What Is a Cutting Drill Bit?

Jay Leone

A cutting drill bit is a type of cutting attachment designed to bore cylindrical holes into a workpiece. These bits are often fitted onto various types of power drills and other production equipment. They can be manufactured out of several different durable materials including stainless steel, carbon steel and tungsten carbide. There are many different types of drill bits available for nearly every drilling application. Many premium drill bit manufacturers make bits that feature diamond coatings for production drilling or applications involving harder materials.

Safety goggles and a face mask should be worn when operating power tools.
Safety goggles and a face mask should be worn when operating power tools.

Many metal cutting drill bit manufacturers employ strong, durable metals in the construction of their products. Tungsten is one of the strongest, hardest known metals. This metal has the highest melting point of any metal, making it ideal for hot production drilling. Bits made out of tungsten carbide are very durable, they can cut through almost any material including very hard metals such as chrome and very hard stone such as granite. Drill bits that feature tungsten carbide construction will outperform most types of cutting drill bits on the market.

Drill bits can be made of steel, carbon steel and tungsten carbide.
Drill bits can be made of steel, carbon steel and tungsten carbide.

Diamonds are the hardest substance on the planet. A diamond-tipped or diamond-core cutting drill bit can be employed to bore through the hardest materials including tungsten carbide, sapphire, ruby and diamond. While these drill bits are among the most expensive bits available, they will quickly, cleanly, and efficiently cut through any given material.

In order to cut through a workpiece, a cutting drill bit made out of a material harder than the workpiece itself must be used. The Moh's scale offers one frame of reference for material hardness. On this scale, which offers values between one and ten, materials with high numbers are harder than materials with lower numbers. Granite, tungsten carbide, sapphire, and diamond offer values of 6, 8.5, 9, and 10, respectively. While a tungsten carbide drill bit may be employed to efficiently cut through granite, a diamond-tipped drill bit would be more appropriate to cut through sapphire or diamond.

Operating any power tool can be a dangerous task. Drill bits are often very sharp and can easily piece the skin with even the slightest contact. Operators should be very cautious while operating power tools that have been fitted with drill bit attachments. Employing excessive force while drilling or using the improper bit for an application can cause the bit to break. Wearing safety gear such as goggles, dust masks, and work gloves helps decrease injury risks while operating power tools.

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