What is a Split Point Drill Bit?

A drill bit is a commonly used and versatile tool that comes in a wide range of types, and a split point bit is one of them. So, understanding what is a split point drill bit can increase the choice range of DIY enthusiasts to pick the most appropriate drill bit for a certain project.

Following the guide, we have briefly discussed the split point drill bit, including its usage, identifying method, working principle, and unique specifications. Plus, we mention some limitations and maintenance tips so you can pick the bit confidently and get the most out of this split point drill bit.

What is a Split Point Drill Bit used for?

A split point drill bit is an especially designed drill bit that offers accurate and efficient drilling on solid surface while maintaining a higher speed. It has a sharper cutting edge of 135 degrees than typical drill bits that has only 115 degrees.

Due to this higher cutting edge, this drill bit maintains better contact between the bit and work surface. The drill bit’s heat resistance and friction resistance make it suitable for tough surfaces such as steel and aluminium.

How to identify a Split Point Drill Bit

Purchasing a split point drill bit can be trickier from a local hardware shop as it doesn’t come with a specific designation. Thus, you have to gather knowledge about it to identify the split point bit properly. An easier way to identify a split-point bit is to check the image on the packaging. If the packet is transparent, directly examine the drill bit point as it comes with a different tip than a regular bit.

The point angle of the typical drill bit mainly determines two things, the compatibility with the material and the accuracy of the hole. In general, split point bit have a flatter point angle which is about 135 degrees, while the regular bit has 118 degrees. Because of this point angle, a split bit can efficiently drill through tough materials like aluminium and steel. Another benefit this flatter point brings is accurate and stable drilling, as well as lowering the oscillations during drilling.

Working principle of Split Point drill Bit

The drill bit is designed with grooves that are known as flutes and are used to remove debris and pull it out efficiently. These flutes also prevent snagging that may happen because of excess debris while drilling holes. Despite this, the split point drill bit has a 135-degree point angle which offers more pitch to drill through hard surfaces like steel.

The split point bit’s shaft is also designed with three spurs that cover the bit completely. While the typical drill bit comes with a smooth point at the tip, the groove of the split point bit can be extended to break the point thus it is called a split point.

Usage of split point bit

The heat resistance of a split point bit is far better than a regular bit. A split-point drill bit is suitable for a tough metal drilling project since it can withstand extreme friction and heat produced by metal. Apart from these, the high heat resistance ability keeps its tips and grooves from blunting easily, making it ideal for long-lasting use.

The most common usage of the split point drill bit is to cut through steel, aluminium, and stainless steel. This particular drill bit is also suitable for drilling through hardwood. Another impressive work area of a split point bit is creating a curve shape, where a regular bit can’t be used.

A split point bit is a reliable choice among expert enthusiasts for valuable metal and hardwood projects. Since the split point bit can greatly prevent walking, it won’t gouge the material and offer a clean hole, making it the best option for handymen.

Limitations of a Split Point Drill Bit

A split point drill bit cannot drill a hole larger than 1/2inch. Thus, this drill bit is only suitable for creating smaller holes. Because of the surfaces on the tip and extra edges, the split point bit is harder to sharpen. Generally, a regular drill bit that has a smooth point remains uniformly while sharpening. Conversely, a split-point bit requires accuracy to sharpen its cutting edge while maintaining a 135-degree angle. Therefore, using the sharpening machine on split point is tough and a manual sharpener is preferable.

But its substantial material and extreme heat resistance ability retain the split point bit’s sharpness for a longer time. So sharpening isn’t a big concern. Apart from these, you can try a modified version of a split point drill bit as it can drill a larger hole up to 3 inches and doesn’t require sharpening frequently.

Differences between Standard Drill bit and Split point drill bit

Following are some key differences between the regular drill bit and split point drill bit:

FeaturesStandard Drill BitSplit Point Drill Bit
GroovesDesign with 2 curving grooves to remove debris while drilling a holeIts shaft is much wider than a typical drill bit and made of 3 grooves to remove debris more efficiently
Point angleUsually has a 118-degree point angle that is a smooth yet little bit sharperHas 135-degree point angle that ensures enhanced contact between bit and surface for more accurate drilling
FrictionCan’t maintain sufficient friction between the drill bit and working surface, resulting in being prone to slipping or walkingMaintain improve friction and remain stable, thus suitable for precise holes even on a hard surface
Working surfaceThe drill bit cant withstand extreme heat and friction and is mostly used on a soft surface like woodHas the ability to withstand consistent friction and head and reliable option for drilling through the hard surface like steel, aluminum
Punch markIt requires a punch mark for safer and accurate drillingDon’t require a punch mark

How to grind a Split Point Drill Bit

Since you already know what is a split point drill bit, you may be keen on using this drill bit especially for drilling through tough surfaces. And the reality is that using any type of drill bit frequently will make it dull and reduce its overall efficiency. If it happens, you can either buy a new split point drill bit or sharpen it to restore productivity. As you know, split point bits hardly get dull and sharpening is a bit tougher than regular bits. Thus you have to be more careful.

To sharpen the drill bit, set it in a prism. Then lock the prism and secure it tightly. It’s vital to firmly secure the bit to keep it stable during grinding. After that, set the grinder at about a 155-degree angle to sharpen the edge of the split point bit, maintaining 135 degrees. Now start sharpening, following the grinder setting, and once you have done, change the bit around and repeat the process.

Tips to maintain the Split Point Drill Bit

This drill bit comes in a unique design to offer an accurate and quick drill through hard metal. The drill bit is also sturdy and heat resistant, making it suitable for challenging tasks. Taking good care of the split point bit will make it worthwhile. Some key maintenance tips are:

  • Keep the drill bit in a box after using it to protect it from damage.
  • Store the drill bit and power tool in a dry place to prevent rust from forming on the metal bits.
  • Sharpen the split point bit periodically instead of after becoming dull, as sharpening the dull bit requires much effort and time.

FAQs on What is a Split Point Drill Bit

What are the benefits of using split point drill bits?

Split point drill bits completely prevent walking and remain stable to offer accurate holes into the metal surface. Its shaft features 3 grooves to remove debris more efficiently and offer faster drilling. The feature also lowers the chance of snags.

Can I sharpen split point bits?

Yes, but it is too difficult for the inexperienced hand. The reason is that the edge of the split point bit tends to break while trying to sharpen it. Apart from this, it needs to maintain a 135-degree cutting edge, which is also difficult to maintain for beginner DIYers. Thus, some experts and enthusiasts suggest buying new split point drill bits rather than sharpening them.

Can I use a split-point drill bit on a drill press?

Yes, the split point bit is compatible with a drill press. This special drill bit can endure extreme pressure and work exceptionally well. You can also use this split point drill bit for CNG drilling.

Final words

The split point drill bit is a handy option for applying to the metal surface and achieving accurate holes without the disturbance of walking or slippage. As you understand what is a split point drill, getting its advantage will be much easier for you. Though the drill bit has some limitations, its working area and dependability put the split point drill bit far ahead of the limitations.

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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