Different Paper Drill Bit Styles & Tips for Longevity

Paper drilling has become a lifesaver for those in the printing industry. Thanks to paper drilling machines, drilling holes in paper for binding purposes has become extremely efficient and high-speed. While typical hole punches can only punch holes into about 10 sheets of paper, paper drilling machines are so powerful that they can drill holes through stacks of heavy paper that are inches thick. This can be done in seconds with the use of paper drill bits, which are the drills that punch through paper stocks. As with most printing applications, different paper stocks require different equipment and the same applies to paper drill bits. At Update Ltd. we carry a full line of standard steel, CHT, Fluted, and Marvel drill bits. Keep reading for the differences between these hollow drill bits to find out which is the best for your paper drilling application.

Standard Steel

Our standard steel drill bits cover the most basic types of drilling jobs. If you are dealing with uncoated standard stock, a standard steel drill bit may be the best match. These drills, along with the rest that we carry, are manufactured in the U.S. with top quality standards.


As stocks go up in thickness, drill bits must go up in durability. The CHT drill bit works best for laminated or coated stocks such as paper with matted, glossy, or metallic finishes. CHT stands for chemicals, heat, and time and these drill bits are coated in Teflon to prevent build-up inside the hollow part of the drill. This added coat also results in longer drill bit life because it serves as a method of heat reduction.


Fluted drill bits come with four flutes lining the inside of the bit to help break up harder stocks. This style of the drill bit is not recommended for softer stocks and is best used on materials such as chipboard, card stock, etc. The flutes are specially made to tear up the paper slug inside the drill bit.


Marvel-style drill bits are designed to last about 4 times longer than standard steel bits. They have a titanium coating for maximum durability and are made for thicker stocks and difficult jobs such as plastics, card stocks, etc. The titanium coating is applied to the outer layer of the drill bit to give the longest-lasting cutting edge. The softer inner metal wears quicker the outer hard layer, which gives the bit the ability to self-sharpen.

Drill bits often need to be replaced. While this is inevitable, there are still a few ways that you can extend the life of your drill bits. The first is to make sure you have the correct style for your application. Once you have the correct style of drill bit chosen, it’s important to make sure you have the depth adjusted correctly. Oftentimes drill bits are set too deep which can cause damage to your drill. If you are seeing smoke while paper drilling, this is a sign that your drill bit depth is set too deep. Another way to extend the life and care for your drill bits is to sharpen them. In addition to our drill bit replacements, we also carry a selection of drill bit sharpeners. Check out our sharpeners and watch our video on how to sharpen drill bits on your own. Our last tip to extend drill bit life is to make sure your machine is set to the correct RPM. Different diameters of drill bits require different rotation speeds to work optimally. Refer to the information below:

Drill Bit
Speed (RPM)