Learning, Drilling,

What Can I Use Instead of 7/32 Drill Bit?  

Numbered drill bit gauge sizes vary from 80 (the smallest) to 1 in ascending order. Therefore, drill bit #16 in your regular drill set is on the larger side. In this article, I will help you find a substitute for your 7 32 drill bit.

Quick Summary: In general, you can use a 3 16 drill bit size instead of your 7 32 drill bit.

I will go into more detail below.

Comparing Drill Bit Sizes in Inches

3/16 Drill Bit

A 3/16 drill bit will produce a larger hole than a #16 drill bit due to rounding, whereas an 11/64 drill bit will produce a smaller hole than a #16 drill bit. To make comparisons easier, I’ve converted the fractions to decimals below:

11/64 equals 0.171875”

3/16 = 0.1875 in.

An inch is made up of 25.4 millimeters (mm). Therefore, you can multiply the decimal inches by 25.4 to convert a #16 drill bit to millimeters as follows:

25.4 x 0.1770” = 4.4958 mm

7/32 Drill Bit

7 32 = 0.21875”

So, instead of a 7 32 drill bit, you can substitute it with a 3 16 drill bit. Besides, most people prefer a 3 16 over a 7 32 drill bit.

Types of Drill Bits

Depending on the substance you’re drilling into, there are many different drill bit types available for several tasks.

Let’s choose a simple multi-purpose set as our example for simplicity’s sake.

Consider a normal 29-piece set as an illustration. The typical fractional sizes would be included in the drill bit table below.

This would typically apply to a wide variety of drill bit types, including masonry (concrete), high-speed steel, carbide, and black oxide, to mention a few.

drill bit size in inches table guide

There are bigger sets.  Specialty fasteners can require a size that would be seen as unusual.

Drill bit sets with more variety would include sizes and diameters as little as 1 16″ and as large as 1-1/2″

Every drill bit size exists between these big small, and large sizes, ensuring that you always have the precise size required for your project.

The typical spade drill bit sizes (13 pieces) are as follows:

screw size x drill bit size table

How Can I Determine What Size Drill Bits I Need?

You need assistance if you’re trying to determine the size of a less typical drill bit.

For this, a card with holes sized for drill bits can be quite useful. You can accomplish a few things with a straightforward plastic drill chart sheet with perfectly rounded holes and markings.

Method 1. First, you can size screws by putting them in a hole and then checking the marking.

Method 2. Drill bits can also be sized by passing them through openings.

This is especially useful if you have trouble reading the bits’ etched size indications.

How to Find Equivalent Bit Sizes and Convert Bit Sizes

732 drill bit size
Video | cfldriven

To convert sizes, you may manually use the drill chart or do the calculations.

Not all drill bit sizes are in North American fractional measurements, which adds a little complexity.

Drill bit sizes are also defined using the metric system.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video Reference


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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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