Our other sites:

Why would you choose a brad point bit over

other drill bits?

Shop for Brad Point Bits

Brad point bit being used to bore neat, clean holes in a piece of wood With their centre points and sharp cutting spurs, brad point bits have been specifically designed to drill accurate, neat holes in wood, but are versatile enough that they can be used with other materials as well. Does this make them a superior choice to other wood bits?

Advantages

Image to illustrate that accuracy is a vital part of joinery Brad point bits can drill neat holes in wood, quickly and accurately.
An illustration of tear out caused by a hardwood brad point bit in soft wood They do not splinter wood grain when they first make contact.
A brad point bit being used to drill holes through a composite material similar to Kevlar They are versatile, and can be used on plastic and thin sheet metal, or harder materials depending on the material from which the tool is made.
A brad point bit fitted with a drill depth stop, ready for dowelling As brad points are smaller than the centre points of spade bits and the guide screws of auger bits and expansive bits, they can drill deeper into a workpiece without breaking the surface of the reverse side. This could be useful if you’re making a partial hole for a dowel joint while building your own furniture.

Disadvantages

Brad point bit spurs being ground on a purpose built grinding wheel Brad point bits can be very difficult or even impossible to sharpen, as it can be easy to accidentally catch the wrong part of the tool with the file or grinder and ruin it. The brad point must also be kept central to keep the bit from spinning irregularly when it contacts the workpiece.

For more information, see: How to sharpen a brad point bit

Image showing that brad point bits are normally more expensive than standard twist bits They are more expensive than standard twist drill bits due to the extra steps required in the manufacturing process to create the brad and spurs. Cheap brad point bits tend to be flimsy and will not last.
Illustration of tear out, which can be caused when a hardwood brad point bit is used on softwood.# Even though brad point bits make a clean entry hole, they can sometimes be prone to cause tear out when through-drilling. As the last few fibres of the wood are unsupported, any pressure on them is likely to make them bend and tear.

For information on how this can be avoided, see: How to use a brad point bit

Head to head

Image comparing a brad point bit and a twist bit

Brad point bits vs twist bits

Twist bits tend to tear wood grain thanks to the pressure exerted by the tip of the drill. They can also tear wood fibres deeper inside the workpiece, thereby making a rough borehole.

Image comparing a brad point bit and a spade bit

Brad point bits vs spade bits

Brad point bits are neater than spade bits. However, spade bits are made in much wider diameters, meaning size is less of a limitation.

Image comparing brad point and Forstner bits

Brad point bits vs Forstner bits

Brad point bits are usually much smaller in diameter than Forstner bits. Due to their smaller size, they cut much more quickly – Forstner bit lips cut off much more material in one go due to their larger diameter and therefore drill much more slowly. Brad point bits are more efficient at removing waste material from boreholes thanks to the design of their flutes.

Image comparing a brad point bit and an auger bit

Brad point bits vs auger bits

Brad point bits are usually much smaller in diameter than auger bits. Guide screws on auger bits pull them through the workpiece as you drill, which makes brad point bits comparatively easier to control.

Wonkee Donkee runs down the materials that brad point bits are best suited to boring through