If you had to pick the best power tool for your work space, what would you choose? For our money, a drill is an indispensable piece of equipment that can enable us to work with all kinds of materials, from wood to plastic to metal. However, to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, it’s imperative that we have the correct drill bit. In fact, without these components, a drill would be a worthless device.
So, with that in mind, let’s focus our attention on a particular kind of drill bit that can help you in all of your projects. Cobalt is a robust and reliable metal, which means that if you get bits made of the stuff, then you can work on a wider variety of materials, including steel. As such, we’re going to look at some of the best cobalt bits on the market today, as well as go over the benefits of using such a versatile material.
For the most part, drill bits are made of high-speed steel. This metal is more durable than regular steel, which is why it can handle wood and plastic relatively well. However, if you want to puncture tougher metals, then you need a bit that won’t break down or get dull too easily. Cobalt is the best option in this case, as it will hold up to higher temperatures and won’t fracture under heavy pressure. So, if you’re planning on working with hardened metals, you’ll need a cobalt drill bit.
Irwin Tools 3018002 Cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set
DEWALT DW1263 14-Piece Cobalt Pilot Point Drill Bit Set
CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit Set with Aluminum Case
29 Pc Cobalt Drill Bit Set M42 HSS
29 Pc Cobalt Drill Bit Set M42 HSS
Kicking us off is this set of 29 bits from Irwin Tools. If you are looking for a complete set that provides any size between 1/16 and ½ inches, then this is a great option for you. Most cobalt sets have about fifteen or less, so it’s nice that you get so many choices with this set.
As far as performance goes, these bits have 5% cobalt, making them ideal for most metal applications, including stainless steel. Some harder metals may cause problems, so don’t work with anything stronger than stainless if possible.
These bits come with a gold oxide finish and have 135-degree split point tips. They also come in a robust plastic carrying box for your convenience.
If you’re looking for a high-quality brand of personal power tools and equipment, you can’t do much better than DeWalt. As such, when you see that this company makes industrial-strength cobalt bits, you know that they are going to be worthwhile.
When talking about performance, these are the gold standard (literally).
Solid cobalt construction coupled with a proprietary Pilot Point tip system means that you can drill through most metals with ease. It penetrates on contact and won’t “walk” all over your project. All of that coupled with a gold oxide finish means that these bits are built to last.
The other cool thing about them is that they come in a robust carrying case that can lock when you’re not using it. Although we would prefer more size options, fourteen bits is plenty for most jobs.
If you’re not familiar with step bits, then you may be thrown off somewhat by the appearance. These units are designed to provide the utmost convenience by having multiple size options on each bit. As such, they are built to work with thin materials, such as sheet metal.
As far as performance goes, these bits are made with cobalt tips and high-speed steel shafts.
To keep everything in pristine shape, they are each coated with titanium as well. Each bit comes with roughly ten sizes that are imprinted on the side for your convenience.
The tips are 135 degrees, and the shanks are triple-sided to avoid slipping while in the chuck. Overall, if you work with sheet metal, these are the bits to get.
If you liked the ruggedness and plethora of sizes of the Irwin Tools bits above, then you will really enjoy these next bits from Drillcraft. Not only do you get all 29 sizes, but you also get a lifetime warranty for bit replacement. This means that if any of them break for any reason, you can send it in and get a new one, free of charge. That alone warrants attention for these bits, but fortunately, they drill excellently too.
These particular bits are made with a mixture of different metals. Cobalt, high-speed steel, and molybdenum are all used, which ensures that they are stronger and longer lasting than most other bits you can find. To make it even better, each one comes with a gold oxide finish as well.
The tips on all of these bits are 135-degree split points, which ensures no walking and no dulling. They all come in a durable metal case that has removable cartridges for your convenience. Overall, these are some incredible bits.
Our final set of cobalt bits comes from Drill America. Again, you get a full set of 29 bits that range from 1/16 to ½ inches, meaning that you can drill any hole in between. When compared to the other full sets on this list, the Drill America bits hold their own, mostly because they are made of almost solid cobalt.
Performance-wise, these bits hold up remarkably well. Fracturing is a rare problem, and they seem to penetrate most metals with ease.
Some hardened steels may give them a tough time, but they can tackle over 90% of all jobs. To make it even better, they each have a gold oxide finish and 135-degree tips.
The case that they come in is pretty cool too. Although it can be tough to grab the smaller bits in the middle, it comes with a clip so that you can wear it on your belt for added convenience. Plus, it’s water and shatterproof, making it a better choice than most other cases you can find.
After looking through each of these sets, we have to say that our top two picks are the DeWalt and the Drill America Bits. The DeWalt set is perfect for most casual jobs, but if you are looking for the best of the best, you can’t go wrong with Drill America. While we do love the lifetime replacement plan of Drillcraft, those bits don’t hold up quite as well as Drill America’s, which is why we’re giving the edge to them.
As we mentioned, one of the issues with standard drill bits is that they get too dull when working with metal. Thus, you have to make sure that the tip is wider and flatter so that it will last much longer without wearing down too much. In this case, you want to look for 135-degree split point tips. Not only will they last longer than sharper models (such as 118 degrees), but they will also reduce “walking” when trying to drill into metal.
Typically speaking, cobalt bits use a mixture of both high-speed steel and cobalt. Alternatively, they may only have a tip made of the harder material, which means that the rest of the bit can be susceptible to wear and tear. So, to minimize this problem, many bits come with a specialized coating to improve heat dissipation and reduce friction. Most of the time, this coating is either black or gold oxide, but higher end models may use titanium instead. If you want the best protection, though, titanium is the way to go.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.