Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel (9 Tough Picks) Reviews 2021

Having the right drill bit for a job is crucial because different bits are meant for different materials, and using the wrong bit can essentially render a drill useless. Without the right tools, your project will be unable to leave the drawing board.

Today, we’ll be focusing on the best drill bits for hardened steel available in 2021.

We will be ranking the best ones by considering underlying material, price, and consumer experiences. We take these into consideration to ensure that you can finish projects with hardened steel efficiently.

Note: You might also want to wear a proper protection mask when working with hardened steel.

Drill Bits for Hardened Steel – Comparisons

Top Pick
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt, 15-Piece (316015)
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...
CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step...
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
IRWIN Drill Bit Set
Neiko Titanium Step Drill Bit
CO-Z Drill Bit Set
Tooluxe Shank Titanium Drill Bit Set
Material:
Cobalt
Alloy Steel
Titanium
High Speed Steel
Finish Type:
Black Oxide
Titanium
Titanium
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
‎0.0625 / 0.09375 / 0.109375 / 0.25 Inches
0.125 / 0.5 Inches
0.50 / 0.25 / 0.38 Inches
0.13 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
-
-
Top Pick
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt, 15-Piece (316015)
IRWIN Drill Bit Set
Material:
Cobalt
Finish Type:
Black Oxide
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
‎0.0625 / 0.09375 / 0.109375 / 0.25 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
-
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High...
Neiko Titanium Step Drill Bit
Material:
Alloy Steel
Finish Type:
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
0.125 / 0.5 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step...
CO-Z Drill Bit Set
Material:
Titanium
Finish Type:
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
0.50 / 0.25 / 0.38 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
Tooluxe Shank Titanium Drill Bit Set
Material:
High Speed Steel
Finish Type:
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
0.13 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
-

 

9 Drill Bits Reviewed (Hardened Steel)

9. HYCLAT 5pcs Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

Specification List:
  • Material: Cobalt
  • Finish Type: Titanium
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 degrees
  • Shank: 3-sided
  • Shank Type: Triangle
  • Number of Bits: 50 bits

The five bits found in this package enable you to drill 50 different sizes. Each step drill bit can drill several bore diameters. They are made with classic and sturdy high-speed steel with titanium coating for proven capability and durability when drilling through hardened steel and several other materials.

Buyer’s Feedback Section

Last updated: October 26, 2021

Information pulled from actual customer reviews to provide the best and worst feedback from major retailer sites

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5 Stars

Positive Feedback
  • Smooth and efficient cutting due to three-sided shank and double cutting blades
  • Highly versatile, can be used on several materials
Negative Feedback
  • Not ideal for long-term use

8. Hymnorq Metric M35 Cobalt Steel Drill Bit Set

Specification List:
  • Material: Cobalt Steel
  • Cuts Through: Hard Metals, Stainless Steel and Cast Iron
  • Finish Type: Bronze Oxide
  • Size Bits: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.2mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 6.5mm
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 degrees
  • Shank Type: Round
  • Number of Bits: 13 bits

These bits are heat resistant, made with M35 cobalt steel, and they come in a package of 50 pieces. The 135° Quick-Cut points are self-centering and penetrate quickly with less pressure. As such, they will fit any standard-sized drill chuck and you’ll have no problem drilling with accuracy.

Buyer’s Feedback Section

Last updated: October 26, 2021

Information pulled from actual customer reviews to provide the best and worst feedback from major retailer sites

Overall Rating – 4.2 of 5 Stars

Positive Feedback
  • Large quantity of bits will last you long-term
  • Bits can be used on multiple metals
Negative Feedback
  • May break when drilling at an angle
  • Not intended for big projects – largest bit is 6.5 mm

The bits on our list go well with the best power drills.

7. Hazlo Masonry Drill Bit Set

Specification List:
  • Material: Carbide
  • Cuts Though: Porcelain
  • Finish Type: Chrome
  • Size bits: 5/32″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″ and 3/8″
  • Tool Flute Type: Spiral
  • Number of bits: 5 bits

The Hazlo masonry drill bit set isn’t specifically designed for hardened steel, but the carbide coating ensures that it’s up to the task. The steep flutes allow it to remove material as you are drilling it. It comes at a fairly low cost and has additional chrome plating to further extend usage time.

Pros

Intended for multiple materials, which makes it ideal for larger projects that require versatile bits

Has anti-rust plating

Cons

  • Not intended specifically for steel – reduces bit longevity

Overall rating – 4.2 of 5 Stars

Coming in a hard casing that keeps everything tidy, this drill bit set features a carbide steel build that’s fairly resistant even during prolonged use. The anti-rust chrome plating further extends the bits’ lifespan, while also reducing friction.

6. DEWALT DW5204 Premium Percussion Masonry Drill Bit

Specification List:
  • Material: Carbide
  • Surface Recommend: Concrete
  • Chucks Fits: 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch
  • Diameter: 0.375 inches
  • Shank: Three flats
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 3.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Although this drill bit is primarily marketed for people interested in masonry projects, it’s still among the best drill bits for hardened steel in case you need an extra level of versatility. The carbide construction offers an acceptable level of strength for most projects.

Pros

Quality is proportionately high for cost

Made for multiple materials, makes it versatile

Tip reduces walking on the steel’s surface.

Three flats on the shank eliminate bit slipping in the chuck

Cons

  • Not intended specifically for steel – reduces bit longevity

Overall rating – 4.7 of 5 Stars

Dewalt is one of the top drilling brands, and this set doesn’t disappoint. While the bits may not be specifically targeted at hardened steel, they manage to do a phenomenal job.

5. Tooluxe 10171L Titanium Drill Bit

Specification List:
  • Material: High Speed Steel
  • Finish Type: Titanium
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 Degrees
  • Cutting Diameter: 0.13 inches
  • Tool Flute Type: Spiral
  • Shank Type: Hex
  • Dimensions: 4.92 x 6.61 x 0.59 inches

The Tooluxe drill bit made with a titanium, which gives it a competitive advantage for those looking to find the best drill bits for hardened steel. The set comes at a decent price and the hex shank provides extra stability when you insert it in the drill’s chuck.

Pros

Easy to purchase in bulk

Hex shank provides extra stability

Cons

  • Titanium coating is not long-lasting

Overall rating – 4 of 5 Stars

While this might not be the most sought after set for hardened steel specifically, the low price and its versatility place easily earn it a place on our list.

If you’re a professional, you might also be interested in the best drill bits for porcelain tile.

4. CO-Z Cobalt Drill Bit

Specification List:
  • Material: Titanium
  • Finish Type: Titanium
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 Degrees
  • Cutting Diameter: 0.50 / 0.25 / 0.38 inches
  • Tool Flute Type: Spiral
  • Chucks Fits: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 in.
  • Set: 5 drill bits
  • Dimensions: 4.33 x 1.57 x 6.1 inches

The CO-Z Cobalt Drill Bit is a particularly high quality because it uses cobalt high speed steel with a titanium coating. It’s compatible with ¼”, 3⁄8″, and ½” chuck sizes. On top of that, it features several usability improvements and the design of the drill tips completely eliminates walking on hardened steel surfaces.

Pros

The cobalt and titanium combo is perfect for hardened steel

Easy-to-read rings

Compatible with ¼”, 3⁄8″ and ½” chuck sizes.

Cons

  • Best for light use – dulls quickly

Overall rating – 4.5 of 5 Stars

This set is one of the more premium options on our list, and for good reason. Although it includes only five bits, they are all projected in such a way that you can drill different sized holes without much hassle. It’s an excellent choice if you are looking for a quality bit for a few projects.

3. Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit

Specification List:
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Finish Type: Titanium
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 degrees
  • Cutting Diameter: ‎0.125 / 0.5 inches
  • Shank Type: Tri-Flatted
  • Set: 28 individual drill bits
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 1 inches

The Neiko 1093A Titanium Step is made of high-speed steel with a titanium coating. The titanium helps improve durability. It has a 3⁄16 increment for depth and the two flute design reduces particulate contamination.

Pros

Handle long, high-speed drilling well

Less particulate debris

Flatted shank fits into any power tool’s chuck

Cons

  • Prone to rusting without proper care

Overall rating – 4.6 of 5 Stars

At first, you might be turned off by the fact that there are only three bits in this set. However, once you use them, you will quickly realize that their quality is worth the price. The bits have 6, 13, and 9 steps respectively, that cover a great number of sizes so you can drill numerous types of holes in hardened steel with relative ease.

2. TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill bit

Specification List:
  • Material: Cobalt
  • Tool Flute Type: Spiral
  • Shank Type: Hex
  • Dimensions: 3 x 1 x 1 inches

The TEMO M35 is made of cobalt high-speed steel with a titanium coating. It also uses a special heat-resistant design to achieve superior performance that allows it to run faster and longer on surfaces like hardened steel. It has a 4 mm step range and approximately 32 mm cutting edge. M35 is less prone to chipping when used for interrupted cuts.

Pros

High quality control regarding amount of cobalt in high-speed steel

Resistant to dulling

Double spiral flutes are more efficient swarf clearance

Cons

  • Initially, the tip can be prone to dulling (but can be sharpened)

Overall rating – 4.7 of 5 Stars

This drill bit is heat-resistant, which is ideal for long periods of drilling. This designs plus its multiple sizes make it an ideal purchase for projects with hardened steel. While occasionally there are issues with the tip dulling, using drill oil can prevent this and the tip can be sharpened again.

You can achieve a lot with a good drill bit as long as you’ve got one of the best cordless drills on the market today!

1. IRWIN Industrial Tools 316015 Cobalt Drill Bit

Specification List:
  • Material: Cobalt
  • Finish Type: Black Oxide
  • Cutting Angle String: 135 degrees
  • Cutting Diameter: 0.0625 / 0.09375 / 0.109375 / 0.25 inches
  • Shank Type: Three-flatted
  • Chucks Fits: 3/8-inch
  • Size: 15 drill bits
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 10.94 x 11.06 inches

Made of cobalt steel with a black oxide finish the IRWIN Cobalt Drill Bit is specially made for long-term use. The drill bits are designed with the intention of being sharpened in order to extend the longevity of them. The 135-degree split point means you don’t need to use as much force to achieve high quality results, and the reduced shank size provides greater versatility.

Pros

This drill bit is designed for single, long-term use – high quality material, easy to sharpen, heat and friction-resistant

Cons

  • Must be ran on a low speed when used on hardened steel

Overall rating – 4.7 of 5 Stars

This drill bit is made for long-term use, making it’s higher price worth it. They don’t require much force when drilling and are very versatile; however, low speed should be used when drilling on hardened steel to prevent burnout.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Care for Drill Bits?

Make sure you wipe and clean the bit as you work. Wipe it with a clean cloth every 5-10 minutes to ensure an increased lifespan and make sure to also clean it after use and apply oil. It is also recommended to use a sharpener from time to time.

Drill Bit Makes Awkward Squeaking Noise. How Do I Fix it?

This usually happens because you’re running it too fast or for too long. Try slowing down the drill’s RPMs or letting it rest for a while. Allow a short recess period between each session.

The Drill Bit Gets Too Hot When I’m Working. How Can I Avoid That?

Follow the steps in our previous answer. If that doesn’t help, try lubricating the drill bit. Some surfaces might be too thick for it to penetrate seamlessly, which makes the bit prone to heat from friction. Use lubricant oil or water during operation to cool down the bit. Just be careful not to spill water on the drill’s electric components.

How Do I Sharpen Drill Bits?

You can sharpen drill bits by using a metal grinder. Hold the sharp edge of the bit at 60 degree angle and let the metal grinder do the sharpening.

Conclusion

The best drill bits for hardened steel require some consideration about your overall needs. When thinking about overall quality and specifically about the right bits for hardened steel, the IRWIN cobalt drill bit earned top ranking especially since it is long-lasting.

A key determiner in choosing a bit is also whether you plan to use it for long-term or singular use. A cheaper option may be better if this is a single project.

We encourage you to leave us a comment with your opinion regarding the subject at hand.

By sharing your opinion, people can more easily judge how the drill bits fit when it comes down to their own unique style. So go ahead and share your ideas with us and the rest of the drilling community!

Note: While you’re here, you may also find our article on the best benchtop drill presses useful.

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