Best Drill Bit for Metal Drilling 2018: A Comprehensive Guide
Heading into your workshop or garage without the right set of tools is suicide.
You have to know what you are getting into and the tools you need to get out of that mess.
Metal drilling might seem simple from the outset, but without the right drill bits by your side, you are going to spread the pieall over the table. Just like I did when I first went in there.
Drill bits are fairly simple tools. But the trick is, there are thousands of brands out there. So much so that it will make your head spin.
That is why, getting the best drill bit for metal is trickier than you think.
Fortunately, you just need a nudge in the right direction.
That is what I am here for. In this article, I’ve spilled out some of my golden nuggets as buying advice. These will certainly aid you in choosing the best bit for the job.
That’s not all! I went a bit further and explained different types of metal drilling bits to you. The bonus of this piece is my very own set of recommendations.
That’s right! You can even purchase one from my own list if you are feeling a tad bit lazy to conduct your own research. Let us first explore why we need metal drill bits in the first place.
Why Metal Drill Bits?
Valid question, right? Drilling is simple. Drilling bits are simple. Why would you need a specialized drill bit set for metal or for any of the materials? Won’t the standard ones do?
Let me give you the simple answer: No!
Standard Drill bits are made of plastic, wood, or even PVC for that matter. But when it comes to metal, you need durable drill bits. These should be able to take on hardened metals.
Metal drill bit sets are special. They are able to work within intense heat which normal bits can’t.
Another benefit of these things is that they are hard. They can take on objects of different thicknesses. You seriously can’t expect these traits from a normal drill bit set when you are drilling metal.
That is why you need to buy one or more for your DIY projects and workshop gigs.
Things You Should Drill in Your Mind Before Buying These Drill Bits
Online shops or retail stores won’t often tell you what’s best for your needs. Not everything is put in plain letters. You need to do your own research and find out what matches your style.
These simple products require some thought before you set out to buy them.Here arefew key factors that I take into account for my drill bits.These will help in getting the perfect one for youguys as well.
Look at the Material Your Drill Bit Set is Made With
When you are drilling into metal, your drill bit’s construction matters as well. You can’t go into drilling a hole if your tool is incompetent.
For example, you’ll find HSS drill bits that are really hard. These are durable as well. When drilling at a high speed, these things come handy.
The top metal drill bits come with Cobalt and Steel construction. These are hard and maintain their shapes when drilling thick metal.
Then you have the High-Speed Steel construction. The drill bits that use this construction are rigid. But under intense drilling, these things can shatter pretty easily. If you work with metal sheets and thin metal planks, these are the ideal ones for you.
What Will You Be Drilling into?
Since you’ve found this article, obviously you are searching for a tool to drill into metal. But Metals have types as well. So, what type of metal you are working with matters in your purchase decision.
If you want to drill into thin metal sheets, a thin drilling bit will do. Drilling into thick steel requires a different type of drilling bit.
Similarly, if you want to go for a metal that produces heat, there are drill bit models catering that aspect.
There are people who want to get the best of all the worlds. For them, there are drill bit sets catering to different demands all at once.
Look for the Numbers in a Set
Let me assume you hit the jackpot and now want an entire set of metal cutting drill bits. Now what?
Now you need to look into the number of bits in each set. My advice is to compare the model and its options. Surprised? Some models come with different packages based on the number of bits inside.
You can also compare between different brands for the number of drill bits. A higher number means you can do different types of drilling with the product.
If you are looking for a specific range, a package that offers you between 14 to 21 drill bits is ideal.
Speaking from a professional point of view, I’d choose a product with the highest number of drill bits. Because, as I said, I’ll have flexibility and options by my side when drilling holes or polishing things.
How Often Will You Be Drilling Holes?
When you are at work, the project matters a great deal. Some people drill into metal for a DIY project. You know, during the weekends. These people are weekend warriors for me.
Others are hobbyists. These guys will drill into thin metal sheets once in a while. Although they take their projects very seriously, they don’t pick up the drill press THAT often.
The rest are Pros. They are serious handymen who work day and night to drill holes into metal of all thickness levels. They require different diameters of holes. Some of them even polish a metal for other applications.
For each one of these categories, there are drill bit sets to be had. These sets are especially suited for one or multiple applications. Make sure you figure out your work pattern before rushing online to buy a random product. The last thing you want to end up with is a product that sits on your shelf idly all day.
So… The Price
They say, “The more sugar you pour in your coffee, it gets sweeter.” Everything in this world has a price. Even the Best Drill Bit for Metal. Higher price gets you more features and added perks.
I’d advise you to look at what you need. Your projects, responsibilities, frequent drilling routine will decide the ideal drill bits for the job.
At the same time, if you want your product to provide you with years’ worth of service, ensuring durability and adaptability is the best route forward.
My personal favorites are the bits that are made with Cobalt and coated with Titanium for best results. Now, these are high-end tools with a hefty price.
However; getting the high-end drill bit set is good, but not always necessary. Especially when you are constrained by your wallet. All things considered, mid-range drill bits are ideal choices for this scenario.
I Look into the Shank Design as Well
Most “Top 10 Drill Bits” articles will hand you products that more or less make the criteria. However, the best in the business get along with each and every “Chuck” drill presses come with.
This is due to the “Shank Design” these bits have.
You will find bits with Hexagonal Shanks. These do fit well with most of the chucks. Hexagonal shank prevents slipping and walking of the bits. If you are a handyman for a living, I suggest you go for these bits.
People opt for bits that have a “Round” shank as well. The thing is, you’ll have to tighten these bits to the extreme to make sure the three arms of your Chuck grips them properly.
This is where most of the beginner-level handymen falter. Even some of the experienced guys rely too much on what’s been said online or in a product catalogue of a store. These things don’t always reflect what the product has to offer.
Also, you need to test it first hand to get a gauge on its performance level and pitfalls. Not all of us are well-equipped to judge a product. Fortunately, there are thousands of users of a reputed brand. These users often use products for a long time. Based on their experience and workload, they judge the performance for us.
I sincerely ask you to go through such user reviews where other users have discussed the performance level, pros, and cons of a certain drill bit set. This will help you arrive at a better judgement. You should be able to discern which tool to buy and which to leave out.
Best Drill Bit for Metal reviews- Best of 2018
Mind you, it was hard. I had to pull in all of my experience as a handyman myself and I had some consulting to do with my friends before I came up with the following list.
Whether you want one for your DIY projects or the best drill bits for metal over at your construction site, this list is more than handy to suit your needs.
DEWALT DW1354 14-Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set
I am kicking my top metal cutting drill bits’ list off with my favorite brand.
The product is DEWALT DW1354.
Okay, so this one comes as a set of 14 drill bits. The USP of the product is the fact that it doesn’t start spinning right away after you turn the drill press on.
Instead, the bits rotate when they come in contact with the wood, hardwood, metal, or plastic. I was impressed when I saw this feature for the first time.
What it does is, it minimizes friction and reduces heat. You won’t see fire sparks flying here and there even when you are in middle of intense drilling.
Now, most people have to stay careful about the bits wobbling when they are drilling holes or pushing screws down at high speed. I could do that with no worries at all.
DEWALT DW1354 has a “No-Slip Shank.” The basic idea is; the shank keeps titanium bits tightly in place inside the chuck. They don’t get displaced.
The bits are formidable as well. you’ll find tapered web on them. This is the source of their durability. However, be careful when drilling ferrous metals. I’ll advise you to proceed with drilling thin metal sheets with this product. It is primarily meant for wood.
What I Liked About This Product
- You’ll love the titanium coated bits that last long.
- The “No-Slip” Shank prevents bits from wobbling.
- The bits only operate when you put them on the drilling surface.
- The tip of these bits are very sharp.
- Comes with a sturdy carrying case.
Vastar Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 3-Piece Set & Automatic Center Punch
When you are out to drill through sheets of metal, you must use drilling bits that pack the punch. They must be sturdy, sharp, and versatile. Fortunately, Vastar Titanium Step Drill Bit Set is all of these things.
I first got to know Vastar two years back. I was looking for a drill bit to penetrate a “Medium Thick” sheet metal sheet. I was skeptical seeing this 3-Piece set.
Honestly, I didn’t think highly of its capacities. Until I got to see the 3-Bit Set pull off tasks that 28 (yes, you saw it right) different bits could do. Awesome!
But versatility isn’t the only thing it’s known for. Vastar comes with a strong (read: Super strong) build quality. This is all thanks to the Titanium M2 Steel that can withstand uneven metal plates. When spinning rapidly, most metal cutting drill bits give off heat due to the friction. But not my Vastar!
Even after two years of me handling this, there’ve been no accidents.
The thing I love most about this Step Drill Bit Set is “Automatic Center Punch” system. Don’t worry! It is not a KO punch like in boxing. Rather, it’s a spring. When I press the drill bits into hardened metal or wood, the spring kicks in and delivers strikes that can penetrate the materials with ease.
The whole thing is corrosion resistant. I can even drill screws besides normal holes. The bits come with knurled grip to offer better traction.
Features I Found Useful in this Product
- The precision sharp tip of the bits doesn’t allow heat to build up.
- You get 28 drill bits packed in just 3.
- Automatic Punch System drills deep holes even in metal sheets.
- Durable set of drill bits with titanium coating.
- You can even drill screws with these besides normal drilling.
- It is able to drill through wood, steel, metal sheets and others thanks to the design.
DEWALT DW1177 20-Piece Black-Oxide Metal Drill Bit Set
Who knew one of my favorite drill bit set was from China? I didn’t! As a handyman, I quite like DEWALT franchise for their expertise in different tools. Naturally, the DW1177 caught my eye a while back. It is a 20-bit set that takes care of any type of metal, wood, hard plastic, and even brick wall.
Make no mistake, drill bits have to be pretty strong to take care of different surfaces. The DW1177 is! In fact, manufacturers designed the set in shape of a Parabolic Flute to increase the strength and durability, and penetration power.
That’s not all!
DW1177 has a split point of 135 degrees. This allows handymen like me to be worry-free while we are working on metal sheets. These bits won’t slip or derail when moving at a high speed.
Plus, these won’t degrade anytime soon. How? These metal cutting bits come with black oxide finish that protects them.
I could even drill into hardwood. These things are quite sturdy when you put them to the test.
To round up the product we have a carrying case at hand. I love the fact that it organizes it's according to their sizes. Then you have the “Soft Lock” thing. I prefer to lock the case whenever I take them to work just to add an extra layer of safety.
Ways DEWALT DW1177 Impressed Me
- This thing penetrates thin to “Medium Thick” metal and even hardwood.
- You get 20 drill bits in a package.
- These bits don’t slip thanks to the 135-dgree split.
- You get durable set of bits owing to parabolic construction.
- Carrying case keeps the product safe.
Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit
Now, not all of us are “Super Rich” and can afford the “High-End” bits. We just need to get the job done and done well. For those of you, Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit is an ideal product on my Best Metal Drill Bits’ List.
People owning metal shops will find these bits ideal for work. This one is a high-speed drill bit coated with Titanium. The fact that it can drill holes through copper, aluminum, steel, plastic, and others makes it versatile to say the least. This flexibility allows it to take care of the jobs of 10 different bits.
The interesting thing is, at this price it offers 135-degree split like DEWALT does. It increases cutting or drilling speed for this bit. However, it won’t walk or slide off while you are operating it in high-speed.
To ensure that it doesn’t slip up, you have “Tri Flat Shank.” It gets into any chuck of any drill press. No matter the speed of operation, the chuck holds onto the bit not letting it wobble.
Worried about catching fire while drilling? Relax. The “Two Flute Design” is at work. For those of you who don’t know, this design helps your bit to rotate fast. Neiko 1094A disperses all the heat and particles quickly owing to the construction.
I really like the fact that you can use it in 10 different applications and in comparison, you are not paying that much. Truly a budget-friendly tool.
Features at a Glance:
- One small bit takes care of 10 different applications.
- Tri-Flat Shank keeps the bit from wobbling while you plug it into the chuck.
- “Two Flute Design” doesn’t let the bit slip while you are working.
- Affordable piece of tool with versatility.
CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit
What if you had the money and wanted a trendy “Upbeat” set of drill bits? One that could tackle everything you throw at it. Elegant, sleek, and suitable for commercial uses.
Wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
Well, I’ve got just the thing! Try your drilling skills with CO-Z Hss Cobalt Step Drill Bit. Thanks to 50 different sizes, people can drill different sizes of holes as well. One package contains 5 pieces of these bits.
So, what’s special about these things?
First of all, you have cobalt coating on top. Cobalt is known for reducing friction. Less friction while drilling means less heat. Less heat… means you get to use this product longer than normal ones.
The thing that makes Co-Z HSS one of the best drill bits for hardened metal is the inclusion of double cutting blades. These are sharp. I mean, really sharp. Plus, there is the titanium coating. You get the fact that CO-Z can drill through metal sheets of different thickness, wood, plastic etc.
Get used to the 3-sided crank that is an integral part of this design. This one prevents bits from slipping or wobbling and falling off the chuck.
The problem with most metal drill bits is that they tend to get dull with time. If you drill frequently, there’s a risk of them getting dull as well. Just to add a layer of protection, makers provided people with an aluminum case. This carrying case is sturdy and classy at the same time. Quite the aristocratic look it has!
Highlights at a Glance!
- Added Cobalt makes it last longer than its competitors.
- The 3-sided shank makes the bits stick to the chuck for better performance.
- Double cutting blades provide superior performance on metal, wood, and plastic.
- Aluminum case keeps the tools from dulling.
- 5 bits can take care of 50 different styles of drilling.
Irwin Industrial Tools (3018002) Cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set
Don’t get me wrong, all the previous entries on my list of best drill bits for metal are great. They stand the test of time, do the job perfectly, and resist the wear and tear.
But when you have a professional workshop running, you’ve got to put in that extra yard. You have to keep a drill bit set or two nearby that can take the heavy grinding very often.
I have just the thing for you!
Irwin’s Cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set is just the tool with variable options in terms of drill bits available. Make no mistake, it is a high-end tool with 8% Cobalt and steel. These bits rotate at high speed to make sure they drill deep. Also, these are abrasive resistant drill bits from Irwin.
I like Cobalt because of the fact that it extends the life of these bits. Also, people can re-sharpen their drill bits when they need to. Even then, the performance of these things remains at a top-notch level.
This is easily one of the best drill bits for hardened metal.
Well, you have 135-degree split force at play. These tools don’t get to work until they touch the surface of the metal. So, there’s no waste of power. Also, you have different bits for different types of metals. I could find that out thanks to the index that comes along the package.
The carrying case impressed me. This thing is molded rubber. You get to keep the bits safe even if the case falls from your hands. Rubber absorbs the impact perfectly!
Features that Left a Mark on Me
- Thanks to Copper, this thing can drill into thick metals.
- The 135-degree split force makes these bits rotate really fast.
- The bits are very much durable under demanding conditions.
- There is a chart in place to help you choose the right drill bit for the appropriate job.
ABN Titanium Step Drill Bit
A few months back, my neighbor taught me a good lesson. He showed me that excellence doesn’t have a price tag attached to it. Meaning, you can get the best drill bit for metal at a dirt cheap price.
Guys, ABN Titanium Step Drill Bit is just that product for your wallet is giving you an empty stare!
A single drill bit offers you 10-step drilling. And, you won’t have to change the tool for that. Plus, you can drill a hole into metal (duh!), plastic, wood, brass, aluminum, hardwood, and copper with this small object.
Besides being versatile, this drill bit is durable too. The tiny bit is steel-made and titanium coated. You can put it through many trials. Yet, it won’t give in. Even after eight months of use, John, my neighbor, didn’t find wear and tear slowing this thing down.
Just so you guess the performance level of the drill bit, it comes with a 2-flute design. This unique pattern allows it to cut through metal smoothly. There’ll not be any roughness around the holes. Also, your drill press won’t do funny things like stop and start again.
Just to put you at ease, ABN Titanium Step Drill Bit comes with 3-side cutouts. This small detail allows this tool to get a better grip inside any standard drill press chuck. You can now drill through your DIY projects at one go without stopping and start again due to the bit falling off.
Highlights of this Amazing Tool
- This tiny tool is durable and tough with steel construction and Titanium coating.
- ABN drill bit can drill a hole into wood, plastic, aluminum, metal, brass, copper, and hardwood.
- 2-flute design allows operators to cut through metal efficiently and smoothly.
- It fits into any standard chuck and grips the chuck tight.
Titanium Drill Bit Set for Metal 230pc Kit - Coated HSS
While we are on the topic of workshops and professional drilling, I couldn’t resist the offering you the set of metal cutting drill bits that take care of any and all kinds of tasks you throw at them.
For me, Titanium Drill Bit Set for Metal is still is the best choice when you want numbers by your side.
I am not kidding! This set features 230pc of bits which, as I said earlier, take care of each and every task you throw at them.
So, what’s so brilliant about these things? Let’s do a head count for features and benefits.
Firstly, you have bits that can drill 1/16” holes to ½” ones. So, diversity is at your side. And not to forget, people have 230 pieces of bits to work with. It is a massive arsenal for metal or wood drilling.
However, while the set is good to go with metal, wood or even fiberglass; don’t put it on trial with concrete or masonry based gigs.
If you truly care about the drilling bits, you’d want them to stay good for long periods. The makers understand that. That’s why they used HSS steel (It means Hollow Structural Section) to ensure the strength it needs.
On top of that, you have Titanium coating. Titanium ensures extra durability. Especially for metal cutting drill bits. You won’t find a lot of wear and tear thanks to this protective measure.
Lastly, we come to the hardened case that houses these bits. It does the most obvious thing; protecting the bits from an impact. Then you have the printed tray. The tray keeps these things organized.
Interesting Aspects of Titanium Drill Bit Set
- These bits are super durable thanks to the HSS steel construction and Titanium coating on top.
- 230 pieces can drill holes ranging from 1/16-inch to ½-inch in diameter.
- You can tackle various materials with these bits.
- The case does a nice job of protecting these bits and keeping them organized.
- These bits last 6 times longer than the contemporaries.
IRWIN Tools 63124 3/8-Inch Cobalt 135-Degree Jobber Length Drill Bit
As we come down to the penultimate product on my list, I find IRWIN Tools 63124 drill bit set up for discussion. M-35 cobalt and steel alloy went into the making of these products. You can expect top-notch durability from these things.
If I say, best drill bits doesn’t generate heat; I’d be lying. All the drill bits do. But IRWIN 63124 is miles apart from the others thanks to the materials used in construction. One benefit this alloy has is that it disperses heat quicker than normal materials do.
Like the majority of drill bit set in my list, this one features 135-degree split point tip. If you are a seasoned handyman, you’d know that drill bits tend to “Walk” on the surface of things and even slip. This “Split Tip” prevents slipping up.
This thing comes with a straight shank. Quite unusual, I know. But the thing is, straight shank with the Jabber-Style design makes for quite a combo. I’ve seen people using it with various types of drill press chucks. Both keyed chucks and Keyless ones are fine.
If people seek hard enough, they can find a wide range of bit sizes. Also, you have the option to buy different packages containing variable number of metal drill bits of this model.
Features that Caught My Eye
- Sturdy design makes it durable and long lasting.
- 135-degree split tip design prevents the bits from slipping up.
- Cobalt and steel alloy discharges heat quicker than others available on the market.
- This set fits nicely into keyed and keyless chucks.
- You have flexible options when selecting bits in terms of diameter and number of bits in a package.
Drill America. KFDRSD Black and Gold High Speed Steel Reduced Shank Drill Bit
I want to end your quest of finding the best drill bit for metal with something unique. The KFDRSD Black and Gold High-Speed Steel drill bits are renowned for their efficiency and capacity. This set is my choice for the ultimate spot in this list.
Did you notice I mentioned, “High Speed” steel?
This type of steel can maintain its shape as well as the hardness when you are drilling in high temperature. This aspect makes the set suitable for commercial applications.
However, the set is prone to shattering if you apply pressure beyond a certain point.
The surface of these bits is black and with a tinge of gold. These are one of the best drill bits for hardened metal on my list today.
The 135-degree split takes the cake. You all know what the split point does, right? It gives the bits a center axis to rotate on. Additionally, handymen won’t suffer from recoil damage as the split point reduces the “Thrust” as well.
I almost forgot to mention the reduced shank. People like me who change drill presses frequently, reap the benefit of this design EVERY DAY! Well, the drill bit set fits most of the Chuck sizes. Also, you’ll need to go through fewer adjustments along the way.
I just have one more card to show on deck before I conclude this discussion. That is, the “Anti-Clockwise Magic” it pulls on you. When you spin KFDRSD Drill Bits counterclockwise, the rotation helps you to clean the debris out of the way. Hence, you can reduce the clogging of your drill press.
Benefits I am in Love With
- The construction obviously. Made from High Speed Steel, this thing can drill within insane temperatures.
- 135-degree split causes minimized thrust and gives a stable axis to rotate on.
- KFDRSD is a durable set of drill bits.
- To reduce clogging, you just need to spin these anticlockwise.
- These things fit into most chucks.
Different Types of Drill Bits for Metal Drilling
To a layman, every drill bit will feel the same whether it is golden, silvery or pitch black. But we handymen know that’s not the case. To my experience, metal drill bits have four distinct types. What are these? Let us find out.
HSS Drill Bits
First of all, there are HSS drill bits. By this point, I am sure you have noticed this type coming up a few times. The geeky name for these things is Hollow Structural Steel drill bits.
These things are pitch black in color and super strong. They drill into almost any metal. You won’t see that many wears and tears even after years of using these products. People use these for drilling into thick metal-made objects.
High-Speed Steel Drill Bits
While we are discussing steel-made ones, the next type on my list is High-Speed Steel Drill Bits. Now, these are “Almost” like the previous type but with a stark difference.
Unlike HSS, this variant has a rigid construction. These are incredibly hard and strong.
Yes, these things rotate at a high speed. And thanks to metals like molybdenum and tungsten, you can work with these at high-temperature levels.
BUT, you’ll find that this variant shatters all too easily when you apply pressure beyond a certain point.
Cobalt Drill Bits
Cobalt is the “Go To” metal when you want to add extra vitality to your drill bits. Bits fiddling with Cobalt can become harder than steel. Cobalt alloy increases the toughness and durability.
There are two types of Cobalt Alloys at work. The M135 Cobalt Alloy has 5% Cobalt in it. Similarly, the M142 has 8% Cobalt. The latter is stronger than the former.
This metal is also known for its heat discharge. Drilling generates insane heat at times. Cobalt drill bits work well to disperse the heat quickly to keep the drill press cook during demanding projects.
Titanium Coated Metal Drill Bits
Titanium coated bits are basically HSS bits coated in Titanium. These bits have increased toughness. They are hard and can drill fast. Also, the coating grants these things an increased lifespan.
You’ll be able to get more drilling power for long periods of time. But they will wear out or become dull eventually. Then, simply re-sharpen these bits to continue the job.
If you want to increase the durability even further, you can mix Cobalt with Titanium and create new kind of drill bits that get you the best of all the worlds.
Wait, there’s more!
Although I am not discussing it with bold letters, there is another kind of drill bit that can be used for masonry, wood drilling, and metal drilling at the same time. These are called “Multi Construction Bits.”
Final Thoughts of Mine
I can be pretty confident that I turned over all the stones in my quest for the best drill bit for metal drilling. For the curious souls who want to further the research, I believe my cues and buying advice should suffice.
For lazy hobbyists, handymen and weekend warriors, my very own recommendations should prove more than enough for three or four years (if not more).
The products in my list serve people with different needs, work patterns, budgets, and expertise. Be sure to fine tune all of these aspects. Only then, you’ll be able to choose the ideal one for yourselves.