Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel of 2022– Pick from Drilling Advisor

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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.

Our Top Choices

Editor’s Choice:IRWIN 316015 Steel Drill Bit Set
Runner Up:TEMO M35 Step Drill
Amazon's Choice:Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bits
Review Champion:CO-Z ‎CO-Z SDB-0000 HSS Step Drill Bits
Best Rated:Tooluxe 10171L High-Speed Steel Titanium Bit
Budget Friendly:DeWalt DW5204 4-Piece Masonry Drill Bit

Comparisons of Top Drill Bits For Hardened Steel on the Market

Editor’s Choice
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt Alloy Steel, 15-Piece...
Runner Up
TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill, 12 Size...
Amazon's Choice
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 28...
Review Champion
CO-Z Step Drill Bits, HSS 5PCS Titanium Step Drill...
Best Rated
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
Budget Friendly
DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 4-Piece...
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt Alloy Steel, 15-Piece...
TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill, 12 Size...
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 28...
CO-Z Step Drill Bits, HSS 5PCS Titanium Step Drill...
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 4-Piece...
Rating:
Material:
Cobalt
Cobalt
Alloy Steel
Titanium
High Speed Steel
Blend
Finish Type:
Black Oxide
Silver
Titanium
Titanium
Titanium
Silver
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
‎0.0625 / 0.09375 / 0.109375 / 0.25 Inches
3/16 Inch, 7/8 Inch, 1/4 Inch
0.125 / 0.5 Inches
0.50 / 0.25 / 0.38 Inches
0.13 Inches
-
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
-
Editor’s Choice
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt Alloy Steel, 15-Piece...
IRWIN Drill Bit Set, Cobalt Alloy Steel, 15-Piece...
Rating:
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:
Runner Up
TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill, 12 Size...
TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill, 12 Size...
Rating:
Material:
Cobalt
Finish Type:
Silver
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
3/16 Inch, 7/8 Inch, 1/4 Inch
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
Amazon's Choice
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 28...
Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 28...
Rating:
Material:
Alloy Steel
Finish Type:
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
0.125 / 0.5 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
Review Champion
CO-Z Step Drill Bits, HSS 5PCS Titanium Step Drill...
CO-Z Step Drill Bits, HSS 5PCS Titanium Step Drill...
Rating:
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:
Best Rated
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
Tooluxe 10171L 1/4” Hex Shank Titanium Drill Bit...
Rating:
Material:
High Speed Steel
Finish Type:
Titanium
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
0.13 Inches
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:
-
Budget Friendly
DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 4-Piece...
DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 4-Piece...
Rating:
Material:
Blend
Finish Type:
Silver
Cutting Angle String:
135 Degrees
Cutting Diameter:
-
Two-Flute?
Tri-Flatted Shank?
Prime:

9 Best Reviews of Drill Bits for Hardened Steel

9. HYCLAT HTSDB5 High-Speed Metal Steel Step Drill Bit

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

HYCLAT High-Speed Metal Steel Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #26  in Step Drill Bits
  •  Rank #18,025  in Industrial & Scientific

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Value for money - 4.3 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.0 of 5 stars
Longevity - 3.7 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 930 Total Reviews
Lowes Customer Reviews Lowes Customer Reviews
 4.3 of 5 stars  – 31 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Economical, affordable
  • Excellent machining
  • Better than spiral
Negative Feedback
  • Storage case not ideal, foam breaks down

Customers say these bits are surprisingly good for the price, and an incredibly good deal. This set was highly acclaimed by a locksmith who uses them frequently to drill steel doors and frames.

8. Hymnorq DC023 Metric M35 Cobalt Steel Twist Drill Bits

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

Hymnorq Metric M35 Cobalt Steel Twist Drill 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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #81  in Jobber Drill Bits
  •  Rank #28,552  in Tools & Home Improvement

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Accuracy - 4.2 of 5 stars
Value for money - 4.1 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.0 of 5 stars
Sturdiness - 3.6 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 2,047 Total Reviews
eBay Customer Reviews eBay Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 4 stars  – 11 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Variety of handy sizes
  • Very affordable
  • Excellent customer service
Negative Feedback
  • Prone to slippage due to coating
  • Limited life span

Many customers say they would buy these again. One customer, who has been metalworking for 40 years, says these are professional quality.

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

7. Hazlo 5 Pcs 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

Hazlo 5PCS Masonry Drill Bit Set

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #73  in Masonry Drill Bit Sets
  •  Rank #135,596  in Tools & Home Improvement

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Value for money - 4.3 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.2 of 5 stars
Longevity - 3.7 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.3 of 5 stars  – 212 Total Reviews
Home Depot Customer Reviews Home Depot Customer Reviews
 4.1 of 5 stars  – 13 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Multi-material use
  • Very affordable
  • Handy sizes
Negative Feedback
  • Limited life span

A number of happy customers say they cut ‘like a hot knife through butter’.  These are a staple for any handyman.

6. DeWalt DW5204 Masonry Drill Bit Set – Budget Friendly

Specification List:
  • Material: Carbide
  • Surface Recommend: Concrete
  • Chucks Fits: 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch
  • Size bits: 3/16-by-3-inch, 1/4-by-4-inch, 5/16-by-6-inch, and 3/8-by-6-inch
  • Shank: Three flats
  • Number of Bits: 4 bits

DEWALT DW5204 Masonry Drill Bit set

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #108  in Masonry Drill Bit Sets
  •  Rank #206,479  in Tools & Home Improvement

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 8,894 Total Reviews
Lowes Customer Reviews Lowes Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 13 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Long lasting
  • Durable
  • Multi-purpose
Negative Feedback
  • Not for hardened steel

Customers say these are ‘up to the challenge.’  This set has received hundreds of five star reviews.

5. Tooluxe 10171L High-Speed Steel Construction Bit – Best Rated

Specification List:
  • Material: High Speed Steel
  • Finish Type: Titanium
  • Size bits: 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 11/64, 3/16, 13/64, 7/32, 15/64, and 1/4 in
  • Tool Flute Type: Spiral
  • Shank Type: Hex
  • Number of Bits: 13 bits

Tooluxe High-Speed Steel Titanium Drill Bit

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #15  in Metalworking & Multipurpose Drill Sets
  •  Rank #3,582  in Drill Bits
  •  Rank #132,732  in Industrial & Scientific

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Sturdiness - 3.2 of 5 stars
Value for money - 2.6 of 5 stars
Durability - 2.5 of 5 stars
Accuracy - 2.3 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 3.9 of 5 stars  – 1,370 Total Reviews
Walmart Customer Reviews Walmart Customer Reviews
 3.8 of 5 stars  – 18 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Variety of handy sizes
  • Titanium nitride coating
Negative Feedback
  • Shank could come loose
  • Occasional breakage

Customers say these are great for occasional and short term use or intermittent projects.

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

4. CO-Z HSS Step Drill Bits for Hardened Sheet – Review Champion

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

CO-Z cobalt extreme durable Step Drill Bit Set

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #1  in Step Drill Bits
  •  Rank #593  in Industrial & Scientific

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Accuracy - 4.3 of 5 stars
Versatility - 4.2 of 5 stars
Value for money - 4.0 of 5 stars
Durability - 3.7 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 8,894 Total Reviews
Lowes Customer Reviews Lowes Customer Reviews
 4.7 of 5 stars  – 386 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Durable
  • Versatile
Negative Feedback
  • Best performance with lighter use

This is a very popular item with thousands of five star reviews.

3. Neiko 10193A High Speed Steel Step Drill Bit – Amazon’s Choice

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

Neiko 10193A HSS Titanium Step Drill Bit

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #13  in Step Drill Bits
  •  Rank #28  in Pipe Fittings (Industrial & Scientific)
  •  Rank #5,994  in Industrial & Scientific

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Accuracy - 4.6 of 5 stars
Value for money - 4.2 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.0 of 5 stars
Longevity - 3.9 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.5 of 5 stars  – 4,874 Total Reviews
eBay Customer Reviews eBay Customer Reviews
 4.9 of 4 stars  – 36 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • High quality alloy steel
  • Split point tip
  • Titanium finish
Negative Feedback
  • Best performance on limited use projects

Satisfied customers rave that this is more than worth the money. It has smooth cutting action and clean holes.

2. TEMO M35 Cobalt Spiral Flute Step Drill – Runner Up

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

TEMO M35 Cobalt Drill bit

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.

 

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #15  in Step Drill Bits
  •  Rank #8,593  in Industrial & Scientific

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Accuracy - 4.8 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.6 of 5 stars
Value for money - 4.4 of 5 stars
Longevity - 4.3 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.7 of 5 stars  – 816 Total Reviews
Walmart Customer Reviews Walmart Customer Reviews
 5.0 of 5 stars  – 1 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Cobalt alloy
  • Smooth spiral flute
Negative Feedback
  • Often requires pilot hole to avoid walking

So many happy customers with this product. One said, “I’m very impressed, it’s a keeper”. And another, “my new favorite tool”. And, “it cuts like butter.”

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 316015 Cobalt Alloy Steel Drill Bit – Editor’s Choice 

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.

Performance Rankings

Ranks Updated: September 10, 2022

  •  Rank #72  in Jobber Drill Bits
  •  Rank #26,252  in Tools & Home Improvement

*collected from Amazon’s ranking of best sellers

Performance Ratings

Ratings Updated: September 10, 2022

Longevity - 4.4 of 5 stars
Value for money - 4.4 of 5 stars
Durability - 4.3 of 5 stars
Sturdiness - 4.2 of 5 stars

*collected from Amazon’s rating system

Customer Review Section (Section Updated September 10, 2022)

Amazon Customer Reviews
 4.7 of 5 stars  – 1,749 Total Reviews
Walmart Customer Reviews Walmart Customer Reviews
 2.8 of 5 stars  – 6 Total Reviews
Positive Feedback
  • Cobalt
  • Long life
  • Black oxide finish
Negative Feedback
  • Smooth surface might slip in chuck

Recommended by professional machinists and one reviewer said he’d give this more than 5 stars if allowed.

FAQ’s About Drill Bits for Hardened Steel

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.

Final Thoughts

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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