drill bits for metal

Best Drill Bits for Metal

There are dozens of drill bits for every application. Through this article, we shall feature different types of drill bits for metal applications including stainless steel, hardened steel, aluminum and many more. 

Best Drill Bits for Hardened Metal or Steel 

The best recommended drill bits for metal or steel are usually those that come with cobalt blend which includes alloy and 5 to 8% cobalt. This makes up part steel blend which means the hardness of bit will not wear off with coating such as titanium bits. Aside from that, you will also be allowed to sharpen these bits. Whenever you drill a hole with the use of a cobalt bit, add a drop of oil on the metal and keep the cutting edge cooler. Furthermore, we suggest that you use some wood underneath the steel. This way, you will be able to cut cleanly through the material. 

What does hardened steel mean?

This means it is made of medium or high carbon steels. It is usually treated with heat and has undergone tempering process. It is durable, wear-resistant and abrasion resistant. This type of material is usually used in mechanical engineering, energy generation and transportation.

Stainless Steel 

This type of metal is made up of steel alloys which consists of 10.5% chromium. They come in different grades and they are rust and stain resistance. They have good luster and what is amazing is it does not require a lot of maintenance. This material is often found in cookware, home appliances, cutler, construction fasteners and many more. 

Both hardened steel and stainless steel are difficult to drill into. 

Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel

Drill America D/A29J-CO-PC 29-PC Cobalt Set

These drill bits have the 135 degree split point which means you will be able to have most of the time steady and productive drilling speed. Its jabber length bits are perfect for cordless drills for onsite drilling. Drill America also has adhered to the standard of the National Aerospace standard 907. This means, because they are hard, they could drill 30 percent faster than the conventional M2 high speed steel bits. 


Irwin Cobalt M-42 Metal Drill Bits – they come in solid design which is convenient and they have a sharp edge after drilling a huge number of holes. This 29-piece kit would cost about $100. 

IRWIN 29-Piece Cobalt M-42 Metal Index Drill Bit Set

If you would need to drill hardened metal or steels, we highly recommend Irwin 29-piece M-42 Cobalt bit kit. Though it is not the fastest but it comes with decent M42 high speed. It comes with 8% cobalt which provides you the hardness which would help you in drilling. Overall, this kit offers the best drill bits for metal applications. 


Drill America D/A29J-CO-PC Cobalt Set – comes with 29 bits in shatterproof round case. A set of these bits could cost about $106. 

Irwin 29-piece cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set – similar to M42 set. It comes with a great case and it cost only about $111. 

Best Drill Bits for Steel (Carbon Steels) 

Milwaukee Red Helix Cobalt Drill Bits

The Milwaukee Red Helix is made of cobalt bits which comes in a flute design. It could clear away debris quickly about 30 percent faster than other 135 degree split-tip bits. Its unique design provides efficiency and it also helps in cooling. Milwaukee Red Helix is a bit shorter compared to other drills of the same type. They also have the ability to remove steel in tight and efficient. For 15 pieces, you will be able to purchase for about $35 and for 29 pieces for about 125. 

DeWalt Industrial Cobalt Pilot Point Drill Bits

It comes with tapered core which could get closer to the base. If you need to cut stainless, these drill bits are perfect for you.  29-piece kit would cost about $100. 

Diablo Rebar Demon Bits 

If you need to drill through steel but it is buried in concrete, the Diablo Rebar Demon SDS-Max and SDS-Plus is perfect for you. These drill bits could drill through concrete and go through the rebar. These type of drill bits are a bit difficult to find but the Diablo Rebar is the best and highly recommended especially if you consider productivity. 

Bosch Rebar Cutter SDS-Max Bits

This is another perfect option. However, when you use this, take in mind that it could slow you down. 

Milwaukee Hole Dozer Carbide Hole Saws

These drill bits come with carbide teeth which is perfect for metal drilling. It could handle stainless steel and anything softer or milder. These drill bits are perfect for electricians, HVAC and MRO use. It works efficiently on both wood and metal. 

Irwin Unibit Cobalt Step Bits

The Irwin Unibit is perfect for quick thin metal drilling applications. It is made of cobalt which provides these bits longer life. They also provide speed-point tip and it quickly reduces wandering. 3-piece kit would cost about $60. 


Milwaukee Step Bits – this is a perfect solution for electricians and other drill through sheet metal and thicker materials. Kits could cost about $90 to $182. 

Diablo Step Bits – this has twice the cutting speed and 6 times longer life. It has a precision of CNC grinding process. Price ranges from $23.99 and $50.99. 

What are the best drill bits for metal made of?

  • Titanium Coating – some drill bits are made of Titanium nitride coating which could resist corrosion and friction. It beats black oxide which means it increases the surface hardness.
  • Cobalt Steel Blend – made of alloy of 8% cobalt (M42). There is also some blend which comes with a 5% cobalt blend. 


That concludes our article on best drill bits for metal. We hope we were able to provide you useful information and help you choose the best that would suit your needs. 


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