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The commonly recommended method for stopping a drill bit at a marked depth is to wrap it with tape. While this works most of the time, the tape can slip, and if it doesn’t it winds up looking pretty ragged by the time you’re done with the fourth hole.  I’m tempted to try one of these adjustable bit stops if for no other reason than its tape-goo-free operation — I’m a cheapskate at heart, but the only thing I hate more than spending cash is cleaning tools.

The stop, which also functions as a bump stop, wraps around standard 1/16″ to 1/2″ drill bits and holds tight to the bit with a quick twist.  Constructed from nylon plastic, the drill stop will run you $6 from Woodcraft.

Adjustable Bit Stop [Woodcraft]
Street Pricing [Google]


9 Responses to Adjustable Bit Stop

  1. Pete says:

    I’ve had a version of this item for years. The one I have doesn’t grip the bit very tightly, so I’m always in danger of drilling deeper than I wanted. Maybe the Woodcraft version is better…

  2. fred says:

    I agree with Pete – these are junk – no better than a piece of tape on the drill bit

  3. rjerryc says:

    I saw a similar device but cannot recall where – it had a big difference thoug – it had “fins” around the end closest to the work which would create a small fan to blow away the shavings. Of course, that’s why I always left a tab of tape sticking out when I used the tape method. As others will say – the tape is a sticky mess to remove.

  4. gjc says:

    imho, these are better


    they’re the standard in the aerospace industry

  5. ShopMonger says:

    Blue tape ……………………..yes with a tab to fan

  6. Tim B. says:

    Agree with gjc — those ones are nice, though obviously not as easy to ‘set’ unless you keep the small allen key floating around. Spring-loaded is good, because with aerospace, you are often talking about drilling many many holes, repeatedly. Also small enough that you can still use a typical cup-type drill guide (which the one in the main post would NOT be).

    My second-favorite is the Harbour Freight variety, which is sold in 7-packs, and is the same as the ones linked by gjc — but without the spring mechanism. For what I do in the shop and around the house… more than sufficient (and the price is right! at their cost, I can afford to keep a few drill bits of the same type with different depths setup for more repetitive projects):


  7. Rob Retter says:

    As some people have mentioned above, these red plastic ones are total junk. I tried them and found they move all over the place and cannot be tightened such that movement doesn”t happen. Complete crap.

    As for the metal ones (with cute springs) linked above, it seems to me that the real issue is one of quality of materials (appropriate grade of steel) used in in both the set screws and the collars. Most of these things on the market (Hi, Harbor Freight!) are made of metal not much better than the plastic. Anyone know of any *quality* units out there? Are the springy ones linked above examples of quality units?

  8. fred says:

    The problem with the Harbor Freight variety (and others like them too) is that the collar marks the wood.

    I’ve seen nylon-faced collars that purportedly do not do this:


    But I still vote for blue painter’s tape

  9. fred says:

    @ Rob Retter

    Lee valley and others sell split – collars that they claim are better at holding onto the bit.


    Blue painter’s tape seems easier!

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