Drill Bit Blog Archives

Explore Mining Drill Bit Technology

Mining bits are an essential part of commercial drilling operations. They are pivotal in the efficiency, productivity, and safety of mining operations worldwide. Throughout this article, we’ll explain the nuances of mining bits, exploring their types, applications, and key considerations for optimal performance for your business.


The team at O-K Bit has decades of experience in commercial drilling and mining operations. As the world’s largest retailer of re-run (used and refurbished) drill bits, we’re ready to help you with the mining bits you need for your underground or in-situ mining operation. 


Contact our team today to place an order or talk to a team member. 

Why Learn About Mining Bits?

At the heart of every successful mining operation lies the strategic utilization of mining bits, which serve as the primary interface between drilling machinery and the earth’s subsurface. These precision-engineered tools not only facilitate the extraction of valuable minerals but also play a pivotal role in mitigating risks associated with drilling, such as borehole instability and equipment wear. 


By understanding the intricacies of mining bits, mining professionals can make informed decisions regarding bit selection, operation, and maintenance, improving operational efficiencies and minimizing downtime. 

Understanding Mining Bits

Mining bits, also known as commercial drill bits, are cutting tools utilized in various drilling operations within the mining industry. Mining bits are designed to bore through numerous geological formations, ranging from soft soils to hard rock formations, with precision and efficacy. Mining bits come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, each tailored to specific drilling conditions, methods, and requirements.

Change in Mining Bit Technology and Operations 

The evolution of mining bits has been driven by the ever-growing understanding of geological complexities and drilling challenges encountered in mining operations. Bit manufacturers continually refine bit designs and materials to address specific geological formations and drilling conditions, ensuring optimal performance and durability. 


The growth and development of technology are at the request of drillers and operators who are constantly challenged when encountering dewatered and fractured formations, varying strata layers, and hole-cleaning issues related to circulation and fractured formations. Where drill bits were originally designed and catered to the energy industry, mining applications, and conditions have proven that the two industries require specific design parameters for the varying drilling environments that mining formations present to the driller operator.


Advanced engineering techniques, coupled with extensive field testing and feedback from industry professionals, have led to the development of highly specialized mining bits capable of tackling the most demanding drilling environments. 


Innovation in mining bits is one way the mining industry is improving sustainability. High-quality bits are essential in paving the way for safer, more efficient, and environmentally responsible extraction practices.


Types of Mining Bits

O-K Bit supplies companies nationwide with the highest quality new and re-run mining bits. Here are a few bits commonly used in mining that we carry. You can learn more about mining drill bits on our Mining Bits page


  1. Tricone Bits: Tricone bits are characterized by their three-cone design, each equipped with individual teeth or inserts. These bits are versatile and can drill through various formations, including soft, medium, and hard rocks. Tricone bits are renowned for their efficiency and adaptability across diverse drilling environments.
  2. PDC Bits: Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits incorporate synthetic diamond cutters, providing exceptional hardness and wear resistance. PDC bits are particularly suited for drilling through softer formations such as shale, clay, and sandstone. They deliver high penetration rates and reduced downtime, enhancing overall drilling efficiency.
  3. Drag Bits: Drag bits, also known as fixed cutter bits, feature fixed blades or cutters affixed to the bit body. These bits are commonly employed in less abrasive formations where traditional roller cone bits may struggle. Drag bits offer simplicity and cost-effectiveness, making them a preferred choice for specific mining applications.


Applications of Mining Bits

Mining bits find widespread applications across various sectors within the mining industry, including:

  • Exploration Drilling: Mining bits are utilized in exploratory drilling to assess the geological composition of potential mining sites. They aid in collecting valuable data regarding rock formations, mineral deposits, and subsurface conditions, facilitating informed decision-making in the exploration phase.
  • Production Drilling: Mining bits extract minerals or ores from the earth’s crust in production drilling operations. These bits are crucial in creating boreholes or shafts to access underground resources efficiently and economically.
  • Geotechnical Drilling: Mining bits are also utilized in geotechnical drilling for civil engineering projects such as tunnel construction, foundation installation, and slope stabilization. They assist in obtaining geological samples and assessing ground conditions to ensure the stability and safety of infrastructure projects.
  • DTH Percussive Hammers and Hammer Bits: High penetration rate drilling when allowable conditions allow for turbulent, violent hole cleaning to remove cuttings from the borehole.
  • DTH Percussive Reverse Circulation Hammers and Hammer Bits: Maintaining high penetration rates while returning samples through dual tube pipe inner tube reducing contamination of representative cutting samples returned for analysis.
  • DTH Percussive Casing Advance Under Reamer: Allows for installation and removal of the casing when drilling through loose alluvial and or mining dump piles where poor borehole stability and circulation issues are present.


In addition to their primary applications in exploration, production, and geotechnical drilling, mining bits are indispensable in many specialized mining activities that require precision and reliability. This includes directional drilling, which is particularly valuable when surface access is limited or environmental considerations necessitate minimal surface disturbance.


Additionally, mining bits are important in wellbore completion and maintenance, ensuring the integrity and productivity of oil, gas, and water wells in mining operations. By selecting the appropriate bit type and configuration, operators can optimize drilling performance and maximize reservoir recovery, enhancing overall operational efficiency and profitability.

Key Considerations for Optimal Performance

To maximize the performance and longevity of mining bits, the O-K Bit team recommends you carefully consider several factors:

  1. Formation Characteristics: Understanding the geological composition and hardness of the formation is imperative in selecting the appropriate type of mining bit. Matching the bit design and materials to the specific drilling conditions enhances efficiency and prolongs bit life.
  2. Bit Design and Configuration: The design and configuration of the mining bit, including cutter type, spacing, and orientation, influence drilling performance. Tailoring the bit design to the intended application optimizes drilling efficiency and reduces operational costs.
  3. Operating Parameters: Proper selection of operating parameters such as rotational speed, weight on bit, and drilling fluid properties is critical in achieving optimal drilling performance. Adhering to manufacturer recommendations and adjusting parameters based on real-time feedback enhances drilling efficiency and prevents premature bit wear.
  4. Maintenance and Inspection: Regular maintenance and inspection of mining bits are essential to detect early signs of wear, damage, or fatigue. Implementing a proactive maintenance schedule, including cleaning, reconditioning, and replacing worn components, prolongs bit life and ensures continued operational reliability.


By understanding the various types of mining bits, their applications, and key considerations for optimal performance, industry professionals can harness the full potential of these essential drilling tools, driving productivity and profitability in mining operations.


If you have questions, need advice, or are curious about recent technological developments in mining bits, contact O-K Bit. We want to use our expertise in mining bits to help you and your company operate with precision and profitability.  


How Does Rotary Drilling Work? Mechanics of Rotary Drilling for Optimal Results

Understanding the mechanics and details of rotary drilling is essential for your commercial drilling operation. It’s not merely about penetrating the ground; it’s about efficiency, precision, and maximizing productivity. 


As experts in the commercial drill bit industry for more than 40 years, we’ll explain how the mechanics of rotary drilling can impact operations and elevate your results in this article. If you’d rather talk to a team member and have your specific questions answered, contact us today

The Basics of Rotary Drilling

At its core, rotary drilling creates boreholes in the earth’s surface for various purposes, such as oil and gas exploration, water well drilling, geothermal drilling, and construction. Unlike other drilling techniques, rotary drilling employs a rotating drill bit to cut through the subsurface formations.


This dynamic approach allows for efficient penetration through various geological formations, from soft sands to hard rock formations, making it a versatile solution for diverse drilling challenges. The ability to adjust drilling parameters such as rotational speed, weight on bit, and drilling fluid properties gives operators greater control and flexibility, enabling them to optimize performance and adapt to changing subsurface conditions with precision.

The Drill String

The drill string is central to the rotary drilling process. It consists of interconnected drill pipes that transmit drilling fluid, torque, and weight to the drill bit. Each drill string component maintains stability and transfers power to the bit. Every element must work together to optimize drilling performance, from the drill collar providing weight on the bit to the drill pipe transmitting torque.


Advancements in drill string technology, such as developing high-strength materials and enhanced connection designs, have improved reliability and longevity, reducing the risk of costly downtime and maintenance issues. Integrating telemetry systems and sensors within the drill string enables real-time monitoring of downhole conditions, allowing operators to make informed decisions and adjust drilling parameters on the fly, further enhancing efficiency and productivity in the field.

Drilling Fluids and Circulation

One of the key features of rotary drilling is the use of drilling fluids, also known as drilling mud. This specialized fluid serves multiple purposes, including cooling the drill bit, carrying rock cuttings to the surface, and maintaining pressure in the borehole to prevent formation fluids from entering. The circulation of drilling fluids is a finely tuned process, carefully controlled to ensure efficient drilling operations while mitigating risks such as fluid loss and formation damage.


The composition of drilling fluids can be tailored to specific geological conditions, with additives such as polymers, clays, and weighting agents used to optimize performance and address challenges encountered during drilling operations. 


The management and disposal of drilling fluids is an important part of the planning and execution of rotary drilling projects. As an operator, implementing best practices to minimize environmental impact and comply with regulatory requirements should be your top priority.  

The Role of the Drill Bit

The drill bit is central to rotary drilling because it is the component responsible for cutting through the earth’s subsurface. Commercial drill bit experts, like the team here at O-K Bit, understand the importance of selecting the right bit for the job. We recommend considering formation type, drilling objectives, and environmental conditions when choosing a bit. Each bit type offers unique advantages and limitations, requiring expertise to optimize performance and longevity, from roller cone bits to fixed cutter bits.


Ongoing research and development efforts in drill bit technology continue to push the boundaries of innovation by introducing advanced coating materials, novel cutting structures, and improved design features to enhance drilling efficiency and extend bit life. 


Integrating data-driven approaches like machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics enables drill bit experts to analyze real-time drilling data and optimize bit selection and deployment strategies. This results in improved drilling performance and cost-effectiveness for operators.


Downhole Motors and Rotary Steerable Systems

Rotary drilling often uses downhole motors and rotary steerable systems to navigate challenging formations or achieve specific well trajectories. These innovative technologies allow for greater precision and control, enabling operators to reach targets while accurately minimizing drilling time and costs. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of these systems is important for maximizing their effectiveness in the field.


  • Downhole Motors: utilize the power generated by the drilling fluid to drive the drill bit independently of the surface rig, offering flexibility in directional drilling and enabling operators to access previously inaccessible reservoirs with conventional methods.
  • Rotary Steerable Systems: utilize advanced steering mechanisms to adjust the trajectory of the drill bit in real-time, allowing for precise wellbore placement and optimization of reservoir drainage. 


By integrating downhole motors and rotary steerable systems into drilling operations, commercial drilling operators can overcome geological challenges, improve well productivity, and maximize returns on investment. 

Optimizing Performance and Efficiency

In the competitive landscape of commercial drilling, efficiency is king. Every aspect of the drilling process, from equipment selection to operational practices, plays a role in determining overall performance. By leveraging advanced drilling technologies, selecting the correct bit, and continuously monitoring operations, you can drive efficiency, reduce downtime, and improve project profitability. 


We recommend embracing a holistic approach to efficiency and performance at O-K Bit. Consider the following questions as you evaluate performance and equipment for your drilling project:  

  • How can we maximize drilling speed?
  • Are there ways to minimize costs?
  • How do we create efficiency and prioritize safety?
  • How can we be more environmentally sustainable, including purchasing re-run bits?
  • How can we improve performance and remain compliant with regulations? 


You can establish a competitive edge by integrating these considerations into drilling operations. 

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Beyond performance metrics, safety, and environmental stewardship are top priorities in the commercial drill bit industry. Rotary drilling operations must adhere to strict safety protocols to protect personnel and assets from potential hazards. Minimizing environmental impact through responsible drilling practices, waste management, and regulatory compliance is essential for sustainable operations and public trust.

Seek Advice From The Drill Bit Experts 

The mechanics of rotary drilling involve engineering prowess, technological innovation, and operational excellence. As commercial drill bit experts, we know every project differs from the next. If you have questions about rotary drilling or are curious about purchasing bits for your project, contact O-K Bit today

Types of Coating for Drill Bits – Improve Performance and Longevity

Understanding the significance of coatings is essential in the world of commercial drill bits. These coatings serve as protective layers that enhance the performance and longevity of drill bits across various applications–including water well drilling, oil and gas drilling, geothermal drilling, and more. By learning more about the characteristics of different coatings, industry professionals can make informed decisions that optimize productivity and efficiency.

The team at O-K Bit has worked in drilling for many decades. We’re drill bit pros, and we know coatings in depth. Part of our business is to rerun bits by repairing, refinishing, and coating “used” bits so they become fully refurbished and ready for a new drilling operation. Coating is a part of our everyday work. 

If you have any questions, let us know. We’re here to help you find the right bit for your drilling site.  

Introduction to Drill Bit Coatings 

Drill bit coatings come in a myriad of options, each tailored to specific drilling needs and materials. Each type offers unique benefits and advantages, from titanium nitride to diamond coatings. By understanding the nuances of these coatings, you can select the most suitable option for your particular drilling tasks. When you know what coating options are available, you’ll ensure superior results and a prolonged lifespan.

If you’re interested in learning more about the anatomy of industrial drill bits and the different types of bits available, we’ve written more on that topic in a previous article. Now, we’ll get into the details of coating types. 

Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating: Durability and Efficiency

Titanium nitride (TiN) coating stands out for its exceptional wear resistance and ability to reduce friction during drilling. This makes it particularly useful for drilling through rigid materials such as metal and hardwood. The gold-colored coating not only enhances the durability of the bit but also facilitates easy identification in a toolset. While TiN coatings excel in many applications, it’s important to note their limitations, especially in high-temperature environments where they may degrade.

Furthermore, TiN-coated bits are known for their versatility and ability to maintain sharpness even under demanding conditions. TiN coatings contribute to smoother drilling operations by minimizing friction and heat generation, ultimately enhancing productivity and cost-effectiveness in the long run.

Cobalt Coating: Strength and Heat Resistance

Cobalt-coated drill bits are renowned for their superior strength and heat resistance, making them ideal for drilling through hard materials like stainless steel and cast iron. The cobalt coating enhances the hardness of the bit, allowing it to withstand high temperatures without compromising performance. This durability ensures that the bits maintain their sharpness and integrity over prolonged use, minimizing the need for frequent replacements.

Also, cobalt-coated bits are well-suited for industrial applications where reliability and consistency are very important. Whether drilling through thick metal sheets or dense alloys, you can rely on cobalt-coated bits to deliver exceptional performance and durability, maximizing operational efficiency and reducing downtime.

Black Oxide Coating: Versatility and Corrosion Resistance

Black oxide-coated drill bits offer versatility and corrosion resistance, making them suitable for various drilling tasks. The dark finish absorbs heat effectively and reduces friction, resulting in smoother drilling and cleaner holes. This coating is particularly beneficial for drilling through wood, plastic, and various metals, providing consistent performance across different materials and applications.

Additionally, black oxide-coated bits exhibit enhanced corrosion resistance, prolonging their lifespan and ensuring long-term reliability. This makes them a cost-effective solution for both professional and DIY users, offering durability and performance without breaking the bank.

Carbide Coating: Exceptional Hardness and Abrasion Resistance

Carbide-coated drill bits boast exceptional hardness and abrasion resistance, making them indispensable for drilling through tough materials such as concrete, brick, and tile. The carbide coating consists of tiny carbide particles bonded to the bit surface, providing unmatched durability and wear resistance. This allows carbide-coated bits to maintain their sharpness and cutting edge even in the harshest drilling conditions.

Additionally, carbide-coated bits are highly effective at dissipating heat, minimizing the risk of overheating and premature wear. This ensures consistent performance and prolonged tool life, making carbide-coated bits preferred for demanding industrial applications. 

Diamond Coating: Unrivaled Hardness and Precision

At the peak of drill bit technology lies diamond coating. Diamond coating is renowned for its hardness and precision. This coating offers abrasion resistance and durability that other coatings can’t provide. It features a thin layer of synthetic diamond particles deposited onto the bit surface. Diamond-coated bits can easily drill through the most rigid materials, including ceramics, glass, and stone, making them indispensable for precision-driven applications.

Diamond-coated bits deliver exceptional performance and longevity, ensuring consistent results even in the most challenging drilling conditions. While diamond coatings may command a premium price, they are a worthwhile investment for professionals seeking the highest levels of performance.

Drill Bit Maintenance and Care

In addition to selecting a suitable coating, proper maintenance and care are essential for maximizing the lifespan and performance of drill bits. We’ve previously written extensively about bit maintenance and care in this article, but here’s an overview of our top tips. 

  1. After each use, clean bits thoroughly to remove any debris or buildup that could affect their cutting ability. 
  2. Regularly inspect bits for signs of wear or damage, as worn-out bits may compromise drilling accuracy and efficiency. 
  3. Store drill bits in a dry, temperature-controlled environment to help prevent corrosion and extend lifespan.

By implementing a proactive maintenance routine, professionals can ensure that their coated drill bits remain in optimal condition, delivering reliable performance for years.

Drill Bit Coating Innovation and Emerging Technologies

As technology advances, the landscape of drill bit coatings is constantly evolving. Manufacturers are continually researching and developing new coatings with enhanced properties and capabilities to meet the changing needs of industries. From nano-coatings to advanced composite materials, these innovations promise to revolutionize the performance and efficiency of drill bits in the years to come. 

By staying abreast of these developments and embracing emerging technologies, you can gain a competitive edge in the market while unlocking new possibilities for improved drilling operations. O-K Bit is committed to staying ahead of the trends and developments in technology so we can provide our customers with the best drill bits available.  

Choose the Right Coating for Optimal Performance and Ask Drill Bit Experts for Assistance 

Selecting the right coating is essential for maximizing the performance and longevity of drill bits across various applications. Whether titanium nitride for durability, cobalt for strength, black oxide for versatility, carbide for hardness, or diamond for precision, each coating offers unique advantages tailored to specific drilling needs.

In addition to enhancing performance and longevity, selecting the right coating can contribute to overall safety in drilling operations. For example, coatings like titanium nitride and carbide reduce friction and heat buildup, mitigating the risk of bit overheating and potential accidents. 

By investing in coatings that prioritize durability and reliability, professionals can create a safer working environment while maximizing productivity and minimizing downtime. At O-K Bit, we’re here to help you make the best decisions about which bits you need for your specific application and formation types. We’re always happy to talk about coatings. Contact us today with any questions you have. 

If you’re ready to place an order, let us know! We’ll be in touch. 

The Anatomy of Drilling Bits: Understanding the Parts of a Bit

In the context of commercial drilling, understanding the anatomy of your bits is essential for optimal performance. Whether you’re drilling for oil and gas production or you’re drilling a water well, you need to understand the parts of your bits to ensure your drilling operation is efficient and safe. 

As seasoned experts in the commercial drill bit industry, the O-K Bit team has created this comprehensive guide to the anatomy of drilling bits. We hope this guide provides an overview of the complex structures and essential components that make drill bits unique and indispensable across many industries. O-K Bit is the world’s largest supplier of rerun (professionally refurbished) professional drilling bits, and we’re here to help you. If you’re ready to order or you have questions, contact us

We’ll dive straight into the core elements, exploring the nuances of design and functionality that define the efficiency of modern commercial drill bits.

Drill Bit Cutting Edges: Precision in Action

The part of the bit that first engages with the geological formations is the cutting edges (or cutters). The cutting edges are at the tip of the bit. These edges come in various configurations, each tailored to tackle specific drilling challenges. Chisel, conical, and flat cutting edges are the common types of cutting edges, each excelling in distinct scenarios.

With their focused force, chisel-cutting edges are ideal for penetrating hard formations. Conical cutting edges, on the other hand, offer a broader cutting area, making them effective in softer soils. The choice of cutting-edge is pivotal, influencing the efficiency and longevity of the drilling process. Transitioning between cutting edges strategically during a drilling operation can enhance overall performance and expedite progress.

If you’re curious about which bits to use for your oil and gas drilling site, water well drilling site, or other drilling applications, these are just a few of our previous articles that break down the differences in bit types: 


Bit Body Design: Rigidity and Stability

Moving beyond the cutting edges, the body of a drilling bit plays a central role in maintaining rigidity and stability during drilling operations. The body houses the cutting structure and serves as the backbone of the entire tool. Rigidity is essential to withstand the forces exerted during drilling, ensuring that the cutting edges maintain precision and effectiveness.

The connection between the body and the shank is essential for the function of a bit. This interface minimizes vibrations, allowing optimal energy transfer from the drill rig to the cutting edges. A seamless connection between the body and shank enhances drilling efficiency. It contributes to the longevity of both the bit and the drilling equipment.

Shank: Power Transmission and Compatibility

The shank is the conduit through which power is transmitted from the drill string to the drilling bit. It determines the bit’s overall stability and torque resistance during operation. Choosing the right shank is essential for ensuring compatibility with various drill rigs and optimizing the performance of the drilling system.

The shank selection often influences the type of drilling technique. Roller cone bits and fixed cutter bits may require different shank designs to accommodate their specific operational requirements. A well-designed shank ensures that power is transmitted efficiently, contributing to the overall success of drilling endeavors.

Our team can help with any questions you may have about the specific requirements for bits and shanks. Send us a message or give us a call

Flushing Holes in Drill Bits: Ensuring Efficient Operations

As drilling progresses, the efficient removal of drilled cuttings is important. Flushing holes are strategically incorporated into the design of drilling bits to facilitate the removal of chips and debris. These holes are crucial in preventing clogging, reducing heat buildup, and maintaining a clean and effective drilling operation.

The placement and size of flushing holes are carefully calculated to optimize the cleaning process. Proper flushing is essential for preventing bit failure, improving drilling efficiency, and prolonging the life of the drilling bit. Investing in bits with well-designed flushing systems is a proactive step toward ensuring smooth and uninterrupted drilling operations. 

Drill Bit Wear Pads: Enhancing Longevity

In the demanding environment of commercial drilling, wear and tear are inevitable. Wear pads serve as protective shields strategically placed on the bit’s surface to mitigate abrasion and extend the bit’s lifespan. These pads are crafted from wear-resistant materials, adding an extra layer of defense to critical areas of the bit.

The strategic placement of wear pads is a testament to forward-thinking bit design. By concentrating wear resistance in specific areas, the overall integrity of the cutting edges and body is preserved. This thoughtful approach enhances drilling operations’ cost-effectiveness, reducing bit replacements’ frequency and minimizing downtime.

Fluid Circulation: Cooling and Lubrication

Efficient fluid circulation is essential for sustaining drilling operations, especially in high-temperature environments. The bit’s body incorporates channels for the circulation of drilling fluids, providing cooling and lubrication to the cutting edges. This feature prevents overheating, reduces friction, and ensures smooth drilling.

Bits are engineered to balance fluid flow rate and pressure, optimizing the cooling effect without compromising drilling performance. The strategic design of fluid circulation channels reflects a commitment to providing bits that endure the rigors of commercial drilling while contributing to the overall efficiency of the operation.

Bearing Systems: Stability Under Pressure

Bearing systems provide stability under the immense pressures encountered during drilling. O-K Bit stocks bits with advanced bearing designs that withstand both axial and radial loads, ensuring reliable support to the rotating components. The choice of bearings significantly influences the bit’s overall performance and longevity.

Sealed and lubricated bearing systems minimize friction, reducing wear and tear on the bit. Look for bits equipped with bearings that endure the harsh conditions of commercial drilling environments similar to yours, whether for geothermal drilling, oil, or another application. 

High-Quality Drill Bits for Oil and Gas, Water Well, and Geothermal Drilling 

Commercial drilling spans many industries, and you should ensure your bits are engineered to withstand your specific drilling requirements. Whether rotary drilling, percussion drilling, or directional drilling, our team can help you find bits designed for seamless integration with your techniques.

Understanding the anatomy of commercial well drill bits is important, and we hope this guide is a great start. At O-K Bit, we hope to be a daily resource for our clients as we provide high-quality, high-performance bits across many industries. Contact our team today to purchase bits for your next drilling project.

How to Extend the Life of Your Bits: Tips and Tricks

Our team of commercial drill bit experts has compiled a comprehensive guide on extending the life of your drill bits. As a trusted provider of high-quality drilling solutions for more than four decades, we understand the importance of optimizing the performance and longevity of your mining, oil and gas, directional, and geothermal bits. 

Investing in bits is an essential part of your business and is a significant commitment. We know proper care ensures cost savings and peak efficiency in your drilling operations. Hopefully, this guide will answer your questions about bit care, but you can always contact the O-K Bit team if it doesn’t. We’re here to help. 

Understanding Your Drill Bits

A deep understanding of the different types of bits and their applications is crucial to extend the life of your commercial drill bits. 

  • Mining bits designed for extracting valuable minerals from the earth require strong materials and specialized cutting structures to endure challenging conditions. 
  • Oil and gas bits, on the other hand, must navigate through various rock formations, making durability and precision paramount. 
  • Directional drill bits are crafted to change the trajectory of the borehole, demanding adaptability and strength.
  • Geothermal drill bits are vital in harnessing renewable energy from the earth’s heat, requiring resilience to high temperatures and varied geological formations. 
  • Reamers and hole openers expand boreholes to the desired diameter, necessitating precision and reliability. 
  • PDC bits, known for their advanced cutting technology, excel in demanding drilling environments. 

Understanding the unique demands of each type allows you to choose the right tool for the job and is the first step in ensuring their prolonged lifespan. If you’re drilling in a new location and uncertain about the formations, let us know. We’d love to talk through the options together. 

Proper Storage and Organization 

The longevity of your drill bits is significantly influenced by how you store and organize them. Proper storage prevents damage, loss, and unnecessary wear, ensuring your investment achieves peak performance. Consider designating a location and organization system for storage that prevents excessive wear and tear. 

Maintaining a controlled environment is equally important. Prolonged exposure to moisture, other environmental elements, and lack of use can compromise the effectiveness of your drill bits over time. Storing them in a cool, dry space preserves their structural integrity and ensures they are ready for action when needed. Routine cleaning is crucial in proper storage; after each use, remove debris, rock cuttings, or any residue that may affect the bits’ cutting precision. Regular inspections for signs of wear or damage, such as bent shafts or chipped edges, contribute to maximizing the life of your commercial drill bits.

Routine Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular cleaning is paramount for the longevity of your drill bits. After each operation, take the time to clear away debris, rock cuttings, or any residues that may accumulate during drilling. Utilize small brushes, compressed air, or, for stubborn residues, a gentle solvent. This meticulous cleaning not only preserves the sharpness of the bits but also prevents material buildup that could impact cutting precision.

Routine maintenance goes beyond cleaning and includes periodic inspections. Under intense drilling conditions, drill bits may experience wear and tear. Regularly check for signs of damage, such as worn-out surfaces, bent shafts, or any structural compromise. Promptly replace any damaged bits to prevent them from causing harm to your materials or the drilling equipment itself. A proactive approach to routine maintenance ensures that your commercial drill bits remain in top condition, contributing to their extended lifespan and sustained optimal performance.

If you have used bits that have exceeded their useful life and are ready to dispose of them, contact our team to discuss selling used commercial drill bits to O-K Bit. Our team refurbishes used bits for future resale, giving bits additional life.  

Temperature Considerations

Extreme temperatures can significantly impact the performance and lifespan of your drill bits. When drilling in environments with high temperatures, such as geothermal projects, choosing bits designed to withstand the heat is crucial. Conversely, allowing the drill bits to acclimate before use in colder conditions prevents unnecessary stress and potential damage.

Being mindful of temperature considerations is essential for oil and gas drilling operations in diverse geological conditions. Extreme heat can soften the metal, reducing hardness, while extreme cold can make the bits brittle and prone to breakage. Storing drill bits in a climate-controlled environment mitigates these risks, preserving their structural integrity and ensuring consistent performance across various temperature conditions. 

Additionally, when inspecting your bits after use, check for temperature-related wear and tear, like cracks, chips, or other irregularities. 

Invest in Quality Drill Bits

While it may seem obvious, investing in high-quality drill bits is fundamental to ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. Quality bits are often made from superior materials and undergo precision manufacturing, resulting in sharper edges and greater durability. Reputable companies specializing in commercial bits, like O-K Bit, can point you to the top mining bits, oil and gas bits, directional drill bits, geothermal drill bits, reamers, hole openers, and PDC bits worth the investment.

More and more bits are made of advanced materials such as tungsten carbide or high-speed steel for enhanced durability. While the initial cost may be higher, the long-term benefits far outweigh the investment. Quality commercial drill bits are less prone to wear. They are better equipped to handle the demands of various drilling applications. Prioritize durability and precision when selecting your drill bits, and they will become a reliable asset in your drilling operations, serving you well for years.

Maximize the Lifespan of Your Drill Bits With O-K Bit

Extending the life of your commercial drill bits is a strategic and necessary investment in the success of your drilling operations. You can maximize their lifespan by understanding the specific demands for your drilling type and implementing proper storage, routine maintenance, and thoughtful bit selection.

Remember, each drill bit has its unique role, and tailoring your approach to the specific demands of each task ensures a prolonged and efficient life for your valuable drilling tools. As your trusted partner in drilling solutions, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in your drilling projects. If you have any questions or want to purchase bits, contact O-K Bit today.

OK Bits Services

Sustainability in the Drill Bit Industry: A Guide to Drill Bit Disposal

In nearly every industry, sustainability is becoming more and more important. This is especially so in drilling technology. Sustainability has become a paramount concern that resonates across most drilling businesses–whether drilling for oil, natural gas, or water. This growing commitment to sustainability is important for the long-term sustainability of companies, the environment, and many other reasons. 


However, for many drilling businesses, one challenge looms large: the responsible disposal of used drill bits. When you’re drilling, you may wear through a bit quickly. Often once per day or more, depending on the rock formation. But, regarding sustainable business practices, what is the best way to dispose of the used bits? 


Today, the O-K Bit team will explore the options of re-selling, recycling or disposing of used drill bits while providing actionable solutions to foster a more sustainable future for the drill bit industry.

The Dilemma: What to Do with Used Drill Bits?


Accumulating used drill bits is an inevitable byproduct of industrial and commercial operations. As these bits gradually wear down from extended use, a critical question arises: How should they be responsibly managed once they’ve fulfilled their primary purpose? 

1. Selling Used Drill Bits

Selling used drill bits is a viable strategy to regain value from your well-worn bits, but it requires careful deliberation for some companies. As the world’s largest retailer of used (rerun) bits, we work with companies to make selling back used bits a reality. After purchasing your used bits, we can rebuild, retip, and refurbish all kinds of bits. Buying used bits to rebuild and refurbish is how we keep our huge inventory of drill bits stocked and ready to use. 



  • Financial Gain (Budget-Friendly): Opting to sell your used drill bits can effectively recoup a portion of your initial investment. This financial aspect makes it a particularly enticing choice, especially for businesses striving to manage their budgets efficiently.
  • Resource Conservation (Reducing Environmental Footprint): You play a role in resource conservation by giving used drill bits a second life. This reduces the demand for manufacturing and diminishes the associated environmental impact.



  • Time-Consuming (Resource-Intensive): Preparing used drill bits for sale on your own, which can include cleaning, listing, negotiating, and shipping, can be remarkably time-intensive. This becomes even more pronounced if you are dealing with multiple drill bits and trying to sell them yourself.
  • Variable Returns (Market-Dependent): The selling price of used drill bits can fluctuate considerably, influenced by factors such as brand reputation, the condition of the bits, and the prevailing market demand.


However, when you work with O-K Bit, these “cons” are significantly reduced because of the ease of working with our team. O-K Bit makes it easy to sell your used bits. Once you contact our team, the process is simple. We’ll work with you to ensure you receive a competitive price for your used bits and provide all the details. Our customer service and processes, developed over the last fifty years, make selling your used bits simple and economical. 


2. Recycling Used Drill Bits

Recycling used drill bits is a commendable choice that aligns seamlessly with sustainability objectives.



  • Environmental Responsibility (Eco-Friendly): Recycling used drill bits helps divert these metal tools from landfills, significantly mitigating their environmental footprint. This action conserves valuable resources and contributes to the broader goal of environmental preservation.
  • Supports Recycling Industry (Sustainable Resource Management): Recycled drill bits are pivotal in the metal recycling industry. This industry depends on materials like used drill bits to reduce reliance on virgin resources.
  • Compliance with Regulations (Regulatory Alignment): In certain regions, recycling used drill bits might be mandatory, harmonizing with local regulations and initiatives to reduce waste and enhance sustainability.



  • Limited Financial Gain (Sustainability Over Profit): Recycling used drill bits typically yields little returns from a financial standpoint. In some cases, recycling might even incur a small disposal fee. 
  • Finding Recycling Centers (Accessibility Challenge): One of the primary challenges associated with recycling used drill bits is locating recycling centers that accept these specific items. Unlike more common recyclables, drill bits may require more effort to find appropriate disposal facilities. Many people find O-K Bit even more convenient than working with a recycling center. We specialize in taking used bits off your hands in an environmentally friendly way (and you get paid for them, too!). 


3. Disposing of Used Drill Bits

While disposing of used drill bits provides a convenient and immediate solution, it certainly falls short when considering the sustainability of the practice. 



  • Convenience (Immediate Removal): The disposal route offers a quick and convenient means of clearing workspaces of unwanted drill bits, precious in time-sensitive situations where swift clean-up is necessary.



  • Environmental Impact (Sustainability Concerns): Sending drill bits to landfills can carry significant negative environmental implications. These metal bits may not decompose and consume valuable landfill space, exacerbating waste management challenges.
  • Waste of Resources (Resource Inefficiency): Disposing drill bits without recycling or reusing them doesn’t harness the materials within these tools efficiently. This contributes to resource depletion and contradicts sustainability objectives.


Actionable Solutions for Drill Bit Disposal 


Now that we’ve thoroughly examined the spectrum of options for handling used drill bits, we’re diving into actionable solutions that can propel the drill bit industry toward sustainability. What can you do today to get started? 

1. Choose to Use a Drill Bit Buyback Program (Recycle and Reuse)


Consider instituting a buyback process for your company’s used bits. Working with the team at O-K Bit makes selling your used bits simple. This promotes sustainability by extending the drill bits’ lifecycle, making the decisions about buying and selling bits simple for your team. Contact us today to get started. We’re here to help, and we have decades of experience in drill bits to support your company however you need us. 

2. Forge Partnerships with Recycling Centers (Environmental Collaboration)


After talking to the O-K Bit team, if you find that selling used bits is not right for all of your bits, you can partner with a recycling center specializing in accepting drill bits. This collaborative effort may simplify how you responsibly dispose of your used drill bits.


3. Educate Your Team (Empower through Knowledge)


Knowledge is a powerful catalyst for change. Offer comprehensive information regarding the environmental impact of drill bit disposal and elucidate the benefits of selling or recycling. Encourage responsible choices by developing and disseminating educational materials that shed light on the importance of sustainability in the drill bit industry. If your team hesitates to change bit disposal practices, education and knowledge can help.  


5. Ask Questions and Invest in Research and Development (Enhanced Durability)


If your team is wearing through bits at a rate higher than desired, contact the O-K Bit team to discuss choosing a bit type to suit your application or formations better. If resources allow, allocate time and money towards research and development efforts to better understand your process and drilling application. Ultimately, this will help you choose more durable, longer-lasting drill bits. 

A Sustainable Path Forward

The responsible handling of used drill bits is not merely an environmental concern; it impacts the financial sustainability of our businesses, and it embodies the global shift towards sustainability. As the world’s largest supplier of re-run drill bits, we’ve seen firsthand how selling your used bits can impact businesses, the environment, and our industry overall. The time has come for the drill bit industry to drill responsibly, not just for today, but for a sustainable and resilient tomorrow. Contact us today to begin selling your used drill bits.

Why Re-run Drill Bits Can Be a Good Fit for Some Projects

Re-run drill bits are a crucial tool in the drilling industry. They are designed to be used multiple times and can save drillers a significant amount of money. Essentially, re-run drill bits are drill bits that have been used before and have been reconditioned to be as good as new. This means any damage or wear and tear that has occurred while drilling has been repaired, and the drill bit has been sharpened to maintain its performance. The process of reconditioning involves cleaning, inspecting, repairing, and sharpening the drill bit to ensure it meets industry standards. Re-run drill bits provide an eco-friendly option for drilling companies as they reduce waste and are an economically viable alternative to purchasing new drill bits.

Choosing the right drill bit for a project

It is important to choose the right drilling bit for a project, whether that is going to be re-run or new. The type of bit selected can significantly influence the success of the project and the time and resources required to complete the job. A poor quality or inappropriate drill bit can have a negative impact on the overall project’s results, leading to lost time, increased costs, and reduced success rates. Choosing the right bit can not only save time and money but also lead to more efficient results.

Advantages of re-run drill bits


Re-run drill bits are a budget-friendly option for companies looking to reduce their drilling costs. These bits are made from high-quality materials and are carefully inspected and refurbished to ensure that they are in excellent condition. This means that they offer the same level of performance as new drill bits without the higher price tag. Overall, re-run drill bits are an effective way for companies to save money without compromising on quality.


Re-run drill bits are durable pieces of equipment that can help drilling companies save significant amounts of money in the long run. As their name suggests, these bits are designed to be used multiple times, which means they can withstand the wear and tear of repeated drilling operations. Re-run bits are particularly useful for companies that frequently drill in the same type of formation or use a similar drilling technique. By investing in these high-quality bits, companies can reduce their overall drilling costs and improve their bottom line over time. 


Re-run drill bits are a step towards eco-friendliness in the drilling industry. These drill bits are used and have been refurbished for further use instead of being thrown away. They are designed to be durable, and with a little bit of reconditioning, they can perform just as well as a brand-new drill bit. By using re-run drill bits, drilling companies can significantly reduce waste and save money at the same time. Not only is this environmentally responsible, but it also makes business sense, as purchasing new drill bits can be expensive. With re-run drill bits, both drilling companies and the environment benefit.

Types of projects where re-run drill bits are a good fit

Re-run in-ground drilling bits are an excellent solution for a variety of drilling projects where budget constraints are a concern. These drill bits have a proven track record of performing well while maintaining maximum efficiency with minimal wear. Re-run bits are an ideal option for those looking to get the most out of their drilling projects while keeping their expenses under control.

Re-run drill bits are especially suitable for large commercial drilling projects:

Selecting a re-run drill bit

When it comes to selecting re-run drill bits, there are several factors that must be taken into account. Firstly, the condition of the bits should be assessed thoroughly to determine whether they are suitable for reuse. Only bits that have undergone proper maintenance and are in good condition should be considered. The re-run bits at OK-Bit must pass strict quality control scrutiny before we offer them for sale. 


Secondly, the compatibility of the bit with the drilling application is of utmost importance as it can affect the overall drilling efficiency and effectiveness. You need to make sure that the re-run bit is appropriate for the material being drilled, the equipment being used, and the overall drilling specifications. 


Lastly, the cost-effectiveness of the re-run bit must also be considered. While this option may be cheaper, it is important to weigh the cost savings against potential risks and the potential impact on drilling efficiency and productivity.

When to use re-run drill bits

Re-run drill bits are a great solution for many large commercial drilling tasks. When a drill bit has lost its cutting ability or starts to wear out, the option to re-run it can be a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a brand-new drill bit. Re-running allows the bit to be refurbished, extending its lifespan and performance while also lowering upfront expenses. Factors to consider when deciding to re-run a drill bit include its original condition, the type of rock it will be drilling into, and the depth of the well. In some cases, re-run bits may not be the best choice, but for the right application, they can save time and money while still providing high-quality drilling results.

Where to find the right drill bit for your project

If you’re a driller looking for a re-run bit in Oklahoma, Arizona, or anywhere else, chances are good that you know what you are looking for. And chances are even better that we will have it in stock and ready. Whether you want to come pick it up in person or if delivery or shipping is the better option for you, we’ll make sure you get what you need. If you do need advice on which bit to choose, we have been the drill bit experts for 46 years, and you can count on our family to steer you in the right direction.

Looking to sell used drilling bits?

O-K Bit buys used bits of any kind. Recoup some of your costs by selling us your used bits. We buy large or small quantities of used bits of any kind–in almost any condition. We rebuild, retip, and refurbish all kinds of bits to keep our re-run drill bits inventory stocked. We are the world’s largest retailer of used bits and have a reputation for keeping quality re-runs of all kinds stocked and ready to use.

Matrix Body PDC Bits vs. Steel Body PDC Bits

If you have worked in drilling for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard about PDC bits. PDC stands for “polycrystalline diamond compact,” which describes the material compound that makes up these bits’ cutting surface. Both Matrix Body PDC and Steel Body PDC are made with this compound. 

These bits go by many names. They are commonly called: 

  • PDC Bits 
  • Polycrystalline diamond compact bits 
  • Composite chip tooth bits 
  • Polycrystalline diamond cutting block bits 

PDC bits are often used for oil drilling – but are popular in other industries as well. They were created in 1976 and are just as popular now as roller-cone bits (the kind of bit that has rotating parts). While PDC bits have a long history of success, they continue to evolve and constantly improve through new and innovative cutting angles, arrangements, and materials. These bits are very efficient as they work to shear away rock formations rather than crushing them. Each year, new advances in technology improve the efficacy of PDC bits and improve drilling speed. 

These bits are known as the “nose-to-the-grindstone” bits of the drilling industry – they get the job done and can be highly effective for a wide range of services and formation types—no moving parts to get jammed up, no fuss, just effective drilling for all your needs. 

You’ve come to the right place if you need new or rerun, refurbished PDC bits. O-K bit is the world’s largest supplier of rerun bits. We’d love to equip you with the PDC bits you need. 

If you want to learn more about Matrix Body PDC Bits and Steel Body, keep reading! 

What Are PDC Bits? 

There are two primary styles of PDC drill bits – matrix body PDC bits and steel body PDC bits. Both are similarly shaped round bits with four to eight cutting structures, or blades, that fan out from the middle. Each blade is then topped with between ten and thirty cutters. The bits have water channels dispersed for cooling, and there is a nozzle at the apex of the bit. If you’re trying to imagine this bit, it looks a bit like the crown a king might wear. 


PDC bits are used for oil and gas drilling, geothermal drilling, water well drilling, construction drilling, mining and horizontal directional drilling. O-K Bit can supply the PDC bits for your drilling projects; please contact us to place an order

The Science Behind PDC Bits 

You may have learned in school that diamond is the hardest material known to man. It is! And it is perfect for cutting through other materials like rock formations for drilling. 

PDC bits utilize tiny, inexpensive, man-made diamonds in their cutting structures. The process of creating the diamonds on these bits is complicated. Simplified, here is the process for creating diamond drill bits: 

  • The tiny synthetic diamonds are made 
  • The diamonds are then aggregated into large masses of crystals 
  • The crystals are then shaped into diamond tables 
  • Diamond tables are then bonded to metal, typically tungsten carbide, and a metallic binder 
  • This becomes the cutter part of the bit – there are many cutters on each blade of the bit
  • The cutters are then attached to the blades, which are attached to the body of the bit  

Together, the cutters and blades on the tip of the PDC bit are used to cut through rock formations of all kinds. 

Synthetic Diamonds in Drill Bits 

As you can see, synthetic diamonds are the key material for PDC bits. In manufacturing these bits, ultra-small grains of diamond (also called diamond grit) are created. This grit is very durable but becomes less stable at a molecular level when it heats up. So, your PDC bit is more likely to fail if not adequately cooled when in use. 

Regardless, synthetic diamonds are incredibly wear-resistant; they are the ideal material for longevity and durability. The metal type changes if you choose a matrix or steel body bit – but the diamond is critical.  PDC bits can have a long lifespan as long as they are adequately cooled. 

Matrix Body PDC Bits 

Matrix body bits are one of the most popular PDC bit types. They are made of a composite material that is both hard and brittle. The material is made of tungsten carbide grains metallically bonded with a softer, tougher metallic binder. While Matrix body bits are not as strong against impacts, they have much better abrasion resistance than steel body PDC bits.

Matrix body bits are created by using a mold heated in a furnace. The mold is filled with the metal composite in a solid form, heated to melt, cooled, and then assembled with the cutters. 

Uses of Matrix Body PDC Bits

Matrix body PDC bits are primarily used for these applications: 

  • Soft to medium-hard formations 
  • High volume 
  • High sand 
  • Applications where the same bit will need to be used for several bit runs 

Steel Body PDC Bits 

Steel body PDC bits are another of the most common PDC bit types. These bits are the opposite of a matrix bit in composition. They are made from steel instead of the metal composite used for matrix body PDC bits. They are excellent at impact resistance but are more likely to be compromised by erosion. 

Steel PDC bits use the cutting action of the bit to break up the rock it is drilling into. They are typically very stable and can drill at high speeds. 

These bits are made from steel bars. The bars are machined with metallic mills and lathes to make the bit body, and then the cutting teeth and post are welded to it. Steel PDC bits are more easily formed into complex shapes and designs. Creating intricate designs allows for a greater variety of cutting faces and features. Variations in cutting features can be helpful when drilling in unique rock formations. 

Uses of Steel Body PDC Bits 

Steel body PDC bits are useful in applications that include: 

  • Drilling in shale formations 
  • Soft limestone sites 
  • Fast drilling in the stratum 
  • Natural gas drilling 
  • Deep wells 
  • Abrasive formations 

Buy PDC Bits Online 

Choosing a supplier for PDC bits can be an overwhelming task. Although there are many excellent options to choose from, O-K Bit is an experienced supplier with the largest inventory in the USA of new and rerun bits. O-K Bit has a large selection of PDC bits available for various drilling operations. Contact the O-K Bit team to find the new or rerun bits for your drilling projects.

man working on a drilling operation

Your guide to horizontal directional drilling (HDD)

Sometimes you need to drill beneath a road, a waterway, or some other obstacle that creates an engineering challenge for those used to downward drilling. Through the process of horizontal directional drilling (HDD), you can get your project done without disruption. But what exactly does HDD entail? Let’s explore this useful technique, the tools required to make it happen, and the reasons why it’s become such a popular drilling method.


If you need drill bits for your HDD operation, OK Bit has what you’re looking for. We offer a huge variety of new and rerun HDD bits. If you know what you’re looking for, contact us today to see if we have your bit in stock. If you aren’t sure, our experts will be happy to advise you on the best tool for the job.


How does horizontal directional drilling work?

There are three primary steps to horizontal directional drilling:


  1. Pilot hole drilling

    You’ll start HDD by drilling a small diameter pilot hole. Next, you’ll pump drilling fluid through the drill pipe to the bit, where high-pressure jets will help the bit grind soil ahead of the drill stem. This fluid carries cuttings back to the pit at the entrance of the drill rig.

  2. Pre-reaming

    Next, you’ll pre-ream the pilot hole until it’s a sufficient size to install product lines. You’ll pull the reamer back and rotate it while pumping drilling fluid, which will cut and remove debris to make the hole bigger. Additives like Bentonite are often used to ensure a stable hole.

  3. Pipe pullback

    Once your hole is pre-reamed, it’s time to pull back the pipe. Your reamer and drill rod will be able to swivel, preventing any torsional stress from the rotating drill string’s transfer to the product pipe.

What kinds of projects is HDD good for?

HDD is the best technique for installing a variety of types of underground infrastructure. It’s commonly used for:


  • Telecommunication cables
  • Fiber optic cables
  • Oil and gas pipelines
  • Water pipelines
  • Sewer pipelines
  • Electrical cables


If your project doesn’t fit any of the above categories, that doesn’t mean HDD isn’t your best option. Because of its versatility, the drilling industry is finding new applications all the time. Our experts can help you decide if it’s right for you.

The advantages of HDD:

  • Uninvasive – HDD allows you to install pipes and other utilities underground without disrupting anything above them on the surface. This is why it’s the most popular method for drilling in urban and suburban areas.

  • Easier to get permits – HDD creates less of a disturbance than the trench method and requires less equipment and people, so getting permits is a simpler process.

    • Cost efficient – For most projects, HDD is also cheaper than alternatives. You need fewer workers, less fuel, and fewer pieces of equipment. Additionally, there are little to no costs involved with restoring the surface after installation.

  • Faster Horizontal drilling is more efficient, so the process is faster. You also don’t have to spend time restoring the surface afterward. Because the pipeline is deeper than with the trench method, you’re also less likely to have to fix it or do maintenance.

What are the best soil types for HDD?

Soil type plays a large role in the success of horizontal directional drilling. Soft soils do best, including clay and sand. However, if soil is too soft, this can make steering the equipment more difficult and increase risk of hydraulic fracturing.


Hard rock can work well too, but it takes longer and needs heavier-duty equipment. Soil with a lot of cobbled rock or gravel, however, can make your equipment more difficult to steer and more unstable. This increases your risk of drilling fluid return.


Choosing the best HDD drill bit for the job

Finding the right HDD drill bit can be intimidating. There are a ton of different kinds, including PDC bits, milled tooth, TCI roller cone bits, drag and shear type bits, and point attack bits. Each of these bit types has its own IADC code and set of attributes that can get more detailed than you’ll likely need them to.


Choosing the right bit is typically a four part process:

  • Collect information about drill site – Start by doing an on site survey. Contact local authorities, water well drillers, construction companies, and anyone else who might be important and able to give you the information you need. The more you know, the more confidence you can have in your decision.

  1. Identify soil category – Take samples of the soil and analyze its materials. The texture and hardness will help inform what the right drill bit for the project will be.

  2. Choose a drill bit based on category – HDD bits go from softer to harder in descending order. If you need help figuring out what the right bit is for your project and soil type, our team can help you analyze your information and find the perfect bit.

  3. Adjust your bit as needed – You may find through the drilling process that soil type is inconsistent or other issues exist you need to adjust for. Analyzing return characteristics can help you know what adjustments might be needed.


OK Bit has the Horizontal Directional Drill Bits you need

If you’ve decided HDD is the right drilling method for your project, OK Bit can supply you with whatever bits you need to get the job done. If you aren’t sure if HDD drilling is the best choice or if you need help choosing a specific bit, our expert staff will be happy to help. Contact us today.

Tricone Drill Bit Vs. PDC Bit: Which is Right For You?

If you work in the oil and gas industry, it’s vitally important to always choose the right drill bit for the job. A poor choice might reduce your efficiency, but it also might have disastrous consequences that will end up costing you far more than the bit itself.


Two of the most popular choices for industrial drilling today are the tricone drill bit and the PDC bit. Both of these options have their pros and cons, so the right choice comes down to your operation’s unique needs. Let’s explore the strengths and weaknesses of these two options so you can help make the best decision.


If you need a tricone bit, a PDC bit, or any other type of industrial drill bit, contact OK Bit today. We’ll let you know if we have what you need in stock. If you aren’t sure what you need, our experts will be able to guide you.

Tricone Drill Bits

Tricone bits were invented in the early 1930s by Hughes engineer Ralph Neuhaus, and in the near century since, they’ve become a mainstay of all types of industrial drilling operations. Tricone bits are named for their three moving roller cones which require lubricated bearings. 


They’ve been tested time and time again, and many professionals consistently find them to be the best options for a wide variety of operations. To support this, engineers have repeatedly improved the design as technology evolved to allow for the addition of innovations like tungsten carbide inserts and sealed journal bearings.


Although rival PDC bits excel in many rock formations, tricone bits are still the best choice for drilling projects involving gravel, limestone, dolomite, and most other formations that aren’t homogenous, consolidated rock.


Issues can arise with tricone bits when they are worn out prematurely. This can happen when the bit is over-rotated. When you buy a bit from us, we’ll always advise you on ways to extend its life as long as possible. While tricone bits are less expensive than PDC bits, that won’t mean much if you have to replace them far more often.


Tricone bits work well in both soft and hard formations, but it’s important to choose the right tricone bit based on PSI. Overall, tricone bits can handle a range of 4,000-40,000 PSI. Since this is a massive scale, you can use this as a quick reference:


  • Soft formation tricone bits: 4,000-8,000 PSI
  • Medium soft formation tricone bits: 8,000-15,000 PSI
  • Medium hard formation tricone bits: 15,000-25,000 PSI
  • Hard formation tricone bits: 25,000-40,000 PSI


Pros of Tricone Bits

  • Extremely versatile
  • Good for both soft and hard rock formations
  • High impact resistance
  • More control
  • Low-cost initial investment
  • Time-tested

Cons of Tricone Bits

  • Shorter lifespan
  • Slower than PDC bits
  • Can lose parts in boreholes
  • Require lubrication

PDC Bits

Polycrystalline diamond compact bits have existed since the early 1970s, but they’ve only recently gained traction for water well and HDD purposes. This delay was mostly for financial reasons. While they started out as prohibitively expensive for most drillers, they’ve slowly become more and more affordable for operations of all sizes. Now they’re some of the most widely used bits in the world.


The most notable difference between the PDC bit and tricone bit is that the PDC bit has no moving parts.  PDC bits use fixed heads, and they’re made through a combination of tungsten carbide and artificial diamonds fused under pressure and heat. There are a few different body styles, but the “bullet head” variation is most common. PDC bits are generally faster than tricone bits, and they come in two types: matrix-body and steel-body. Matrix body bits are a little more expensive, but they are often more durable and require less maintenance.


One benefit of PDC bits is their ability to excel in soft rock. Most rock drill bits, including tricone bits, are designed to work well on hard rock, but they often suffer when applied to very soft formations. In general, PDC bits can work well in rock with a PSI between 2,000 and 30,000. Depending on your hardness, you’ll likely find that different amounts of blades are ideal. There’s some variation, but this can act as a quick reference guide:


  • Three blades: 2,000-8,000 PSI
  • Four blades: 6,000-11,000 PSI
  • Five blades: 8,000 to 20,000 PSI


Pros of PDC bits

  • Fast and safe
  • PDC bits have a long lifespan, so even if they cost more upfront, they may be the cheaper option in the long run. For this reason, they’re often the better choice for large-scale operations.
  • Because they have no moving parts, it isn’t possible to lose parts in the borehole during an operation. The same can’t be said of tricone bits.
  • PDC bits can achieve a higher rate of penetration than tricone bits under the right circumstances, lowering the overall cost per foot.
  • They work well in both soft and hard rock formations.


Cons of PDC bits

  • Cutter can break in high impact formations
  • Don’t work as well as tricone bits for very hard rocks


O-K Bit has the drill bits you need

Ready to order the bit you need? Feeling lost? Either way, we can help. Contact OK Bit today. We’ll let you know if we have what you need in stock. We can also customize drill bits for your operation. If you aren’t sure what you need, our experts are always happy to help.