Best Drill Bit For Drilling Hardened Steel in 2021 – Reviews & Guide

With the modern advancements on tools today, you can drill through anything. There is always the right instrument that will drill through any material, irrespective of how impossible it might seem. However, nothing gets tougher than drilling through hardened steel. That is why, in this buyer’s guide, we have put together the best drill bit for drilling hardened steel present in the current market, which will punch holes in surfaces with hardened steel correctly.

Remember, unlike drilling through wood or other softer surfaces, hardened steel gets very resistant to drills. A lot of drill bits might not even make a scratch on these tough materials. Besides, when drilling hardened steel, there is a lot of heat generated from the friction. The heat plays a huge role in dismantling drill bits made from a weaker material. Therefore, you need tougher bits for such tasks.

Editor’s Choice
DEWALT Cobalt (DWA1240) Bit
14-Piece
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Durable construction
Accurate and clean holes
No bit walking
Offer maximum speed
Top Rated
DEWALT Titanium, 14-Piece (DW1354)
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Titanium coating
Durable construction
Best for wood and metal
Titanium coating extends its life
Premium Choice
Hymnorq Metric M35, 14-Piece
Superior performance on hard metal
Fast and accurate drilling
10 times durable than others

Hardened steel is created from some of the hardest materials in the universe. Stainless steel is melted together with titanium and iron, and then the mixture is hardened at a very high temperature. The outcome is a material tougher than any of the original contents. So, if you thought to drill through stainless steel is a problem, then it’s about time you knew about a bigger problem, making a hole through-hardened steel.

Comparison Table of our Best Drill Bits For Steel

Product NameSizesMaterials Quantity
DEWALT DW1354 Drill Bit Set, Titanium finish1/6 to 1/2-InchMetal14 
Bosch CO14B. Cobalt M42 Drill Bit SetCobalt14 
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, M35 Cobalt Steel (3018002)1/16 inch -1/2 inch in 1/64 inch incrementsCobalt29 
DEWALT Cobalt Drill Bit Set with Pilot Point (DWA1240)(2) 1/16″ bit, (1) 5/64″ bit, (1) 3/32″ bit, (1) 7/64″ bit, (2) 1/8″ bit, (1) 9/64″ bit, (1) 5/32″ bit, (1) 3/16″ bit, (1) 7/32″ bit, (1) 1/4″ bit, (1) 5/16″ bit, (1) 3/8″ bitCobalt14 
DEWALT DW1263 Cobalt Pilot Point Drill Bit Set(2) 1/16-inch, (1) 5/64-inch, (1) 3/32-inch, (1) 7/64-inch  (2) 1/8-inch, (1) 9/64-inch, (1) 5/32-inch, (1) 3/16-inch, (1) 7/32-inch, (1) 1/4-inch, (1) 5/16-inch, (1) 3/8-inchCobalt14 
HYCLAT 5pcs Titanium Step Drill Bit  Cobalt5 
Drill America M35 Cobalt Drill Bit1/16″ – 1/2″ X 64thsCobalt29 
Hymnorq Metric M35 Cobalt Steel Extremely Heat Resistant Twist Drill Bits1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm,3.2mm, 3.5mm, 4mm,4.5mm, 4.8mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 6.5mmM35 Cobalt High-Speed Steel13 
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt(316015)1/16″ Through 3/8″Cobalt15 
IRWIN Drill Bit Set (63221)from 1/16″ to 3/8″ in 1/64″ inCobalt21 

Best Drill Bit For Hardened Steel- Reviews for 2020

Drilling through metal is tougher than wood. Therefore, you need to have a powerful drill bit that is specifically designed for drilling steel. We have reviewed the top 10 products that you can pick. These are amazing tools that will offer the best results when drilling through steel. Check their reviews.

1. DEWALT  DW1354 Drill Bits for steel

DEWALT  DW1354 Drill Bits for steel

Dewalt is a renowned brand when it comes to power tools. The DEWALT Drill Bit Set is an amazing tool that you can add in your toolbox. This drill bit features a heavy-duty titanium pilot points that start right away on contact and prevent walking. The set includes a wide range of drill bits that use in wood and metal applications.

Unlike other drill bits, this model features a no-spin shank, so the bits do not slip. Additionally, they feature tapered web to provide durability and reduce breakage. To enhance their durability, the drill bits feature a titanium coating. If you would like to carry your tools on the go, the set comes with a long-lasting carrying case that helps you to keep them organized and safe.

Another great aspect of this drill bit set is the connectable accessory that help in optimizing the storage space. On top of that, they feature a patented bit-bar design that promotes easy bit removal as well as customizable placement. You can also see the contents at a glance because the lid is clear.

PROS

  • Features a durable construction.
  • Titanium coating extends their life.
  • Offer an incredible performance in wood and metal.
  • No-spin shank prevents slipping.
  • Comes with carrying case for easy transportation.
  • The drill bits do not break with ease.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have screwdriver handle
  • The design of the case would be more efficient

2. Bosch CO14B Cobalt Drill Bits Set For Steel

Bosch is another top brand on the market that you can trust with quality tools. This is one of their best drill bit sets designed to provide you with durable performance. The drill bits are ideal for drilling hardened steel, titanium, cast iron, aluminum, and light gauge metal. They have high heat resistance and provide smooth and clean holes.

Unlike other drill bits, this set features an enhanced M42 alloy material that contains 8% cobalt alloy. This provides up to ten times more life as compared to the standard drill bits. They can withstand high temperatures, even when using them for an extended period.

The drill bits feature a thick web helix design, and this offers more stability when handling tough projects. On top of that, they feature a surface hardened tip that penetrates effectively on abrasive materials.

PROS

  • Offers a superior performance on hard metal.
  • Offers fast and accurate drilling.
  • They are 10 times durable than other standard drills.
  • Offer fast material removal and more stability.

CONS

  • The drill bits are dull

3. IRWIN 3018002 Drill Bits Set for steel

Get the IRWIN Drill Bit Set if you intend to drill tough metals like hardened steel and heavy-duty abrasive alloys metals. The drill bit sets are made of high-grade material that offers a durable performance. It features 8% of cobalt alloy, which is abrasion and heat-resistant. The set has a total of 29 pieces that come in various sizes to suit different drilling projects.

Each of the drill bits features a 135-degree split point, so they start fast without walking across the surfaces. The set contains drill bits in 1/16-1/2 inch bits in 1/64 inch increments. The drill bits with more than 3/8 inch feature reduced shank which allows you to use them with 3/8 inch drill chucks. It comes with a convenient metal case that helps you organize the drill bits for safe storage and easy transportation.

PROS

  • Ideal for drilling through rough materials.
  • The bits are heat and abrasion-resistant
  • Come with a rugged carrying case
  • Heavy-duty construction makes them durable
  • Easy to remove the cartridges and carry the bits to your workplace

CONS

  • Complaints of false advertisement
  • The case can be hard to open and close

4. DEWALT DWA1240 Drill Bits for steel

DEWALT DWA1240 Drill Bits for steel

Finding quality drill bits for hardened steel can be tough. Some models break with ease while others cannot withstand heat. Dewalt provides you with an exceptional drill bit set that works well on hard metals. These drill bits provide maximum speed without compromising durability. They are designed for use on hard metals, and they deliver incredible drilling results.

The set is ideal for drilling through stainless steel, i-beams, and angle iron, among other tough metals. You will get 14 pieces in various sizes to suit your drilling requirements.

The drill bits feature a pilot point and a slit tip design to provide clean and accurate holes. This reduces lock up when breaking through. When it comes to the construction, the drill bits feature industrial-strength cobalt that provides extended life. Additionally, you will not a bit of walking, which gives you better control when doing your work.

PROS

  • Work well in drilling hard metals.
  • The drill bits feature a durable construction.
  • They offer maximum speed.
  • They make accurate and clean holes.
  • No bit walking and this gives you more control.

CONS

  • Set would have been quality.
  • They break with ease.

5. DEWALT DW1263  Cobalt Pilot Point Drill Bits For Steel

DEWALT DW1263  Cobalt Pilot Point Drill Bits For Steel

This is another great drill bit set from Dewalt. Just like the previous model, this one also includes 14 pieces of drill bits that are commonly used. The drill bits are designed to provide faster cutting and durable performance. They feature a pilot point tip design that ensures there is no walking at start-up, and this gives users with increased precision.

The drill bits are made of a quality cobalt material that is tough and suitable for drilling through tough metals like stainless steel. You will find the bits in different sizes, and they are well packed in a case that keeps the organized for easy transportation. The case features a heavy-duty industrial grade ABS material, and it protects the drill bits during transportation.

Additionally, the labeled slots for every drill bit combined with the advanced drill bit holder offer easy organization, and you can identify the bits that you need with ease.

PROS

  • Offer top speed on hard metals.
  • Designed with a durable cobalt material.
  • Come with a good case for easy organization.
  • The drill bits provide accurate cuts.
  • Strong and suitable for metalwork.
  • Durable and come at a reasonable price.

CONS

  • The quality of the drill bits is average.
  • They feel a little brittle.

6. HYCLAT Titanium Step Drill Bits For Steel

Purchasing drill bits in sets is a great idea because you get different sizes at a pocket-friendly price. The HYCLAT drill bit set contains five-piece step bits that allow you to make 50 sizes. When it comes to construction, the drill bits feature high-speed titanium steel and a titanium coating to offer better performance and durability. This helps you drill holes in a wide range of materials like plastic, metal, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum, among others.

Unlike other drill bits, this model provides smooth and faster cuts. The bits feature double cutting blades, and three-sided shank to offer the best drilling performance. On top of that, you can enjoy a versatile performance because the drill bits work on the chamfer, enlarging holes and bur, among others. They also work with a wide range of materials.

The set comes in a protective aluminum case that keeps them safe, so they don’t get dull. You will also find a canvas packing that is light and easy to carry. As compared to other conventional drill bits, this set offers minimal shock and less friction, which extends their life.

PROS

  • Can drill holes of different sizes.
  • They offer fast and smooth holes
  • Drill bit set has minimal shock
  • Cobalt material reduces friction
  • They feature double cutting blades for fast and smooth cuts

CONS

  • They get dull too fast

7. Drill America DWDCO Cobalt Drill Bits For Steel

Looking for a thoughtful gift to give a DIY lover? You can consider the Drill America 29 Piece drill bit set. This is a nice set that comes with all the bits that you need. You will get 29 pieces that are available in different sizes to suit your drilling requirements. The drill bits are easy to use and access. You can keep your hands-free by hanging them on your belt when you are working.

They come in a nice plastic case with a beautiful design to make transportation and storage easy. The set also fits well on any place just as you would place your travel coffee mug in your car. They have a 135-degree split point tip for effective self-centering, and this reduces thrust. This is unlike other models that have 118 degrees.

All the drill bits feature durable construction, and they are rust-resistant. You can use them to drill a wide range of materials like stainless steel, steel, metal, titanium, and Inconel. These are tough materials, and you can be sure of the best drilling outcome.

PROS

  • The bits don’t go walking on you.
  • They come in a nice plastic case.
  • Set includes all the bits that you want.
  • Excellent drilling on tough metal.
  • They are rustproof.
  • Come with a water and shatter resistance case.

CONS

  • Case breaks with ease.
  • Better if they were sharp.

8. Hymnorq Metric Drill Bits for steel

Hymnorq Metric Drill Bits for steel

You need a powerful drill bit set for cutting through hard metals like steel and cast iron. The Migiwata Metric M35 provides an exemplary performance when for repeated drilling in metals. This drill bit set provided a 135-degree split point, so you don’t require a lot of force to remove the metal. This is unlike when using lower angles like 90 and 118 degrees.

Another great aspect of this drill bit set is the self-centering split point. It allows you to drill directly to the required size without doing any pre-drilling. On top of that, it features a twist drill bit body with a high flow spiral design to give you faster removal when you are drilling through thick materials. This drill bits also feature heavy-duty construction, so they don’t break with ease during operation.

They are designed with a straight shank that is ideal for the standard drill chuck. The end of the shank is chamfered to offer a firm holding. The set works amazingly well when it comes to cutting through hard metals like stainless steel and cast iron. But you can also use the drill bits on softer materials. For ease of use, you can download the user guide that provides you with more tips for effective operation.

PROS

  • Designed with high-quality material.
  • You will get 13 pieces in different sizes.
  • Comes with a storage case to offer easy transportation.
  • The drill bits are heat resistant.
  • They are tougher and work well.
  • The drill bits are suitable for cutting tough metals

CONS

  • Users complain of accuracy.
  • Some users ay it doesn’t work on stainless steel.

9. IRWIN 316015  Drill Bits Set for steel

Investing in cheap and low-quality drill bits will not give you an incredible performance when drilling through hard metal. This is why you need a tough drill bit set like this one to help you drill through tough metal, heavy-duty abrasive, hardened steel, and many others. The drill bits feature heavy-duty construction, which makes them durable. Additionally, they are heat and abrasion-resistant.

The cobalt steel construction prolongs the edge life and helps in maintaining the cutting life after you re-sharpen the drill bits. They provide you with a 135- degree split point tip on contact, meaning that you can use less force when drilling. The drills are also extra hard, which reduces their chances of wear. Therefore, you can enjoy prolonged use without compromising a better outcome.

The set comes nicely packed in a rugged case featuring a rubber over-mold to provide more impact resistance and sliding. Additionally, they feature a latch design that provides more security.

PROS

  • Works well in drilling a wide range of metals.
  • Comes in a protective casing.
  • Features quality construction.
  • Can be used in a wide range of applications.

CONS

  • Work well but break with ease

10. Irwin 63221 Industrial Drill Bits For Steel

This is another amazing drill bit that offers a high-speed performance when cutting through tough metal like steel. The set features a highly abrasive resistance, and this makes it tough on metals. Each of the drill bits features a quality spiral flute design that offers effective chip ejection.

The drill bits have a 135-degree split point to minimize feed pressure and offer easy penetration. On top of that, they feature shorter cutting tips that also reduce drilling torque when working with high tensile strength metals. All the drill bits feature a cobalt construction with high abrasive resistance to handle tough metals.

PROS

  • Excellent performance on tough metal.
  • Feature a strong construction for durable performance.

CONS

  • They are expensive.

Buyer’s Guide

For you to power through-hardened steel successfully, you need to look into your drill bit deeply. And by this, I mean, looking into the features that make you a bit able to handle this kind of drilling. Like I said earlier, several drilling tasks won’t stress you with bit selection. While some can become a nightmare. More so, if you do not have an idea of what exactly you are supposed to do.

The truth is, drilling through hardened steel isn’t the kind of job you want to walk into blindly. The point is, with the wrong tool, such tasks are completely impossible. For that reason, we have discussed below the most important features to look for in the drill bits.  At the end of the day, if you are going to punch holes into hard surfaces like that, you will need the kind of bit that will withstand the toughness.

Bit Material

Before we go deep into the types of materials that make the perfect drill bit for punching holes into hardened steel, I need you to understand something simpler. That is, when drilling a surface, the drill bit is supposed to be tougher than the material being worked on. In other words, when drilling hardened steel, you need to have bits made of even tougher materials.

There are a variety of material and metal alloys that make the best bits for drilling into hardened steel. Some of which include carbides, coated steel, and cobalt. The point is, less tough material can only go through soft surfaces like wood and so on. That is why cobalt materials are the most recommended for drilling hardened steel. They can also drill comfortably through other forms of steel and tougher materials.

So, when looking for a perfect bit for drilling tough surfaces like mild steel, tool steel, hardened steel like in cars, guns, and machinery, you need to focus on the constituents used to make the tool. And make sure the bit can handle the heat and the pressure of powering holes in the hardened metals and other tough substances.

Type of Bit Coating

Secondly, coated bits are always vital for drilling hard materials. However, not any type of bit coating can handle the task. You have to consider a coating from stronger materials. This will ensure your bit is protected from wears like rust or even corrosion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Not that easy.

There are specific materials that are preferable for coating drill bits for hardened steel. In most cases, these materials are higher in rank than steel  regarding  hardness and rigidity. Remember, this is the kind of coating you want for the bits you need to use on hard surfaces. Like we explained in the ‘materials’ above, the substances used in making drilling bits need to be more rigid than the surface being powered through.

When selecting your drill bit from the stores, more so in the current crowded market, this is an important feature to look for. Ensure you go for bits with TiCN coatings or even black oxide coatings. Such products will serve you well and last as long as you anticipated. And that is what you need for your money.

YouTube Video Credit: Tyler grigg

Bit Flute Design 

On to the next feature, which is very vital. There are different flute styles designed for different bit purposes. First, you need to know the importance of each type. Generally, there are drill bits with their flutes design meant for unspecified purposes. This means they can handle almost all the general drilling tasks. On the other hand, specified purpose flute designs are meant for few and precise drilling projects.

Personally, after all the research and testing, I can conclude there are two main flute types to look for when purchasing drill bits. They are mainly, either 30-degree flute types or the parabolic types. These two major designs are the most commonly used in drilling works.

And what you need to understand is that the parabolic drill flute design is perfect for unspecified projects. What I mean are the best fit drilling softer surfaces and other simple drilling tasks. Therefore, if you are looking for a drill bit that will handle hardened steel, you need to go with the one with a 30 angle flute.

Set Pieces

This might sound silly, obvious or unnecessary, but drill bits are mostly sold in sets, and it is essential to know that before making a purchase. In most cases, the set contains different sizes and fits of drill bits. Therefore, it is necessary to know the sizes you need and the type of holes you are planning to drill. On top of that, the screws you intend to use will also determine the set to go for.

Ensure the set contains the type of bits that will handle your hardened steel drilling projects. Sometimes, manufacturers tend to pack bits for different tasks in a single set. Well, the good news is, most if not all, hardened steel drilling bits can always be used in drilling through more other surfaces.

Also, the number of different bits contained in a single set should be a factor to consider. This is because the more the number of bits in a set means a lot of drilling options. In other words, having a variety of drilling bits to choose for means you can make a variety of holes with different shapes and sizes.

Shank Styles

The shank is the bit-part end that is fitted in the drill. They always come in different styles and sizes. This part of your drill bit is important and delicate to pick. You get this wrong, and you might not even be able to fix your bit into the drill chuck.

Regarding sizes, there are two main shank styles. You can either have a fixed diameter shank meant for twist drills. These are mainly used with automated machinery. The second type of shank is the specialty shank or the threaded shank style. And just like in flute designs, this one of for distinct or rather certain machines.

Bit Tip Design

Another fundamental bit feature is the tip design. Some tip designs might not be great for special projects, like drilling through hardened steel. You have to understand the difference in the nature of your tasks. Know what kind of bit tip to use in each case.

The most common drill bit tip designs include the V-point tip, the tapered tip, the fishtail tip, Brad point tip design, the split drill tip point, and the conventional point design. All these designs have their advantages and disadvantages. And for drilling through a hardened steel or steel alloys, you will need the split point tip design. This is because it cuts in angles between 118 degrees and 135.

Tapered Bits

Our last concern comes with a question. Which drill bit is more preferable for hardened steel between tapered and non-tapered ones? Well, this is an easy one and should not for any reason, hold us back. If simply put, a tapered drill bit is way preferable for almost all kinds of drilling tasks. This means that you will love them for steel drilling as well.

The point is, working with tapered drill bits gives you more grip. Besides, the resulting hole marries will with commonly used screws. This is perfect for your general working result. And it is for that reason, our team decided to add this as a feature to focus on when purchasing your drill bits.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Can I use DEWALT (DW1354) Drill Bit Set drill into concrete?

These are not masonry drill bits. I wouldn’t recommend that.

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

You can use any drill bits made for steel. I drill at slow speed with cobalt drill bits that made for steel. keep drill bits sharp all the time.

What kind of speed will I use when drilling steel?

Slow speed is the best way to drill steel.

How does oil work in steel drilling?

It lubricates the drill bits and keeps its temperature down, which protects the drill bit from being damaged.

Disadvantages of Fast Steel drilling.

If drill bits get hot through drilling steel it will dull easily.

Conclusion

As I conclude, I would recommend the overall best drill bit for drilling hardened steel projects. But then, I think I’d better leave that to you. Remember, all the above drill bits are perfect for powering through very hard surfaces. But some are even better, by being able to work on multiple other surfaces other than just hardened steel.

As at this point, picking your favorite drill bit from our list will depend on your personal needs. And also, the kind of projects you handle greatly influence the instrument you need. The best part is, through a touch of professionalism and expertise, we managed to review the top products in detail. This makes things a lot easier for you as a buyer.

Besides, the most important features depending on different tasks have also been explained. This is meant to enlighten you on what to look for in drill bits for hardened steel and such other tough surfaces. Therefore, landing the right bit for your drilling projects will not be a problem anymore. Thanks to our handy experts.

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