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Why would you choose an auger bit over other drill bits?

Why would you choose an auger bit over other drill bits?

Auger Drill Bit

Auger bits are one of the most common drill bits used to drill holes in wood. They consist of a sharp point on their tip, which aids in the precision of drilling. Typically auger bits have a screw head which makes it easier for them to drill holes in wood.


Auger bits are exceptionally old tools that have survived through the centuries to find their place among modern drill bits. What is it that has made them so dependable?

What are the advantages of using an auger bit?

Man using a manual auger drill

Drill Depth – Auger bits are capable of drilling deep, neat holes in wood up to 600mm (31″). This suits them not only to most woodworking and furniture making applications but also to construction and garden-based woodworking, such as drilling through decking.


Quality of Holes – The sharp spurs on the edges of an auger bit’s tip ensure that the hole is smooth and uniform all the way through.

Hole in wood made by auger bit

Ease of Boring – Auger bits with guide screws do not require much downward pressure for them to bite into the workpiece and begin to cut. This is because the thread on the guide screw draws it through the wood, making the operator’s life much easier.

How an auger bit removes debris

Efficient Evacuation of Shavings – The wide, deep flighting of an auger bit allows for efficient evacuation of wood shavings and prevents the borehole from becoming clogged as easily as it might with other drill bits.


Single-twist auger bits are the most efficient at ejecting waste material and can bore deep holes without having to be withdrawn at any stage.

What are the disadvantages of using an auger bit?

Auger Bits Vs Other Drill Bits

materials an auger bit is not suitable for

Speed – What auger bits possess in terms of finesse, they lack in terms of speed. Due to the angle and size of their cutting lips, auger bits must be used at a slower speed than many other types of drill bit.


Lack of versatility – Augers are intended only for wood (unless they are specialist augers, such as concrete augers, which are designed only for concrete). They are easily damaged if used with the wrong material.

Broken auger bit

Vulnerability – In some cases, the guide screw or gimlet point of an auger bit has been known to break if it hits a knot in the wood. Barefoot and carbide-tipped bits tend not to share this disadvantage with other auger bits, but they can be more expensive and harder to find.

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of auger bits it is now time to compare them with the other alternative tools available for hole drilling. Below are comparisons of auger drill bits in comparison to other options.

Auger Bits vs Spade Bits

auger bit vs spade bit

Spade bits are much less efficient at clearing out boreholes than auger bits and leave a much rougher finish. Spade bits also require more downward force to use than auger bits, making holes much easier to drill with auger bits. Spade bits are designed for use where speed is more important than a clean finish.

Auger Bits vs Brad Point Bits

auger bit vs brad point bit

The shallow spur of a brad point bit makes it much more suited to boring holes for dowels without breaking out of the back of a wooden workpiece. They can run at faster speeds in the drill press thanks to the angle of their cutting lips. However, brad point bits are much less useful if there is a need to drill a deep hole, or one with a large diameter, which is where auger bits excel.

Auger Bits vs Forstner Bits

Auger bits are more efficient at clearing waste material from a borehole than Forstner bits. However, Forstner bits boreholes more quickly and can cut flat-bottomed holes. Auger bits are unsuitable for this kind of hole due to their large guide screws.

Auger Bits vs Hole Saws

auger bit vs holesaw

While hole saws are capable of boring holes with large diameters, they are not as efficient as auger bits when it comes to depth. This makes auger bits a much better choice if you need to make deep small holes, whilst hole saws are more suited to making shallow holes with a much larger diameter.

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