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Drilling holes on stainless steel surfaces can be a difficult task when you don’t have the right tools. However, if you use drill bits designed for hardened steel and made from tougher materials, the task can be easier. These also have certain characteristics that distinguish them from regular drill bits such as superior resistance to heat.
Since stainless steel bits come in different designs, shapes, sizes, and coatings, you should pick the right tool for your drilling projects. To help you narrow down your options quickly, we have reviewed the best drill bit for stainless steel available on the market.
- Our Top Drill Bit for Stainless Steel Reviews
- Drill Bit for Stainless Steel Features and Considerations
- Wrap Up
Our Top Drill Bit for Stainless Steel Reviews
Best Overall Drill Bit for Stainless Steel: Drill America 29 Piece Set
People looking for a hassle-free drilling operation may find the Drill America set an excellent option. This drill bit set can handle any type of stainless steel surface you may want to drill, whether it’s your car’s steel surface or a thin steel plate. Additionally, if you tend to drill regularly on surfaces with low to medium strength, then this set is ideal for you.
The drill bit set features 1/64 inches incremental bits designed to perform in a variety of materials, including steel and iron. With the incremental bits, precision will no longer be an issue as long as you know the right size to use. The cobalt drill bit set contains 29 drill bits in different sizes. These high-speed steel drill bits can drill in a wide range of hard metals, including titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel.
The bits boast of a gold-oxide finish that protects them from heat and scratches while enhancing its resistance to wear. The finish also lubricates the bits to ensure fast-speed drilling. Dream America also has a split-point tip at 135 degrees that bore tough material without using a pilot hole. You can use the bits in several devices without the risk of breaking, twisting, or bending.
One major issue with this bit set is that it requires a lot of effort and takes too long to drill stainless steel, which can blunt them. Also, the set comes in a fragile container that may break easily if dropped or arrive damaged upon delivery. Finally, it’s a bit difficult to read the sizes from the plastic container.
What We Like
- Gold-oxide finish for lubricating the bits
- 29 drill bits in different sizes
- Self-centering, precise holes
- Durable cobalt steel
What We Don’t Like
- Takes too long to bore through stainless steel
- The set comes in a fragile container
- Difficult to read the sizes
Best Drill Bit for the Money: Hmynorq Metric M35
Even though Hmynorg is a little known company, it strikes a good balance between quality and price. It boasts of quality bits made of 95% high-speed steel and 5% cobalt. With a spiral flute and a straight shank design, the Hymnorq Metric M35 is perfect for cutting through iron and stainless steel. These Cobalt alloy bits are durable and sturdy enough to withstand some level of abuse.
Plus, the metric design makes the bit sizes perfect, no matter the job at hand. The good thing about these bits is that you can use them for light tasks and heavy-duty projects. When you compare these bits to regular HSS bits, the Metric bits are multiple times better when it comes to durability and heat resistance.
The set contains 13 pieces of bits that range from 1.5 to 6.5 millimeters in size. With Hymnorq, you don’t need to worry about looking for a center punch to maneuver the bit. The tip centers itself during operation and angle at 135 degrees. Additionally, it won’t slip across the surface as the angle helps the bit to penetrate using less pressure.
While you can use the shank with the standard drill chunks and round collet chunks, you will have to ensure that you are working at the right RPM (Revolutions per Minute) for high performance. You can use the Metric M35 against softer materials. However, the bits may not be as effective against high carbon and hardened steel. Since the bits are also very hard, they’re more brittle compared to the HSS ones. You can use coolants during operation to prolong the life of the bit.
What We Like
- Ideal for light and heavy-duty jobs
- 13 pieces of different sized drill bits
- Durable cobalt alloy drill bits
- Impressive performance
- Self-centering tip
What We Don’t Like
- Can overheat if not used properly
- Bits are a bit brittle
- Durability issues
- COBALT STEEL - Manufactured from M35 cobalt steel, with molybdenum and cobalt added to creates a...
- NO CENTER PUNCH NEEDED - The 135° Quick-Cut points are self-centering and penetrate quickly with...
- 13PC METRIC BITS - The set includes 13pcs of M35 cobalt steel twist drill bits: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm,...
- FOR METALWORKING - Particularly successful in cutting through hard metals such as stainless steel...
Best Cheap Drill Bit for Stainless Steel: Neiko 10193A
The Neiko 10193A drill bits are suitable for novice users due to their ease of operation. The good thing about this step drill bit is that it offers several steps within one piece as it comes with 28 steps. This enables you to bore different sizes of holes without having to change the bits frequently. This also means you can drill 28 different hole sizes instead of just one.
The smallest size is 1/8 inches while the maximum size is ¾ inches. The sizes are engraved on the drill bit flute to enable you to read them clearly. The set has three bits. One has 3/8 inches shank size, and the remaining two have ¼ inches shank size. The tri flat shanks enable the chunk to hold onto them tightly to prevent them from wobbling during operation.
These coated with titanium bits feature high-speed steel to deliver impressive performance in high temperatures. The two flutes it comes with provide a channel to get rid of the chips while fastening the drilling process. This makes the job cleaner and less messy.
This bit also has a 135-degree split point tip that increases cutting speed and prevents walking. This remarkable feature will allow you to work on several drilling processes without losing efficiency and sharpness. You can also use the 10193A drill bit on electrical cabinets and galvanized surfaces. Apart from drilling holes, you can also use the bit to enlarge existing holes in any stainless steel surface.
What We Like
- The two-flute design that clears chips quickly
- The tri-flattened shank that eliminates slip
- The HSS bits with titanium coating
- 28 hole sizes options
What We Don’t Like
- Overheats in difficult drilling jobs
- Smaller bits bend and snap easily
- Some users think the bit is poorly made
- TITANIUM | HIGH SPEED STEEL: classic high speed steel with titanium coating for proven capability...
- 135° SPLIT POINT TIP: increases cutting speed with self-centering and prevents walking
- TWO-FLUTE DESIGN: clears chips faster and allows particles to escape easily
- TRI-FLATTED SHANK: fits into power tools chuck securely and eliminates slip
Drill Bit for Stainless Steel Features and Considerations
It’s important to mention that the type of bit you choose will determine the outcome of your projects. For instance, a low-quality tool will scratch your surfaces and leave ugly marks on it. That said, here the factors you need to consider when looking for the best drill bit for stainless steel:
Drill Bit Material
This is an important factor to consider because the material will determine the performance and durability of your bit. If the material is resilient, it will be easier for you to bore hardened steel. Thus, titanium, cobalt, and High-Speed Speed (HSS) are the conventional bit materials used to bore through tough surfaces.
However, you will need a sturdy material to work with stainless steel since it’s a metal alloy. This will require titanium and cobalt drill bits.
Cobalt Drill Bits
These are alloys of steel and contain either 8% or 5% cobalt. It’s important to mention that adding cobalt into steel makes it heat resistant and also increases its strength.
These are high-speed steel with titanium coating. Although they are tougher than HSS, they do not last for a long period. This is because the coating tends to wear off with time. It also wears off completely if you keep sharpening the drill bit.
Type of Coating
Just like your drill bit material, the type of coating on your bit will also determine its performance and quality. The bit can wear out quickly without a good coating. Here are the three types of coatings you will find in bits:
This is an auxiliary coating as it is usually used with black oxide or cobalt steel coated drill bits. The coating prevents the drill bit from overheating.
This coating is harder as companies make it from ceramic and used it in high-speed steel drill bits. Since it’s durable and tough, it works perfectly against wear-resistant surfaces. It also increases the durability of your drill bit.
This type of coating provides low friction and great heat resistance. Apart from providing good resistance to corrosion, it also increases the performance and durability of high-speed steel drill bits.
This refers to the diameter of the bit. For instance, small diameters are good for drilling small holes. These drill bits are suitable for DIY tasks at home and applicable in most woodshops. They usually start at 1/16 inches to 1/14 inches. If you are drilling large holes, you will need drill bits with sizes that start from 5/16 inches to ½ inches. When it comes to bit size, a set that has all the standard sizes is ideal as you will use it for all your jobs.
Drill Point Angle
This is another important factor to consider because the design of the bit will determine whether it can work perfectly with stainless steel. That said, there are two popular angles:
- 118-Degree Drill Bits: These bits have a steep point and are ideal for soft materials.
- 135-Degree Drill Bits: These bits are flat and are an excellent option when boring through stainless steel and other tougher materials.
The shank is the tail end part held by the chuck of the drill. That is why it’s important to ensure the bits attach firmly to the chuck because you will be working with high speed and rotation. Here are the different types of shanks you may come across:
These are spring-loaded chucks that do not require any fastening and are usually used with a hammer drill. The drill moves backward and forward while following the hammering motion. The flattened areas and slots of the shank enable it to remain steady on the chuck.
These shanks are flat and will give you greater torque as they allow for a secure grip of the bit. This prevents the bit from wobbling or walking on the surface.
These shanks provide the simplest way of securing the bit to the chuck since they fit into the chuck instantly and are centered perfectly.
Drill bits that have a small flute design are ideal because you won’t be using them to drill holes in pieces of wood. This is because you won’t be removing a lot of waste from the hole. A small flute has a 30-degree angle and will allow you to cut the chips tightly. They also allow the lubricant or coolant to flow into the edge.
If you want to get quality bits for stainless steel, you will need to use a drill bit that has the right shape for the surface you intend to drill. This is because people use different shapes to bore different surfaces. So, you can’t use any shape of the drill bit to bore any type of material.
With the right drill bit, you can save time and also make your tasks a lot easier. A good drill will bore through your material and get the job done. It will also complete the job perfectly and give you smooth finishes. If you are looking for a tool that can give you value for your money, any pick from our list will be the right choice. No matter your choice, you can’t go wrong with these.