A rotary drill bit for use in drilling holes in subsurface formations comprises a bit body having a leading face and a gauge region, a number of blades formed on the leading face of the bit and extending outwardly away from the axis of the bit so as to define between the blades a number of fluid channels leading towards the gauge region, a number of cutting elements mounted side-by-side along each blade, and a number of nozzles in the bit body for supplying drilling fluid to the fluid channels for cleaning and cooling the cutting elements. In at least one of the fluid channels, adjacent the gauge region, is an opening into an enclosed passage which passes internally through the bit body to an outlet which, in use, communicates with the annulus between the drill string and the wall of the borehole being drilled. The portion of the gauge region outwardly of the opening comprises a bearing surface which, in use bears against the wall of the bore hole and extends across the width of the channel.
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