Drilling and driving rock stars
WoodRiver Forstner bits
16-piece set, no. 147067, $106.50
Forstner bits drill large, flat-bottom holes with little risk of chipping at the hole's rim, or the centerpoint poking through the back side. This set does that at a value price. The bits have sharp cutting edges and rims, as well as short centerpoints, so they drill quickly and precisely. The 3⁄8 "-shank bits range from 1⁄4 " to 21⁄8 " in 1⁄8 " increments.
Lee Valley brad-point bits
28-piece set, no. 07J01.28, $199
When you need to drill precise, chip-out-free holes, reach for these bits. Made of high-speed steel, they stay sharp for what seems forever. Their centerpoints make it easy to drill in precise locations, and the spurs score wood so cleanly, you might never use any other small bit for wood. The bits in this kit range from 5⁄64 " to 1⁄2 " in 1⁄64 " increments, giving you lots of options for drilling. You can also buy bits individually or in smaller sets.
Snappy cabinetmaker's drill & drive bits
- 7-piece set, no. 43572, $45.89
- Snappy makes a lot of bit sets, but this one has the most basic and helpful ones for woodworking. The four countersinking bits—made for the most common screw sizes—drill pilot holes for screws and countersinks or counterbores at the same time. And the self-centering bits drill spot-on
- pilot holes for hinges. The square-drive screw bit also comes in handy.
Irwin drill bit gauge
no. 12092, $7.50
Don't know a drill bit's diameter, or what size pilot hole to drill for the screw you're using? Use this simple gauge to find out. It's made of durable steel—no misshapen holes—with 29 clearly labeled holes from 1⁄16 " to 1⁄2 ".
Milescraft right-angle impact driver
Drive 90 Plus, no. 1303, $20
Installed in a battery-powered impact driver, this accessory makes the whole setup compact for getting into tight spaces. And, you don't need to apply a lot of pressure inline with the bit when driving screws—just enough to keep the driver tip seated in the screwhead.