best drill bits for metal and steel

Best Drill Bits for Metal and Hardened Stainless Steel

Drilling through a metal surface can be a nightmare job if you don’t come prepared. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut. If you want to work on metal surfaces, hardened steel or stainless steel, you require the best drill bits for metal. The drill bits must be strong and remarkably heat resistant.

The truth is, your cordless or corded power drill provides the muscle but to get the job done, you need a drill bit. However, choosing to use general bits won’t drill through metal. You need drill bits designed for metal otherwise, it will be only a matter of seconds before the general drill bits break off.

Most drill bits are sold as a set that comprises different sizes and purposes, enabling you to tackle a wide range of projects in your home. Nevertheless, some speciality drills bits are sold individually. Also, when choosing a set of drill bits for your drill, you will need to know the size of your drill’s chuck (the clamp on the front of the drill that locks the bit).

In this article, we will focus on the best drill bits for metal and what you need to know before buying one. If you have been having problems choosing the best drill bits to work on your metal projects, keep reading.

1. DEWALT DW1354 Drill Bit Set, Titanium

best drill bits for metal work dewalt

This drill bit comes with a strong titanium tip. The titanium coating increases the durability compared to regular Black Oxide tips. Furthermore, it protects high-speed steels and prevents it from corroding.

Dewalt DW1354 drill bit is resistant to heat and won’t dull quickly. They come in a set of 14 to cover every drilling needs. The 14 sets of bits come in a safe storage case that helps you to keep them organised as well as carry them around.

Dewalt DW1354 doesn’t start to spin until when it comes in contact with the surface. This stops the bit from skidding and slipping across the surface. It also features a No-Spin Shank which prevents the rotating bit from spinning inside the chuck. Moreover, the shank keeps the bit in place.

Dewalt DW1354 is one of the best drill bits for metal, plastic, hardwood and wood. The pilot point tip on it removes the need to drill holes first to prevent the bit from walking across the surface of the metal. With the tapered web, breaking is reduced even when drilling metal.

Pros

  • Long-lasting drill bits.
  • Drills easily through metal
  • Strong drill bits
  • Great quality for the price.

Cons

  • They become dull after some uses
  • The smaller bits break easily
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2. DEWALT DW1177 Black Oxide Drill Bit Set 

metal drill bits

Dewalt DW1177 is coated with Black Oxide for greater wear protection. The coating protects the bit from heat and friction. Furthermore, it also helps minimize instances of corrosion.

These bits come in a set of 20 to cover every drilling needs. The 20-set of bits come in a durable sliding soft-grip lock case that is organized and well labelled by size. Therefore, there should be a drill bit size to suit any job. With this casing, you can carry the bits around.

Dewalt DW1177drill bit set has a 135-degree split point tip which reduces walking and slippage when you first start drilling as well as helps to drill well into the metal surface. The bits also have a parabolic flute design which increases the strength of the drill bit. Also, the design helps the pieces endure pressure.

Dewalt DW1177 bit set is among the best drill bits for metal we have on the market. This is because they are strong and designed to withstand pressure. We cannot forget to mention that they are easy to use.

Pros

  • Great for general DIY
  • Good price and good quality
  • Strong drill bits
  • The storage box is great and handy

Cons

  • Not suitable for hardened steel
  • Smaller drill bits break easily
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3. Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

neiko drill bits

Neiko 10193A step drill bit is coated with titanium for proven durability and capability in drilling holes in aluminium, stainless steel, copper and other types of sheet metal. The coating also decreases its dulling from heat and friction. Furthermore, it also helps minimize instances of corrosion.

Neiko 10193A step drill bits offer multiple steps within a single piece. This allows you to drill different sizes of holes without having to change the bit frequently. Since one bit comes with 28 steps in total, it means you can drill not just one, but 28 different hole sizes. The largest one you can drill is ¾ inch, while the minimum being 1/8 inch.

The drill bit set contains three bits. One of them has a shank size of 3/8 inch, while the other two have a shank size of ¼ inch. These shanks are Tri Flat Shanks which help the chuck hold onto them firmly so that they won’t wobble during the operation.

Neiko 10193A step drill bit comes with a two-flute design which provides a channel to clear the chips and fasten the penetrating process. It also allows particles to easily escape making the job a lot cleaner and less messy. These are some of the characteristics that make this step drill bit one of the best drill bits on the market.

This drill bit set comes with different sizes of bits ranging from 0.188 inches to 0.75 inches. This means you can drill most hole sizes. The drill bit has a 135-degree split point tip which is the best style for drilling through metal. It increases cutting efficiency. You can undertake multiple drilling processes without losing sharpness and efficiency.

Pros

  • Effective on metal
  • Great drill bit set for the money
  • Durable
  • Strong

Cons

  • Dull easily
  • Smaller bits break easily
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4. BLACK+DECKER 15557 Drill Bit Set 

drilling accessories for metal

Black and Decker 15557 drill bits are constructed of high-speed steel strong enough to drill through metal. They come in a 10-piece set which contains the most popular range of drill bits we have on the market that’s sizes ¼-inch to 1/16-inch. Furthermore, they have diameter sizes range from 0.016inches to 0.25 inches.

Black and Decker 15557 drill bit come with a handy bit bar which makes storing this set in any toolbox or drawer easy. According to the manufacturer, these bits should be used with a drill with a 3/8-inch chuck.

Black and Decker 15557 drill bits are suitable for domestic setting for random DIY projects. Nonetheless, they are still strong enough to drill through metal when needed. They happen to be among the best drill bits for metal on our list.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Also works with other drills apart from Black + Decker
  • Arrive as advertised

Cons

  • Limited size selection
  • Not very durable
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5. Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium Drill Bit Set

brilling accessories set

Makita B-65399 comes with a strong titanium tip. The titanium coating lasts two and a half times longer than non-coated bits according to the manufacturer. The coating also prevents the bit from corroding. Moreover, the bits are designed to function well with ½-inch or 3/8-inch driver drills or ¼-inch impact drivers.

Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium comes in a professional-grade kit stuffed with bits for almost any job requirement. The 14-piece set has a full range of tools for driving, drilling as well as fastening. Also, the set has a hex shank to fit impact drivers for greater grip in the socket.

Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium bits are manufactured using high-speed steel with 135-degree split point tips. The split point tips prevent slipping and increase the cutting process of the drill bit. Therefore, the drill bit doesn’t walk across a slick surface of metal or glass or chatter when drilling.

Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium drill bit set comes with sizes ranging from 0.015 inches to 0.50 inches therefore it is a versatile set and has most hole sizes covered. Furthermore, Makita B-65399 Impact Gold Titanium drill bits are among the best drill bits for metals. They are commonly used for drilling holes in ferrous metal, plastic, non-ferrous metal, wood, cast iron and stainless steel.

Pros

  • Sharp drill bits
  • Long-lasting
  • Worth the money
  • Versatile drill bit set

Cons

  • The small bits break easily
  • Terrible carrying case
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Factors to Consider before buying the best drill bits for metal

1. Size of the drill bits

When it comes to sizes, we have the shank and the point. The part of the bit that fits into your drill’s chucks is known as shank. Since you will be working with high rotation and speed, it is crucial to ensure that the bits are tightly attached to the chuck. Therefore, you will need to pick bits with shanks smaller than or equal to your drill’s chuck. Standard chuck sizes are ½-inch on heavy-duty drills, 3/8-inch for standard drills and ¼-inch for light-duty drills.

On the other hand, the pointed end of your drill bit is the business end and drill bit sets contain a range of point sizes. Many DIYers find that ¼-inch to 1/16-inch drill bits is enough for most home projects. However, when dealing with tougher drilling projects such as major household repairs or construction, you will want to add some larger drill bits to the fusion. This larger bit size includes ½-inch, 7/16-inch, 3/8-inch and 5/16-inch.

2. Drill bit number

How many drill bits do you have in a set? Are they enough for your projects? I mean, you might need the set for various jobs from time to time. Several models offer different packages based on the number of the drill bits. Therefore, the number will give you a clue about how many jobs you can do with a particular set.

For professionals or even occasional users, a number between 14 and 21 is enough. A higher number offers you flexibility and more freedom, it also reduces the need for any future purchase when a different type of job appears.

3. Working frequency

Before choosing the best drill bits for metal projects, keep your work pattern into consideration. If you are a pro user where you have to use the drill bit daily, choose drill bits that serve the purposes. If you are a DIY enthusiast where you only work on different projects over the weekends, choose the type of drill bits that work best for you.

Fortunately, there are different drill bits available on the market for each of the above-mentioned categories. Some of the packages are designed to endure multiple applications while others are suitable for a single application. Choose wisely!

4. Coating 

As for now, there are three kinds of coating that you will come across in drilling bits.

  • Titanium Nitride (TiN)

This type of coating is used for high-speed steel bits. It is made of ceramic, quite harder. Additionally, the material increases the durability of the drill bit by two or three times. Since it is tough and durable, it works well against wear-resistant surfaces.

  • Black Oxide

Black oxide coating provides great heat resistance as well as low friction. Consequently, the chip flow increases. This type of coating increases the durability and performance of high-speed steel drilling bits. Furthermore, it provides good corrosion resistance.

  • Bronze Oxide 

Bronze Oxide is used as a supplementary coating. You will find them getting used with Black Oxide coated drill bits or cobalt steel. The presence of Bronze Oxide shows the higher grade of high-speed steel. Moreover, they help with the stress relieving and tempering of the drill bit.

5. Types of drill bits 

We will look at different types of drill bits based on construction.

  • Screwdriver

They come with a hexagonal shank. They also have limited power since they are used with a screwdriver. Nonetheless, they are used for drilling pilot holes mostly.

  • Twist

This is the most common type of drill bits. They can be used with both electric and manual drills. Twist drill bits have a front edge that cuts the material. Additionally, the spiral groove provides a pathway to remove waste.

  • Flat Wood

This type comes with flat steel and a sharp point on the other side. The flat surface drills large holes while the point locates the flat wood bit. They are used by a power drill.

  • Spur Point

This type of bit consists of a dominant point and two raised spurs to help drill bit stay straight. They come in a size range of 3mm-10mm. They are best for plastic or wood, not for metal surfaces. However, they have another variation named Bullet Pilot Point that can be used on metal surfaces.

  • Masonry

This type is also commonly used. They are used for concrete, bricks or tiles. They have a cutting tip that combines tungsten carbide along with spiralled steel shaft. At times, the tungsten carbide is replaced by silicon bronze alloy for durability.

  • Tile Bit

This type is used for tiles and glass. They have a tip made of tungsten carbide. The tip looks like an arrow. It is important to note that you should use lubricants when drilling glass and tiles to keep the bit cool.

  • Speciality Bits

They are some of the common types on the market. however, you will also find many other varieties such as Plug Cutter, Countersink, Wood Auger, Step, Counterbore, Forstner and many others.

  • Hole Saw

This type of bits is used to drill fixed diameter large holes. They can drill a hole with a depth of 18mm. They, however, have another variation named combination hole-saw. This type comes with round saw-blades sizing between 25-62mm.

6. Drill Bit Material

Drill bits are mainly made from cobalt, carbide or high-speed steel.

  • Cobalt

This type of drill bit for metal works well for drilling only ferrous metals, not good at drilling nonferrous metals.

  • Carbide

This type of metal-drilling bits made from carbide are appropriate for drilling nonferrous metals but not the ferrous metals.

  • High-speed steel (HHS)

This type is an all-purpose drill bit that can be used to drill through both nonferrous metals, ferrous metals and carbon steel.

Conclusion 

Drilling through metal is a nightmare job, but it can be a task to enjoy if you have the best drill bits for metal and hardened steel. It is important to use a drill bit designed for the particular job, otherwise, you will end up damaging your drill, the drill bit and your project.

The best drill bits for metal should be strong enough to drill through metal. They should also be durable and capable of withstanding the friction and heat produced when drilling. Having a drill bit with this and other added features makes your metal drilling projects easier.

Our best drill bits for metal is the Dewalt DW1354. The fact that they are coated with titanium increases the durability compared to regular Black Oxide coated bits. These drill bits don’t start to spin until when it comes in contact with the surface. This stops the bits from skidding and slipping across the surface. This also makes them safe to operate on a power drill. Lastly, the pilot point tip on it removes the need to drill holes first to prevent the bit from walking across the surface of the metal.