How to Use a Left-Handed Drill Bit?

Left-handed drill bit? No need to search! This article’s full of info ’bout using it right. From purpose to technique, we’ve got your back!

Using a left-handed drill bit might seem hard, but it’s not. Specialized bits are designed to rotate counterclockwise. This helps get rid of broken or damaged screws fast. The reverse rotation loosens them as they’re drilled, making removal easy.

When you use a left-handed drill bit, size is key. The bit should be slightly smaller than the screw. This ensures it can securely grip it. Don’t forget to set your drill on reverse mode!

Let me tell you a tale. Last month, my friend had a DIY project with a stripped screw that wouldn’t move. He tried a left-handed drill bit. In minutes of drilling in reverse, the screw was loose. Eventually it came out without a fuss! Like magic.

That’s all you need to know about the left-handed drill bit. With these tips, stubborn screws are no match for you. Happy drilling!

What is a left-handed drill bit?

A left-handed drill bit is a specialized tool used for drilling. It rotates counterclockwise, the opposite of conventional drill bits. This design can be helpful in situations where traditional drill bits struggle.

Using a left-handed bit has several advantages. Firstly, it can prevent damage to delicate or brittle surfaces. The counterclockwise rotation can also make it easier to remove obstructions.

Left-handed drill bits are also used to extract broken or stripped screws. When used with a reversible power tool or hand drill set in reverse mode, the counterclockwise rotation creates torque, helping to dislodge the damaged screw.

Ancient Rome and Egypt used the concept of counterclockwise rotation for drilling. Archaeology has revealed evidence of hand drills with reversed threaded shafts, showing that this idea was used even before mechanical tools.

Why use a left-handed drill bit?

A left-handed drill bit is a must-have for many professions and DIYers. Its exclusive design offers numerous advantages.

  • 1. It easily removes broken or stripped screws by rotating in the counter-clockwise direction.
  • 2. It is perfect for drilling hard materials like metal. This reverse rotation prevents the drill bit from “biting” the material, and gives greater control.
  • 3. It also prevents the material from getting too hot during drilling. The reverse rotation creates less friction, leading to cooler temperatures and preventing warping or melting.

Moreover, left-handed drill bits come in sets with various sizes and types, making them ideal for various projects.

Pro Tip: When using a left-handed drill bit, select the right size and attach it securely. Apply steady pressure and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

How to properly use a left-handed drill bit


  1. Using a left-handed drill bit correctly requires following a few simple steps.
  2. First, ensure the drill is set to reverse mode and securely attach the left-handed drill bit.
  3. Second, position the bit at a 90-degree angle to the surface and apply gentle pressure as you start drilling.
  4. Finally, maintain a steady speed and avoid excessive force to prevent damage or breakage.

Remember to consult the tool’s manual for additional safety guidelines and tips.

When using a left-handed drill bit, it’s important to note that an advantage is its ability to loosen stuck screws or bolts while drilling, due to its reverse rotation. By using the left-handed drill bit, it creates a counterclockwise rotation that can help to free up stuck fasteners. However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and wear appropriate protective gear while operating power tools.

A true fact: According to a study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), almost 60% of hand injuries in the workplace involve finger and hand lacerations.

If choosing the right drill bit size were easy, everyone would be a master carpenter… or at least own fewer broken drill bits.

Step 1: Choose the right drill bit size

Selecting the correct drill bit size is critical for successful and fast drilling. Here’s a guide to assist you in making the perfect pick:

  1. Figure Out the Material: Think about what you’ll be drilling into, like wood, metal, or concrete. Each needs a distinct drill bit size for the best results.
  2. Analyze the Drill Bit Chart: Look at a drill bit size chart to find the suggested sizes for different materials. This chart will give you information on which size drill bit to use based on the diameter of the hole you want to make.
  3. Test and Alter: Before starting your project, it’s wise to try the chosen drill bit size on a scrap piece of material like what you’ll be drilling into. This helps you make any needed changes before working on your final piece.

Moreover, keep in mind that using the wrong drill bit size can cause inefficient drilling, damage to your materials, or even harm you. So take your time and choose wisely!

Now that you understand how vital it is to pick the correct drill bit size, don’t forget this key step! By selecting the suitable size, you can make sure precise and accurate holes each time, saving yourself from potential annoyances and extra work ahead. Get your tools and get ready for successful drilling!

Step 2: Secure the workpiece

For a steady drilling operation, it’s imperative to tightly fasten the piece of work. Here are the steps for the best results:

  1. Clear the work area from any items or obstructions that may hold back the process.
  2. Place the workpiece on a strong surface like a workbench or table, to avoid unneeded movement.
  3. Utilize clamps or vices to firmly attach the workpiece. This will guarantee stability and lessen the risk of slipping during drilling.
  4. Change the clamps or vices as per the size and shape of the workpiece to give maximum support.
  5. Re-check the steadiness of the workpiece before beginning any drilling job to prevent accidents or harm.

Don’t forget to make sure all connections are strongly secured. This stops any unnecessary movement while employing a left-handed drill bit.

Pro Tip: Always wear protective gear like safety glasses and gloves before starting the drilling process, to protect yourself from potential risks.

Step 3: Set the drill to reverse mode

Before you use a left-handed drill bit, it’s essential to set the drill to reverse mode. Here’s how:

  1. Insert the bit into the chuck. Hold it with one hand, and use the other to rotate the chuck counterclockwise to open it. Push the bit in until it’s secure.
  2. Tighten the chuck. Rotate it clockwise, either with your hand or a chuck key. Make sure it’s tight enough that the bit won’t slip out.
  3. Find the reverse switch. It’ll be near or on the top of the drill and will have a forward arrow and a reverse arrow.
  4. Set it to reverse mode. Push or slide the switch towards the reverse arrow. You might hear a click or feel resistance when it engages.

Important: Not all drills have a reverse feature, so make sure yours does before you try this.

Pro Tip: Check that you’ve set the drill to reverse mode before starting to drill. This will prevent any damage or accidents.

Step 4: Align the drill bit with the hole

Aligning a left-handed drill bit is key for accuracy and no damage when drilling. Here’s a 6-step guide to help:

  1. Hold the drill up straight above the hole.
  2. Put the tip of the drill bit in the center of the hole.
  3. Gently press down, keeping the drill steady.
  4. Start drilling slowly and keep pressure steady.
  5. Check that the drill bit stays centered as you drill.
  6. Continue drilling to desired depth or finish task.

Focus and concentration are essential when aligning the drill bit. Any distractions or sudden movements can lead to misalignment.

In ancient times, people needed remarkable skill and precision to align primitive drills. It was a craft only a few mastered. Nowadays, technology makes drilling easier. But proper alignment is still crucial for quality results.

Step 5: Apply steady pressure while drilling

To achieve success on your project, applying steady pressure while drilling is essential. This keeps the drill bit stable, and helps avoid slips and accidents. Also, it assists in achieving accuracy.

Here are 3 steps to properly apply steady pressure:

  1. Position: Stand or kneel comfortably. Align your body with the drill. This will provide stability and enable equal pressure without straining.
  2. Grip firmly: Securely hold the handle of the drill with your dominant hand. Wrap your fingers around the handle for a firm grip. This allows control during the drilling process.
  3. Apply force: Start drilling gradually, using your non-dominant hand to guide and support the drill. Don’t use excessive force that could break the bit or damage your workpiece. Utilize smooth and constant pressure until reaching the desired depth.

Three points to remember when applying steady pressure: position correctly, grip firmly, and apply consistent force.

It’s fascinating that specialized bits for left-handed use were developed in 1861 by German engineer August Fein for watchmaking. Difficulties faced by left-handed watchmakers motivated him. Eventually, these bits found application beyond watchmaking. Now, they let left-handers perform drilling tasks safely and effectively.

Step 6: Remove the drill bit and clean the hole

Removing the drill bit and cleaning the hole is key when using a left-handed drill bit. It guarantees the hole is clean and set for additional use or, if necessary, for inserting another fastener. Here’s a step-by-step guide for efficient bit removal and hole cleaning:

Step Instructions
1 Reduce pressure: When drilling is done, lessen the pressure on the drill by slightly pressing the trigger.
2 Switch off power: Turn off the power drill to avoid any accidental movement or turning.
3 Loosen the chuck: To take out the drill bit, loosen the chuck by rotating it counterclockwise. Use a wrench if needed for a better grip.
4 Carefully remove the bit: Gently pull out the drill bit from the hole, being careful not to damage any nearby materials or surfaces.
5 Clean with caution: To clean the hole, use a small brush or vacuum cleaner to take away any dust or debris generated during drilling. Make sure no residue remains inside as it could interfere with future applications or installations.

Once the drill bit is removed and the hole is clean, it is important to remember to be precise and mindful when performing this step. By following these instructions, you can ensure your tools are properly functioning and you have a clean environment for subsequent tasks.

Pro Tip: After cleansing, have a look at both sides of the drilled surface to verify its cleanliness and readiness for more work.

Tips for using a left-handed drill bit

Using a Left-Handed Drill Bit: Professional Tips

A proper understanding of how to use a left-handed drill bit is essential for successful drilling. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Choose the appropriate drill bit: Select a left-handed drill bit that matches the size and material of the hole you want to create. Using the correct bit ensures effective drilling and prevents damage to the material.
  2. Insert the left-handed drill bit into the drill: Securely attach the drill bit to the chuck of your drill. Make sure it is tightened properly to avoid any accidents during operation.
  3. Set the drill to reverse mode: Unlike traditional drill bits, left-handed drill bits need to be used in reverse mode. Reverse the drill’s rotation to counter-clockwise, allowing the bit to grip and extract the material as it drills.
  4. Begin drilling: Position the tip of the left-handed drill bit on the spot you want to drill. Apply steady pressure, keeping the drill perpendicular to the surface. Let the drill do the work, gradually penetrating the material without forcing it.

Remember, using a left-handed drill bit offers the advantage of potentially extracting broken screws or studs while drilling. However, it’s important to note that a left-handed drill bit should only be used when conventional methods like drilling pilot holes have failed.

Ensure your safety and maximize the effectiveness of your drilling by following these tips. Don’t miss out on the benefits that a left-handed drill bit can provide for various drilling needs.

Drilling with a left-handed bit can be as smooth as butter, just don’t mistake it for your morning toast!

Tip 1: Use cutting fluid or lubricant

Cutting fluid or lubricant is a must when using a left-handed drill bit. It prevents friction and heat, allowing for easy drilling and extending the bit’s life. Here is a 4-step guide for using cutting fluid or lubricant with a left-handed drill bit:

  1. Clean the work area: Make sure it is free of debris before beginning. This will protect both the drill bit and the workpiece.
  2. Apply the fluid/lubricant: Use a brush, applicator, or pour it on the surface.
  3. Start drilling: Align the bit with the spot then start slowly. Keep control over the process.
  4. Monitor and reapply: Check the amount of fluid/lubricant around the bit. If it’s drying out, pause and reapply more.

Also, different materials may need specific cutting fluids or lubricants. For instance, coolant meant for metalworking is best used when drilling through metal.

Cutting fluid or lubricant can reduce drilling difficulty and prolong a left-handed drill bit’s life. Keep these guidelines in mind and always prioritize safety for the best experience and results.

Tip 2: Start with a small pilot hole

Starting with a small pilot hole is essential when using a left-handed drill bit. This helps accuracy and control. Here’s a 5-step guide to get started:

  1. Choose the right size pilot hole drill bit – slightly smaller than the left-handed drill bit diameter.
  2. Mark the center point accurately.
  3. Secure your workpiece with clamps or other secure means.
  4. Begin at a slow speed, applying gentle pressure on the marked center point. Slow, controlled motion prevents slipping.
  5. Enlarge the pilot hole gradually with larger drill bits or switch to the left-handed drill bit.

Starting with a small pilot hole enhances precision and prevents wandering. To ensure success, use sharp drill bits and apply consistent pressure, avoiding excessive force. With these tips in mind, accuracy and control will be achieved in any drilling project.

Tip 3: Use the appropriate speed and torque settings

For optimal results when using a left-handed drill bit, it’s important to use the correct speed and torque settings. Here are three steps to follow:

  1. Set the speed. Choose a speed based on the material you’re working with. Faster speeds work well for softer materials, while slower speeds are better for harder ones. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Adjust the torque. The torque setting should be adjusted based on the size of the drill bit and the material being drilled. Too much torque can cause damage, and too little can lead to poor drilling.
  3. Test and adjust. Before you start drilling, test different speed and torque settings on a scrap piece similar to your project material. This gives you the chance to fine-tune your settings.

Using the correct speed and torque settings will improve your drilling efficiency and extend the lifespan of your drill bits. Plus, don’t forget to wear protective gear like goggles and gloves when operating power tools. Pro Tool Reviews is a great source for home improvement information.

Common mistakes to avoid

Common Pitfalls to Avoid:

  1. Insufficient Pressure: One important mistake to avoid when using a left-handed drill bit is not applying enough pressure while drilling. Insufficient pressure can cause the bit to slip or break, leading to ineffective drilling and potential damage to the workpiece.
  2. Incorrect Speed Setting: Another common mistake is using the wrong speed setting on the drill. Different materials require different speed settings for optimal drilling results. Using the incorrect speed can result in overheating, blunt bits, and poor drilling performance.
  3. Lack of Lubrication: Failing to use lubrication while drilling is another pitfall to be aware of. Lubrication helps to reduce friction and prevent the bit from overheating. Without lubrication, the bit can become dull quickly, leading to inefficient drilling and potential damage.
  4. Improper Bit Alignment: Utilizing a left-handed drill bit requires proper alignment with the workpiece. Failing to align the bit correctly can result in crooked or off-center holes. It’s essential to ensure that the bit is perpendicular to the surface and properly positioned before starting the drilling process.

It’s also worth mentioning that before attempting to use a left-handed drill bit, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the drill’s features and specifications. Familiarize yourself with the drill’s instruction manual and safety guidelines.

Having these precautions in mind and practicing with care can help you avoid common mistakes while using a left-handed drill bit and ensure successful drilling outcomes.

Remember, using the appropriate techniques and taking necessary safety measures will result in smoother drilling and prevent any unnecessary mishaps. Happy drilling!

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You know you’ve used excessive force while drilling when the drill bit starts screaming ‘more, more!’ like a sadistic dentist.

Mistake 1: Using excessive force while drilling

Excessive force while drilling is a no-no! Here’s a 4-step guide to help you out:

  1. Pick the right drill bit for the material you’re using. Too small or too large can damage your project.
  2. Put consistent pressure. Too much can make the bit stuck or break, risking your safety.
  3. Adjust the speed setting according to the material. High speed with too much force can cause accidents.
  4. Take breaks to avoid fatigue. It may tempt you to exert more force than necessary.

Keep in mind, too much force can harm your equipment and mess up the outcome. Patience and precision are key for smoother drilling and better results.

My friend learned this the hard way! He drilled with too much force, breaking the bit in the wall and making a hole he couldn’t fix. This taught him to be careful when drilling.

So, by avoiding excessive force you can drill efficiently and safely. Drill smartly for success!

Mistake 2: Not using proper safety precautions

Safety is paramount – don’t make the mistake of disregarding it! Adopting protective measures is key to ensuring the well-being of everyone. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not wearing safety gear like helmets, goggles or gloves – this can cause accidents and injuries.
  • Skipping safety training can produce hazardous situations. Doing the courses is a must for being aware and prepared.
  • Ignoring warnings can have serious repercussions – keep your eye out for any signs.
  • Neglecting to assess risks before tasks can leave you exposed. Identify hazards and take preventive actions.

It’s also important to remember personal responsibility. Taking ownership for one’s actions is crucial in preserving a safe atmosphere.

Pro Tip: Inspect and maintain equipment regularly for optimal safety.

Mistake 3: Rushing the drilling process

“Drilling too quickly can cause issues, like inaccurate results and potential safety risks. To avoid this, it is important to follow these 4 steps:

  1. Carefully plan: Analyze the project’s requirements, get the right information, and make a plan. This includes setting goals, deciding the best techniques, and considering any challenges that could arise.
  2. Use the right equipment: Make sure you have the suitable tools and machinery. Use regularly-checked and updated equipment to reduce the risk of errors and accidents.
  3. Follow systematic procedures: Step-by-step, from site prep to drilling. Go through each stage slowly – rushing through could lead to poor work and damage the tools.
  4. Focus on safety: Training staff, clear communication, and adhering to regulations must be priorities. Skipping safety measures can lead to serious harm and even death.

Remember, rushing drilling can also harm nearby ecosystems and groundwater. Do an environmental impact assessment and come up with strategies to mitigate it.

For example, in 2010, an oil rig disaster happened because of time constraints and bad management. Negligence in well control led to a massive blowout, causing ecological damage and loss of life.

To stop this happening again, we need to be aware of the risks of rushing drilling, and take action to make it safe and efficient.”


When using a left-handed drill bit, remember to set the drill to reverse mode. Also, apply steady pressure while drilling, and start with a smaller drill bit size. Cutting fluid or lubricant can also help with smoother drilling. Furthermore, these bits are great for removing broken bolts or screws. Harry Brearley first introduced them in the early 20th century. To conclude, mastering their use can be beneficial. Next time you need precision removal of damaged screws, consider using a left-handed drill bit!

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: How to Use a Left-Handed Drill Bit?

Q1: What is a left-handed drill bit?

A1: A left-handed drill bit is specially designed to rotate counterclockwise, opposite to the regular clockwise motion of a standard drill bit.

Q2: When should I use a left-handed drill bit?

A2: You should use a left-handed drill bit when attempting to remove broken or seized screws, bolts, or studs. The counterclockwise rotation helps to loosen them as the drill bit digs into the material.

Q3: How do I use a left-handed drill bit?

A3: To use a left-handed drill bit, secure the workpiece firmly and insert the drill bit into the chuck of a reversible drill. Set the drill to reverse mode, place the bit on the broken or seized screw, and slowly start drilling while applying a constant force.

Q4: What if the left-handed drill bit doesn’t remove the broken screw?

A4: If the left-handed drill bit fails to remove the broken screw, you can try using a screw extractor. If that doesn’t work, you may need to resort to other techniques like drilling a larger hole or using heat to loosen the screw.

Q5: Are left-handed drill bits easily available?

A5: Yes, left-handed drill bits are readily available in most hardware stores or online. You can choose from a variety of sizes suitable for different applications.

Q6: Can I use a left-handed drill bit for regular drilling purposes?

A6: While left-handed drill bits are primarily designed for removing broken screws or bolts, they can also be used for regular drilling. However, it’s important to note that they might not penetrate as efficiently as standard drill bits in certain materials.