How Long Do Drill Bits Last?

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Drill bits are extremely useful when it comes to drilling. So it’s to be expected that you would want to know how long do drill bits last. You want them to last longer as much as possible. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the durability of drilling bits.

How Long Do Drill Bits Last?

Drill bits can last between 150 to 250 holes for every bit. There are also other factors to consider that affect the bits’ longevity like the type of aggregate, age of the concrete, type, and sharpness of the bit, and the amount of steel or rebar in the concrete.

A man in checkered long sleeves using a drill with a drill bit

High-speed steel drilling bits can last from 150 to 450 holes depending on where they’re drilled at. It can be stainless steel, aluminum, structural steel, or low-carbon steel. Other types of drilling bits can last even longer.

Some types of bits can last for around 10,000 holes with a minimum of 1,500 holes. They’re mostly used for tough materials.

Reasons Drill Bits Break

Your bits can break way before 150 holes. This happens when you don’t use them properly. A drill generally breaks at the end of the flute because of radial force. High torque will also cause the drill to break.

Poor Drill Bit Strength

This reason is evident in low-quality bits. It happens when deflection causes the bit to break at the end of the flute. If you want your low-quality bit to last a little longer, you can change the web thickness and web taper.

Flute Volume

Increased load causes breakage, especially in the middle of the bit. Hence, don’t overload your bit. You can enlarge the chip pocket volume or the thickness or taper to accommodate more load.

Bit Length

When the bit length is too long, the drilling can be problematic and you might see reduced accuracy. This would also lead to the drill bit breaking because of too much length. Just use the right length bit to avoid breaking.

Incorrect Geometry Drill Point

Sometimes, the geometry of your drill bits is wrong. This can be related to the chisel point, lip height gap, or chipping. Make sure to check the drill point geometry and correct it or replace the bit altogether.

Extreme Heat

Drilling for too long can cause extreme heat because of the friction the drill creates. The extreme heat can soften up bits and make them break easily.

Make sure to rest your drill from time to time to let it cool down. You can also use coolants and lubricants to fasten the cooling time of the bits.

Mistakes You Make That Cause Drill Bits to Break

  • Using the wrong drilling bits – using the wrong bits can make them break faster or dull sooner.
  • Using too much or too little pressure – applying too much pressure causes the bit to break while less pressure can make it dull.
  • Configuring the settings the wrong way – using the wrong settings like bit load and speed can break your bits.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Drill Bits

Not sure if you need to replace your bits? Here are some signs that you may have to do it sooner than you think.

Drill Bit Quality

While most drilling bits can make a hole in hard materials, it doesn’t mean the proficiency is the same. Low-quality bits tend to be less precise and efficient and would often break sooner than you expect. 

A drill bit attached to a drill and a floor plan placed on a wooden table

What You Plan to Drill

What surface you’re going to drill affects what type of drill bits you should use. Using the wrong drill bit on the wrong surface will break them down faster. Know what you are going to drill through and plan ahead.

If your bits won’t be able to get through the material, you can try relocating the hole or buying suitable bits. You should also be careful not to drill into something that you shouldn’t be drilling or it could end up breaking your bits.

Make sure to know what exact type of bits you should use for specific surface materials as they can be either not effective or very effective. 

Related Questions

How Often Do You Need to Replace Drill Bits?

It depends on the type of bits you’re using. Some will need replacement after making 150 holes while others can go for as long as 10,000 holes. What’s important is practicing methods that reduce the risk of your bits breaking.

Do Diamond Drill Bits Wear Out?

Diamond drilling bits do wear out or more specifically need replacement. This is because diamond drilling bits usually use electroplated or coated diamonds in the steel shank in a single layer. Once the layer wears off, you need to replace it.

Is It Worth It to Sharpen Drill Bits?

Yes, it’s worth it to sharpen drill bits. A sharpener makes it less strenuous for the bits because it will require less power. Owning your own drill bit sharpener also saves you on buying new bits more frequently.


Drilling bits can last for a while when they are of good quality. Hence, make sure to get the best bits that you can have. The way you also use them plays a factor in breaking easily so learn how to drill properly.