Do you have a project that requires you to use the drill a lot? If so, do you also need to drill into metal? If the answer is yes, we are happy to review the best drill bits for metal so you can finish your project with little hassle. But first, let's see what a drill bit is and where you can use it.
What is the best drill bit for drilling through metal?
What is a Drill Bit?
A drill bit is a cutting tool designed to bore through different kinds of metal. When buying a drill bit, you are likely to buy it in a set so you can get your bits in various sizes. A drill bit set, among other essential tools, is a valuable addition for professionals and DIYers.
You will find drill bits made with different materials such as carbide, high-speed steel (HSS), and cobalt. Besides the material, these drill bits also come with other coatings designed to make them stronger to withstand friction, heat and resistance that comes with drilling metal. These are coatings made with titanium, black oxide, carbon oxide, or more.
A drill bit can create holes in stainless steel, hardened steel, or other non-ferrous metals on top of other softer materials such as wood, plastic, and, in some instances, porcelain. When buying your best drill bits for metal, consider, among other factors, the material, coating, and the ideal flute length to cut through your material.
Before we further detail these considerations, let us see the five best drill bit sets you can buy today with complete reviews that include their pros and cons. Then, we will also discuss the most critical factors to consider before you purchase or use the bits for drilling through metal surfaces.
1. DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set
- DEWALT drill bit set has connectable accessory storage system to...
- Patented bit-bar design of the drill bits set allows easy removal...
- Clear lid of the titanium drill bit set allows you to easily see...
- Clip latch for secure closing
- Small Bulk Storage size fits inside the Small and Medium...
When buying the best drill bits for metal, it is best to have as many bit options as you can; this will allow you to start and complete many DIY and professional projects without having to source for bits all the time. This Dewalt Titanium drill bit set comes with 21 bits, thus, ideal for any project.
When drilling through metal, you need the strongest guarantees that your bits will not break into two; this could expose you to injuries or stall your projects. These Dewalt drill bits come in a Patented web taper design that makes drilling easier while reducing the risk of breakages. Another advantage is the pilot design; these bits come with titanium pilot point tips to make drilling easy while guaranteeing clean cuts.
The drill set comes with 21 spiral drill bits in different sizes for all your projects. They are easy to fasten and remove from your drill, and they come packaged in a durable, clip-latch box with a clear case so you can see which bit to get for your project.
They are made with titanium making the bits better suited to drill through stainless steel surfaces. They are also very durable, but, like many other titanium products, they can get blunt over time, so you will need to carry out regular maintenance before the coating wears off.
2. CO-Z 5pcs High-Speed Steel Cobalt Multiple Hole Drill Bit Set
- Cobalt high speed steel along with the titanium coating ensures...
- Different sized shanks ensure compatibility with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2...
- Non-walking drill tip provides fast and smooth drills on steel...
- Please mark the spot that you are to drill for easier drilling...
- All the bits come in a well-organized case for easy transport and...
Sometimes, your projects need only a few drill bit sizes. If yours also involves drilling through thin metal sheets, this set from Co-Z is an ideal buy. The set, made with cobalt high-speed steel and coated with a thick titanium layer, will allow you to make 50 different hole sizes.
When working with thin metal sheets, you need a drill bit that offers excellent precision. Therefore, you need to minimize any potential for your drill bits walking, which you get from this set. These bits are non-walking and provide fast, smooth drills so your project can go on smoothly.
While the bits are short, they are made with durable cobalt to cut through hardened steel sheets easily. The drill bit set is also very affordable and comes in a well-organized, durable case for easy transportation and storage.
3. DEWALT DW1582 Drill Bit - Spade
- Heavy-duty, heat-treated shank for protection against bends and...
- Optimized cutting groove for fast chip removal
- Chamfered corners for durability against nail impacts
- Paddle hole for easy wire pulling and bit storage
- 1/4" Ball groove shank allows for quick bit changes
The DW1582 is yet another cutting-edge drill bit from DEWALT, delivering outstanding performance in most situations. However, what stands out first on this set is its remarkable longevity coming in a unique design. The innovative shape appears uneven at first, but it helps in delivering more power, peaking in the pointed end.
On the other hand, it has a smooth body with a shiny appearance that highlights its sturdiness. It also features a heavy-duty shank that adds to the robustness, making it highly reliable on various projects. In addition, the straight flute design clears away debris to create room for clean cuts, allowing you to experiment from different angles to get the desired results.
Speed is a guarantee with the DW1582, thanks to the extreme speed channel. It helps you make fast chip removals for an uninterrupted experience. Additionally, the 1/4-inch ball groove shank is quite useful at minimizing work time. This allows you to get your work done faster, making it a fairly efficient addition to your toolbox.
On the flip side, the throat of the bit holder is deeper than average. Therefore, you have to ensure your bits have longer shanks to lock in tightly for quick releases. It's also worth pointing out the small bit drivers might be too short for some people.
4. BLACK+DECKER Drill Bit Set
- These accessories should be used with a drill with a 3/8" chuck.
- This 10-piece Drill Bit Set contains the most popular range of...
- Comes with a handy bit bar that makes storing this set in any...
The BLACK+DECKER Drill Bit Set delivers a perfect combination of durability and user-friendliness, ensuring that you get consistent output. First, it comes with features such as a toolbox and bit bar, which add to its convenience. Second, it's a ten-bit drill set, which means it offers great versatility on various tasks.
The bits feature indentations on the body, helping you to carve out clean holes and minimize work time. The set can be used with any standard drill with a 3/8-inch chuck, making it extremely convenient for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. It also features a unique holder that ensures you store the components conveniently. Furthermore, each bit has markings on the bottom, allowing you to pick the required tool quickly.
Its durable design offers much-needed reliability so that you can use the bit for a long time. More so, its superb accuracy makes it pretty maneuverable from various angles. In addition, the set can be stored in any toolbox, drawer or kitchen for safekeeping.
On the downside, the drill bits wear out quickly when used for heavy-duty tasks. However, you can use a lubricant to slow down the process and extend its lifespan. Also, the bits run a risk of jamming, especially when you're trying to widen a hole. In this case, it's advisable to make several smaller cuts instead.
5. COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set
- CAPABILITY & DURABILITY: Classic HSS construction with black...
- 135° SPLIT POINT TIP & TWIST DESIGN: Increases cutting speed...
- MULTI-FUNCTIONAL: Great drill bits set for metal/wood/plastic...
- EASY USE & STORAGE: The drill bits set fits the majority of...
- Set Includes: Retailed packaged 10 Pieces Twist Drill Bit Set,...
The COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set is a superb choice if you want a tool that will help you drill metal reliably and consistently. First and foremost, it's a 115-piece set of different size components. More so, all the bits have markings with numbers and letters to ensure that you always pick out the right one.
It's made from high-speed steel, comprising 5% cobalt. Therefore, you can rest assured the bits are adequately sturdy, allowing you to work efficiently in various conditions regardless of heat and abrasion.
Each cobalt steel drill bit has a 135-degree split point, including a twist design, to give you more accuracy. It also prevents walking and helps clear chips faster so that you get consistently clean cuts. Plus, the set also includes the option of working on other sturdy materials, such as temperature alloy, cast iron and hard plastics.
Needless to say, the set is more expensive than other options on the list. Therefore, if you are on a somewhat tight budget, this might not be the best option.
6. Amoolo Hex Shank Drill Bit Set
- 【COMBO SET OF 16 PCS】13 most commonly-used sizes...
- 【PREMIUM HSS TITANIUM COATING】Industry grade 4341 high speed...
- 【FULLY GROUND PROCESS & 135° SPLIT POINT】Fully ground spiral...
- 【QUICK CHANGE】1/4"(6.4mm) hex shank fits into majority pistol...
- 【MULTIPLE APPLICATION】Small Drill bits for soft metal, wood,...
If you need the best drill bits for metal to use for basic household maintenance, this set of 16 from Amoolo is your ideal buy. The bits come with 1/4" hex shanks, so you can easily fit them into regular pistol drills for use on softer metals.
The bits are made with high-speed steel plus a titanium nitride coating for more durability. When drilling, you will love the 135-degree split points that allow faster and stable cutting. In addition, the bits come in a spiral flute type that enables a quicker drill and offers extra cooling benefits as you work. Also, the straightening groove eliminates wobbling and walking while also reducing friction when drilling.
This Amaloo drill bit set comes at an affordable price and is also available in different options with fewer or more bits of different sizes and shanks. The set comes in a durable plastic case for easy transportation and storage.
7. Hymnorq 15 Piece Metric M35 Cobalt HSS Drill Bit Kit
- COBALT STEEL - Manufactured from M35 cobalt steel, with...
- 135°SPLIT POINT - the 135°quick-cut split point are...
- 15PC METRIC SET - The set includes 15pcs of M35 cobalt steel...
- FOR METALWORKING - Particularly successful in cutting through...
- DOWNLOADABLE USER GUIDE - We've summed up some tips of drilling...
If you are looking for solid drill bits, this set from Hymnorq comes with 15 pieces made of cobalt steel. The construction has molybdenum added to the steel to create a hardened alloy. Thus, these drill bits are durable and guarantee faster and more precise cutting than other high-speed steel drill bits.
With such durable construction, this cobalt drill bit set is ideal for drilling holes into a hardened steel surface such as stainless steel and cast iron. And, while it can become blunt, it will be easier to sharpen and continue using for many years. The bits come with 135-degree split points for highly centered impact and also for mitigating breakage.
The 15 bits come nicely packaged in a plastic indexed storage case for easier transportation and storage. In addition, the bits come in different sizes, making their usage versatile across different surfaces. It is an affordable set with an equally durable bronze oxide coating, and the bits have round shanks for easy installation.
8. CRAFTSMAN Drill Bit Set
- CORROSION RESISTANT: Gold oxide coated drill bit promotes longer...
- PRECISE HOLE PLACEMENT: Split Point of the drill bits for wood,...
- CONVENIENCE: Metal Carrying Case for compact and durable storage...
CRAFTSMAN is yet another brand that is receiving positive reviews from buyers. The Drill Bit Set stands out for its outstanding durability that assures you of an extended lifespan. It features a rust-resistant gold oxide coating that ensures you can use it efficiently and reliably in various conditions and a wide range of tasks.
It has the usual split point function for improved accuracy, allowing you to drill burr-free holes. The 14-bit pieces allow you to operate the machine from different angles for the best results. Just as important, the high-speed steel construction is quite useful for reducing your work hours.
The drill bits come with a round shank that forms a tight fit for improved stability. They also come with a plastic carrying case that's quite convenient since you can arrange all the components systematically. It also helps to maintain your tools in top condition, ensuring you get consistent output in most situations.
That said, the bits have been reported to wear out quickly with regular use, so you might have problems drilling holes into sturdy materials. In addition, the set doesn't come with 1/4-inch shank bits, which is quite inconvenient since you'll have to buy it separately.
9. IRWIN Metal Drill Bit Set
- 29 Piece
- Cobalt Drill Bit Set
- Sizes 1/16 inch -1/2 inch in 1/64 inch increments, 135 Degree...
- 5% Cobalt For Higher Heat & Abrasion Resistance
- Heavy Duty Web Construction For Strength & Durability
If you are a professional looking for the best metal drill bits, look no further than this pro set from Irwin. It comes with 29 bits made with cobalt steel. If you need fewer bits, you can find an alternative set with fewer drill bits ranging from five to 21 pieces. One thing is a guarantee here; you get a good set that allows versatility for all DIY or professional projects.
This 29-piece set is one of the best drill bits sets for drilling holes in metal; its cobalt steel construction guarantees durability and is one of the best materials for heat and abrasion resistance. Each bit comes with a 135-degree split pilot point that effectively reduces walking for faster results. In addition, the spiral flute design reduces friction and heat for even better results.
Like other bits designed to tear holes in hardened steel, this set needs constant oil lubrication for cooling and maintenance. That said, the drill bits come in a sturdy case with a rubber exterior to prevent breaking if dropped. Inside, the 29 bits are arranged in removable cartridges and automatic indexing for easy access.
10. BOSCH TI2135IM Drill Bit Set
- No skate tip – accurate starts
- Designed for heavy-gauge and high-carbon steel
- Long flutes for effective material removal
- Impact-rated shank for higher torque drill/drivers
- Titanium coating for less friction
If accuracy is your main priority, especially when working with sharp metal edges, the BOSCH Drill Bit is an excellent option. It's built for heavy-duty tasks, providing much-needed stability to achieve the desired results. First, it comes in a refined pencil-like shape featuring a no-skate tip to give you more accuracy in your tasks.
The high-carbon steel construction makes this build extremely durable. You'll use it in various conditions and still get consistent results over a long period of time. Therefore, it performs remarkably well in heavy-duty tasks and reduces work time while improving productivity.
Its long flute allows you to remove debris easily for an unhindered drilling experience. The impact-rated shank also allows you to get the desired cut, meaning you can work seamlessly from various angles. More so, it delivers higher torque, complemented by a titanium coating that minimizes friction efficiently.
Despite its versatility, the BOSCH Drill Bit doesn't deliver its best performance for extended drills. The bits are relatively shorter, making them more suitable for shallow materials, say thin sheet metal.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Drill Bits for Metal
When you look to buy a new drill bit set to use on your metal surfaces, any of these five options are ideal choices to invest in. But, there are specific considerations you have to make even when you have the best bits. These are;
1. Bit material
As mentioned earlier, drill bits are made from high-quality materials such as carbide, cobalt steel, or other forms of high-speed steel. Now, these are the materials to choose for different metal surfaces,
- Cobalt steel drill bits are ideal for hardened metal or stainless steel. Hardened steel is a form of medium or high carbon steel alloy that is heat-treated and put through a tempering process to make it harder and more water and corrosion-resistant. You need a cobalt drill bit for these types of metal because it is harder, plus you can sharpen the bit split point if it becomes dull.
- Carbide metal drilling bits are ideal for non-ferrous metals like aluminum and titanium. In short, these metals do not contain iron or steel. Carbide bits are ideal since they can stay sharper longer than most bits and are ideal for highly abrasive metals.
- High-speed steel or HSS drill bits are suitable for drilling all metals.
When choosing the material that makes the bits, look for coatings that reduce friction, heating, and breaking. The purpose of most coatings is to improve your bits' strength and increase their drilling speeds. The most common types of coatings are titanium, carbon oxide, gold oxide, and black oxide.
When buying your best drilling bit set, you need to understand the best bits in terms of length to drill holes in your metal without breakages successfully.
4. Shank Design
The shank is the end of the bit that does not drill. Instead, it's fit in or plugged into the drill's mandrel or "chuck". The shank size you opt for should typically match the size of the mandrel.
Some shank designs are more effective at drilling through metal than others:
- The No-spin shank features a fluted shank designed to prevent the bit from slipping when drilling.
- The Hex shank looks similar to some screwdriver bits. The six-sided design helps these bits stay steady when drilling into hard metals.
5. Cutting Ability
There's no point in buying a drill bit for metal without sufficient power. It's this substantial strength that determines the drill speed, depth of cuts, cleanliness and precision. The best drill bit for metal should give you ample power control for accurate results.
You must also ensure the drill bits deliver clean, burr-free holes. Such drill bits are ideal for intricate projects, adding to their versatility. Therefore, you can choose between different cutting widths depending on the task at hand.
It almost goes without saying that you need a durable tool for metalworking. First, drill bits for metal should be made of quality, sturdy materials. Second, these materials must be rust-resistant and can handle the typical metalwork environment. Third, and just as important, they also have to deliver the expected results consistently.
That means you need to choose the components keenly. A steel or metal exterior only won't just cut it. We recommend going through the drill bit user reviews to find out the durability of your preferred set.
7. Ease of Use
Using drill bits may seem straightforward and easy, but the reality can be quite different. Beginners will usually take some time to get the hang of it. Luckily, manufacturers generally design drill bits to be easy to use, as well as give you the desired results quickly.
Ultimately, you're looking for the best drill bit for metal set to make your work more manageable. That also means coming to grips with the drill bits' nuances faster. Therefore, you need to ensure you go for an option with easy operation for more efficiency.
How to Drill Holes Through Metal
When you have your step bits or drill bits, also called twist bits, you can follow the following steps to create the holes in your metal surface.
- Wear heavy leather gloves and safety glasses to keep the sharp metal chippings away.
- Clamp your metal pieces to guarantee they stay in place even if you run into issues with your drill bit.
- Place your sacrificial boards in place before drilling. These are pieces of scrap wood you can drill through as you make your way to the metal surface. They are good when you want your tool to create a clean hole through the metal.
- Make a dimple before drilling. As you know, drill bits are designed to work at somewhat high speeds, and this makes them wander off the mark when you are starting to drill; unfortunately, this can leave ugly marks on your metal or destroy it. For best results, make a dimple using a center punch or hammer as a slight depression will keep the bit intact when you start to drill.
- Add some oil to the dimple before you start drilling to reduce friction and heating as the drill works. Also, the oil prevents the tool from dulling fast.
- Prepare your drill press. While the drill bits are easy to use, you may not have the strength or patience to hold a pistol drill as it cuts through layers of hardened steel which is why you need to use the best drill presses.
- Start drilling at low speeds. To drill successfully, start at half the tool's speed and understand to drill even slower when using larger or jobber length bits.
- Add more oil if you notice any smoke.
Drilling through metals sound like a difficult job, and it somewhat is. That said, the best drill bit for metal set can make the job surprisingly easy and smooth. Furthermore, always use a drill bit for its specific job; otherwise, you run the risk of ruining your drill, project or bit.
How to Sharpen Drill Bits for Metal
There are several ways you can sharpen your drill bits. You can use a diamond-tipped file or opt for a dedicated drill bit sharpening attachment included in your drill. However, using a bench grinder or belt sander is by far the most common method.
We'll focus on using a bench grinder. Let's start with what you will need:
- Bench grinder
- Dull drill bits
- Safety goggles
- N95 face mask
- Diamond tipped file
- Scrap wood
1. Prepare your bits by running the file across their surface, including the shaft. This helps to avoid a burr cutting into your hand while working.
2. Prepare the bench grinder by ensuring the guard is more than 0.125 inches from the wheel to prevent the bit from getting stuck.
3. Hold the bit in place at around 60 degrees with the landing facing the wheel. Your left hand should hold the shaft to control the bit's movement while your right-hand presses it against the wheel.
4. Wear your goggles and face mask. Turn the grinder on and allow it to reach maximum speed before landing the drill bit. Ensure the cold water is nearby.
5. Raise your left hand to cut the landing while still applying gentle pressure against the sharpener.
6. Move the left hand towards the right to set up and shape the chisel angle. Repeat this until the angle is around 45 degrees from the lip.
7. Rotate the drill bit counter-clockwise to create and shape a rounded landing, which offers better support for the lip.
8. Work the drill by combining all techniques, ensuring you rotate the bit 180-degrees across the wheel surface.
Note: The drill will get hot as you work on it. If the surface is heating up, dip it in the cold water for cooling. Get back to working the bit after it has cooled.
9. Keep working on the bit until you are satisfied with the results. It might take some time and practice to get the desired results, but with experience comes better precision.
10. To find out how the bit cuts, get a scrap piece of wood and drill a few test holes. If you are satisfied with the hole saws, turn the grinder off. If not, keep grinding until you meet your expectations.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Drill Bits for Metal
1. Which is the best drill bit for metal, cobalt or titanium?
It depends on what kind of metal you're drilling through. For example, titanium bits are suitable for drilling through soft metals, such as aluminum, while cobalt bits are better suited for drilling through hard metals like cast iron.
If you want to drill holes in metal successfully, you will need heavy-duty titanium or cobalt drill bits for the best results.
2. How do I buy the best drill bits for metal?
When buying your new metal drill bits, look for those made with high-speed steel labels, as they can work on different ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
3. Do I need to use oil when drilling metal?
When drilling metal, it's always advisable to lubricate the surface and the bits with oil. It helps the bits dissipate heat while also maintaining their sharpness. However, you should only use non-flammable oil to avoid fatal accidents.
4. Should I clean drill bits after every use?
You don't have to, but it's not a bad idea altogether. After use, wipe any residue on the bit using a soft cloth. Then, rub a small amount of cutting fluid on it before storing it.
5. How do I remove a broken drill bit from metal?
Add one or two drops of lubricating oil to the bit. Then, grab the broken end of the shank with a pair of pliers. Lastly, twist counterclockwise to remove the bit.