Figuring out drill bits and which types to use for certain materials can be confusing. The reason that there are specific bits for specific materials is primarily because of the bit’s construction. There are some household projects that you can use to steel drill bits with a tapered point but when it comes to hardened steel, regular bits won’t work on it.
The reason, it’s because hurting still is tougher than most materials that regular drill bits can’t cut or drill into. Drill bits, especially the one that is meant by hardened steel, are much different than the regular ones. They are more resistant to heat, and they also have a very unique shape. These types of bits are made from tougher materials that last much longer than traditional drill bits.
You’ll find our 5 top picks of the best drill bits for hardened steel below and learn a bit more about drill bits that are meant for hardened steel.
Top 3 drill bits for hardened steel picks
Best Overall:DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set
Besides being a big name, the Dewalt Titanium Drill Bits has a patented pilot point and a patented bar design that makes the bits able to cut through anything with a breeze.
Best Quality:Drill America 29 Piece M35 Cobalt Drill Bit Set
The Drill America Drill Bit Set has 29 pieces that are made out of Cobalt as well as gold oxide coating which means it can resist heat and can be used at higher speeds.
Best Bargain: Hymnorq Jobber Twist Drill Bits 15pc Set
The Hymnorq Jobber Twist Drill Bits has 15 pieces and it’s made out of cobalt steel. It also has a grade of 67 on the Rockwell hardness scale.
What is Hardened Steel?
Hardened steel is often used for a medium or high carbon steel that has already been given heat treatment and the quenching is followed by tempering.
The components are usually made out of a hard exterior casing and robust core.
What can the hardened steel be used for? Well, it can be used for surgical tools, power shovels, nauseous, steel balls, and more. This kind of material can take on a lot of wear and tear, high impact pressure, and shock.
If the hardened steel is not treated at high temperatures, it can become brittle. It does have to go through the two-part process so that it can be hard and not wear out over time.
Materials of Drill bits
These bits are made from high alloy high-speed steel and solid cobalt. These bits can take a lot of wear and tear, as well as very high temperatures. These bits are made for metal due to those reasons, as they can take on any kind of steel, metal, and more.
These particular drill bits are made out of vanadium and tungsten. They have a hardness grade of 60 or above on the Rockwell hardness grade. They are commonly known as the twist bits due to the fact they do have that twist screw look on the top of the bits.
These bits are made out of steel, but they do have a carbide tip, which got them their name. They’re usually extremely hard, so they’re popular to use in industrial settings. They can typically cut through concrete, masonry, tile, and sometimes even metal plus more.
The diamond bits are perfect for drilling through very hard materials. The bits are made from high-speed steel, and it has a diamond tip, which means it’s extremely durable.
Storing and Caring for Your Drill Bits
- You’ll want to mark, or center punch a spot where you want to drill. It will make sure that the bit doesn’t slide all over the surface.
- You need to know the correct speed for the material that you will be drilling on. Softer materials need faster speeds, hard materials need slower speeds.
- When you’re drilling you definitely want to have the right amount of pressure. If you put too much pressure while drilling, the bit will deflect. If there is too little pressure, the bit will not go through the material.
- Most drill bits usually have a case that comes with it, so make sure it is in a dry area or in the case. If they are exposed to moisture, they will rust and they’ll be no good.
- When you’re getting ready to drill and any material, you’ll need to know what each drill bit is for. Using the wrong one can produce less than desirable results.
- If you are going to use hammer action on your tool, you should know when to use it or not. Because some drill bits will dull with excessive hammer use.
- If you are working with masonry bits, you’ll want to keep a jug of water nearby while you drill because the bits can get very hot.
- If you are using larger drill bits, make sure that you have a tight grip on the tool as they can produce a lot of force to the drill.
- When you are drawing metal, you want to make sure there’s enough lubrication like water or any other metal-friendly fluid.
- Never have the drill in reverse as it can dull and overheat easily.
- Even while you’re using the drill bit, you’ll want to clean it from dirt and debris so that nothing gets trapped in them and so that it doesn’t get overheated.
Best 5 Drill Bits for Hardened Steel
Dewalt is the biggest name in this roundup, so we decided to start with them as they have a very good drill bit set that is worth mentioning. The Dewalt Titanium Drill Bit Set comes with 21 pieces that are made what the title says it’s made out of, which is titanium. That means it can withstand being drilled into the metal with no issues because of its build.
The bit has a patented pilot point, which means that it can produce clean, accurate holes when it’s drilled into the material. The bits from this set have a patented bit bar design so it can be easy to remove the bits as well as customize placements. The materials that you can use these bits on are metal, wood, and plastic. This set also comes with a plastic case with a clear lid so that it can help keep the bits organized and can be transported anywhere.
- Made out of titanium
- Patented Pilot Point & Patented Bit Bar Design
- Can be used on metal, wood, and plastic
- May not be as high quality as the manufacturer’s claims
COMOWARE is an affordable company that sells quality tools and drill bits such as this Cobalt Drill Bit Set. Made out of 5% cobalt and high-speed steel with a gold oxide coating, they are expected to be durable for years to come. There are 15 pieces in this set and the sizes range from 1/16 inch to ⅜ inch. There’s also a 135-degree split point which will help stop walking and helps to ensure the chips move smoothly in the material. It comes with a plastic case that the bits can be stored in and can be transported to where you might need to use the bits.
- Made out of Cobalt with gold oxide coating
- The index isn’t the greatest
- Some users have said it’s poor quality
This brand may not be as popular as the other brands on here, but Drill America made this roundup for a good reason. Their 29 Piece M35 Cobalt Drill Bit Set it’s made out of high-quality Cobalt construction and intuitive spiral design which means they are extremely sharp, and perform very well. You will find the bits you need for any of your projects because it’s a 29 piece set.
This site comes with fractional sizes that increase by 1/64 inch. These bits are coated with gold oxide coating which means it has high durability and it’s also naturally lubricated. With all these features you know why it can definitely cut through almost any material with such ease. If you’re going to be working with hardened metal or steel regularly, then this is a great option for you to consider.
- Made out of Cobalt with gold oxide coating
- Extremely sharp bits
- Can cut through all hardened steel
- Has an issue drilling softer metal
The HYCLAT Titanium Step Drill Bit has 5 pieces but really you can treat it as 50 pieces as each drill bit can actually drill many bore diameters. They range from 3/16 to 1 ⅜ inch, as it’s clearly marked on each of the bits. The bits are constructed out of high-speed steel with an excellent titanium coating, so it’s durable and capable of drilling holes in materials such as metal, aluminum, copper, plastic, and more.
The bits have double cutting blades and a three-sided shank to help with faster and smoother cutting. The bits come with an aluminum case that stores them and you can bring them everywhere that you’d need them for.
- Can act as 50 pieces due to several bore diameters
- Made out of high-speed steel with titanium coating
- Double cutting blades with a 3-sided shank
- Doesn’t come with an aluminum case as advertised
- Some bits don’t cut at all
Finally, the Hymnorq Jobber Twist Drill Set has 15 pieces that are made out of cobalt steel as well as molybdenum which means it is heat resistant and durable. The bits were measured at 67 for the Rockwell hardness scale, which means that it can cut faster and has a longer life span. It has a 135-degree split-point self-centering tip that can handle penetration fast with less pressure. The bits have 12 different sizes that range from 1/16 inch to ⅜ inch.
These bits can cut through hard metal with no issues as well as wood and plastic as well. It may have a hard time cutting through hardened-steel or high carbon steel, as you’ll have to adjust the RPM speed on the tool you’re using if you do want to attempt to cut through those. This set comes in a plastic ABS case that can store all the bits and can be transported to wherever you may need the bits for.
- Made out of Cobalt Steel
- 12 different sizes
- Cuts through metal, wood and plastic
- Has an issue cutting through hardened-steel/high carbon steel
Tips for Drilling into Hardened Steel
Use the Right Bits
You’ll want to use bits that are meant for hardened steel. If you use a regular bit, it can very well break or not give the results you’re looking for. You’ll know if you’re using the right bit if it doesn’t taper easily, but if it does, you are using the wrong one. You’ll want to make sure that the bits are at least high density and at least made out of high-speed steel.
Control the Heat
Heat and hardened steel don’t really get along, so you’ll have to control the heat. This means you may have to put a tiny bit of oil on the metal to make sure that it stays lubricated. Some bits come naturally lubricated (the ones for hardened steel) but in the event, the ones you are using don’t, definitely use the oil.
Also, it’s not advisable to use a drill at a high speed, since the higher it does, the more heat is created. Slow and gradual with the tool is the way to go and it’s preferable if the bits you use have titanium coating, because they’re usually heat resistant.
You can experience all sorts of issues with working with hardened steel. They can chip, have formation and evacuation issues. But having the piece stabilized so that none of it happens, will result in a much better result and no issues will usually happen.
Let the Tool Cool Down
Because the hardened steel is not a big fan of heat and letting your tool overheat is usually not a good idea, you’ll want to let the tool cool down. You’ll want to keep the drilling sessions short so that you can continue drilling and not worry about overheating.
All drill bits can snap at any moment, leading to a dangerous situation. This means it can throw metal shards towards your eyes, potentially causing blindness. For this reason, you’ll absolutely want to wear safety glasses. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll absolutely want to make sure that the piece that you’re working on is stable and clamped down properly.
About the Brands
Dewalt is a well-known power tools company that has been around since 1924. It was founded by Raymond Dewalt. They create everything from power tools down to drill bits. They’re known for their superior quality and their excellent customer service. When one buys from them, even though they’re pricier than others, they can take comfort that the product comes with a warranty.
COMOWARE is a brand owned by Jiangsu Tiangong Industrial’s U.S. Division. They manufacture high-quality tools at reasonable prices.
Drill America has been around since 1923 and has plants in the USA, Europe, and Asia. They also work with distributors to make sure they have the best quality tools that are made by them. The tools by them are of high quality and affordable.
This company, while not widely known, makes high-quality tools that thousands of customers are satisfied with. They are primarily on Amazon, and their drill bits specifically are of high quality that makes many customers pleased with its quality and use.
Hymrooq is actually a trademark of Zhongxun Liu. They are primarily an Amazon seller that sells tools and drill bits that many customers have been satisfied with.
Does the length of the drill bit matter?
Yes, it does matter. You’ll want to use the right length for the length you’re hoping to cut through. The shorter the length, the fewer chances it’ll break, especially on metal.
How do I sharpen my drill bits?
You’ll want to sharpen your drill bits against a bench grinder. From there, you’ll want to hold the grinder firmly and hold the bit at an angle until it looks sharp. After that, you’ll want to give your bit a test run to see if it’s sharp enough. If it is, you’re done! If not, you’ll have to grind it on all sides until it’s sharp enough.
What is the best drill bit for hardened steel?
The best drill bit for hardened steel would be Cobalt drill bits. They’re made out of durable material, can withstand a lot of pressure and heat and have no issue with hardened metals, including steel.
As you read today, hardened steel definitely needs specific bits for them. They need the bits that will be of highly durable material, that can withstand wear and tear. They also have to resist heat as well. You’ll have to decide which set of drill bits will suit your next drilling needs.
In terms of the best overall in performance and quality, we strongly recommend the DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set. However, if you are on a budget, we recommend the Hymnorq Jobber Twist Drill Bits 15pc Set.
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