Drill Bits-10 Basic Types and Sizes of Drill Bits

Multiple types of drill bits

Multiple types of drill bits

Caption: Multiple types of drill bits

Whether you are a DIY expert or a professional contractor, a drill is one of the basic tools for most projects you tackle. Apart from choosing a suitable tool for your task, you also need to pick an adequate drill bit.

The market offers bits of various types and sizes, and that be confusing, especially if you are a newcomer to the drilling world. That is why we prepared a detailed drill bit guide. Check out the most common drill bit types, and learn more about their suitability and sizes for various projects!

Chapter 1.Twist Drill Bits

Drill bits isolated on white background

Caption: Drill bits isolated on white background

We are starting with the most popular and frequently used drill bits throughout the world. Whether you ask DIY experts or professionals, they’ve surely had experience with twist drill bits.

If you take a look at this piece, you will notice that the front has edges. Their task is to cut through the application. At the same time, the unique spiral construction catches and removes debris. Thanks to that, dust and residue don’t affect your work significantly. It is what makes these bits perfect for timber, but also metals, plastics, and other materials.

You can use twist bits for both electric and manual drills. The type of material it can cut will depend on how well the drill constructed. You can choose high-speed steel (HSS) bit, which can withstand extreme temperatures, and that makes it suitable for various applications. These are great for cutting metal and other tough applications.

Carbon steel is another material of choice for twist drill bits. However, it is not as durable, which is why you might want to stick to drilling timber with it. If you want to work on metals, consider using bits with a coating made of titanium nitride. That gives another protection layer, which is important which dealing with tough materials.

Twist drill bits are usually not very large, and their size rarely goes over 12mm. However, they are a great choice for small holes. If you go with thin bits, you can be very precise, and these units allow you to pick the ideal angle easily.

These bits are also convenient for sharpening because you can use oilstone, grindstone jig, and the standard sharpener. Be aware that sharpening might remove the coating of your twist drill bits.

Chapter 2.Masonry Bits

Concrete drill bit

Caption: Concrete drill bit

As the word suggests, you use these bits on masonry materials. They can handle stone, concrete, brick, and other applications because their construction is durable and sturdy.

The secret of their strength lies in a spiral steel shaft featuring tungsten carbide. In some cases, the manufacturers use silicon bronze instead of tungsten for the cutting point.

Masonry bits are primarily compatible with power drills, although you can use them with hand units if you experienced enough. However, please note that too much pressure damages the pieces, which means they could break if you use them the wrong way.

The experts recommend using low speeds when drilling hard applications. You should also remove debris and dust regularly. That way, you ensure precise cutting, but also prevent potential overheating issues. If necessary, make sure to stop during the process to allow the bit to cool down.

When it comes to sharpening, grindstone and standard sharpeners can do a good job with these bits.

Chapter 3.Spur Point Bit

A drill bit drilling wooden application

Caption: A drill bit drilling wooden application

These bills primarily serve to drill wooden applications. While versatility is not their strongest suit, they are an affordable and reliable choice for drilling timber. They are usually not larger than ten millimeters, and they are easy to work with because of their construction.

You will notice that the spur point bit has multiple spurs on the top. They are raised to help you keep a straight direction during the drilling process. That is what makes this tool suitable for newbies and those who don’t have much drilling experience.

The results that spur point bits provide are usually exceptional. The holes should be clean and smooth, and the bit provides consistent results. Apart from wooden applications, you can also use it on plastic since that is a lighter material than timber.

As for the sharpening, you will need to use a bit fiddly to sharpen it by hand, which is a bit inconvenient.

Do you know how to sharpen a concrete saw blade effectively?

Chapter 4.Bullet Pilot Point

Various drill types and sizes

Caption: Various drill types and sizes

If you don’t have enough experience, you might confuse the bullet plot point and spur point bits. That is understandable because they look similar due to their designs. When it comes to performance, however, there is a crucial difference. Bullet pilot points are extremely durable and considerably stronger than spur point bits.

That is why this type is suitable for cutting wooden and plastic applications, but also for drilling through metal. The durability of bullet pilot points allows you to cut tough applications. These bits are so strong that you should be careful not to damage your workbench with them.

Bullet points are not only more durable then spur point bits, but they also offer a higher accuracy level. That might come with an increase in price, but bits are generally not expensive. One thing to note is that bullet pilot point bits are tricky to sharpen.

Chapter 5.Tile Bits

Drilling floor tiles in the bathroom

Caption: Drilling floor tiles in the bathroom

We are now featuring another bit suitable for extremely tough materials. The name tile bit comes for its suitability for tile applications, but you can use this piece for ceramics, glass, etc.

Once again, the reason for the exceptional strength of this bit lies in the tip that features tungsten carbide. You should aim to use it on power tools, and avoid using hand drills with this unit.

Take a look at more tips on how to choose the right drill bits.

Another thing to note is that you will probably need a lubricant when using a tile bit. Since you are dealing with tough applications, that might lead to extreme temperatures. It is why you need to be careful to avoid overheating, and using a lubricant is the way to maintain optimal temperature. Turpentine can do a great job of delivering the desired results.

When it comes to sharpening, you can use oilstone, but please note that tungsten carbide is a strong material. That means you will need both patience and effort to get the desired results.

Chapter 6.Flat Wood Bits

Flatwood bit in action

Caption: Flatwood bit in action

Here is an unusual looking, but that not used that often like some other pieces. A flat wood bit is not suitable for manual drills, which means you should only stick to using it with power tools.

The main advantage of this bit type is that it can produce a flat-bottomed hole. You might not need a circular-shaped hole, but you prefer your hole to have a flat bottom. In most cases, those holes will be large, and this bit can meet your expectations.

The drill bit is suitable for big holes, but make sure that you have a suitable tool to go with it. The piece is a great choice for professionals and demanding projects, especially with specific flat bottom requirements.

However, you need to be careful while working because it produces a lot of fragments and debris. That is why it is important to wear goggles and other protective equipment. You can sharpen the bit by using a grindstone or oilstone, and the process is not demanding.

Chapter 7.Spade Bits

Spade drill bits

Caption: Spade drill bits

If you are not looking for extreme precision, and you do not need to drill a perfect hole, a spade bit can be a smart choice. These pieces are extremely durable, and they are suitable for drilling rough holes. The tip reminds of a paddle, and it is very crude.

Even though they are durable, you should avoid using these bits for anything outside of timber. The main benefit of spade bits is their speed. If your holes are not visible and hidden out of sight, these bits can be very quick. The hole might be a bit crude and rough, but the piece will do the job, and that is all that matters.

Chapter 8.Step Drill Bits

Step and cone drill bits

Caption: Step and cone drill bits

Those who name drill bits usually observe their shape when choosing how to call them. That is why the step drill bit got its name after its appearance that reminds of shapes. If you move your finger from the top of the drill, it will be like you are coming down the stairs.

Apart from the creative name, the step drill bit delivers versatile and useful performance. You can use these drills for sheet metal, and they can handle various application sizes.

Step drill bits are very durable, but their unique construction affects the price. That is why you might expect them to cost a bit more than most other pieces. However, they return that with the highest level of versatility. Since they have various steps, you can choose the size of the hole that you are drilling. That means this can be an all-in-one drill bit, which justifies the high cost.

Chapter 9.Auger Bits

Auger bit drilling wood

Caption: Auger bit drilling wood

These bits are among those that should only use on timber. Auger bits are a great choice for wooden materials that are dry, thick, and hard. That makes them more durable and reliable than classic timber twist bits.

Auger bits are also suitable for drilling big holes. Their specific design will ensure that you can drill all these holes effortlessly. You will notice that the bit has a screw-like thread on the tip. Thanks to that, the bit goes into the application and reduces the effort you need to invest. You won’t even need to push, and the bit will make a large hole with a relatively smooth finish.

These bits are quite quick, and they remove the woodchips at a very high rate. That creates a certain level of debris, which is why you might consider wearing protective glasses.

Chapter 10.Drill Bit Sizes

Drill bit sizes

Caption: Drill bit sizes

Apart from choosing the right type of drill, you also need to choose an adequate size for your tool. Depending on your location or preference, you can use the British (metric) standardization, or American (fractional) standards.

If you choose British standardization, the size of your drill bit will show in metric measurements. The manufacturers utilize millimeters, and the sizes go from as low as 0.02mm to 25mm.

It is important to note that you won’t find bits of all dimensions between the specified. The industry has already established default dimensions. The good news is that it shouldn’t be a problem finding a suitable one for your project.

When it comes to fractional sizes, you will find that the manufacturers often use fractions of an inch. That means you might encounter 1/8, ¾, or 1/2” drill bits on the market. The sizes might vary, but it should be easy to find suitable dimensions for your needs. Please note that some manufacturers might even choose letters to describe the sizes of their drill bits. Although that is rare, in those cases, A usually describes the smallest bit, and Z the biggest one.

The prices shouldn’t vary (or at least not significantly) based on the size. You can also decide on a customized size, and some manufacturers are ready to deliver personalized orders. However, it is only natural to expect a price increase for all special requests.
Final Thoughts

Your choice of drill bit type and size will depend on the application. Some bits are suitable for both wooden and metal applications, but you need to pick a suitable bit for tile, glass, and other tough materials.

Additionally, you want a power tool that can meet your expectations and deliver consistent results. If you need reliable and durable diamond tools, look no further than NCCuttingTools. This company has more than 20 years of production experience, as well as the latest equipment ready to design high-quality tools that meet industry standards.

On top of that, you can get the best-quality projects at the most affordable rates. Don’t hesitate to check out their offer and place your order today to see why they are a favorite of many users throughout the world.

7 Tips for Selecting the Best HSS Drill Bits for Metals/Steel

HSS Drill Bits

From straight shanks to high-speed steels and carbide tips, there is an endless list of options when it comes to choosing a drill bit that is perfect for your steel or metals.

While there are several varieties of drill bits suitable for several different tasks, the type of drill bits varies considerably in many ways. However, one needs to be cautious in choosing a particular drill bit for a project. It is because of the suitability of that specific drill bit for other purposes.

Here, we’ll examine the best HSS drill bits and the factors to consider in choosing them.

Close shot of drill bits

Figure 1: Close shot of drill bits

Chapter 1 Why high-speed steel (HSS) Drill Bit?

Many types of drill bits are available in the market based on the materials used in manufacturing them. Notable ones include soft low-carbon steel, high-carbon steel, cobalt-steel alloy, and, of course, high-speed steel (HSS). Others include tungsten carbide and polycrystalline diamond (PCD).

While each material is suitable for specific purposes, high-speed steel drill bits are in huge demand for many reasons. Unlike regular drill bits that are unable to cut through steel materials, HSS drill bits seamlessly handle hard materials such as metals and steel. Thus, high-speed steel drill bits primarily used as cutting materials for metals, and they made of high alloy tool steels.

Besides, HSS is also a functional tool in the manufacturing industry due to its effectiveness in grinding. High-speed drill bits are also titanium-made drill bits with a titanium oxide coating. These drill bits are sturdy and resistant to corrosion. They can drill through hard metals and steels, as well as woods. Thus, they are more durable and heat-resistant compared to many others.

Chapter 2 What are the Best HSS Drill Bits for Metal/Steel?

There are several factors to consider before choosing drill bits. We have identified those features that will enable you to make a pre-informed decision in the subsequent headings.

However, let’s quickly examine the best drill bits for metal/steel. While most of these HSS drill bits are readily available in the market, as a small or medium-sized saw blade supplier and distributor, it’s better to go for custom-made tools. It offers you the opportunity to choose the required size, specification, design, and type of materials used based on your customers’ needs.

Diamond tools manufacturing company like NC Cutting Tools gives you a lot of options in making customized tools for cutting and drilling.

Chapter 3 Best High-speed Drill Bits You Should Know

Most of the best HSS drill bits are alloys made from a combination of tungsten, molybdenum, and chromium steel. The hardness of a typical HSS drill bits is usually between 63-65 Rockwell “C” hardness.

Different Types of Masonry for Woodwork and Metalwork

Figure 2: Different Types of Masonry for Woodwork and Metalwork

Two categories of HSS drill bits exist. It includes high-speed molybdenum steels and high-speed tungsten steels. Molybdenum HSS drill bits classified as Group M steels, and they range from M1 – M10. Group M HSS drill bits are cheaper in terms of the cost of production compared to the tungsten HSS drill bits. However, their performances are somewhat similar.

Here are some of the characteristic of each molybdenum HSS.:

• M1 HSS

It’s softer compared to the others and more resistant to shock. Also, it flexes more but lacks the red-hardness features of the others. However, hardening and quenching can increase hardness. M1 HSS drill bits are suitable for use in all types of cutting tools, including saw blades.

• M2 HSS

Widely regarded as the most popular industry-standard high-speed steel, M2 is suitable for different applications. It includes drills bits, milling cutters, broaches, taps, twist, milling cutters, and knives. Although it has similar hardness as the T1, it replaced it asthe industry standard. It boasts superior bending strength of 4700 MPa. Also, it boasts 50% higher thermo-plasticity and toughness compared to T1. If you need the best HSS drill bits for metals and drilling, don’t hesitate to contact NC Cutting Tools for customized tools fabrication and design.

• M4 HSS

Properties that make M4 HSS unique include high impact toughness, high wear resistance, and transverse bend strength. It derives its high impact toughness and resistance from vanadium carbides. It used in making quality cutting tools such as twist drills, saw blades, wire saw, bears, etc.

• M7 HSS

For drilling involving heavy construction, M7 HSS is the best drill bits, particularly where the durability and flexibility of the drills are critical.

• M42 HSS

Besides the molybdenum as the primary material, M42 has an added 8% cobalt. That explains why it uses the symbol HSS-Co for its identification. It’s ideal for metalwork owing to its superior red-hardness. It’s quite inexpensive and less prone to chipping during interrupted cuts compared to when carbide is the material in use. To customize any of the tools with M4 HSS as the active material, ensure to contact NC Cutting Tools.


In an application that requires the use of drill bits where breakage seems to be a big issue, you can trust M50 HSS to handle the task. Although it lacks the red-hardness of other tungsten HSS, it’s flexing makes it ideal for contractor and hardware stores.

Note that NC Cutting Tools can manufacture any of these HSS drill bits based on market demand. You can choose the specification, design, and size you need to get the job done. These include cutting tools such as circular saw, gang saw, chain saw, band saw, and wire saw. Also, grinding tools, including abrasive wheel, idler wheels, tumbling barrels, and edge grinding wheels.

Chapter 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Drill Bits

Most people think that selecting the perfect drill bits is an easy and straightforward task. However, that’s not true in its entirety. Indeed, choosing a drill bit that’s just perfect for you might be challenging, time-consuming, and confusing. It is due to the vast array of drill bits available in the market.

Metal Drilling with Drill Bits at Work
Figure 3: Metal Drilling with Drill Bits at Work

In this segment, we’ll be taking a closer look at the factors to consider when choosing a drill bit that’s perfect for your project. These tips will help you avoid the mistakes most buyers make when choosing drill bits for their projects. Here are the factors and tips to consider when selecting drill bits:

The Type of Project You’re Executing

The choice of drill bits solely depends on the nature of the project at hand. If you are drilling small holes with light concrete or human-made stones, you can opt for masonry drill bits. However, you should always move away from utilizing bits that are made from substandard materials whenever you’re drilling any project. It will cause them to overheat faster and do a shoddy job.

Compatibility with Your Drill

What type of drill do you use for your project? It is one of the essential questions you should ask yourself. Endeavor to choose a drill bit that perfectly matches your drill type. It will contribute to the smooth and easy execution of your project. Apart from that, it also helps to ensure that the drill won’t get damaged by discordant drill bits.

More so, you need to carefully examine the drill shank and ensure that the chuck of your drill perfectly grasps it. However, when you choose a drill bit that’s compatible with your drill, it doesn’t simply translate to the fact that you should purchase bits of similar brands. No!

At NCCutting Tools, we have universal drill bits that are perfectly compatible with varying degrees of drills. Endeavor to carry out thorough research and discover which drill bits match your drills.

Drill Bit Material

When choosing a specific drill bit for your project, one of the things you also need to consider is the material. While there are masonry drill bits manufactured from low carbon steel, there are other drill bits manufactured from different materials. However, drill bits made of low carbon tend to be cheap, less efficient, and don’t last long.

On the other hand, drill bits made of high-speed steel (HSS) as manufactured by NCCutting Tools can use on hard surfaces. Apart from that, it has excellent resistance and also lasts longer.

Ensure that your high-speed steel drill bits are either coated with carbide, diamond powder, or even titanium carbon nitride. It establishes its toughness and quality. Apart from that, these coatings are also functional in reducing the risk of corrosion and wear.
Regardless of the kind of drill bit you choose, ensure that it is made of high quality and durable materials.

The Size of the Drill Bits

Typically, the sizes of drill bits range from 3mm to 16mm. When it comes to the length of drill bits, there are standard lengths, and there are also long drill bits ranging between 300mm and 400mm

The length and size of the drill you choose are solely dependent on the length and size of your project. However, you should ensure that your selected drill bit has a similar size with the hole you’re making.

How about the length?

There are standard lengths and even longer ones. In most cases, you should opt for drill bits of standard length.

Varieties of Cordless Drill Bits
Figure 4: Varieties of Cordless Drill Bits

Construction and Angles

118° and 135° are the most prevalent angles for drill bits. They came into use when drilling was mostly a manual process. Drill bits from these angles have traditional conical shapes before the introduction of a flat surface. It led to the creation of a linear chisel that reduced thrust, removes chips while improving the metal cutting processes. 118° angled drills are suitable for soft metals like aluminum, while the 135° variant is perfect for hardened applications as in stainless steel.

Avoid Cheap Drill Bits

When it comes to selecting the best drill bits, one of the things many people consider is the pricing. Many people will want to opt for drill bits within their budget. However, that doesn’t mean you should choose cheap drill bits.

Cheap drill bits are usually manufactured with substandard material and would always have histories of overheating, wear, corrosion, and many more when subjected to pressure. Buying such drill bits would amount to a colossal waste of money without even because it can make or mar your project.

Check the video below to see how a typical drill bits work.


Video on how a drill bit works

Go for quality drill bits. Shop with us at NC Cutting Tools. We have several high-quality drill bits available, and our prices are affordable.

Chapter 5 Frequently Asked Questions on HSS drill bits for metal/steel

1.What is HSS drill bits?

High-speed steel drill bits, also known as HSS, are drilling tools made from the combination of carbon steel and other elements such as vanadium and chrome to form an alloy. They are heat resistant, hardwearing, and highly durable to withstand heavy usage. If well maintained, HSS drill bits guarantees long-term performances and are safe for use at high speeds.

2.Can you use HSS drill bits for masonry

We purposely design HSS drill bits for metals and hard steel. Since masonry work involves solid concrete, brick, stone, and block, using an HSS drill bits is not the best advice. Instead, you should go for tungsten carbide masonry bits. They provide hammering or percussive action that makes them ideal for concrete and blocks. You can always request for customized masonry drill bits from NC Cutting Tools.

3.What are the best drill bits for hardened steel?

As stated earlier, HSS drill bits are the best for hardened steel. This because they have high impact, heat resistance drilling ability. Also, they are durable and perform optimally at high speed, which makes them ideal for hardened steel/metal.

4.What are the different types of drill bits?

Drill bits exist in different types based on the materials we use in manufacturing them and their applications. It includes high-speed drill bits, step drill bits, auger drill bits, spate, rivet, bradpoint, and masonry drill bits.

5.How do I maintain my HSS drill bits?

Drill bits become blunt due to prolong use. To extend the lifespan of your HSS drill bits, you have to sharpen them. Tools that you can use to sharpen HSS drill bits include drill sharpener, oilstone, or a grinding stone drill.

Varieties of Cordless Drill Bits
Figure 5: Drill Bits Bench Grinder at Work

Chapter 6 Final Thoughts

Choosing the best HSS drill bits for your project can be a very complicated process. However, considering factors such as project type, compatibility, drill bit material, size, and angles can help you to make a pre-informed decision. To give you the best experience on your metal/steel, you should consider going for custom HSS drill bits as it allows you to choose the required specification, design, and combination of materials. NC Cutting Tools with over 20 years of manufacturing quality drilling and cutting tools offer you all these benefits and much more. Do you need specific advice or guidance? Don’t hesitate to contact us now.

Drill Bits – 6 Tips to Choose the Right Drill Bits

A workman drilling holes into a surface with a drill bit

Drill bits selection is  a prevalent issue for users, suppliers, and distributors. It’s a very common to struggle with choosing the right tool for a specific application. It is because little mistakes such as wrong drill bit size, material, length, and even design can make all the difference.

Most ready-made drill bits available in the market end up not fitting for the intended applications, causing a waste of money, time, and energy.

Figure 1: A workman drilling holes into a surface with a drill bit

Thus, we have created this article to guide you through drill bits selection processes. How about the performance of HSS  vs. cobalt?

Find out the answers to all your itching questions below!

Why Drill Bits are Important Choose the Right Drill Bits for Your Application

One of the challenges many small and medium-sized saw blade suppliers, distributors, and end-users of drilling and cutting tools face is choosing the right tools. To fabricators, machinists, and operators, drill bits are indispensable and versatile everyday-tool in the workshop.

When you get it right, drill bits can improve your productivity, save you stress and give you quality finishes on your project. Whether you are working on wood, concrete metal, or steel, choosing the right drill bits can optimize your performance.

However, when you get it wrong, it will hinder your production and pose a threat to your workpiece. Also, the frequent replacement of drill bits and other tools come at a cost; it leads to loss of time, energy, and money.

Varieties of drill bits

Figure 2: Varieties of drill bits

Rather than leaving everything to chances, knowing how to choose the right drill bits for your application can save you a lot of stress.

Tips for Choosing the Right Drill Bits for Your Application

These are the six tips that can help you to choose the right drill bits:

1.Decide the Drill Bits Materials for Specific Application

Drill bits come in various materials. These tools are not one-size-fits-all. The material you choose largely depends on the type of application. While some materials are perfect fits for wood, others are ideal for metals and hardened steel. We will examine the different materials below and what applications they are suitable for:

• Carbon Steels

They come in two perks, low and high carbon steel. Each serves a different purpose. Soft low carbon is ideal for soft materials such as plastic and wood. It’s is highly affordable in comparison to high-carbon steel and other drill bit materials. However, it requires frequent maintenance to extend its durability due to its bad tempers.

Drill bits for wood

Figure 3: Drill bits for wood

High carbon steel, on the other hand, works on hard surfaces such as strong woods and metals. It has better tempers and requires less maintenance. However, it’s a bit more expensive than low carbon steel.

• High-Speed Steel (HSS)

We have discussed in-depth on high-speed steel in our previous post. You can check it here (insert hyperlink) to get more details. Its fabricators, diamond cutting companies, distributors, and suppliers’ choice. It’s structural integrity, red-hardness, resistance to heat, at an optimized performance at high speed make it users’ choice. It’s suitable for multiple kinds of drilling, whether for metal, wood, or steel. With a coating like titanium nitride, HSS performs at an optimal level with an extended lifespan.

• Cobalt (HSCO)

It’s a variation of HSS with a higher concentration of cobalt, usually 5-8% more. Although it’s more brittle in comparison to HSS, it offers more hardness. Thus, it’s suitable for harder metals, steel, and stainless steel. It’s a high-end drill bit material but has a more extended durability.

• Carbide (Carb)

Many consider carbide as the most brittle and the hardest drill bit materials available. It’s suitable for industrial uses involving abrasive materials, irons, hard steel, and nonferrous heavy metal. It possesses a slight advantage over HSS and Cobalt in that it functions efficiently at higher speed and absorbs more heat.

• Diamond drill bits

If you are working on non-wood surfaces such as tile, marble, stone, ceramic, porcelain, or glass, diamond drill bits are your best bet. They derive their additional cutting power from the integration of little pieces of diamond power as their base material. They are relatively expensive as they serve specific purposes.

2.Determine the Flute Design Features of Preference

The functions of flute designs vary from cheap removal to a passage for cutting fluid to touch the cutting surfaces. Flute designs are that grooves on the body of the drill that penetrate the surface you are working on. The flute comes in different types, but these are the ones that are common at the moment:

Standard flute design: The most in use with a circular cross-section

Straight flute: It’s suitable for use when the rigidity of the drill is more critical than the evacuation of the chips. Also, it’s ideal for short chipping material, and here spinning workpiece is in use rather than the drilling.

Parabolic flute design: This has many superior features such as smooth cheap evacuation, short cycle times, high feed rate, and low peck cycle. It works with open geometry and a fast spiral.

You don’t have to worry about how to get the design of your choice. With NC Cutting tools customization for designs, you only need to state what you, and you will have it!

3.Understand the Coating Type to Use

The type of coating you use will determine the protection of your drill bits against rust during exposure to moisture. Also, the coating reduces friction and lessens wears and tears. We apply coating via thermal spray coating, and they come in different forms. Notable ones include:

• Cobalt

Cobalt is widely acceptable for works involving high temperatures. Sometimes, when high-speed steel fails to penetrate a hard metal like stainless steel, you can add cobalt to it. It’s perfect for use where the material requires an intense level of heat. However, the only downside of cobalt coating is that it’s a bit brittle.

• Titanium

Titanium coating adds to the level of resistance to heat and corrosion to drill bits. It’s very strong and light at the same time. It extends the durability of drill bits, and it’s useful across a wide range of uses. Metals, plastic, woods, iron, and steel are some of the materials where titanium coating is of great use.

You can check other coatings types.

Drill bits with titanium cutting, used in cutting aluminum

Figure 4: Drill bits with titanium cutting, used in cutting aluminum

Here is a video of titanium-coated drill bits at work:

• TiCN (Titanium Carbonitride)

One of the strongest and wear-resistant coatings in use. TiCN is blue-gray, and it’s suitable for use in drill bits for cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel.

• Zirconium

It’s one of the less glamorous coatings for drill bits. However, it works significantly on drill bits involving materials with characteristic brittleness like steel. We often use zirconium nitride to improve its strength for more precise drilling as its effectiveness reduces significantly with friction.

• Black Oxide

You can only use black oxide for coating on nonferrous materials like brad tip. Like other coatings, it reduces corrosion and lowers friction

4.Identify the Drill Point Angles

Point angles in drill bits exist in several forms. However, over the years, angles 118° and 135° have become dominant. For use in soft materials such as aluminum and wood, you should consider going for angle 118°. It possesses sharper tip with a smaller chisel than angle 135°. But, if you are working on hard materials like stainless steel, angle 135° may be your best bet. It’s flatter, has more pitch, and a longer chisel than angle 118°.

5.Go for the Right Drill Point Length

Drill point comes in various lengths, including jobber, taper length, screw machine, mechanics, and taper shank. Generally, shorter drills are more suitable for works that require a high level of accuracy and precision. They are also sturdier and more rigid. However, there are instances where you will need to go for long drill bits, depending on the application.
If you want to learn more about drill bits of different sizes, kindly check it here.

6.Know Whether to Go for Ready-made or Customized Drill Bits

If your goal is to make the best use of your tools, you might consider going for customized devices instead of ready-made. Not only do they give you flexibility on design, length, size, and choice of materials. In the long run, it’s cost-effective and offers you the best value for money. NC Cutting Tools gives you limitless options when it comes to choosing selecting cutting and drilling tools. It includes diamond saw blades, turbo saw blade, grinding wheel, diamond wire saw, and lots more. You can request a free quote for a start.

Close shot on drill bits

Figure 5: Close shot on drill bits

7.HSS Vs. Cobalt Drill Bits

It is a contention between the most common drill bits and the strongest drill bits. Many people struggle to decide which one to use for a particular application. However, from the factors we have considered above, it’s clear each of them serves a specific purpose. Due to its toughness and ability to withstand cyclic loading, high-speed steel will seamlessly drill through many metals and steel.

Cobalt, on the other hand, offers higher corrosion resistance as a result of a higher melting point and heat resistance.
Thus, cobalt drill bits are more suitable for hardened metals that HSS cannot handle. However, you can improve the strength of HSS to match that of cobalt through the coating.

8.What is the best drill bit of material?

Now that we have examined factors to consider in choosing drill bits, you may want to ask or the best drill bit material. Well, there’s no clear-cut answer to the best drill bit material. What works for A may not work for B. However, high-speed steel is one of the most common materials we recommend in various drilling. It works perfectly on plastic, wood, metals, and steel. Also, it’s cost-effective and easy to maintain. On the other hand, Cobalt (HSCO) is ideal for tougher steel because it contains 5-8% of cobalt as its base material. In summary, the best drill bit materials depend on the application.


Choosing the right drill bits for a specific application can stressful. However, having a comprehensive knowledge of the factors to consider before you make select a drill bit can save you money, time, and energy. However, rather than shopping for ready-made drill bits in the market, going for customized tools offers you more liberty in your decision-making process.

Are you looking to order customized drill bits as a supplier or distributor? NC Cutting Tools is the best place to be for high-quality Diamond Saw Blade, Diamond Drill Bit, and Diamond Abrasive Tools and other cutting and grinding tools. Talk to us now to request a free quote for your project.

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