How to choose the right drill bits for metals

Any trader who handles metals and drills understands the need to use the right bit to drill holes quickly and easily. If you are looking for tips on choosing the right drill bit for drilling through metal, you need to understand the tips for drilling, the correct way to use a handheld drill, and how to sharpen drills. You also need to know how to choose the right drilling for metals.

You will find a variety of choices when looking for drills for metals. They can be

  • HSS
  • Titanium coated or cobalt steel
  • Metal hole saw
  • Unibit (step bit)

Now let’s take a closer look at these.

HSS bits

High-speed steel bits or HSS bits are made of carbon steel along with other elements such as chrome and vanadium. This makes them perfect for use at high drilling speeds. An HSS bit can be used to drill a wide variety of materials, including iron, steel, brass, copper and aluminum, among others.

Titanium coated bit

HSS bits with a titanium coating have more durability and hardness than HSS bits. This makes them suitable for drilling in hard materials such as stainless steel. However, keep in mind that the titanium coating will eventually wear out, and if you sharpen these drills with a drill grinder or by hand, you will lose the coating completely. In appearance, the Titanium bits resemble HSS bits with a brass or orange color.

Cobalt alloy bits are also another option. They are made of a solid alloy and not just coated like the titanium bits. Cobalt makes the drill more durable and can withstand higher temperatures while drilling without losing its sharpness. However, these drills are usually more expensive and more brittle. Hence, they are likely to chip on the edge.

Hole saws

To drill very large holes, greater than 1.5 inches, you need a drill with a lot of power and torque to overcome friction. That’s where a hole saw comes in handy. They can be used to drill large holes. Hole saws have small teeth like a handsaw with a cylindrical blade. Some hole saws are made from HSS steel, making them suitable for drilling iron, steel and other metals.

Step Bit (Unibit)

Step bits or unibits are conically shaped bits with multiple cutting edges of different diameters. They are suitable for drilling thin coniferous wood, laminate, chipboard, plastic, plasterboard and sheet steel. Step bits are ideal for electric drilling, especially if you need different sized holes to cut in junction boxes, panels, etc. They are useful as they allow you to drill holes of different sizes without having to change bits. Even if the bit comes to a point, a pilot hole is not necessary if a large hole is to be drilled.

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