10 Best Drill Bits For Stainless Steel

10 Best Drill Bits For Stainless Steel

Metallurgical Content

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Best Drill Bits For Stainless Steel

Having your own workshop and knowing you’ve got all the tools you need to hand makes for an ideal working environment. Using your own saws and jigs, for example, undoubtedly increases your enjoyment of the work. However, it’s essential that you have the right tools for the right materials because using the wrong equipment can cause a lot of problems. This is especially important when it comes to drilling through stainless steel. Because it’s incredibly tough, you need to use a bit that’s stronger, otherwise, both the drill and the material may be significantly damaged.

The best types of bits to effectively drill through stainless steel are made from cobalt as this is an extremely strong metal. Titanium bits are another option but these won’t be as durable and long-lasting as those made from cobalt.

Alongside the bit material, we looked at features like:

  • Cutting depth
  • Hole diameter
  • Uses e.g., copper and aluminum as well as stainless steel

To ensure we found the best drill bits for you, we used real consumer reviews from people who have purchased these tools. We eliminated all fake reports to guarantee complete authenticity, meaning that you can be sure to trust each report.

1. EZARC Carbide Hole Cutter Heavy Duty for Stainless Steel, 3/4 Inch

EZARC Carbide Hole Cutter Heavy Duty for Stainless Steel, 3/4 Inch 19mm

This tungsten carbide hole cutter is one of the many cutters produced by EZARC that range in size from 9/16” (14mm) to 4-3/4” (120mm). It incorporates a stepped pilot drill bit that is replaceable and protects the tungsten carbide teeth on the cutter from being damaged by a sudden impact to the material being cut. The shank size comes in two different sizes—10mm for diameter less than 70mm and 13mm for diameters greater than 70mm.

With high-grade carbide grit for long-lasting results, it will produce precise cuts through various materials up to 5mm thick. The stepped pilot drill bit has a built-in ejector spring that automatically ejects the cut disk, and to prevent any breakthrough and damage to the work surface.

Ideal for the DIY enthusiast as well as professionals, this hole cutter will give perfect results time after time thanks to the technology used in the manufacturing process. It can be used with corded or cordless drills, impact drills if set to drilling mode, and CNC drilling machines. Cutting holes in stainless steel sinks to accommodate extra fittings such as a soap dispenser, becomes simplicity itself.

If you are involved in industrial projects such as heating, ventilation, or air conditioning where a robust hole cutter is needed, then this one is well worth considering. Smooth, precision holes can be achieved in the high-quality stainless steel that is associated with these professions, and this hole cutter is reported to be ten times more hard-wearing than standard bi-metal cutters.


  • Material: Carbide
  • Hole Dia.: 3/4” – 19mm
  • Uses: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Alloy Steel, Plastic, Mild Steel
  • Cutting Depth: 5mm

What we love:

  • Even when drilling at a low speed, the tungsten carbide blades easily cut through metal
  • The stepped pilot bit quickly bites into the metal, and the hole cutter doesn’t wobble or grab
  • This cutter gives clean holes and there’s no need to use a file because it doesn’t leave any burrs behind

We don’t like this as much:

  • It would be great if this hole cutter was part of a set instead of having to purchase each one singly
EZARC Carbide Hole Cutter Heavy Duty for Stainless Steel, 3/4 Inch 19mm
  • 【 Extremely Long Life 】Industrial grade hole cutter, extremely durability for any tough material with over 10x times longer life than bi-metal and HSS hole cutters.
  • 【 Fast & Precise Cuts 】The carbide technology and optimized tooth geometry make EZARC hole saws provide superior lifetime and fast cutting in the most demanding applications.
  • 【 Applications 】Provide fast and precise cuts into 1/5-inch thickness material such as : stainless steel, mild steel, alloy steel, aluminum, FRP, and plastic.
  • 【 Perfect Cutting Surface 】This hole cutter can precisely cut very high quality and smooth holes due to the excellent control of the concentricity rate.
  • 【 Dimension 】Cutting diameter : 3/4-inch(19mm), cutting depth : 1/5-inch(5mm), chunk size: 2/5-inch(10mm).

2. McJ Tools 3/4 Inch HSS M2 Drill Bit Hole Saw

McJ Tools 3/4 Inch HSS M2 Drill Bit Hole Saw for Metal, Steel, Iron, Alloy, Ideal for Electricians, Plumbers, DIYs, Metal Professionals

Electricians, plumbers, and serious DIYers know that you need a good quality hole saw if you want to get a smooth, accurate hole. The McJ Tools 3/4″ HSS M2 hole saw will deliver the results you require.

Fashioned from high-speed steel, this hole saw will last cutting the perfect hole through tough materials like sheet metal, steel, copper, and cast iron. If a liquid coolant is used during the cutting process, this hole saw is capable of cutting over 100 holes through metal plates.

This drill bit is designed to see you through project after project, leaving no burrs behind to clean up. You’ll notice that by drilling slower, you can still achieve fantastic results. Just make sure to keep the drill bit adequately lubed throughout the process to help keep it cool. The sharp teeth also help to ensure that you’ll be getting a clean cut every time, with no hassle and no fuss.


  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Hole Dia.: 3/4″
  • Uses: Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, Sheet Metal, and Copper
  • Cutting Depth: <1/4″

What we love:

  • Has a good, heavy feel and has a pilot bit that can be replaced easily via the hex screw
  • The ejection slug that helps to push the bit out the hole after the cut is made is a great feature
  • This is a precision tool and comes with an extra pilot bit, all in a nice case for storage

We don’t like this as much:

  • This bit is very sharp, but when using a hand-held power drill it may wobble slightly
McJ Tools 3/4 Inch HSS M2 Drill Bit Hole Saw for Metal, Steel, Iron, Alloy, Ideal for Electricians, Plumbers, DIYs, Metal Professionals
  • Cut a wide range of materials such as steel, cast iron, sheet metal and copper
  • Work well with abrasive materials like high density resin and metal plates
  • Extremely High Accuracy <0.1mm
  • Comes in a rugged plastic box with extra pilot bit, set screw and allen wrench
  • By using liquid coolant, it can cut over 100 holes in steel plate (~<1/4" in thickness)

3. Drill America – KFDRSD1 1″ High Speed Steel Drill Bit

Drill America Black and Gold High Speed Steel Reduced Shank Drill Bit, (33/64' - 1-1/2') Split Point 135 Degree, KFDRSD Series

The KFDRSD series of drill bits from Drill America are manufactured using M2 premium-grade, high-speed steel for heavy-duty use in materials within the iron and steel categories, like stainless steel, iron, aluminum, and sheet metal.

The KFDRSD1 1″ High Speed Steel Drill Bit has a 135 degree, self-centering, split point tip that in addition to reducing thrust when compared to a standard 118-degree tip, this drill bit will not “wander” over the material.

To facilitate a wide range of different drill chuck sizes, this one-inch drill bit has a three-flat, round, half-inch reduced shank, that will minimize any adjustments when changing tools. The overall length of this drill bit is six inches, with a three-inch flute length, and has been precision ground to give a high degree of concentricity between the body diameter and the shank, making it perfect for low and medium strength material drilling.

The surface of the bit has been given a distinctive black and gold treatment specifically for drilling stainless steel and other hard metals. The cutting direction is right-hand, but if it is run in reverse (counterclockwise), then the spiral flutes will clear any chips out of the cut/hole, reducing clogging.


  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Hole Dia.: 1”
  • Uses: Aluminum, Iron, Stainless steel, and other hard metals
  • Cutting Depth: 3”

What we love:

  • Retains the waste material as it is drilled until you extract the bit, leaving less mess
  • Very sharp drill bit, and the hole it makes is the exact same size as the stamp on the shank
  • This drill bit cuts through 1/4 inch steel without hesitation, no dancing across the plate, and remains sharp

We don’t like this as much:

  • The “flats” on the shank are only 3/4″ and could be bigger since a half-inch drill chuck usually requires 1.5 inches
Drill America Black and Gold High Speed Steel Reduced Shank Drill Bit, (33/64" - 1-1/2") Split Point 135 Degree, KFDRSD Series
  • High-speed steel tools are good for most general purpose applications, offering a combination of hardness and toughness for wear resistance
  • Gold and black surface treated for use in stainless steel and other hard metal drilling
  • Round shanks allow use with a wide variety of toolholding systems
  • When run in a counterclockwise direction (right-hand cut) spiral fluted tools evacuate chips up and out of the cut to reduce clogging
  • Heavy duty 135 degree split point

4. BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set

BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set

This 14 piece cobalt drill set from Bosch contains drill bits engineered using M42 alloy, which contains 60% more cobalt than M35 drill bits. They deliver a lifespan that is 10 times longer than standard bits, and they are able to withstand high temperatures for longer periods of time.

They feature a thick web-helix design for fast removal of material and also increased stability. Perfect for drilling stainless steel and other high-density materials, they can also be used on common, everyday materials like plastic, light metals, and wood.

The split-point tips allow easy starting, no wandering, and they eliminate the need for a center punch. They have a three-flat shank of sizes 1/8th inch and larger delivering a superior grip on the bit, and the tip is surface-hardened to pierce abrasive, tough metals.

With bits ranging in size from 1/16” to 1/2″, each of the 14 bits has the size stamped on the shank so you can see at a glance which to choose for the job in hand. To make sure you select the correct bit, the handy storage case also shows the size on the top of the storage rack.


  • Material: Cobalt
  • Hole Dia.: 1/16” to 1/2“
  • Uses: Stainless steel, Cast iron, Titanium, Light-gauge metal, and Aluminum
  • Cutting Depth: Varied

What we love:

  • After drilling 400 holes in 1/8 inch cast iron, the bit was as just as sharp at the end of the job
  • Super strong and drills through hardened steel as if it was butter.
  • The drill bit has a no-skate tip, stays sharp, and works well to drill into both wood and plastic

We don’t like this as much:

  • We wish the labels denoting the size of the bits were a bit clearer to read
BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set
  • Cobalt M42 drill bit – provides upgraded M42 Cobalt jobber-length bits designed for durability, high heat resistance and Hardened surface for stainless steel, cast iron, titanium, light-gauge metal and aluminum
  • Enhanced M42 alloy material – contains 8% Cobalt alloy that delivers 10x life vs. Standard bits
  • High-heat resistant bits – withstand high-temperature applications for extended periods of time
  • Thick web-helix design – provides additional stability in tough applications
  • Surface-hardened tip – penetrates tough abrasive materials

5. Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit

Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit, High Speed Steel | 1/4' to 1-3/8' | Total 10 Step Sizes

The Neiko 10194A titanium step drill bit provides you with ten drill bits in one. The ten steps allow you to drill holes from 1/4“ up to 1-3/8” in increments of 1/8”. Manufactured from traditional high-speed steel, then coated with titanium, they are durable and capable of drilling through materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, copper, plastic, and much more.

It has a tri-flat shank, allowing any power drill to hold the bit securely in place, giving you the confidence to work safely. It also features a double fluted design that allows the waste material particles to escape the drilling area and gives a cleaner drilling operation. As you drill into the material, you can feel the bit stop at each step until you reach the desired hole diameter, meaning you should never drill a hole bigger than you actually need.

The tip of the bit has a 135-degree split point that allows you to cut into materials faster and also makes sure that the cuts are sharp throughout the range of suitable materials. The design of the drill bit also means that only a small amount of pressure is needed to cut into the material and it deburrs as the drilling progresses.


  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Hole Dia.: 1/4″ to 1-3/8”
  • Uses: Plastic, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless steel
  • Cutting Depth: Varied

What we love:

  • The chamfer between the steps helps to start the next step and give a beveled edge to the previous one
  • If you need a hole that is between the drill bit sizes, you can stop short of the next size
  • As you drill, you can count the number of steps until to get to the size of the hole you need

We don’t like this as much:

  • Users report that it does require a pilot hole to prevent it from wandering across the metal when you start to drill
Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit, High Speed Steel | 1/4" to 1-3/8" | Total 10 Step Sizes
  • 2-FLUTE DESIGN: Titanium-coated bit with 2-flute design for versatile drilling in steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and other surfaces
  • CUTS AND DEBURRS: Cuts through steel, sheet metal and other surfaces with only a small amount of pressure and deburrs as you drill
  • SUPER STRONG: Made of high speed steel and titanium coated for added durability and bit life
  • MULTIPLE DRILL SIZES WITH ONE BIT: 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1, 1-1/8, 1-1/4, 1-3/8-inch
  • VERSATILE AND FAST: 3/8" 3-flat shank prevents slippage when drilling new holes or enlarging existing holes

6. Hymnorq 12mm Metric Twist Drill Bit Set of 2pcs

Hymnorq 12mm Metric Twist Drill Bit Set of 2pcs - Jobber Length Fully Ground Straight Shank – 5% Cobalt M35 Grade HSS-CO, Extremely Heat Resistant - Suitable for Stainless Steel Cast Iron

Hymnorq brings you a pair of 12mm metric twist drill bits, made from M35 Cobalt steel. Finished with a bronze oxide coating, they will cut faster and last up to 12 times longer than standard HSS drill bits.

They have self-centering 135° quick-cut split pilot points that will penetrate the metal with only light pressure. When you start to drill, these bits will not “wander” or “skate” about the surface. The bits have 2 twist flutes for a high waste metal removal and a straight, round shank to fit a standard drill chuck. The end of the shank has been chamfered to give an easy, yet firm hold. They also feature a heavy-duty, fully ground body construction for minimal burring and diameter accuracy.

Each drill bit measures 5.94” in length, has a 3.98” working length, and is suitable for use in a power drill or a drill press. They can be used successfully when drilling non-heat treated metals, including galvanized pipes, and iron, but they are not intended to be used on hardened steel or high carbon steel.


  • Material: Cobalt HSS
  • Hole Dia.: 12mm
  • Uses: Stainless steel, Cast iron, Aluminum, Copper
  • Cutting Depth: 3.98”

What we love:

  • These drill bits are very well made, and sharp enough to get through 316 stainless steel without any problem
  • Accurately sized metric drill bits are difficult to find, but these are bits are within 0.01mm when measured on calipers
  • Very sharp and have great cutting power when drilling through iron and steel

We don’t like this as much:

  • The titanium coating extends down the bit to the shank, which makes it susceptible to spinning in the chuck
Hymnorq 12mm Metric Twist Drill Bit Set of 2pcs - Jobber Length Fully Ground Straight Shank – 5% Cobalt M35 Grade HSS-CO, Extremely Heat Resistant - Suitable for Stainless Steel Cast Iron
  • COBALT STEEL - Manufactured from M35 cobalt steel, with molybdenum and cobalt added to creates a hardened alloy, measuring Rockwell hardness up to 67, for much faster cutting and extra longer life span, with up to twelve times when compared with an average HSS drill bit.
  • SELF CENTERING - The 135°quick-cut pilot split points are self-centering and can penetrate quickly with less pressure. The bits will not "walk" or "wander". Straight shank allows for firmly holding and accurate centering, fit for standard drill chucks and regular round collet chucks.
  • 2PC SET - The set includes 2pcs of 12mm diameter fractional inch size M35 grade cobalt steel twist drill bits. Manufactured to German DIN338 standard. Packed in a plastic bag and a flat paper box.
  • FOR METALWORKING - Particularly successful in cutting through hard metals(hardness less than HRC38°) such as stainless steel and cast iron, although they can be used for softer materials like copper and aluminium, too. Not for hardened steel / high carbon steel. Try to adjust the RPM when it fails to penetrate.
  • DOWNLOADABLE USER GUIDE - We've summed up some tips of drilling metals, including a RPM chart for several common metals, based on our reviews and some articles on the internet. In most cases, our customers would get a much better result with these tips. Welcome to download.

7 – NEIKO 10235B Silver and Deming Drill Bit

NEIKO 10235B Silver and Deming Drill Bit | 13/16” Inch High Speed Steel Drilling Bit | 1/2' Shank

This 13/16” pro-grade high-speed steel drill bit from Neiko is an all-purpose reduced half-inch diameter chiseled shank that will fit any drill chuck type. The shank is tri-flat constructed to give a tighter grip in the chuck to give maximum security when drilling precision holes.

The 135-degree split point is self-centering and is designed to increase the cutting speed without the need to drill pilot holes. It also prevents slipping and clears debris, chips, and particles away faster. The high-speed steel construction will ensure sharp and precise results while at the same time prolonging the lifespan and durability of the drill bit.

This versatile drill bit, although ideal for drilling through stainless steel, can also be used to drill holes through a multitude of materials including wood, MDF, polycarbonate, etc., making it one drill bit that you should carry in your toolbox.

It comes with a distinctive black and gold finish and is supplied in a storage tube for protection.


  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Hole Dia.: 13/16”
  • Uses: Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Maple, MDF, PVC, Polycarbonate, Acrylic, ABS, Brass, Wood, Nylon, and composite materials
  • Cutting Depth: 3”

What we love:

  • It drills an accurately sized 13/16” hole through stainless steel with clean edges and no burrs
  • It’s a well-made drill bit, and it comes in a plastic tube to protect it from damage when not in use
  • The half-inch reduced shank allows you to drill a large hole using a hand drill without any problem

We don’t like this as much:

  • The size could be stamped on the shank so that it can be read after getting lubrication fluid on the bit
NEIKO 10235B Silver and Deming Drill Bit | 13/16” Inch High Speed Steel Drilling Bit | 1/2" Shank
  • [APPLICATION]: This bit is ideal for drilling steel, copper, aluminum, brass, wood, oak, maple, MDF, pine, PVC, polycarbonate, acrylic, ABS, nylon, and composite materials.
  • [PRO-GRADE]: 135 degree & split point increases cutting speed with self-centering with no pilot whole while prevents walking, clears chips and particles faster.
  • [HEAVY DUTY]: High speed stainless steel is designed to ensure sharp and fast execution in any material for clean results while making the bit long life durable and wear resistant.
  • [PRECISION]: Tri-flat on the shanks of drills are constructed for tighter chucking to maximize security for precision holes.
  • [VERSATILE]: All purpose reduced shank has a 1/2-inch chiseled diameter to fit any type of drill chuck.

8. HSS M35 Cobalt Twist Drill Bits

HSS M35 Cobalt Twist Drill Bits, Pack of 5 (9.5mm, 3/8')

A pack of five 3/8” HSS twist drill bits from Beili Tools can be the perfect addition to your toolbox. Specifically designed for hard steel drilling, their thick web helix guarantees fast removal of waste material combined with an increase in efficiency and performance.

Manufactured with high-speed steel plus 5% cobalt, these drill bits are each made to the highest standards and specifications. Their split point tip will start drilling upon contact without any slipping, walking, or skating, and without any center punch required.

The five drill bits come in a plastic storage box with a flip lid, and each drill is kept within its own slot, making transportation simple. Each bit has an overall length of 4.6 inches with a flute length of 2.95 inches.

It’s important to note that, according to the manufacturer, the imperial size of 3/8” is purely for reference. 3/8” converts to 9.525mm and the actual diameter of these drill bits is 9.45mm, so they advise confirming the size you need prior to ordering.


  • Material: Cobalt
  • Hole Dia.: 3/8”
  • Uses: Stainless steel, Heavy-duty abrasive alloy, Tough metal
  • Cutting Depth: 2.95”

What we love:

  • Very straight drill bits and if you feel they’re getting dull, they sharpen easily using a drill doctor
  • Great bits for drilling steel plate, as long as you drill slow and use cutting oil they will work perfectly
  • If you are planning on drilling through aluminum you can’t go wrong with these drill bits

We don’t like this as much:

  • These drill bits are best used slowly to help prevent breakage. We’d like to see a version that can withstand higher speeds
HSS M35 Cobalt Twist Drill Bits, Pack of 5 (9.5mm, 3/8")
  • Drilling in tough metal, including heavy-duty abrasive alloy metal drilling on hardened steel
  • High Quality Material. High Speed Steel Cobalt M35 Cobalt Steel Best Material.
  • High Efficiency In Drilling Metals, and Stainless Steel.
  • Reduce the processing cost per hole
  • The imperial size 3/8" is for reference,3/8" equals to 9.525mm. Real size is 9.45mm, we rounding up 9.5mm.Please confirm the size before ordering.

9. BOSCH CO2143 1/4 In. x 4 In. Cobalt Drill Bit

BOSCH CO2143 1/4 In. x 4 In. Cobalt Drill Bit

The Bosch Cobalt 1/4-inch drill bit is manufactured with M42 alloy that contains 8% cobalt. It is a hard-core cobalt bit that delivers a lifespan up to four times that of a standard bit, are jobber length, and can withstand high temperatures, up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time.

The BOSCH Cobalt Drill Bit has a thick web-helix design to remove waste quickly and to provide stability when drilling. It also has a three-flat shank for a better grip, and there is no need for a center punch since it has a surface-hardened, 135° split-point tip that prevents slipping on the material being drilled.

Not only is this cobalt drill meant for drilling hard metals, but it is also a general-purpose drill bit and can be used on wood, PVC, and plastics, making it a very versatile piece of drilling equipment.


  • Material: Cobalt
  • Hole Dia.: 1/4″
  • Uses: Stainless steel, High carbon steel, Aluminum, Alloy steel, Cast iron, and light gauge metal
  • Cutting Depth: 2.75”

What we love:

  • If you have to drill through heavy or tough metal, then this is the bit to get the job done
  • The rectangular shank grips perfectly in the chuck unlike round shanks that can spin in the chuck
  • Very sharp and works efficiently without getting too hot

We don’t like this as much:

  • We’d like to see the entire cutting edge manufactured using the same material as the pilot tip 
BOSCH CO2143 1/4 In. x 4 In. Cobalt Drill Bit
  • Withstands high-temperature applications for extended periods of time (up to 1,100 degreeF)
  • Rigid, thick web design adds stability to bit in tough applications
  • Surface hardened to penetrate tough abrasive materials, Cuts through light gauge metal, high carbon steel, aluminum and alloy steel, cast iron and stainless steel
  • Available in jobber length, full shank, Drill Point Angle is 135 degrees, Surface Coating is uncoated (bright finish), Bit type is Twist
  • Best used for drilling into light-gauge metal, high-carbon steel, aluminum and ally steel, cast iron, stainless steel and titanium

10 – Champion Cutting Tool BlackGold XG12-17/32 Shank Drill

Champion Cutting Tool BlackGold XG12-17/32 Silver & Deming 1/2' Shank Drill: MADE IN USA

If you are looking for a professional twist drill that drills faster and has a long lifespan, then the Champion Cutting Tool Brute Platinum XL12 Silver & Deming bit may be the answer.

Manufactured in the USA using premium high-speed steel, they have superior strength and stability than regular S & D drill bits. Their BlackGold surface treatment will hold lubricant much better for longer, smoother drilling, and they will enter the material more accurately because of their self-centering 118° split point tip that goes a long way to prevent the drill from skipping across the surface of whatever material you are drilling.

If your drill has a chuck that has a maximum capacity of 1/2″, then Champion has you covered. This drill bit has a half-inch reduced shank allowing you to use it in hand-held drills or a drill press. The overall length of the bit is 6”, with a 3-1/8” flute length.

Because of the attention to detail in the manufacturing process, these drill bits will allow you to drill accurate and precise holes.


  • Material: High-speed steel
  • Hole Dia.: 17/32”
  • Uses: Steel, Steel plate, Stainless steel, Cast iron, Titanium
  • Cutting Depth: 3.125”

What we love:

  • Not only are they razor-sharp, but they are also perfectly straight and go through metal as if it was butter
  • These bits are supplied in sturdy plastic cases to protect them from damage in your toolbox
  • The bit was still as sharp as it was when it arrived even after drilling 12 holes in 3/8” steel

We don’t like this as much:

  • There is confusion about the stamp on the bit showing the letters HS and not HSS, which it should be
Champion Cutting Tool BlackGold XG12-17/32 Silver & Deming 1/2" Shank Drill: MADE IN USA
  • Heavy Duty BlackGold Silver & Deming drills have superior strength and durability than standard S&D Drills
  • BlackGold surface treatment holds lubricant for smoother, longer drilling. Drill faster and penetrate more accurately due to 118* split point.
  • 1/2" Flatted Reduced Shank for use in portable drills or drill presses where max chuck capacity is 1/2"
  • Ideal for drilling steel, steel plate, stainless steel, cast iron, titanium, nimonic alloys, manganese, and other tough materials
  • Perfect tool for mainteance departments, machine shops, automotive shops, and other industries

FAQs about Drill Bits for Stainless Steel

What is the best type of drill bit for stainless steel?

The best type of drill bit for drilling stainless steel is commonly thought to be one made from cobalt. Cobalt drill bits are manufactured using five to eight percent cobalt in the steel alloy composition, resulting in a hardness that will not lessen when covered with a protective coating. Cobalt bits can be sharpened without any loss in their strength, as although they look as if they have a coating on them, the distinctive “gold” color is part of the manufacturing process.

Titanium bits, on the other hand, are made with a metal core and are coated with titanium. The titanium prevents overheating, but with use, the coating will diminish resulting in a loss of heat resistance. If you attempt to sharpen a titanium drill bit, you will remove the coating rendering the bit all but useless. This is because when you drill through metal with a titanium bit that has lost its protective coating, the metals get hot extremely fast, and no longer do the job.

What do the Metal Compounds and Coatings Mean for Drill Bits?

The material or compound that drill bits are made from and the coatings that are applied to them are important factors in the lifespan and performance of the bit.

High-speed steel (HSS) drill bits are made from very hard carbon steel. Typically, HSS consists of carbon steel alloyed with tungsten or molybdenum, together with percentages of chromium, vanadium, and cobalt.

Carbide is added to the tips of hardened steel bits and can disperse heat very quickly. This means that they will keep their cutting edge longer than other bits. However, carbide is brittle and if not handled correctly will chip.

When Cobalt is added to a drill bit, they become extremely hard and are used for drilling stainless steel and other thick metals. Cobalt isn’t damaged by heat as much as other compounds, but it is also brittle and could be marred accidentally.

Coatings are added to drill bits to help reduce friction and increase the resistance to heat.

Black Oxide is the most common coating used on high-speed drill bits to provide heat resistance and protect against rust, corrosion, and water damage.

Titanium Nitrate reduces friction, increases resistance to heat, and extends the bit’s lifespan by up to five times.

Can you sharpen drill bits?

Yes, you can sharpen your drill bits. There are many helpful tips available showing, in some detail, how to sharpen a drill bit. The most common ways to sharpen drill bits are using:

An angle grinder:

  • Sharpening your bits with an angle grinder is one of the simplest ways to get your bits back into pristine condition.

Diamond Files:

  • A diamond file means you are going to be sharpening the bit by hand, but this method will protect any pilot screw from damage.

A bench grinder:

  • The fastest way to sharpen your bits is by using a bench grinder. You do the rough grinding with the coarse wheel, then fine-tune the sharpening with the fine wheel.

A drill bit sharpener:

  • Dedicated drill bit sharpening tools are available, and take all the guesswork out of the task. One drawback in using this type of tool is that you can’t cool the bit, so it may heat up and lose its structural strength.

A drill-powered sharpening tool:

  • This is by far the cheapest way to sharpen your bits, but the size of drill bits that can be sharpened using this small portable tool is limited up to half an inch diameter.

What are the benefits of using a specific type of drill bit for stainless steel?

Stainless steel is an amazingly tough metal. It is an alloy composed of iron, chromium, and sometimes, nickel plus other metals, and is best known for its properties of strength and the ability to ward off corrosion. To be able to drill through stainless steel you have to use a drill bit that is stronger. The best type of bit for that job is a cobalt drill bit.

Cobalt drill bits are exceptionally strong and are made to last. They are designed to be operated at higher speeds than an HSS drill bit, and with their heat resistance properties, cobalt bits will work for extended periods of time without the need for cooling or having to use cutting fluid.

Another benefit in using a cobalt drill bit is that in addition to stainless steel, they can cut through other hard metals, such as bronze, cast iron, and titanium. It has been known for them to drill through weld seams as well.

A good quality cobalt drill bit needs to be maintained and looked after if it is going to perform as it should. It will prove to be well worth the investment you make in them time and time again.