What Is The Best Drill Bit Set For The Money? (Answered)

Posted on November 18, 2017

Updated for Christmas 2017!

Bargain Trophy: Ryobi A98901G
The Ryobi kit is the way to go if you are searching for a one-stop solution and a great value for money. Their black-oxide bits are durable and the assortment is just perfect for the beginning DIYer. This offer will serve almost all projects around your home.
Even professional contractors are well covered by the robustness of materials used and the variety this assortment offers. See it for yourself:
- 21 black oxide bits for wood, metal, and plastic;
- 4 hex shank spade ones for large holes;
- 5 carbide tipped masonry bits for brick, block, and mortar;
- 5 brad point bits for clean holes;
- 4 hole saws for larger holes in wood plus 1 hole saw mandrel for holding all in place;
- 8 hex shank nut setters for driving bolts and hex fasteners;
- 27 insert bits for driving in fasteners;
- 6 power bits for driving screws;
- 4 depth stops for using with brad point bits and drilling holes with consistent depth;
- 1 magnetic bit holder;
- 1 countersink bit;
- 1 center punch for marking the center when drilling in metal;
- 1 hex key;
- and 1 carrying case.
This is 60% cheaper than buying everything separately. Click here to see the price at Amazon.

Comparing The Sets

Model and VerdictWhat is it good for?Bit Material and CoatingBit Shank Size and ShapePrice
Best Drill and Drive Bit Set for Homeowners
Ryobi A98901
Wood, PVC, fiberglass, and soft metals such as brass or aluminumBlack oxide-coated HSS bits1/4 in, StraightClick here to see today's price
Best Drill and Drive Bit Set
Bosch MS4091
Metal, wood, PVC, and fiberglass.Titanium-coated HSS (tougher than black oxide)1/4 in, Hex, StraightClick here to see today's price
Best
Pilot Hole and Countersink Bit Set

Snappy 40030
Softwood such as pineSteel1/4 in, HexClick here to see today's price
Best Forstner Bit Set
Porter-Cable PC1014
Wood, PVC, fiberglass, and soft metals such as brass or aluminumHigh-Speed Steel3/8 in, StraightClick here to see today's price

First Things First: Why Did I Decide To Write About Drill Bits?

Have you ever felt frustrated using a cheap tool?

While making a repair at home, have you ever been betrayed by a poor-quality screwdriver?

Have you ever berated at a pair of pliers that gave up on you in the middle of a job?

I have been there. I have had to rely on cheap tools when I was in a pinch and, BY GOD, it was frustrating when any of the above happened. I hate cheap tools. I hate to waste money on them, I hate when they break on my hands, I hate when they destroy the tiny screws that hold my iPhone battery on its place. (All of these have happened to me in the past.)

After spending too many hours suffering with poor quality tools, I decided it was time for a change, and I spent 46 hours reading customer reviews and forum posts by DIYers like me, reading magazines, and also looking at pictures before choosing what I wanted to buy.

Most Durable Kit: Bosch MS4091
What I like the most about Bosch’s kit is the ratcheting screwdriver that comes along with it. They are coated with titanium, a tougher material than Ryobi’s black-oxide. The assortment here is good, too, although less diverse than Ryobi's. Bosch's case is tougher, which means it will be more durable too in comparison with Ryobi's.
Click here to see the price at Amazon.

So now my rant is over and you will better understand my point of view. Moving on, I will talk about the good stuff.

Why Would You Need A Drilling And Driving Kit?

You can be in different stages of your life – a homeowner or simply renting an apartment.

The truth is that you will, at some point or another, need to get your hands dirty for the odd job around the house. Perhaps you want to hang a picture on the wall, install door hardware, build a birdhouse, install shelving and organize your garage.

In any case, you will be thankful that you had a complete and durable kit with the right tool for the job at hand. This way you can simply complete your job and saved you a trip to the hardware store.

What Makes A Good Set?

1. Durability And Quality Materials

The higher-quality sets must be durable. Drill bits can be made from different materials, and each offers possibilities for different uses. Below you will find the most common materials and what they are good for:

  • Steel: good for softwood such as pine, however, they dull quickly in hardwood such as oak.
  • High-Speed Steel (also known as HSS): harder and resist heat better than normal steel ones. As a result, they hold sharpness longer. They are good for boring in wood, PVC, fiberglass, and soft metals such as brass or aluminum.
  • Cobalt: very hard and dissipate heat fast. They can drill soft metals and tough ones such as stainless steel.
  • Black oxide-coated HSS: the coating is a special finishing to increase durability and resist corrosion. They work well on the same materials as their HSS counterparts.
  • Titanium-coated HSS: they are even better and tougher than black oxide ones because they produce less friction, and work well to drill metal, wood, PVC, and fiberglass.
  • Carbide-tipped: the strongest and sharpest ones and work great for drilling masonry and tile.

As a rule of thumb, sharper points are designed to work with softer materials – drilling cleaner holes for entry and exit with higher accuracy. Flatter points usually need a pilot hole to avoid them from wandering.

2. Variety Of Dimensions And Shapes

In terms of diameter, a good assortment will bring sizes ranging from 1/16 to 1/4 inch. These can perfectly handle most DIY jobs around your home. Larger diameters from 5/16 to 1/2 inch can be added later since they are seldom used.

You should also pay attention to the shank size. It should not be bigger than your drill chuck, Most power drills are 1/2 inch; a drill press is usually 1/2 or 5/8 inch. All of the sets I analyzed are 1/2 inch, so you most likely will not have an issue with that.

Shanks also come in three shapes:

  • Round, which allows you to center the bit in the shank with accuracy.
  • Hex, which has 6 flat surfaces, so your power tool can grip it very tightly and apply greater torque. Hex shanks are usually found in quick-change chucks, the ones commonly found in cordless drills. That means you do not need to loosen and tighten the chuck every time you need to change bits.
  • Slotted drive system, usually referred to as SDS, is specially designed for hammer drills and their forward and backward hammering motion. The drill chuck holds it by the slots and the flat areas of the shank.

Forstner Set: Porter-Cable PC1014
This set comes with 14 Forstner bits, all properly protected in a good box for longer durability.
Porter-Cable is a traditional brand, that makes a quality toolkit, and sells it at a great price. What else is there to say about it?
Click here to see the price at Amazon.

3. Variety Of Purposes

Also, you want variety. The best kits offer a good variety of the useful drilling and driving bits. You want your kit to contain:

  • Twist bits, also known as all-purpose bits, are the most common ones for home use.
  • Brad point bits, specially created for drilling into wood. The brad at the tip is what creates both accuracy on the entrance hole and a clean exit when exiting the wood. The extra-wide grooves, called flutes, help remove excess material.
  • Masonry bits, good for concrete, brick, and other types of tough masonry, work especially well with a hammer drill.
  • Hole saw bits, with a self-explanatory name, attach to an arbor with a pilot-hole bit and a shank to attach to your drill. They can be very useful for building that birdhouse, or even drilling a hole in your computer desktop so you can improve your cable management and hide the wires below the top. (Please note that I am talking about a hole in your desktop, not in your desktop computer!)
  • Forstner bits, good for cutting precise and big holes just like a hole saw bit, however, the Forstner bit drills cleaner holes.
  • Countersink bit – a cone-ish shape that carves material, so you can install screws flush with the wood and give your project a cleaner look. The best countersink bits also have a pilot hole point, so you can drill a pilot hole and countersink the screw head in only one action. It saves you time and makes your work look even better.

Pilot Hole and Countersink Set: Snappy 40030
This is an American-made, high-quality set, and it is fully compatible with quick-change chucks (1/4 hex shank). These are very practical and offer great value for your money. What else should you ask for?
Click here to see the price at Amazon.

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