Drill Bit Anatomy 101

Understanding drill bit anatomy is crucial to understanding how they are used. This gives you a better insight into their strengths and weaknesses so that you are better able to look after your bits properly. You will also be able to get the best results when drilling when you understand drill bit anatomy.

The Anatomy of a Drill Bit

In this guide, we share some information on the anatomy of a drill bit to show you what they are made of and how they are measured. 

  • Overall Length (OAL). OAL refers to the measurement of the bit from its base to its tip.
  • Flute. The flute is the slot that moves upwards along the length of the bit. These do the drilling once the bit starts to spin. 
  • Flute length. This is the length of the flutes, starting at the tip and ending at the end of the bit as flutes taper outwards.
  • Body. This is the length of the bit from the outer corner of the lips to the ends of the flute. It is very similar to the flute length but usually a less than the length.
  • Lead. The lead refers to the length of the bit's cutting surface. It is also similar to the flute length but a little bit shorter. 
  • Point angle. Also known as the cutting angle, this is the angle between the lips of the bit as it projects onto the plane that lies alongside the axis. The angle is usually 118 degrees.
  • Drill diameter. This is the diameter of the bit. Bits come in a variety of diameters to suit every type of material and project.
  • Neck. The neck lies between the flute and the shank of the bit. This part makes space for chips to be removed. It also avoids shank friction during deeper drilling.
  • Shank. The shank is the end of the tool that fits onto the chuck or the power tool. 
  • Shank diameter. The diameter or width is a hugely important thing you will need to consider when choosing tools. If you do not have the right shank width, you may not be able to find bits that fit into your power tool.
  • Shank length. This refers to the length of the shank, running from the head of the fastener to the end.

Having a better idea of how bits are structured will help you get the best results when choosing and using bits. Looking for the best quality bits? Ruwag offers a full collection of drill bits for every project.