Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel 2020
The handmade goodies that can be created with a drill is beyond imagination. The drill for a DIYer, enthusiast or a professional, is a handy tool they can't afford not to have in their toolkit.A drill without an appropriate drill bit is just a disaster waiting to happen and a misuse of this creative machine.
Drill bits are of different types and sizes depending on the materials to be worked on. Majority of DIYers and enthusiasts make use of the regular drill bits with tapered points to work on woods, plastic and metal sheets.
However, cutting through thick metals is another thing entirely.It requires some level of expertise and exposure as well as picking up the right drill bits. Without doubt, hardened steel and stainless steel are two of the most thickest metals out there.
Drill bits that are needed to cut through hardened steel have some special characteristics and properties. It is dangerous practice to pick up a regular drill bit to cut through hardened steel or any other tough metal.
- 1 Drill Bits for Hardened Steel
- 2 Features to Consider When Selecting Drill Bits for Hardened Steel
- 3 6 Best Hardened Steel Drill Bits
- 3.1 Bosch CO2144 17/64 In. X 4-1/8 Cobalt Drill Bit
- 3.2 DRILLFORCE 20-piece 1/8 inch Round Shank HSS M35 Cobalt Twist Drill Bits
- 3.3 DEWALT Black Oxide Drill Bit Set, 20 Pieces (DW1177)
- 3.4 Viking Drill and Tool Norseman 66820 Ultra Dex SPM-29 Drill Bit Set
- 3.5 IRWIN Drill Bit Set Cobalt 15-Pieces (316015)
- 3.6 Chicago Latrobe 550 Series Cobalt Steel Jobber Length Drill Bit Set
- 3.7 1. Bosch CO2144 17/64 In. X 4-1/8 Cobalt Drill Bit – Best for Effortless Drilling
- 3.8 2. DRILLFORCE 20-piece 1/8 inch Round Shank HSS M35 Cobalt Twist Drill Bits – Best for Tough Metals
- 3.9 3. DEWALT Black Oxide Drill Bit Set, 20 Pieces (DW1177) – Best for Smooth Drilling
- 3.10 4. Viking Drill and Tool Norseman 66820 Ultra Dex SPM-29 Drill Bit Set – Best for Accurate Drilling
- 3.11 5. IRWIN Drill Bit Set Cobalt 15-Pieces (316015) – Best for Safe Drilling
- 3.12 6. Chicago Latrobe 550 Series Cobalt Steel Jobber Length Drill Bit Set – Best for Low-income Earners
- 4 FAQ on Hardened Steel Drill Bits
- 5 Conclusion
Drill Bits for Hardened Steel
As earlier stated, drilling through hardened steel might become gruesome and a kind of nightmare if you don't come prepared. It requires the know-how and the right tools.
Drill bits for hardened steel are made from extremely strong materials such as cobalt. They are astonishingly resistant to heat and can work under very high temperature. The tip of a hardened steel drill bit is usually coated and blunt.
They are not the most fanciful but they get the job done. Using fanciful regular bits will most likely result in accidents as they are likely to break a few seconds into the job. Hence, for your safety and comfort as well as to protect the workpiece and drill, you need to get the drill bit that is fitting for hardened steel. Also here's a videoshowing the step by step guide on how to drill through hardened steels.
So, how do you get the best drill bit for your project? Below are features to consider when choosing a drill bit for hardened steel, which are discussed in detail below.
Features to Consider When Selecting Drill Bits for Hardened Steel
There are many types of drill bits of varying styles, brands and specifications out there that it is so easy to mistake one for another. Though, it is worthy of note to say, the task of choosing the right drill bit for hardened steel only becomes complicated if you head into the market uninformed
Here we have put together the features you need to consider in a drill bit to determine if it is the right tool to get the job done.
1. Drill Bit Materials
In order to efficiently drill through a hardened steel, you need a drill bit made with a material that is considerably stronger. This is due to the fact that the strength of the material will determine the durability and efficiency of the bit.
Also, hardened steel is extremely wear and tear resistive, and as such, you will need a drill bit that can retain its sharpness for an extended period of usage.
Below are some of the drill bits materials you will find in the market.
- Soft Low-Carbon Steel: The cheapest amongst the materials used for hardened steel drill bits. As the name implies, it contains low percentage of carbon and needs frequent sharpening.
- The durability of this type of drill bit is also low. If you are drilling through hardened steel as a one off Job, you can consider this type of drill bit. But if you are a professional and cut through hardened steel often, this drill bit is not advisable for you.
- High-Carbon Steel (Carbide): These drill bits are very tough and durable. They are made tough through the hardening and tapering process.
- They are well-suited with metals and hardwood. The only downside to this material is that loses its sharpness when it is exposed to high temperature for a long period of time.
- High-Speed Steel (HSS): They are considerably better than the high carbon steel bits. They are harder, and notably more resistant to heat.
- HSS drill bits are well-suited to drilling through hardened steel for an extended period of time and does that at high speed.
- Cobalt Steel Alloys: It is abetter version of the high speed steel and one of the most reliable drill bits for working on hardened steel. As the name goes, they contain a high amount cobalt. Amongst all drill bits, they are probably the most suitable for drilling through hardened steel.
- They can work under high temperature for long period of time without losing their sharpness or hardness. The only downside to cobalt steel bits is that, they are notably more brittle than other high-speed drill bits.
- Tungsten Carbide: The most effective and expensive of all. They can drill through virtually any type of material. They also retain their sharpness, edge and strength longer than other types of drill bits.
- Due to the fact that tungsten is very much expensive, they are majorly used as tip for drill bits that's not as hard instead of being a whole drill bit. They are very strong, hence, they are used for the toughest drilling jobs such as production drilling.
The neatness and quality of the holes drilled by a drill bit is largely dependent on the coating.There are majorly three types of coatings that can be found on drill bits for hardened steel.
- Titanium Nitride: One of the most efficient coatings that can be used to coat a drill bit. It is made of ceramic and increases the durability of a drill bit to two or three times the normal span.
- It is usually used for coating of high speed drill bits. It is very hard and durable and well-suited to wear-resistant surfaces like hardened steel.
- Black Oxide: A cheaper type of coating that has low friction and high heat resistance. It is also corrosion resistant which makes it durable and effective. It notably improves the durability and efficiency of high speed steel drill bits.
- Bronze Oxide: Mostly used as a secondary coating to already coated drill bits. They can sometimes be found on black oxide coated drill bits.
- Most times when you find a drill bit that carries a bronze oxide coating, it means it has a very high grade of high speed steel.
3. Flute Design
The deep groove-like indentations that is found around the drill bit is called the flute. It gives a way out to waste materials and provides a clearer view of your drilling activity.
There are majorly two types of flute designs you can find on a drill bit; the parabolic flute design and the 30degrees angle design.
For efficiency and neatness, the best type of design you can get for hardened steel is the 30degrees angle design.
4. Shank Design
The shank of a drill bit is the part that connects it to chuck of the drill. The firmness of a drilling operation is dependent on how well connected the shaft of the drill bit is to the drill.
Majorly, the hexagonal and circular shanks are the most common types of shanks. The hexagonal shank is well suited to high speed and high power operations because the arms of the chuckis able to hold them tightly.
The round shank on the other hand, is difficult to hold onto and can be slippery during high speed operations. Though, they can still be used if you can properly tighten the chuck.
5. Drill Point Length
The length of the drilling point varies with the type of materials you will be working with.
For metals generally including hardened steel, a shorter drill bit is the most preferred. This is because they are closer to the surface, making them more rigid and accurate.
A longer bit is at risk of breaking if it is used rigorously.
6. Drill point Angle
The widely accepted angle standard is 118 degrees. For faster drilling operations such as that of a hardened steel, a 135 degrees self-centering angle bit is the most suitable.
7. Drill Bit Number
The varieties of jobs you can do with a drill bit set is dependent on the number of bits in the pack. Some drill bits brands produces different models of drill bits based on the size and number of drill bits in the package.
For an enthusiast or professional, a drill bit set with bits between the range 14 and 21 will do.
It is advisable you get a product with higher number of drill bits. This gives you flexibility and saves you from the need of purchasing a new set entirely when another variety of job pops up in the future.
Drill bits for hardened steel are usually more expensive than the regular drill bits. This is due to the types of materials that are used to manufacture them and the quality.
The price of a hardened steel drill bit like other products is dependent on the quality and the style you want.
It is advisable you get the best drill bit that suits the job even if it is a little be more costly. This will save you from accident and unnecessary stress.
To save you from the headache of having to select a drill bit, we have selected and reviewed 6 of the very best available in the market.