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What Are Brad Point Drill Bits Used For?

Brad point drill bits are made for drilling precise holes in wood. An extended point in the center of the bit keeps the bit from wobbling, ensuring accuracy.

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.

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.  

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Landlordology, SFGate and others.