Homedit is supported by our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What Drill Bits to Use for Stainless Steel

Have you been searching for drill bits that can easily drill into stainless steel? There’s a reason why you need specific drill bits for stainless steel (more on that later). But having the right ones can make drilling through the stainless steel a breeze.

drill bits for stainless steel

There are a variety of drill bits out there that are perfect for stainless steel, but they vary in size, construction, and what they can protect from. There are even drill bits that not only drill through stainless steel, but they can also cut through wood, plastic, titanium alloy, and more. Read on to see the features of drill bits and some of the best ones that are on the market.

Top 3 Picks

Best Overall:Hurricane 230 Twist Drill Set

The Hurricane 230 Twist Drill Set comes with 230 drill bit pieces that are made out of high-quality construction. There are also spare pieces should you need replacement. It can drill into stainless steel but aluminum, zinc, wood, and other materials.

Best Quality: Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

The Neiko Drill Bit Set is made out of titanium nitride, which means it can drill through hardened steel and other materials easily.

Best Bargain:COMOWARE Twist Drill Bit Set

The COMOWARE comes as a set for a very good price. It can drill through steel and other materials such as plastic and wood.

Why You Need Special Bits for Stainless Steel

You need special bits for stainless steel because those bits are usually made out of durable construction such as high-speed steel, titanium nitride, and cobalt. It will also have to withstand the drilling (the wear) and the extreme heat from drilling whereas regular bits probably won’t be able to handle it.

Types of Drill Bits

Types of Drill Bits

There are a variety of drill bits that are used for drilling. Here are some of the most common types:

High-Speed Steel Bit

High-speed drill bits are the times you would definitely want to use when you’re drilling through the steel. They’re also calmly no nice twist bits because they have the twist to them, and you use these for general use. You can use these fish on wood, metal plastic, and more. As far as power tools, you can use the bits with an electric drill, power drill, and hand drills.

Twist Drill Bit

The twist drill bits are the most common types that you use for the home. It drills perfectly in metal, wood, and plastic.

Brad Point Drill Bit

A brad-point bit is used to bore holes in wood. The brad in the middle of the bit tip assists in accurately positioning the bit for accurate drilling and creates a clean exit point in the workpiece.

Related: Keep Your Drill Bits Sharp with a Drill Bit Sharpener

Auger Drill Bit

Another form of wood-boring bit is an auger bit, which has a screw tip that begins the hole and pushes the bit through the workpiece to quickly make a clean hole.

Self-feed Drill Bit

Another form of wood-boring bit is an auger bit, which has a screw tip that begins the hole and pushes the bit through the workpiece to quickly make a clean hole. These pieces may be up to 18 inches long. Large flutes, like the brad-point bit, aid in the removal of chips and dust. A hollow-center auger bit removes more chips, allowing for deeper drilling; a solid-center auger bit is stronger and more rigid.

Installer Drill Bit

The type of bits is actually specialized twist bits that are designed for wiring things such as entertainment systems. They can be up to 18 in long and they can easily drill through wood plaster and some masonry.

Spade Bit

These bits look like paddles, which is their other name (paddle bit) that can bore large diameter holes. These bits can be used for one and a half inches in diameter in the wood.

Forstner Drill Bit

These bits for smooth clean holes in the wood. The design lets you overlap holes, and a point lets you position the bit precisely on the workpiece.

Best 5 Drill Bits Options for Stainless Steel

IRWIN Drill Bit Set

IRWIN Drill Bit SetView in gallery

The IRWIN Drill Bit Set has 29 pieces that are of professional grade. As far as the sizes it ranges from 1/16- 1/64 inch. The bits are high quality as they are heat resistant and they’re made out of industrial-grade, high-speed steel cobalt alloy construction. The bits also have 135-degree split-tip points to make penetration (drilling) easier. You can use these bits on steel with no issues. The set does come with a case with the drill bits so you can keep all the bits in one place and bring it anywhere you may need them.

Pros

  • 29-piece set
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Made out of high steel cobalt alloy construction that can penetrate steel easily

Cons

  • It doesn’t perform as well as the manufacturer’s claims

Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit SetView in gallery

If you’re on a budget and need a decent drill bit set, you’ll love the Neiko 3 Piece set. While it’s only three pieces, the bits are wider so that means you can get precise holes with the bits.

  • Smallest bit is ½ to 3/16 inch
  • Medium sized bit is ½ to ⅛ inch
  • Largest sized bit is ¾ to ¼ inch

There is a 135-degree split point tip on these bits that helps reduce friction, pressure, and heat. These bits are made from high-quality steel with titanium nitride coating.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Made from high-quality steel with titanium nitride coating
  • Wider bits

Cons

  • Can’t drill through hardened metals such as car steel frames

COMOWARE Twist Drill Bit Set

COMOWARE Twist Drill Bit SetView in gallery

The COMOWARE Twist Drill Bit Set provides 10 bits that are made out of high-speed steel with a black oxide coating. There is a 35-degree point tip point & twist design that helps increase the cutting speed. Not only can these bits go through steel easily, but they can also go through plastic, soft material, and even wood.

The bits range from 1/16 inch to 1 1/64 inch, so there’s a variety of sizes to choose from to fit your drilling needs. There are other options by this brand if you choose to want more bits.

Pros

  • Goes through steel easily
  • Variety of bit sizes
  • Can be drilled through plastic, soft material, wood, and metal

Cons

  • Some users have questioned about the quality of the bits, saying it doesn’t perform as well as it should

230 Pieces Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set

230 Pieces Titanium Twist Drill Bit SetView in gallery

There’s an impressive 230 bits in this drill set by Hurricane. These bits can easily be drilled into not only stainless steel but aluminum, zinc, wood, and other materials. The bits themselves are made out of titanium nitride to protect from heat and wear. There is a 135-degree split point tip that helps with easy drilling, and it will help keep the heat at lower levels as well. There is a plastic storage box that comes with this set that can hold all these bits and will make for easy transportation for wherever you will need them.

These bits can accommodate drilling holes in sizes from ¾ inch to ½ inch, depending on what you need to drill. There are several replacement pieces for each bit, in the event it breaks. This drill set is perfect if you need it for professional reasons, but it’s good for a DIY’er who wants a more versatile set.

Pros

  • 230 drill bits
  • Can be drilled in aluminum, zinc, wood, steel, and other materials
  • Made out of titanium nitride

Cons

  • Some bits do come with imperfections
  • Some bits can dull quickly

COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set

COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit SetView in gallery

The COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set comes with 15 bits that are made out of 5% cobalt and high-speed steel, which gives protection to heat and wear. The bits range from 1/16 inch to ⅜ inch so you’ll have a variety of sizes that you can use to drill into steel, cast iron, high-temperature alloy, titanium alloy, hard plastic, and wood. There is a 135-degree split-tip point that helps reduce thrust and much easier penetration into materials. This set does come with a plastic storage case that you can store the bits in and easily transport around if you need them in a different area.

Pros

  • Bits are made out of 5% cobalt
  • Variety of bit sizes
  • Can be drilled into most materials

Cons

  • There are quality issues with these bits as in they break when tried to use on hardened steel

Storing and Caring for Your Drill Bits

Clean the Bits

After you are done using them, you’ll want to clean them while you are using the bits. If you don’t stop every five to ten minutes to wipe off your drill bit with a dry towel, you risk damaging it (and whatever you’re drilling).

Oil the Bits

After your bits are cleaned and dry, you’ll need to oil the bits. The reason for this is because you want to make sure the bits are in tip-top shape to use again.

Separate Your Drill Bits

You’ll want to make sure that your drill bits are separated in a toolbox or case so that it’s organized and doesn’t get scratched for future use. Many drill bits that you buy often come with a case to help keep the drill bits separated.

About the Brands

IRWIN

Comoware 1024x210View in gallery

IRWIN was actually founded in 1885 as a small company. They’ve started with the first auger bit made by them and now they make other tools such as blades and bar clamps. IRWIN is now known as one of the top companies that sell high-quality drill bits and more.

Neiko

Comoware 1024x210View in gallery

Neiko has been around for more than 20 years. They are known as a brand that provides premium products such as high-quality drill bits. They also sell torques, wrenches, sockets, and more. Customers often describe this brand as a good value for money because their products usually cost less than leading competitors.

COMOWARE

Comoware 1024x210View in gallery

COMOWARE is actually a brand that’s owned by the U.S. Division of Jiangsu Tiangong Industrial. They make quality tools for a price that’s usually very affordable.

Tips for Drilling into Stainless Steel

  • Make sure you use the right bits

You don’t need fancy bits. Just drill bits that preferably have a twist. Look for drill bits that are made out of high-speed steel etc. and that’s all you need. There are various sizes, but you’ll have to decide which one to use for whatever you will be drilling.

  • Protect your eyes

When you’re drilling, you’ll want to protect your eyes. It’s important to wear safety glasses so that you don’t get sparks or worse the bit in your eyes in case it does slip and come out ratcheting that way.

  • Mark where you want to drill

You will want to mark the spot where you want to drill and add a center punch, like a dimple. That way when you start drilling with the bit, it has somewhere to ride (to stay in place).

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right drill bits for stainless steel can be somewhat stressful. But we hope by reading today’s guide, that you know how to look for one and which ones are the best on the market, you are more confident with your decision. They vary by size and construction, so you’ll have to choose wisely to see which drill bits would fit best for the tool you’ll be using on the stainless steel. If you have enjoyed reading this guide about the drill bits for stainless and found it useful, please let us know, in the comments if you like!