimidating. In this section, I am going to show you that you don’t need to feel inadequate in your drill bit to drill compatibility knowledge.

There are some basic concepts you need to know for you to understand what bits are required for what drills and for which applications they are used. The first thing (and probably most important) is to always match the size of the drill bits shank (the end you would put into the drill) to the size of drill you are using.

  • Drills that have a 3/8” chuck (the end that you put the drill bit into) will only accept bits up to 3/8” in diameter.
  • Drills that have a ½” chuck will accept larger bits up to ½” in diameter.
  • There are some specialized bits made for SDS equipment that should only be used in those pieces of equipment.
  • It is not only important to know the size of the drill bit and drill but the type of bit you need. This will depend on the project you are trying to accomplish. There are bits made for drilling holes into wood, metal, concrete, plastics and other materials. There are also flat bits, auger bits, Forstner bits, steep angle and many more types of drill bits to choose from.
  • Trust that once you gain more knowledge with bits and drills, you will know what bits and drills will work together.

Up next, I’m going to answer some related questions I feel some of you might have and hopefully, this information will further your knowledge on this topic.

Will Drill Bits Fit into Impact Drivers?

We touched on this a bit above however, it’s important to single out this information. Impact drivers only accept hex shanked driver bits. You can get hex-shaped driver bits that accommodate drill bits. Just know that these two tools (drill driver and impact driver) do similar work but are made for different reasons.

A drill driver, otherwise known as a regular drill, is made to turn drill bits, whereas an impact driver is for impacting screws and bolts. This topic warrants its own article, so we won’t go any further at this time.

Will Dewalt Brand Drill Bits Fit in Black and Decker Drills?

It doesn’t matter what brand of tool you have. What matters is the size of the drill bit, for example, whether it is a 3/8” or ½”.

Different manufacturers will hope that you only purchase their brands of drill bits when you own their drill and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s just not necessary. Some users have brand loyalty and that’s what companies are counting on. Again, nothing wrong with it, it’s just not necessary.

Can I Use Normal Drill Bits in an SDS Drill?

SDS, which stands for a Slotted Drive System, will not accept normal (regular) drill bits.

SDS drills take SDS bits that are slotted and fit specifically and perfectly into the drill. This combination of SDS drill and bits provide improved torque and hammering action.

SDS drills are typically used to drill into concrete and other harder materials. Chances are you won’t use one of these drills unless you rent one to break up concrete in your basement to rough in some plumbing or some other heavy-duty home renovation project.

What are the Best Drill Bits?

This question (what are the best drill bits?) has got to be crossing your mind. Right? All this talk about different bits and drills but what is the best bit? The best drill bit is a drill bit that will fit in your drill (3/8” or 1/2”) and is made to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

For example, one day when I was at work and my father-in-law was trying to be helpful at my house by trying to fix a metal storage box I had out on my deck.

Unfortunately, he used a handful of my wooden bits to try and drill through thin metal. Those drill bits were garbage after that and didn’t get the job done.

If he knew what a drill bit for metal or wood looked like he could have drilled the holes quite easily and not have ruined some of my bits made for wood.

I am sharing that story with you, so you know how important it is to use the correct bits for the job.

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In conclusion, I just want to drive home the point that for regular drills, all bits that are either 3/8” or ½” will fit, so long as the shank on the drill is considered when you purchase bits.

The nice thing is that 3/8” are so common that 99% of the time you will grab a drill and bits for it that match up nicely. They are just more common that ½”.

The other very important take away in this article is to make sure you always seek out the drill bits that are made to drill through the materials you need holes in.

Most times you can use a metal bit in wood if you really must, however, using a wood bit on metal won’t get you very far.

Hopefully, this article has been of help to you. Thanks for reading and good luck with your upcoming project.

Cheers tools owners!

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.