What Are Brad Point Drill Bits Used For?

Brad point drill bits are used when precision is paramount on a woodworking project. An extended sharp point on the center of the bit keeps the bit from wobbling as you start a hole, while the shape of the bit creates a clean hole that requires no sanding at the point of exit.

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Brad Point Benefits

The pointed extension in the center of the bit provides a great deal more control when drilling wood compared to a typical twist bit.

  • The pointed tip grabs the wood and stays put from the moment you start drilling, so there's no need for a pilot hole to guide the drilling.
  • The bit is less likely to wobble when drilling through hard wood because of the pointed tip, so the hole ends up exactly where you want it.
  • The sides of the drill bit tip, called outlining spurs, cut through the wood cleanly, resulting in a hole the exact size you want. 
  • The outlining spurs also reduce splintering or the need for sanding around the hole.

Brad-Point Bit Uses

  • Brad point bits excel at drilling wood even at angles other than 90 degrees -- there's little chance of the bit slipping as you start the hole, so a brad-point bit is an excellent choice if drilling odd angles in wood without a jig. 
  • Drilling end grain is much easier with a brad point bit -- the bit doesn't slip or splinter the wood, and it cuts into the wood better than a twist bit.
  • Woodworking projects such as furniture and cabinets require added precision: hole sizes must be exact, in many cases, for dowels or pegs to fit in place. A brad point helps ensure this accuracy.  

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