Drill bits are a crucial part of any toolbox, but despite the sheer power with which they can cut deep into various materials, they’re just little pieces of metal that can break. Drill bits might snap for multiple reasons, but all of the causes of breakage are ultimately preventable.
Your drill bits may break in wood if you use the wrong type of drill bit for the material you’re working with or do not apply enough pressure while you drill. You might also need a lubricant to help the drill bit move more quickly through the wood.
In this article, I’ll explain why your drill bits might break, detailing each potential reason and how to remedy the issue. I’ll also share some tips and tricks to help you prevent breaking your drill bits in the future to help you keep your drill bits in prime condition.
Reasons Why Bits Break While Drilling Wood
There are many reasons why drill bits break while drilling into wood.
However, if you understand these reasons and take steps to avoid them, you can help keep your drill bits in good condition and reduce the chances of them breaking.
Let’s talk about it!
1. The Bit Is the Wrong Size
One of the most common reasons for bits breaking while drilling into wood is that the bit is the wrong size.
If the bit is too tiny, it will not be able to make it through the wood.
If it is too big, drilling will cause excessive wear and tear on the bit and eventually break it.
It is essential to use a drill bit that is the correct size for the job.
2. The Drill Is Too Slow
Another common reason for bits breaking while drilling into wood is that the drill is too slow.
The bit can lose momentum when you work slowly, increasing friction and resistance.
As this occurs, the bit will vibrate and become hot, which often leads to breakage.
Drill at a moderate speed to avoid this issue.
Related: How Much Torque Do I Need In A Drill?
3. There Is Too Much Resistance
If there is too much resistance when drilling, the bit can break.
Excessive resistance is often caused by drilling into hardwoods or knots in the wood.
Use a smaller bit or work at a slower speed to reduce the amount of resistance.
4. The Bit Is Not Sharp
If your drill bit is dull, it won’t be able to cut through wood.
Instead, the bit will grind against the wood, putting excessive wear and tear on the drill and eventually breaking it.
Always use a sharp drill bit for the best results.
5. You are Not Holding the Drill At the Correct Angle
If you do not hold the drill at the correct angle, the force of the motor can cause the bit to break.
Also, pressure can build up on the bit if you change angles while drilling, snapping the bit in half.
Hold the drill perpendicular to the surface to avoid this issue, and never change your angle mid-drilling.
6. The Drill Is Not Lubricated
If you never lubricate your drill bits, excessive friction can cause the bit to overheat and break.
Lubricating your bits can also keep them sharp, which will help you prevent breakage from dull bits.
So, always make sure you lubricate your drill bits before using them.
7. There Is an Obstruction in the Way
Drilling is all fine and dandy until you hit a piece of cold, hard metal in your wood.
Things like staples, screws, nails, tacks, and brackets will break a drill bit if you attempt to go through them.
So, always ensure there are no obstructions in the drill’s path before beginning to drill.
8. The Bit Is Damaged
If your drill bit is already chipped, dull, rusty, cracked, or just too old, it is more likely to break.
Inspect the bit before use and make sure it is not broken in any way.
If the bit is damaged, replace it with a new one.
9. The Drill Is Not Set Up Correctly
If you don’t center and position your drill bit properly, the motion of drilling can cause the bit to break.
So, always ensure that you center your drill bit and tighten the clamp that holds it in place before you try to cut through anything.
Tips and Tricks for Drilling Wood Without Bit Breakage
When drilling wood, using the right bit is essential to get the best results and avoid breakage.
A sharp bit that is in good condition makes all the difference in the world – you’ll get cleaner holes with less splintering and tearing.
In addition, using a slow, steady motion will help you avoid accidents and ensure your project goes smoothly.
Related: How To Use A Cordless Drill Safely
Here are some tips to prevent breakage and achieve optimum drill bit performance:
- Use the correct size bit for the job.
- Drill at a moderate speed.
- Use a smaller bit or drill at a slower speed if there is too much resistance.
- Always use a sharp bit.
- Hold the drill perpendicular to the surface.
- Always lubricate your drill bits before you use them.
- Feed the drill at a moderate speed.
- Make sure there are no obstructions in the drill’s path before beginning to drill.
- Inspect the bit before use and make sure it is not damaged in any way. If the bit is damaged, replace it with a new one.
- Always canter and secure your drill bit before drilling.
If you want to learn more ways to keep your drill bits in good condition and make the job easy, you might want to watch this 8-minute video, which shares 11 drilling tips and tricks:
Drill bits only break when you do not use them properly or forget to maintain them.
Always use the correct size bit, drill at a moderate speed, and regularly lubricate your bits.
If you struggle with resistance, use a smaller bit or drill more slowly. Also, Inspect the bit before use and replace it if it’s damaged.
You can avoid drill bit breakage and complete your project successfully with proper care and attention.
Cheers, tools owners!