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Get accurate before & after purchase advice from the industry experts!
Exploring Drill End Points: What are the different types & what are they used for?

Exploring Drill End Points: What are the different types & what are they used for?

The type of end point on bits for drilling and boring are a crucial factor in determining the efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness of drilling operations. Each type of drill point is designed to cater to specific needs, ranging from precision work to high-speed drilling.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of the most common drill end points, including dowel points and split points. We'll also delve into the differences between materials such as tungsten-tipped, High-Speed Steel (HSS) and PCD diamond drill points, helping you understand their applications and advantages.

1. Dowel Point:

The dowel point, also known as lip & spur and brad point, is a simple yet highly effective drill end point.

Its primary purpose is to provide a perfect, chip-free hole in materials that chip or delaminate easily. It has a small centre point to help with precise drill positioning and two outside spurs that scribe the periphery of the hole before the rest of the drill removes the material. This creates a very clean hole.

These drills are used a lot in the cabinetmaking and joinery industries to create clean, flat bottomed (or blind) holes where they are usually known as Dowel Drills. In the timber joinery industry, they often referred to as lip & spur drills, while in the marine and composites industry where they used to create clean holes in materials like carbon fibre, they are known as brad point drills. 

Browse our shop today and find the best dowel bit for your specific job requirements. We have a wide range of right and left rotation boring and drill bits available:

2. Thru Point:

The Thru point has a very sharp centre tip, enabling it to penetrate the workpiece with minimal force. The sharp point drill uses less cutting force than the dowel drill, making it ideal for drilling right through materials without blowing out the bottom. If the material is particularly difficult to drill without breakout on the exit of the hole, it is advisable to use a spoil sheet that allows the drill to penetrate and finish the hole in the spoil sheet, thereby eliminating breakout pressure. 

These through drills are used a lot in industries such as as cabinetmaking, shopfitting and interior cladding where clean through holes are needed.  

Please Note: For multiple holes in products such as fire-rated acoustic ceilings and wall linings, PCD Diamond tipped drills should be used. 

A thru point drill with special geometries are used for creating very clean holes in non-ferrous metals, and in plastics such as acrylics, eliminating melt - up in these materials.  

With our industry expertise it's easy to find perfect (right or left rotation) Thru Boring Bit for your ongoing job demands. Discover the precision and versatility of Tungsten & Tool's Thru Boring Bits:


At Tungsten & Tool we offer precision cutting tools for almost any material and application.


3. Split Point:

The split point, also referred to as the self-centring point, is designed to reduce the amount of pressure needed to initiate drilling and enhance accuracy. The design used in many standard drills such as Jobber Drills and Stub Drills, they have 2 main benefits.

First is their self-centring ability. The split point geometry creates a point that can find the centre of the hole location precisely. This self-centring action eliminates the need for a pilot hole or a centre punch mark, ensuring that the drill starts drilling accurately without wandering. This is particularly useful when drilling on flat or curved surfaces. 

Secondly, they need reduced initial drilling force. Due to the split point's self-centring ability, less force is required to initiate drilling. When conventional drills are used, the tip's chisel edge can cause the drill to "walk" or move off-centre as it starts to penetrate the material. With a split point drill, this wandering is minimised, and the drill begins cutting more quickly and efficiently, reducing the chances of slipping and damaging the workpiece. This type of point is especially beneficial for drilling into hard materials or when using portable drilling equipment.  

These split point drills are used in just about every manufacturing industry from aluminium joinery to steel fabrication to timber joinery.

4. Tungsten-Tipped Drill Points:

Tungsten-tipped drill points, also known as carbide-tipped points, are well-regarded for their extended life. Tungsten carbide tips are harder and more wear-resistant than traditional steel drills, making them suitable for a wide range of drilling applications. Noteworthy characteristics of tungsten-tipped drill points include: 

  • Hardness: Tungsten carbide tips are extremely hard, allowing them to maintain sharpness and resist wear even when drilling through abrasive materials.
  • High Heat Resistance: Tungsten carbide can withstand high temperatures generated during drilling, reducing the risk of tip deformation or dulling.

Tungsten & Tool, your cutting specialists.

5. High-Speed Steel (HSS) Drill Points:

HSS drills are a popular choice due to their versatility and affordability. These points are made from high-speed steel, a material known for its toughness and ability to retain sharp edges at elevated temperatures. Key attributes of HSS drill points include: 

  • General Purpose: HSS drill points are suitable for a wide range of materials, making them a versatile choice for many applications
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to tungsten carbide, HSS drill points are more affordable, making them a preferred option for projects where cost is a consideration
  • Good Heat Resistance: While not as heat resistant as tungsten carbide, HSS points perform well in many drilling operations without compromising sharpness

6. PCD Diamond Drill Points:

PCD diamond tipped drills are manufactured with a diamond segment on the cutting edge, making them highly effective for drilling in exceptionally abrasive materials such as fire rated materials, composites, and compact laminates (phenolic). The key advantage of PCD diamond drill points is:

  • Hardness: The extreme hardness of the diamond tip enhances tool life and maintains sharpness in abrasive materials well outlasting the life of the tungsten tipped drill points
  • Higher heat tolerance: PCD diamond tips have a much higher heat tolerance that assists them to hold their edge in many difficult materials 

Not sure what tool exactly you need for your job?

Check out our online product finder! It's easy and your answer is only a few clicks away:

For successful and cost-effective drilling, the tool selection is critical. Factors such as the type of hole needed, how many holes need to be drilled, what machine the drill bit is being used in and the material being drilled all needs to be carefully considered. This knowledge not only enhances the quality of your work but also contributes to the longevity of your tools and overall cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Dowel points excel in providing chip-free drilling, making them ideal for woodworking projects. Thru bits are great for through holes and are commonly used in furniture making. Split points are invaluable as they reduce wandering and enhance penetration.

Additionally, understanding the materials of the drill bit itself is critical as they bring varying levels of durability and specialisation to the drilling process. From Solid Tungsten or Tungsten-tipped Bits to High-speed Steel (HSS) Bits and Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD) Bits, at Tungsten & Tool, we help you to understand the advantages and applications of these different drills, boring bits and their specifications. Hence, you can make informed choices that lead to efficient, accurate, and successful drilling operations in a wide range of materials used in industry. Our team would love to help you make these decisions.

Do you have more questions?

Feel free to contact us at 0800 488 647 or for more information on drilling & boringEvery day our team strives to boost your confidence, productivity and results through our accurate service and tailored support. 


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