Choose the Best Drill Bits for Metal
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Drill Bits for Metal
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A drill bit is the cutting tool that makes holes in metal. It forces bits of metal out the back and creates a hole to be able to use.Drill bits are available in both high-speed steel (HSS) and cobalt, which is the best for metal-based on how hard it is. HSS covered bits can be applied with metals that range from mild to stainless steel, while cobalt drill bits should only be used for harder materials like alloy steels or titanium.
Sets of multiple pieces tend to work better than single-size lots because they allow you more flexibility as your needs change over time. This allows users to have a set of just one size if needed but also provides them the chance to add to their collection as their projects grow larger and require different sized holes.
If you’re not sure whether or not your project requires a specific type of drill bit, your best bet is to consult a professional. Most people don’t have the proper equipment or guidance about drilling metal plates and should seek out help before beginning any project that requires it.
Metal is a tough material to work with, and it requires the right drill bit to make your life easier. Which drill bits should you use when drilling through aluminum, steel, brass? Many factors go into picking the proper drill bit for what you’re trying to do. In this guide, a few experts will help you answer these questions and give their recommendations on the best drill bits for metal!
DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set – the Editor’s choice!
The titanium coating not only allows for longer life but also cuts down on any rusting that may form from the drilling process. In addition to its effectiveness with metal, wood, or plastics it will drill into hard surfaces such as concrete and rocks if needed! The speed tip lessens walking time by allowing you to get where you need without compromising quality.
With this DeWalt set, you’ll never have to worry about those pesky drill bits getting lost again. The tough case container will ensure your titanium coating is as sharp as it was from day one with a long-lasting quality that’s tough enough for all the tasks around the home and at work. Plus, these high-quality bits can be used on a variety of materials for even more versatility!
Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium Drill Bit Set – the best for drilling stainless steel!
135-degree split-point geometry offers quick performance and reduced walking on the cutting edge, lessening the wear on your tool. They also offer impact-rated bits matched to 1/4 inch hex impact drivers for drilling holes in ferrous metal (steel), wood (softwood or hardwood), plastic, non-ferrous metals like aluminum or copper, cast iron, and stainless steel materials.
Makita’s impact gold titanium drill bits are quick to start and built for speed! With a 135-degree split point, you’re guaranteed perfect holes every time. The tiN coating improves the bit life by 25% over standard non-coated bits.
DEWALT Cobalt Drill Bit Set – the best for drilling accurate holes!
And best of all, whether you’re working on wood or metal or i-beams, this set also includes a clear lid that will allow you to check the contents at a glance so cutting hours out of your time without plugs possibly tripping up any given user.
The DeWalt bit-bar design helps to remove easily your drill bits and place them quickly as well. The set also has a clip latch for secure closing, and fits inside the exclusive ToughCase+ (sold separately), which gives you ample storage to organize your loose bits on the go.
Using patented technology, the bit-bar design of this DeWalt set lets you easily see and take off any drill bits. The pilot points are used on contact for clean, accurate holes and reduce lock-up on breakthroughs.
Neiko 11402A Stubby Drill Bit Set for Metal – the best for reaching tight spaces!
The short bits in this set will work great with any drill and you’ll never have to worry about them getting stuck. This stubby pack has a 135-degree standard tip design. It offers performance with the quickest penetration against metals and some other hard surfaces.
These small bits are also compatible with 1/4-inch standard or quick-change chucks and drivers for even more versatility! Combine the use of these high-quality bits with your longest drill for those tight spaces that need a little extra help.
These Neiko drill bits will help you work in tight spaces like building frames, plastic valves, and more. With a 135-degree standard tip design, these bits are tough enough to get the job done, even when metal is durable.
Drill America KFD29J-PC 29-Piece Heavy-Duty HSS Drill Bit Set – the best for versatility!
Made with durable high-speed steel and a black and gold oxide finish that resists corrosion yet hardens to wear resistance, it’s no problem because these bits come in an easy-to-carry case so you can take them anywhere!
29 pieces of the durable Drill America set for professionals or anyone looking to get a drilling project done in half the time! They hold up against tough conditions without rust through an oxidation finish that will last long after your tasks are completed. All these quality bits will stay protected in this handy storage case that’s perfect for drilling both indoors and light outdoor work!
The Buyer’s Guide
High-Speed Steel (HSS)
By far the most popular choice for drilling metals. They’re strong, sturdy, and affordable!
HSS drill bits tend to be sharpest when they come right out of the package (so don’t toss them after one use). Because these things dull quickly on metal, keep a few spares handy in case you break or strip one while working.
These are great for drilling through metal. Manufacturers usually coat HSS bits with chromium or titanium to decrease the friction and increase the hardness of the steel, allowing them to cut through tough materials (think of stainless steel) without dulling quickly. Another reason why these types of drills should be used on metals is that they leave a clean hole that’s free from chips, making it easier to thread wire or bolts into them afterward.
The downside of using an uncoated HSS bit on metals would be its tendency to wear down easily due to rust exposure after constant contact with water molecules in the air. This means you will need something else if your application requires high longevity out of your drill bits since even though HSS bits are great, they aren’t the best drill bits for metal.
These are more expensive than HSS ones but also more durable when used on metals. The reason why cobalt drills outlast their high-speed steel counterparts is because of their hardness which allows them to hold an edge longer and last longer while cutting through tough materials.
However, since these bits have a higher percentage of carbon in their makeup compared to HSS ones, it’s important that you only use them with machines that can support its extra weight, or else your motor may burn out very easily if not properly maintained after constant exposure to the tough metals.
Considering that cobalt drill bits are designed for high-performance, they still have their tradeoffs. One of the biggest disadvantages is that it can be a little bit more challenging to use with softer metals like aluminum since its hard composition doesn’t leave room for mistakes when drilling through them as a slight deviation from your intended path could end up ruining your project entirely if you’re not careful enough.
Cobalt steel drills may also cause some problems whenever they meet chemicals such as chlorine or bleach which can corrode and weaken the material. This means that using these types of drill bits where harsh chemicals might exist would not be advisable unless you want to risk damaging them completely in exchange for saving time by finishing the job quickly.
Carbide is very hard and can be used in a variety of applications in different industries because it resists heat well. Most carbide-tipped drills come with either black or bright coatings.
Carbide-tipped bits can be picked on any kind of steel because they have highly resistant to abrasion and heat buildup. They will also not dull easily when dealing with metals like brass, aluminum, cast iron, copper, and stainless steel. They’re also ideal if you want to save money long-term since these bits will last longer than other varieties.
Carbide-tipped drills are often used in construction projects and manufacturing jobs that require frequent use. The downside? They wear down quickly when cutting softer metals such as aluminum or brass.
This type of coating is applied to drill bits for metal. It makes the bit more resistant against rust and corrosion by preventing oxygen from reaching the surface layer of the tool.
Despite their many benefits, you should be careful with these types of coatings as they can wear off after several uses. Moreover, this happens much faster if your machine was not properly set up before drilling or if it continues working even when there are no longer any problems with the material being drilled – another important reason why having a quality drill press stand is essential!
For most people who use them regularly (i.e., in an industrial environment), black oxide-coated drills tend to last between three months and one year depending on how you work with steel or iron materials.
A protective layer is applied to drill bits in order to increase their resistance. This coating protects the tool from corrosion and wear, and it allows for easy drilling of various types of metal without changing any other features.
This coating contributes greatly when it comes to preventing both problems. If you choose this type of material then you will be able to enjoy these benefits:
- Reduced risk of tool welding;
- Improved resistance to heat and abrasion;
- Easier drilling with different types of metal;
The TiN coating is also very durable, so it will be able to last for a long time even when working on projects that require frequent use or high speeds. These are supposed to last twice as long and stay sharp after the same number of uses (i.e., between six months and a year).
The Bronze Oxide coating on the drill bit is what allows for faster and more efficient drilling. This type of finish increases the tool’s life expectancy as well as reducing friction, heat, and material build-up.
While the coating is not that well-known, it has grown in popularity over the last several years. This particular type of metal drill bit will cause less friction while drilling which can reduce wear and tear on your equipment as well as extend its life.
Furthermore, this coating helps to keep debris away from the cutting area; resulting in cleaner cuts with a minimal chance for any damage or issues during installation. Bronze Oxide Coating provides all these benefits without sacrificing speed as some other coatings do.
It is very important when choosing a drill bit for metal. The higher the angle, the slower you need to run your drill in order for it not to overheat and break. If you use a high-speed drill, it will overheat and break very quickly.
It is best to go with an angle of 135 degrees or lower when drilling metal. You can use higher angles for softer materials like wood.
The cutting angle of a drill bit is the beveled side that meets metal. While there are many options, you want to select an obtuse point for drilling through steel and cast iron. This ensures the material doesn’t wear down too quickly as it works on breaking apart your piece.
A sharp angle is the best option for drilling through soft metals (e.g. aluminum). The bits can also be used with steel, however will wear down rather quickly while working on this harder metal. Drill bits that have a sharper cutting edge are going to last much longer when being used on materials such as brass and copper, but should never be used on iron or steel without a lubricant because they’ll overheat very fast.
Drill Bit Types:
Twist drills are the most basic type of drill bits used for general purposes. There are numerous sizes and types, each with its unique uses. These include the spade bit (used for woodworking), tulip drill bits, masonry twist drill bits, etc.
- They can be used on numerous materials;
- They’re great for drilling holes through metal, plastic, and even thin sheets of steel;
- They also work well in harder surfaces like marble tiles;
- Twist drill bits are inexpensive;
- They’ll often break under harsh conditions;
- Not meant to cut through hard surfaces or thick pieces of metal;
Screwdriver bits are the most common type picked for drilling metal. They’re usually labeled as “self-feeding” because they come with a pilot tip you can use to start your holes before using them to bore out larger openings in metal.
The bits are designed specifically for working on metals but there are also some that work well when masonry is involved too. These aren’t ideal, especially if you need long screws or bolts, but can be enough to get the job done depending on what materials these tools will be exposed to. It’s always better though to have separate types of drill bits instead of one multi-purpose tool that isn’t suited for all jobs.
- They also work on stone or concrete;
- Not recommended for soft metals;
- Not for beginners;
Masonry bits are specifically designed to work on extremely hard surfaces like concrete, brick, and stone instead of softer metals. They have sharp points that make them very easy to start when drilling holes in these types of materials but can’t handle being forced through thick metal or other hard materials.
The bits are made from carbide steel since this material is much stronger than regular high-speed steel used for twist drills. It’s also more expensive so the average home user won’t be able to afford it unless they’re willing to splurge a bit more money on something that will last longer without breaking under tough conditions.
- Good for drilling through concrete and masonry;
- Made with durable carbide steel;
- Won’t break or wear off easily;
4) Spur Point
Spur point bits are specifically made for drilling through thin materials like sheet metal, brass, and copper. They’re very easy to start because their points provide a good place to grip when starting the hole but they don’t work well with thicker metals or other hard surfaces.
The best spur point bits have extremely sharp tips that make it easier to get started especially on thinner materials without any pre-drilling required. This can be handy if you need holes drilled that sit flush against flat pieces of the surface instead of making bumps in them from clogged up cutting teeth over time.
- Come at a cheaper price;
- Good for beginners;
- Extremely sharp;
- Don’t work well when drilling into hard surfaces;
- Break or wear off easily;
5) Tile Bit
Tile drill bits are specifically designed to use with standard power drills for drilling through ceramic tile and porcelain. They’re really easy to start because their points provide a good place to grip when starting the hole but they don’t work well on any other surfaces so you need this specific type of bit if want holes drilled in tiles.
The best tile drill bits have sharp, diamond-tipped heads that will cut right through most types of common ceramic materials like glazed or unglazed tiles without too much trouble even though it may take multiple passes over one area before cutting deep enough into the material below it.
- Come at an average price;
- Can cut through the glazed tiles;
- Not designed for all metal types;
- Not for the frequent and repeated use;
- Not quite versatile;
Flatwood bits are made for drilling through soft materials (plywood, particleboard, and other types of wood). They’re really easy to start because their points provide a good place to grip when starting the hole but they don’t work well on any other surfaces so you need this specific type of bit if want holes drilled in these softer materials instead.
The best flat wood drill bits have sharp, carbide-tipped heads which stay sharper longer compared to standard high-speed steel options while still being able to cut right through almost anything made from regular softwoods without too much trouble even though it may take multiple passes over one area before cutting deep enough into the material below it.
- Stay sharp long;
- Can quickly drill through thin metal sheets;
- Not designed for all metal types;
- Good for the occasional use;
7) Hole Saw
Hole saw bits are designed to bore through a wide range of different materials. They can be picked with corded/cordless power drills and they’re really easy to start because their arched back allows for drilling right into the center of holes made by standard twist drill bits but that’s about all these types of holes cutters will do well.
These bits have serrated teeth that hold onto material as it cuts without slipping under high RPMs like other options, making them great at cutting thick sheets from almost any type of metal quickly even though they may take multiple passes over one area before cutting deep enough into the material below it.
- Great for making accurate holes;
8) Specialty Bits
Specific bits are designed to cut through a single type of material for a specific purpose. For example, masonry-specific drill bit sets include options that can be used with corded or cordless power drills and have diamond dust coatings on their tips which makes them great at penetrating the surface of the brick, stucco, or just about any other type of stone.
The best specialty drill bits have sharp points. They easily penetrate those materials without too much trouble even though it may take multiple passes over one area before cutting deep enough.
The durable designs that help reduce breakage while drilling thicker surfaces like concrete since they won’t wear out quickly from repeated use like some standard high-speed steel options might.
- Relatively cheap;
- Good for DIY and professional uses;
- Won’t break and wear out easily;
- Designed only for certain metals;
What to Look When Choosing the Best Drill Bits for Metal:
- Quality machining with sharp edges;
- Solid construction made from high-quality materials;
- Binding technology that prevents wobbling when used at fast speeds on metal surfaces;
- Precision design that allows drilling through thick sheets without additional efforts;
- Price point;
Best drill bits for metal are ready to be used immediately after purchase because usually no additional accessories or tools are needed.
Drilling Useful Tips:
- Purchase drill bits that are the right size for your job;
- When drilling, press down with even pressure on both sides of the bit at all times to avoid breakage and/or dulling of the tip;
- Apply lubricant when boring through metal or other hard surfaces;
- Remember that when drilling metals, you will need to use a slower speed than what is listed in the instructions for drills;
- Try not to use downward pressure when drilling. If you do, the bit may slip and cause damage to your work surface or even break;
- When using a drill press for metal, remove any guards that are in the way of where the drill will be going through as these could also cause injury if they come into contact with moving parts;
- Keep your hands and fingers away from the bit when drilling, in case it breaks;
- Use a cutting lubricant (also called coolant) to prevent overheating and prolong drill life;
Drilling metal might sound complicated, but it’s actually not too difficult. The most important thing is to keep your drill bit straight and perpendicular while drilling through the metal surface.
When you turn on the drill press and begin drilling, be sure that you don’t try to force or push down hard on the drill bit-instead let it do its job by itself! If there is a problem with how well it slides across an area of sheet metal, for example, use some spray lubricant that can make things go smoothly without any problems at all.
Another tip when using drills, in general, is if possible avoid pushing them into harder objects like stone or concrete surfaces because this will damage them over time quicker than usual. Just take your time when operating a drill because it isn’t very complicated at all to do.
What is the best type of drill bit for metal?
Drill bits for metal are very useful when it comes to making holes in sheet metals or any other steel materials. The process of making holes in metal is known as “metal drilling”.
There are three main drill bits for metal: twist, masonry, and brad point (a type of pointed bit that’s recommended for wood).
Twist drills or spade bits can be used to create a hole through the entire thickness of the sheet.
Masonry drill bits come with sharp points that make them extremely efficient at cutting through metals – they’re one of the best types of drill bit styles if you need to go straight down into steel materials such as iron bars or rods.
Brad-point/wood drill bits also have very sharp tips but these ones cannot cut all way through thick pieces so it would take more time than using other types mentioned above. They work by creating a small hole at the tip of the drill bit that is followed by a larger diameter as you go deeper.
Masonry and brad point bits are recommended for wood because they make clean holes in it but a spade and twist drills do not work very well with this material (the chips often build upon them).
And experts also need to mention split-pointed bits – these ones have tiny wings on their tips that allow for self-centering over nails or screws, making them useful when working with thin materials such as sheet metal where accuracy matters most.
Which is better: steel or titanium drill bits?
Although each material has its own set of pros and cons, steel drill bits are usually more durable. Titanium is a bit lighter which makes it ideal for longer projects but the added durability isn’t worth sacrificing weight when you need to be efficient instead.
When it comes to the best drill bits for metal, titanium is usually a better choice as long as you don’t mind giving up some strength.
Are titanium drill bits better than black oxide?
Titanium drill bits are good for people who prefer them because they’re more durable than black oxide, don’t flake or chip, and stay sharp longer. They also work well on harder metals like stainless steel. Black oxide is the best option when you need to save money but still get a great result.
What is the hardest metal to drill?
Steel is the hardest metal to drill. Even diamond bits cannot cut steel on their own, so it’s always best to use a drilling machine for this type of material. More than likely you will need an extra lubricant like water or oil in order for your tool to work properly too.
Can you use WD40 for drilling metal?
This is a common question and the answer might surprise you. While WD40 can be used for some metal drilling tasks, it’s not right for every job.
It’s usually more effective to use purpose-made drill bits on metal surfaces rather than using lubricating solutions like WD40 because they are designed specifically with metals in mind.
The biggest drawback to using WD40 is that it’s not designed for metal surfaces, so there’s no guarantee of positive results. Furthermore, if you overuse or under-use it on your drill bit (which can lead to ‘spitting out’ small bits of metal), this will likely cause more problems than necessary.
If you use too little WD40 then many metals won’t cut cleanly at all, while excessive amounts may damage some types of surfaces or leave behind a sticky residue that prevents further drilling without cleaning up after yourself!
An alternative solution would be choosing an effective drill bit cleanser instead – something specifically engineered for metal.
Are cobalt drill bits radioactive?
Cobalt drill bits are not radioactive. Cobalt is frequently used in the medical field, but it is safe to use for your metal drilling projects. There is no danger in using cobalt drill bits.
What color are drill bits for metal?
The standard color is silver. Sometimes, they can be gold or black depending on the brand of the bit. However, most people buy standard silver ones because it is inexpensive yet effective enough to get all kinds of jobs done! Also, you won’t risk being confused with any other tool since it has a distinctive look that will help you identify them fast.
What size hole do I drill for a 10 sheet metal screw?
You will want to drill a hole that is slightly larger than the screw. A rule of thumb would be to use at least one size smaller, but no more than two sizes down.
This means if you are using #12 sheet metal screws (also called self-tapping), then your pilot hole should measure between #11 and #13 in diameter. If you do not have either bit on hand, it’s best to err on the side of caution and make the holes bigger – you can always make them smaller later with an appropriately sized reamer or die grinder tool!
What is the hardest drill bit you can buy?
The hardest bit you can buy is an industrial-grade cobalt bit. It is made of very strong steel, and the tip stays sharp for years without re-sharpening.
What drill bit can be recommended for stainless steel?
Stainless steel tends to dull drill bits quickly and can be difficult to cut through, so a high-quality cobalt or titanium bit with carbide tips may be the answer.
What is the best brand of cobalt drill bits?
The best bits for metal are a matter of personal preference, but the best brand is often considered to be Milwaukee. This is a US-based company that produces drill bits for both contractors and homeowners. They have some of the highest-rated cobalt drill bits on Amazon, and they also provide an excellent warranty to back up their product.
What oil do you use for drilling metal?
There are many options for drill oil. It is easiest to use cutting fluid, which has the properties you need and works well with metal drilling. If you don’t have access to it or want something more affordable, vegetable oil will work too!
One of the best oils to use while drilling metal is inexpensive motor oil. It is inexpensive and readily available, which makes it a great choice.
Do you drill steel fast or slow?
With the proper bits, you can get through steel quickly. Drill bit material is one of the most essential factors in determining how fast you will be able to bore into metal.
The most used bits for metal are masonry, titanium, and cobalt. A good starting point is to use a masonry bit with an extremely sharp chisel tip in order to make the smallest possible hole in steel without shattering or bending. If you want something that drills faster through metal, titanium can be used as it has a much higher resistance to wear and heat than other metals like mild steel and cast iron.
Lastly, cobalt is very strong but also difficult to work with because of its high cost more so compared to other types of drill bits for metals. In addition, these materials tend not to stay sharp long enough if they were just cut into your sheet metal using a grinder.
Can you drill through half-inch steel?
You can drill a few ways through steel. You might be able to use an abrasive hole saw, but usually, the best option is using a spade bit with lots of carbide grit on it. To do this properly, however, you’ll need to have several sets of cutting teeth. For example, If your job requires drilling five or six holes in 1-inch plate steel, then expect to go through about seven different bits before completing all the cuts!
Useful Video: Makita titanium drill bit kit unboxing
Picking the right drill bit for your metal project is half of the battle. If you’re not sure what to use, this guide provides some recommendations on which bits are best suited for certain types of metals and tasks like drilling through steel or aluminum. Hopefully, that these suggestions will help make your next metal-related task a little easier!