Avoiding Drilling Mistakes: Top Tips and Safety Guidelines

When it comes to drilling, precision is vital. A seemingly small mistake can lead to costly errors and safety hazards. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned pro, understanding and avoiding common drilling mistakes is essential. 

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most frequent drilling blunders and provide actionable solutions and proper drilling techniques to ensure your drilling projects are accurate and safe.

Common Drilling Mistakes

 

  1. Selecting the Wrong Drill Bit: Using the right drill bit is paramount. Choosing the wrong one can result in inefficient drilling, overheating, and damaged materials. This happens more often than you think. Ensure you match the bit type to the material you’re drilling.
  2. Inadequate Hole Preparation: Skipping the crucial step of marking the drilling spot and using a center punch can lead to off-center holes or wandering drill bits. Take the time to mark and prepare the drilling area properly to avoid hole drilling problems.
  3. Incorrect Drill Speed: Running your drill at the wrong speed can cause overheating or ineffective drilling. Consult your drill manual and check the material you’re working on to determine the correct speed setting. Mastering drill speed control will make your job much easier.
  4. Insufficient Clamping or Securing: Failing to secure your workpiece can result in dangerous kickbacks or workpiece movement. Always secure the material firmly in place before drilling.
  5. Lack of Drill Depth Control: Drilling too deep or not deep enough can be a significant mistake. Use depth stops or tape to mark the desired depth on the drill bit to avoid overshooting.

 

Drilling Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes

 

  1. Select the Right Drill Bit

Drill bit selection is how you avoid stripped equipment and will ensure each job is done quickly and efficiently. Match the bit material (wood, metal, masonry) with your project. Choose the appropriate bit size for the hole you need to get the most drill accuracy.

 

  1. Prepare Your Workspace

Mark your drilling spot accurately. Use a center punch to create a small dimple for the drill bit to sit in. There is no reason to guess. This small and simple step will help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes and headaches.

 

  1. Adjust Drill Speed

Consult your drill manual or use trial and error to find the right speed. Start at a slower speed and gradually increase if needed. Don’t start at a high speed as this can pose a safety hazard and could ruin your work.

 

  1. Secure Your Workspace

Use clamps or vices to hold your material securely in place. Ensure it doesn’t move during drilling to prevent accidents. Safety in drilling projects should always be the first priority.

 

  1. Control Drilling Depth

Use depth stops on your drill, or mark the desired depth on the bit with tape. The key to drilling straight holes is to periodically check the depth as you drill to avoid going too deep.

 

In addition to the specific drilling tips mentioned above, there are a few more general practices that can help you avoid drilling mistakes and ensure a smooth and efficient drilling experience.

 

  1. Practice Regular Drill Maintenance

Keep your drill well-maintained by cleaning it after each use and inspecting it for any damaged or worn-out parts. Replace worn drill bits or components promptly to maintain the tool’s performance.

 

  1. Use Patience and Precision

Rushing through a drilling job often leads to mistakes. Take your time to set up your workspace, measure and mark accurately, and make controlled, steady movements during drilling.

 

  1. Learn from Your Mistakes

Don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes initially. Learning from your errors is an essential part of becoming proficient. Analyze what went wrong and adjust your approach for future projects.

 

  1. Seek Expert Advice

If you’re unsure about a particular drilling task or are using a new type of material, don’t hesitate to seek advice from experienced professionals, online tutorials, or community forums. Learning from others’ experiences can be invaluable.

 

  1. Invest in Quality Tools

High-quality drills and drill bits may cost more initially but can save you time, effort, and frustration in the long run. They tend to last longer and perform more reliably. No matter the brand or price, always be sure to maintain proper drill bit care to increase tool life and safety during projects.

 

  1. Plan Your Project Thoroughly

Before you start drilling, have a clear plan in mind. Consider factors such as hole placement, depth, and the overall design of your project. Proper planning can prevent many common drilling mistakes.

 

  1. Know the Drill: Stay Up to Date

Stay informed about new drilling technologies, techniques, and safety standards. Industry advancements may offer better solutions and tools for your projects.

Drill Safety Guidelines

 

Safety should always be a top priority when drilling:

  • Wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and a dust mask if needed.
  • Keep your hands away from the drilling area and use a clamp or vice to hold materials securely.
  • Unplug the drill when changing bits or making adjustments to avoid accidental starts.
  • Dispose of used drill bits properly, as they can be sharp and hazardous.
  • Store your drill in a dry, cool place to prevent damage and maintain its functionality.

By following these proper drilling techniques, drilling tips, and safety guidelines, you can avoid common drilling mistakes and ensure your projects are successful and safe. Remember, precision and safety go hand in hand when it comes to drilling, so take your time, use the right tools, and always prioritize your well-being and that of others around you.

In summary, avoiding common drilling mistakes and ensuring safety during your drilling projects involves a combination of proper equipment, careful preparation, adherence to safety guidelines, and a commitment to precision. By following these drilling tips, safety guidelines, and best practices, you’ll achieve better results and enjoy a safer and more rewarding drilling experience. Practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills with each project you undertake. This is not a drill! These are DIY drilling tips and safety guides.

If you need a specific drill bit, a new drill set, or expert advice on what tools to use for your next project, contact O-K Bit today. We know the drill.

Why Beginners Fall Short: The Importance of Experience in the Drill Bit Industry

The drill bit industry is one that relies heavily on experience. From the design and manufacture of the bits to their application in the field, experience is a critical factor that can make the difference between success and failure. It’s necessary to understand the ins and outs of different drilling environments and the unique challenges they present. Experienced professionals are better equipped to anticipate problems and develop solutions quickly and efficiently, saving time and money for their clients. 

 

Whether it’s navigating complex problems or building relationships with important clients, seasoned professionals have had the opportunity to face a wide range of situations and overcome various challenges. Additionally, experienced drill bit professionals can provide valuable insights on how to optimize drilling operations for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, the importance of experience in the drill bit industry cannot be overstated, as it is essential for delivering results and providing value to customers. 

 

With 50 years and three generations working in the family business, the experienced professionals at O-K Bit have a proven track record of success and are ready to assist you with your drill bit needs. Having been a part of this industry for half of a century, we have seen or heard just about everything drill bit-related.

Expert Product Guidance

Knowledge of What Will and Won’t Work

Knowing what drill bits will and won’t work is crucial for any project. Choosing the wrong drill bit can result in frustration, wasted time, and even damage. By understanding the right drill bits for the job, you can ensure that your project is completed efficiently and effectively. This type of knowledge is gained through years of experience working in the field. Whether you’ve got a large project or a smaller task at hand, being able to rely on the expertise of your drill bit sales team to guide you in determining your needs will set you up for success and save you time and money in the long run.

Experience in Multiple Types of Projects 

Over years of being in business, a drill bit retailer gains crucial experience in many types of land drilling projects. Jobs are diverse in nature and require different materials depending on the types of formations to be drilled into. An experienced drill bit salesman has effectively handled the needs of various kinds of tasks, including vertical, directional, and horizontal drilling, and can ensure the recommended equipment will lead to efficient and safe drilling operations.

Knowing What Drilling Products and Tools Are Best

Experience is the key to unlocking the knowledge of what drilling products and tools will be best for different kinds of jobs. The more years of experience a drill bit company has, the more understanding they have of the type of project at hand and the equipment required to get the job done efficiently. Experienced drill bit manufacturers have likely helped solve a variety of drilling challenges and have learned what tools and products perform best in different scenarios. With experience also comes the ability to identify potential issues before they occur and the expertise to suggest adjustments. It’s clear that when it comes to the drilling industry, experienced vendors are truly invaluable.

Re-run Drill Bit Considerations

An experienced professional can guide you to understand if a re-run drill bit would save money or not be a good fit. This is because they have a deep knowledge of the factors that affect drill bit performance, such as the type of material being drilled, the size of the hole needed, and the type of drill being used. Factors such as these can impact the usability of a re-run drill bit and may require a new bit altogether. An experienced professional can analyze all these factors and advise you accordingly, ensuring that you make the best decision for your project and your budget. Working with a professional can ultimately save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

 

If you do conclude that you want to utilize a re-run drill bit in your project, an experienced manufacturer and retailer of used bits will be your best bet to find a quality one. O-K Bit has been in the bit business for 50 years and has built up an impressive inventory of all kinds of re-run bits, on-site and ready to be picked up, delivered, or shipped.

Custom Fabrication

Having a lot of experience in the drill bit industry can equip a company with the ability to custom fabricate something if it isn’t already available on the market. This is particularly crucial because drilling is an industry where unique and specialized equipment is sometimes necessary. In such situations, relying on prefabricated products might not only be more expensive but might not even work suitably. When fabricating a custom product, the manufacturer can control the raw materials, design, and the entire process required for producing the equipment. Therefore, custom fabrication ensures that the final product is not only better suited for the intended use but is also long-lasting, functional, and efficient. This way, businesses can be assured of having equipment that is tailored to their client’s specific needs.

Knowledgeable Team

Part of having years of experience in this industry is a knowledgeable staff who can tell you what you need even if you don’t know. By working with a team that knows what they’re talking about, you can trust that they will guide you through the sometimes complex process of finding the right product or service for your needs. From product suggestions to troubleshooting, a well-trained team can help you make informed decisions that lead to a successful outcome. When you work with experienced professionals, you’ll be in good hands because they have seen it all and know what works best. So, you can lean on their expertise and let them help you choose the correct drill bit for your project.

Industry Connections

Another benefit of choosing an experienced team to work with is that they will usually have multiple connections in the industry for other parts of the project if you need other vendors. For instance, if you need more than just drill bits to get your project underway or keep it on track, an experienced team will be able to provide you with recommendations for the other vendors. They could also have access to trusted resources that can help you source high-quality materials and work with you to attain the best possible price for them. This kind of connection is important because it means quality and timely delivery from both your main vendor and sub-vendors, which will, in turn, strengthen your business’s reputation.

Reputation

Years of experience often lead to a proven, trusted track record in the industry. As a drill bit manufacturer, your reputation is everything. It’s vital that you maintain a positive reputation within the industry to establish your brand as a reliable and trustworthy source of quality drill bits. Customers need to know that they can trust your products to perform as promised every time. A negative reputation can quickly destroy your company’s credibility and put you out of business. Maintaining a positive reputation requires a commitment to delivering high-quality products consistently and standing behind your brand with exceptional customer service. Customers who trust your drill bits will become loyal, repeat customers. And as they share their positive experiences with others, your reputation will continue to grow, leading to new business opportunities and revenue growth. Reputation is key to the success of a drill bit manufacturer.

 

O-K Bit is proud to have built our business solely by word of mouth until recently. That speaks volumes for our inventory, experience, knowledge, price, and dedication to serving our customers no matter what type of drilling they are doing.

Choosing an Experienced Drill Bit Retailer

By choosing a retailer with years of expertise and a keen eye for quality products, you can trust that you will receive the best advice and recommendations for your specific drilling needs. Whether you have a small or large drilling job, you will save time, money, and frustration by going with a drill bit shop that has a proven track record and a wealth of knowledge.

Here at O-K Bit, we think the 50 years we have been in business is the greatest testament to our professionalism and reliability in the drill bit and drilling industry in Oklahoma, Arizona, and beyond. When you reach out to us about your drilling project, you will be met with a friendly, knowledgeable person who is ready to assist you. If you’ve got a challenging problem, we will draw on our decades of experience between us to help you find a solution to your drilling needs, whatever they may be. Make the right choice in bit retailers the first time and every time.

Water Well Drilling: What Bit Type Do I Need?

If you’re familiar with drilling at all, you know it’s all about the geology. It’s no different when drilling for water wells. Rock formation type, depth of the overburden, bedrock and the aquifer all play a role in how you determine the method of drilling and which equipment and drill bits you need. You might need roller cone bits, step drag bits, claw bits, chevron bits or PDC bits for water well drilling, but it’s dependent on the application. 

 

If you already know what type of bit you need, contact our team to make an order. O-K Bit is the world’s largest supplier of rerun bits, and we’re happy to provide you with whichever bits you’re looking for. 

 

Types of Water Wells

While you are probably interested in information about how water wells are drilled and what bits you may need, it’s important to note that drilled wells are not the only type of water wells. 

 

There are three primary types of water wells: drilled wells, dug wells and driven wells. Each has its own unique characteristics. 

 

  • Drilled Wells – Drilled water wells utilize a drilling rig and drill bits to bore into the earth. The bit rotates clockwise to create the borehole. As the bit breaks up the soil and rock beneath, the wells are drilled deep into the ground (often between 100 and 500 feet). 
  • Dug Wells – Dug wells are water wells that are created by digging a hole in the ground and lining the walls of the hole with brick, tile or stone. The hole is drilled to a level below the water table so that the water comes into the hole and can be bailed out. 
  • Driven Wells – These wells are made by driving pipe into the ground. Driven wells are relatively shallow (30 to 50 feet deep) and, therefore, they draw in water that is in aquifers close to the surface.  

 

All three types of wells penetrate below the water table into the aquifer below (although to different depths). The water from the aquifer is then pumped or bailed out through the well. However, driven wells and dug wells are more likely to be contaminated because they draw water from shallower depths which are more likely to have bacteria or contamination.  

 

How are water wells drilled?

Drilling water wells is a process that involves many steps. The lengthy process is valuable though because, if done correctly, a water well can provide water for a hundred years or longer. The process also helps drillers ensure they are equipped with the right tools and drill bits for successfully drilling the well. 

Steps for drilling a water well: 

  • Identify the desired location – Before beginning the process, it’s important to identify the well’s location and ensure an adequate supply of groundwater. If there is not an adequate water supply or the correct directional flow of water, you may need to select a different site. 
  • Evaluate the site of the well – evaluating the site is an important step for determining the desired depth of the well, understanding the rock formations present and selecting the equipment needed for the well. This includes choosing the correct drill bits for your water well drilling site. 
  • Drilling the well – drilling the well will involve setting up the drilling rig, drilling the borehole and installing the casing and screen. 
  • Pumping and evaluating – after the drilling, the pumped yield of the well will be evaluated and then developed. For most wells, there will be fine materials (minerals and sediment) that need to be removed so the water more effectively moves into the well.
  • Testing and disinfecting – The water will then be tested for quantity and quality. The well will be disinfected. After the water well is successfully drilled, it will be capped (for sanitary protection) until it can be connected to the customer’s system. 

 

Bits Used for Water Well Drilling 

A wide variety of drill bits are used for water well drilling. The rock formations of the drilling site will determine which bits are needed, but the O-K Bit team is equipped with whichever water well drill bits you need. 

 

The following bits are commonly used for water well drilling: 

  • Step Drag Bits 
  • Roller Cone Bits 
  • PDC Bits 
  • Claw Bits 
  • Reamer Bits 

Step Drag Bits 

Step drag bits are commonly used for drilling pilot holes. They are useful in this application because their cuttings are easiest to log and they are able to drill quickly. They are durable and hard, which means they have the longevity that many other bit types lack. Step bits are also used in sand, clay and other medium-hard rock formations throughout the drilling process. You should avoid using step bits in hard or coarse gravel rock formations because they will not be able to shear effectively. 

Roller Cone Bits 

Roller cone bits are identifiable by their rolling cone inserts. These cutting structures are useful for drilling through tough soil and rock. The tungsten carbide inserts are durable and self-cleaning, so as they crush and chip hard rock formations they remain productive. These bits are used at lower penetration rates, but they are especially effective at breaking up hard rock. 

PDC Bits (Polycrystalline Diamond Compact Bits) 

You may use a PDC bit for a water well drilling application if you hope to drill very precisely in soft to medium rock formations. These bits utilize a synthetic diamond compound on the cutters to create a highly durable and productive cutting structure on the bit. PDC bits are able to achieve high penetration rates while in use. 

Claw Bits

If your water well drilling site has a high volume of clay, a claw bit may be useful as you drill your water well. A claw bit is designed to use its uniquely shaped fingers to dig into and loosen hard clay that otherwise would be difficult to bore through. These bits are highly durable and the cutting structures (the fingers) can be replaced when worn. 

Reamer Bits 

Finally, reamer bits are often used in water well drilling to widen the borehole and keep the hole straight. The cutting surfaces of these bits are attached below drill pipe which then aids in keeping the hole straight and prevents bits from becoming gummed up with clay. Most commonly, reamer bits are used in sandy soils or clay formations. 

Well Drilling Methods

There are a wide variety of well drilling methods and techniques. The best approach will likely depend on the unique conditions of your drilling site. A few of these methods are: 

  • Down the Hole Drilling 
  • Air Rotary Drilling 
  • Bucket Auger Drilling 
  • Cable Tool Drilling 
  • Reverse Circulation Drilling 
  • Mud Rotary Drilling 

Regardless of the method or location of your water well drilling, O-K Bit is here to help you select the best new and rerun bits for the job. Contact our team today to order the supplies you need for water well drilling.

What Drag Bit Do I Need? Chevron Vs. Step

Drag bits are used for drilling across a wide variety of industries – from mining, water well, and geothermal drilling to natural gas and oilfield drilling. Because they are used in various environments and applications, drag bits are some of the most popular bits used worldwide. 

There are different varieties of drag bits, but the most common are chevron drag bits and step drag bits. Depending on your formation type and density, the ideal size of the bit and style may vary.  If you’re questioning, “What type of drag bit do I need?” you are in the right place. We’ve outlined chevron bits vs. step bits here, but you can always ask the experts at O-K Bit, too! 

O-K Bit is a leader in providing new and refurbished bits for any type of drilling in nearly any formation. Contact O-K Bit today, and our team of knowledgeable experts can supply the products and information you need. We’re always happy to guide customers to the best bit for their specific drilling project. 

When should I use a drag bit? 

A drag bit is probably your best bet if you are attempting to drill through soft formations like clay, sand, and some very soft rocks. They are designed to work well in soft formations, but if you are drilling in harder or more rocky formations, you might need to explore tricone, PDC, or another bit type. 

Drag bits are often used to drill pilot holes. If you are looking to sample and log a series of cuttings, a drag bit would be helpful to complete this work. Because of the design and cost of drag bits, they can also be more economical for drilling. 

How does a drag bit work? 

Drag bits, including chevron bits and step bits, are most often made of alloy steel, but they can be manufactured using tungsten carbide. Some are solid cast, and others are welded. The construction of tungsten carbide bits makes them more durable. Tungsten carbide bits may serve you better if drilling in a rocky formation or for other specialty purposes. If you’re drilling in sand or clay, an alloy steel bit will probably suffice. The cutting structures vary on chevron drag bits and step drag bits. Still, both designs feature a central opening with radial cutting structures or wings. 

To understand how drag bits work, imagine you’re drilling a small pilot hole in a wall with a tiny household drill bit. After it’s drilled, that pilot hole can then be used as a guide for a larger bit to bore through. Drag bits work in the same way; the tip of the bit essentially creates a pilot hole for the rest of the cutting structure to shear and expand the hole. Drag bits do not have the fastest rotation or rate of penetration (ROP), but they are effective and can be very precise. 

Another benefit of drag bits is the simplicity of design and lack of rotating parts. While roller bits or others may become stuck in soft formations, drag bits often drill more efficiently and require less maintenance. 

Step Drag Bits 

Step drag bits are one common type of drag bit and one of the most common bit types used worldwide. As the name indicates, the cutting structures of these bits feature a stair-stepped design. They are pointed at the top, stairstep down, and become wider at the base of the bit. Step-type drag bits can have three or four wings. Four-wing bits are typically more durable and longer lasting. You’ll also find them more precise and able to drill a straighter hole. Three-wing step drag bits tend to drill faster but with less precision.  The number of steps usually depends on the size of the bit. 

Uses for Step Drag Bits 

  • Drilling in sand, clay, shale, limestone, and some gravel 
  • Sampling and logging cuttings – because the design provides larger cuttings 
  • Drilling efficiently – step drag bits can maintain rotary table speeds of 60 to 80 rpm 
  • Drilling for water wells, mining, geothermal, environmental, and exploration drilling

Chevron Drag Bits

Chevron drag bits are the other typical style of drag bits. Three or four wings create the cutting structure of chevron bits in a radial formation. Each wing is pointed at the tip and widens towards the base. Each wing forms its own chevron shape, as the name indicates. Like step drag bits, chevron bits can have three or four wings. The tips of the wings are often made of tungsten carbide or another highly-durable material to strengthen the bit and attack difficult rock formations. 

Generally, chevron bits are more durable than step drag bits and can successfully drill in more rocky and abrasive formations. Another feature of the chevron bit is its ability to drill through plugs and concrete casings. If you get stuck in a jam, the chevron bit can probably bail you out – it really is a robust and vigorous bit that can be used almost anywhere. You’ll find using a chevron bit requires more pressure on the bit, and the drilling process may be a little slower than a step bit. 

Uses of Chevron Drag Bits 

  • Drilling in both soft and medium formations, including shale, sandstone, limestone, other rock formations, casings, and concrete 
  • Drilling slowly in harder formations and maintaining a consistent borehole – 50 to 60 rpm is typical 
  • Drilling for water wells, mining, geothermal, environmental, and exploration drilling

So, What Kind of Drag Bit Do I Need?

Without understanding the geology and environment in which you are drilling, it’s hard to say exactly which type of drag bit you need. There are a few things you can consider to help determine which drag bit is best, though. Is your rock formation soft and porous (step bits), or is it a medium to hard formation (chevron bits)? Do you prefer to cut through the rock very quickly (step bits), or slowly and steadily (chevron bits)? Do you need to collect cutting samples to log (step bits)? 

After learning more about step drag bits and chevron drag bits, the answer may be pretty clear-cut. If it’s not, that’s okay. Choosing the right bit can make all the difference to the cost, efficiency, and success of your drilling project. We understand you want to make the right decision. O-K Bit is ready to help. Our team is the world’s largest retailer of refurbished bits in the world, and we really do know our stuff.  Contact us today to get started.

Your Guide to DTH Drilling

Pneumatic tools have been used to drill through rock since the 19th century. Back then, drillers would suspend themselves from a rope over a quarry face to put a drill from the right position and use small diameter holes. The process was inefficient and dangerous. It could send rocks flying and the accuracy was subject as much to luck as it was skill. After a while, drilling crews started carrying jackhammers on masts, beautiful boreholes were misaligned, the explosives that followed could be even more dangerous.

Thankfully, we live in the modern era, where down the hole (DTH) drilling has become one of the most efficient and safest methods since its invention in the mid 1950s. Let’s explore what DTH drilling is, why it’s such a successful technique, and how it might be the perfect process for your drilling operation.

What is DTH Drilling and how does it work?

DTH drilling is a drilling method that’s used to crush rock by using a drilling hammer to hit hard rock repeatedly. DTH drills are pneumatic tools that provide power by driving compressed air into a piston inside the hammer. This type of drilling has made it much easier to drill wells quickly and efficiently by allowing contractors to switch from dirt boring to rock boring simply by adding a compressor and hammer to a drill bit.

Before DTH became a widespread drilling technique, contractors would desert a dirt bore project after encountering hard rock, leaving it to a different set of drillers to continue. With DTH drilling, the same drilling team can work through multiple materials.

At its most basic level, DTH drilling involves attaching a drilling hammer to the bottom of a drill string. Small, percussive hammers are placed above the drill bit, allowing drill pipes to exert a feed force necessary to rotate the hammer and bit together with fluid (usually air, water, or mud). This actuates the hammer and flushes the cutting. Drill pipes are then added to the drill string as the hole gets deeper.

Because the air-powered piston strikes the bit directly, energy is transferred down the hole, minimizing any lost energy. This allows drilling to greater depths.

DTH Drilling is most often used in the mining industry, where blast hole drilling is necessary for projects like water well drilling, building construction, and oil and gas processes.

Types of DTH Drilling Hammers

DTH hammers are fully fluid actuated. There are two primary parts: a valve which controls the flow and a piston that strikes the impact surface. The hammer body allows for stable, straight guidance of the bit. There are three types of hammers that depend on the actuation fluid:

  • Air hammers – These are typically limited to shallow holes of less than 200 meters.
  • Water hammers – These require a lost water flow of between 55 and 744 L/min depending on hammer size to actuate the hammer. These allow for better borehole control and greater depth than air hammers.
  • Drilling mud hammers –  These are the newest types of drilling hammers, but they’ve shown a lot of promise so far. They’re able to drill on every existing drilling rig by using classical mud composition. They are fantastic choices for drilling into hard rock in geothermal projects due to their ability to drill extremely deep.

What are the benefits of DTH drilling?

DTH drilling is extremely effective, which is why we’ve been using it for the past seven decades. Some of the major benefits include:

  • The use of air is extremely efficient. You don’t have to buy, source, treat, or transport it for use.
  • DTH systems are simple to adapt to most directional drills, and it doesn’t take long.
  • Very little rotational torque is required to cut rock that will allow the hammer to drill straight.
  • The same drill can be used to drill through both dirt and rock.
  • There isn’t as much wear and tear on a drill bit since the hammer is doing most of the work.
  • There is a smaller carbon footprint than other techniques due to the use of less drilling mud and additives that need to be disposed of.
  • It can be used more often in cities because it produces less noise and vibrations than alternatives. 
  • Fewer amounts of additives and drilling fluids are required than for alternatives.
  • The rate of penetrations is up to five times greater than rotary drilling techniques.

OK Bit has the DTH Drill Bits you need

If you’ve decided DTH 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 DTH drilling is the best choice or if you need help choosing a specific hammer or bit, our expert staff will be happy to help. Contact us today.

a geothermal energy site

Geothermal Drilling and Energy: A Simple Guide

When it comes to drilling for energy sources, efficiency is the name of the game. The less energy you use to access more energy sources, the more efficient the system. This is beneficial for both financial and ecological reasons. It costs money to use energy, and wasted energy releases greenhouse gasses that pollute the planet. But what if you could harness energy that already exists beneath the surface of the planet? Geothermal energy aims to do just that. Let’s discuss the geothermal drilling process as well as its benefits.

What is Geothermal Drilling?

Geothermal energy is the heat produced deep beneath Earth’s surface in the core. It’s created naturally through geological processes. This energy exists whether we use it or not, and even if we do, it renews as geological processes continue. The only challenge is accessing it. The most useful stash of energy exists between two and twelve miles under the surface, so special drilling technology is required to reach it.

 

Geothermal energy isn’t new, but it’s been increasing in popularity in recent years. This is especially true in Iceland, which transformed itself over the 20th century in large part by pioneering geothermal drilling. Now, 66% of the country’s primary energy use is derived from geothermal sources. Other countries are quickly catching up. As of 2021, it accounted for only .4% of energy in the USA, but that number is increasing quickly. Many see it as a method of the future.

How Does Geothermal Energy Work?

Geothermal well drilling varies in its methods. While some wells only need to be a few hundred feet deep, some reach depths spanning several miles. The most common method for extraction, often called conventional geothermal drilling, uses hot pressurized water near the surface to produce energy. Drillers pump the water up, extract its heat, then reinject the cooled water. Unfortunately, this method only works in areas with underground pools of hot, pressurized water, and these can be hard to find. Iceland’s success is largely due to an abundance of these pools

 

However, there is a newer, more practical extraction method called enhanced geothermal drilling. In this process, wells extract energy from non-porous rocks. Drillers inject water into a well, force it through fractures in hot rock, and pump it out of another well to extract the heat. There are still some engineering-related problems to overcome, but it’s widely considered to be the future of geothermal drilling.

 

What are the Benefits of Geothermal Energy?

 

  • Environmentally sustainable – Unlike traditional fuel sources like fossil fuels, geothermal energy produces essentially no emissions. Nothing is burned, and there isn’t a finite amount of its source. Sure, there’s still a small amount of greenhouse gas production, but it pales in comparison to burning fossil fuels.

  • Highly efficient – Geothermal pump systems use 25-50% less electricity than conventional HVAC systems when heating and cooling.

  • Fully renewable and reliable – Geothermal energy is fully renewable thanks to naturally occurring geological processes, but it’s also exceptionally reliable. Unlike other renewable energy sources like biomass, solar, or wind, geothermal energy isn’t dependent on any external circumstances. It’s available at all times, during any sort of weather or any time of year.
  • Maintenance-free (mostly) Because there are so few movable parts in a geothermal system, they rarely malfunction or break. Pumps usually last for more than twenty years, and the pipes can last for more than fifty years.

 

The Future of Geothermal Drilling

Geothermal technology is getting cheaper as technology advances. In the last forty years, the cost of running a geothermal power plant has declined by nearly 50%.  As of right now, only about 10% of the Earth’s surface is fit for power production, but as enhanced geothermal drilling becomes more widely available, this will continue to make geothermal energy more accessible and affordable. 

 

The potential is incredible. The amount of heat that exists within 10,000 meters of Earth’s surface contains a mind-boggling 50,000 times more energy than all oil and natural gas resources in the world, combined. It’s waiting to be used. By investing in geothermal energy now, you can be a part of a cleaner, more affordable, more renewable, and more reliable energy source than traditional fossil fuels.

Is Geothermal Energy Right for Your Project?

Whether you’re an industrial driller looking to improve or replace your bits or a DIY enthusiast looking to create a geothermal well for your home, OK Bit has the drill bits you need. If you have questions about your specific project or about geothermal drilling as a whole, our experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.  Contact us today to get started.

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Welcome To Our New Site

 

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new website.