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The better a drill bit is built, the easier it will be to finish your projects. Bosch

Why is it you can never find a sharp drill bit in the size you need for the job at hand? The last time you used that ¼ inch bit on sheet metal you should have tossed it—and now it’s just burning a hole in the plywood. Sound familiar? So now you’re in the market for a drill bit set that works for you. Aside from not trying to drill concrete with a bit made for wood, here are some factors for purchasing a set of quality bits that will last you more than one job.

Bit Material

Top Pick

Best for steel and other metals. Bosch

Most bits are made of high-speed steel (HSS), either 100 percent or alloyed or bonded with another material. Chrome vanadium steel resists corrosion and holds its edge longer than plain HSS bits. Cobalt-alloyed steel is even harder (and more expensive) and used on steel as well as softer materials like wood, plastic and aluminum. Tungsten carbide bits have a ceramic tip bonded to the steel and are used for concrete, masonry, glass and tile. Match your bit material with your project needs.

Bit Coating

Great Value

Tough coating and designed for use on wood and plastic. Dewalt

In addition to the material composing the bits, some are coated to increase durability and corrosion resistance. Most commonly used coatings are black oxide or titanium, with the key being the thickness of the coating. As a rule, the less expensive models have coatings that wear off more easily.

Bit Type

Specific Purpose

These are designed for larger holes in wood. Dewalt

Matching the bit with the project is a fundamental principle that’s too often ignored. If your projects are mainly wood or plastic, use one set of bits for them and keep a separate set of bits for concrete or steel. Bits are designed with target materials in mind and should be used that way for best results.