Why is My Drill Bit Not Going Through Wood?

Wondering why your drill bit just won’t get through wood, no matter how hard you try? This is a common and frustrating issue when working with wood. If you’re in the middle of a DIY project, the last thing you want to deal with is bits that won’t cooperate. You’ve spent a fair amount on wood, you have everything ready to go, your pilot holes are marked, your drill is loaded up, and you hit the on switch… only to battle to get anywhere.

Before you give up, knowing what is causing your drill bit to not drill through wood is the best way to get back on track. To help you see where things are going wrong, we’ve put together a few reasons that bits don’t go through the wood you are trying to drill.

Why Your Drill Bit Won’t Get Through Wood

Some of the biggest reasons that drill bits won’t drill through wood include the following:

You’re using the wrong bit

This may sound obvious, but are you using the right wood bit for your project? You’d be surprised how often something as simple as using the wrong bit can cause problems. Many people use multi-material bits, assuming that they will work on all types of wood. There are several bits that can be used to drill holes through wood. The bit you need will come down to the holes you are trying to drill. If you need to make clean, larger holes, you will need a flat bit or a hole saw in the case of especially large holes. If you need to make flat-bottomed holes, you would need a Forstner bit. For very deep holes, you’d use a brace auger bit. For very small holes, you’d need a brad point bit. Using a brad point bit on hardwood to try and make holes big enough for larger screws will not get you anywhere.

You’re using the wrong size

What about the size of your wood bit? It is essential to know exactly what size bit you will need before you start drilling. Using a very small bit is best if you need to add very small screws, but if you’re trying to get through hardwood rather than plywood, pine or softer wood, it will be much harder to get the bit all the way through your workpiece. On the flip side, if you have made a small pilot hole and try to use a larger bit to get through once you start drilling, it is likely to not get through easily.

You’re getting your bit stuck

If you’re drilling away without getting past a certain point, your drill bit is stuck. This can happen when you use too much pressure to try the bit through a smaller hole. This is why size matters. Using a bit that is too big, and then using too much pressure to try and force the bit to go through will result in a stuck bit. This can lead to damage to your bit and your drill. To find out how to get your drill unstuck, read our handy guide to stuck drill bits.

You’re drilling at an angle

Wood should always be drilled at a straight angle, drilling directly downwards. If you try and drill at the wrong angle, you will battle to get anywhere. Make sure that you stand over your workpiece, securing it in place using a clamp to prevent any slips as you work, and apply even pressure as you start drilling. This should make it easier to get your bit through without any issues.

You’re using low-quality bits

If you’ve checked all of the boxes above, the cause of bits not drilling through wood could be the quality of the bits themselves. Poor-quality bits result in many issues. For drilling, cheap bits can often get blunt more quickly than good-quality bits. Blunt bits have to work much harder, meaning that there is a higher chance of bits getting stuck or not getting through the material. Cheap bits can also get stuck more easily, with an added risk of bits breaking in your workpiece. They can even damage your drill as well. Investing in quality bits will make sure that you get the best results, with minimal issues.

At Ruwag, we offer a wide range of wood bits for every type of project. View our range to find the best drill bits for your needs.

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