One of the challenges new DIY enthusiasts face when working with power tools for the first time is drill bit alignment. Drilling might seem like a straightforward task at a glance. As you start to spend more time getting to know your drill, trying out new projects and learning more about various drill bits, you will soon start to realise that there is a lot more to the process than simply aiming your drill bit at your material and starting to drill.
To get the job done properly, you will need to learn a lot not only about your drill settings and the bits you use, but also the technique you use for the best results. Proper drill bit alignment is a particularly important technique to master, as it will prevent a range of problems, from reduced efficiency to potential damage to the workpiece, your drill bits or even to your drill.
Why is Drill Bit Alignment so Important?
Why is drill bit alignment so important and how can you ensure that your drill is kept at the right angle while you work? Let’s have a look.
Precision and accuracy
When a drill bit is correctly aligned, it ensures that the hole being drilled is precise. Proper alignment guarantees that the hole's depth, width and overall size are consistent with the project you are working on, as well as the material you are drilling. In tasks that require meticulous precision, such as creating pilot holes or when working with fragile materials, this is especially important. Alignment can make all the difference between a successful job and a ruined workpiece that has splintered, cracked or ended up with ragged, messy holes.
Longer tool & bit lifespan
Poor alignment doesn't just affect the material you're working with, either. It can also be harmful to your drill and the bit you are using. When a bit is not aligned, it can experience uneven wear over time, reducing its lifespan and efficiency. This can lead to a significant increase in the risk of worn drill bits, stuck bits and damaged bits. It also means a bigger need for replacements and in serious cases, you may even have to replace the chuck that holds the bit in place if the bit is badly worn.
Reduced safety risk
Safety should always be a top priority in every project. Ensuring that the drill bit is correctly aligned plays a key role in preventing safety risks. Misaligned drill bits can cause the drill to jam or even break while in use, which can lead to potential injuries. If the bit slips or veers off course while you’re in the middle of drilling, this can lead to serious accidents, especially when drilling through hard materials such as masonry.
Whatever project you’re working on, working efficiently is essential to save time and effort. When you take a moment to make sure that your drill bit is properly aligned, you will save yourself a great deal of hassle down the line. You will know that the drilling process is free of problems, with less chance of issues that result in damaged material, the need to redrill holes or even the need to start all over again when your entire project is a mess. This means jobs get done faster and with less wasted effort.
Better project results
When working with materials that can easily crack or splinter, such as certain types of wood, plastic or glass, proper alignment is crucial. A misaligned drill bit can put uneven pressure on the material you’re drilling, leading to cracks or damage. Correct alignment helps to keep the material free of damage, resulting in a clean, professional-looking finish.
How do you make sure that your drill bit alignment is correct? You can read our guide to drilling perfectly vertical holes to get advice on how to keep your holes aligned.
Getting the best results starts with having the right technique, and the right tools. Ruwag offers a wide range of quality drill bits for every type of project, no matter how big or small.