Why Do Drill Bits Break?

Posted on by Ruwag UK

Why Do Drill Bits Break?

Having a drill bit break in the middle of a project is one of the most frustrating things. Often, bits seem to break right at the stage of drilling when your work is almost done. When the bit breaks and your carefully prepared workpiece suddenly cracks, it can set you back in costs and time. When bits break in the material you are drilling, you will end up with stuck bits, which is equally frustrating. In some cases, a broken drill bit could even lead to damage to your drill. Understanding why drill bits break will go a long way in preventing this from happening. In this guide, we’ll share some of the biggest reasons that bits break.

Biggest Reasons that Drill Bits Break

There are several reasons that drill bits break during drilling. These include the following:

You’re using the wrong bit type

A commonly made mistake that can ruin your bits, material and drill is using the wrong bit type. Many DIY enthusiasts assume that multi-material bits will work on every type of material. While these bits will work on many different materials, they will not always work on some materials. Very tough materials such as steel, concrete or granite require bits that are designed specifically to get through the material. Always check selection charts and specs when choosing any type of bit to make sure that it is suitable for your project.

You’re using the wrong bit size

The size of your bit will also make a difference. Once again, the best way to know which size to use is to check the recommendations and specs on the packaging of the bit or set you have purchased.

You’re using the wrong speed

Speed is something that will affect every aspect of your project. It’s easy to think you can get the job done faster if you drill at the highest setting. Even if you are using softer woods, drilling too fast can damage bits. Always start on the slowest speed and then work your way up to a higher speed. When reversing to work back up through the hole, keep your speed at a lower setting to avoid having a stuck bit that can easily break. Matching the recommended speed for the size of the bit and material you are drilling will ensure the best balance between the time it takes to drill the hole and how long your bit will last.

You’re using too much force

Besides going too fast, another mistake is using too much force. Unless you are using heavy-duty power tools, your goal is to drill without causing damage to the material or the bit. In some cases, more force may be required. To drill holes into wood, metal or plastic, you will need to work with the drill, rather than forcing the drill. Forcing the bit as you drill will put too much pressure on the bit, and risk cracking or damaging your workpiece, too.

You’re using blunt or worn bits

Using blunt bits or worn bits can also increase the chance of broken bits. This is why you need to keep your bits sharp and replace your bits when they start to show signs of wear and tear. If you try to do any drilling with dull bits, you risk far more than broken bits. You also risk overheating your tool - something that can cause major damage. 

You’re using poor-quality bits

Finally, one of the biggest reasons for all broken bits is quality. Choosing poor-quality bits will affect every aspect of your project. Cheap bits are more likely to break, get stuck and have many other issues. Investing in quality bits is the simplest way to ensure that your bits are made to last. 

Ruwag offers a wide variety of quality bits for every project, helping to prevent broken drill bits and other issues for the best results, every time.