What is an insert bit?

Many types of insert bits are available for use in electric drills.

An insert drill is a common removable part in all types of manufacturing tools. These bits are common in everything from hand screwdrivers to complex lathes. An insert bit has several advantages over non-removable bits, most of which come down to money. They are easy to maintain, allow a single tool to have multiple functions, and require less expensive materials. The large number of advantages and few disadvantages have made these bits common in a wide range of applications.

The most common type of insert drill that the average person will find is in a screwdriver or electric drill. Bits of this type are small pieces of metal that fit into a cavity in the tool. This allows the same tool to fit multiple screw sizes or drill different holes in different materials. While they are a very simple form of insertion drill, they illustrate the ease of use and versatility that have made this technology so common.

In an industrial environment, insert bits are usually larger and more complex, but they are the same as home versions. These bits can be a small cutting or drilling surface, similar to their more common cousins, or they can be a large blade or milling head. In both cases, the insert bit is connected to a larger machine.

The reason for these interchangeable bits comes down to money. The biggest factor is the cost of replacing the drill itself. When an insertion drill wears out, it is discarded and a new one is placed in the machine. If the drill were part of the work head, the entire assembly would need to be replaced. By limiting wear and tear to the small object, the replacement cost is a fraction of what it could be.

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Since the insert drill is designed to come separate from the machine, the same machine can provide different functions simply by changing the drill bit. This is the same principle as the domestic screwdriver, only on a much larger scale. Rather than reducing the number of cheap hand tools, these inserts eliminate very expensive manufacturing systems.

An additional factor that affects the system and is easy to miss is the material the drill is made of. To work a material, the bit needs to be harder than the substance being worked on. If the bit is softer, or even the same, the material will warp instead of forming properly. As the bits can be removed from the machine, it is possible to have very high quality bits attached to a lower quality working arm.

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