We cover all types of basic drill bits in our Best Drill bits Buying Guide.
This inexpensive bit covers everything but masonry and is not as durable as titanium or cobalt. Expect to drill holes up to 1/2″ with these.
Our pick: Ryobi Black Oxide Bits – $14.97 for their 21-pc set
These mid-level bits work well for both wood and metal drilling. The titanium coating adds hardness and reduces heat build-up. You lose those benefits as coating wears off the cutting edge
Our pick: Milwaukee Shockwave Titanium Bits – $24.99 for a 15-pc set
These bits have a higher price point and are typically reserved for metal cutting. Cobalt is blended with the steel to characteristics run through the entire bit. They can drill through tough metals like cast iron and stainless steel.
Our pick: Milwaukee Red Helix Cobalt bits – $39.99 for a 15-pc set
These tungsten carbide tips chew through masonry and concrete like their SDS-plus/max brothers. They are more expensive than black oxide, titanium, or cobalt. You can take on holes up to 1/2″ before moving to a rotary hammer bit.
Our pick: Bosch Daredevil Multi-purpose bits – 5-piece set is $18.97
Spade Bit/Paddle Bit
Spade bits make for an inexpensive way to drill holes up to 1-1/2″. Multiple shaft lengths give you the ability to drill deeper holes in both thick and thin materials. These are not as smooth or clean cutting as an auger bit.
Our pick: Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits w/threaded self-feed tip – 6-pc set is under $10
Auger bits are basically a large twist bit with wide flutes for drilling large diameter, deep holes in tougher wood. More expensive than spade bits, auger bits have a threaded tip which pulls the bit through the cut.
Our pick: Bosch Daredevil High-Speed Auger Bits – 3-pc set is $34.97
Multiple steps in these bits allow you to gradually cut wider holes in thin metal. They’re also great for widening existing holes and can eliminate the need for a knockout punch on holes up to 1-1/4″ or so
Our pick: Irwin Cobalt Unibits – #4 bit is $60.99 and covers 3/16” to 7/8″ in 12 steps