10 Best Drill Bits in 2018 :Comparisons & Reviews

You could have the best drill money can buy but without the right type of quality drill bits, you will not get the most out of it. The drill bit makes all the difference and it is important to get the right one for the job you wish to do. Quality also makes a huge difference to the quality of your drilling work.

A poor drill bit will require more effort to drill putting the strain on both the drill and the user. It could eventually ruin your drill. Poor bits will slip or “walk” when they start and this will cause untidy unprofessional results. They can also spin in the chuck causing you to need to constantly tighten them chuck. The poorer quality drill bits will become blunt very quickly and will easily rust.

All of these things can be very frustrating and take the fun out of your DIY projects. It is worth learning a bit about some of the best drill bits available to avoid this stress and frustration.

 

To make your life easier and help you find the best metal drill bits, we have done our homework. We looked at all the top brands and most popular sets to come up with this list of the best drill bits for steel.

 

Drill Bit Materials

It is important to get the right drill bit for the type of work you intend doing, the material being drilled, how often you intend to use the drill bit and your budget. Apart from the standard high-speed steel twist bits, there is a range of coatings. This will add strength to the bit and help it to operate at lower heat. They will, however, add to the cost of the drill bit.

Here is a summary of the main coating options and their features:
Black oxide
• Good all-purpose drill bits
• Value for money
• Versatile for range of materials
• Low friction, less heat
• Prevents corrosion

Titanium
• Stronger than Black Oxide
• Lower heat production
• Less chance of corrosion
• More expensive
• Can operate at higher speeds

Cobalt
• More expensive than Black Oxide and Titanium
• Stronger and longer lasting
• Easier to sharpen effectively

 

Best Drill Bits in Comparisons Table

 

DEWALT DW1354 14-Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set

Features:

  • Tough titanium exterior
  • Low heat drill bits
  • Non-slip pilot points

 

Our first selection is the 14-piece titanium drill bit set from the trusted tool and drill bit company Dewalt.  The first feature this set is known for is the robust titanium coating. This provides good durability while still offering good value for money. Titanium keeps the drill bits sharper for longer and allows them to operate at lower temperatures, reducing the heat buildup.

The other standout benefit of the drill bit set is the pilot points that are a Dewalt propitiatory design. These pilot points break into the metal quickly to get the job started with minimal walking.

The hexagonal shanks are no-spin for improved chuck grip and the tapered web improves strength and durability.

The drill bits are perfect for many jobs around the house or in the workshop and can be used on softer metals, wood, and plastic. They range in size from 1/16 to ½ bits.

Pros:

  • Versatile set of bits for a range of jobs
  • Clean and faster work without walking thanks to the effective pilot points
  • Good no-spin or slip properties
  • Very easy to use
  • Durable
  • Value for money

Cons:           

  • Not strong enough for large heavy-duty work
  • Warranty is a 30-day money back offer only

 

 

DEWALT DW1177 Black-Oxide Metal Drill Bit Set

 

Features:

  • 20 piece set
  • Durable black oxide coating
  • High-speed drill bits
  • Rust resistant
  • Spares of the smaller more fragile bits

 

Another great drill bit set is this 20-piece option also by Dewalt. The value for money set is coated with black oxide for strength and durability. This coating reduces friction allowing for higher drilling speeds and increases the useful life of each bit. The Black-Oxide also eliminates the risk of rust and corrosion. Strength is enhanced even further by the parabolic flute structure of the bits.

 

They are sized from 1/16-inch to 1/2-inch and feature a split-point set at 135 degrees. This minimizes walking and slip when you start to drill. You get 2 of each of the 3 smallest bits so that you have a spare of each. That is a very clever consideration by Dewalt. The bits can be used on plastic/PVC, metal and wood.

An excellent feature of this drill bit set is the sturdy robust case that keeps the bits organized and protects them. It has a safe and secure locking mechanism to keep everything in place.

Pros:

  • 20 pieces makes a versatile handy set of bits for a range of jobs
  • The parabolic flute construction strength and durability
  • The coating of Black-Oxide increases the efficiency and lifespan of the drill bits
  • The 135-degree split on the points means no walking or slipping when you start each hole

Cons:

  • One has to take care that the thinner bits do not get too hot

 

Neiko 10193A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set

 

Features:

  • Non-slip hexagonal shank
  • Ideal for sheet metal and plastic
  • The 5-pice sent can drill 50 different size holes

Neiko might not be the most well-known name in tools and drill bits but they produce some quality sets at a reasonable price. This set is titanium coated for strength and durability. They are primarily made for use on sheet metal although they can be used on most types of metal.

It comes with a carry case helping to keep the bits together and safe. Some users question the durability of the case.   

These bits use a hexagonal shank for maximum grip without slipping. They can drill into most metals as well as plastic and other materials. The bits are designed to operate at high speeds and can drill into plastic as well as most metals.

 

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Can drill 50 different size holes with only 5 drill bits
  • Non-slip shanks
  • Good for sheet metal and plastic

Cons:

  • The carry case is not the toughest design

 

DEWALT DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set

Features:

  • Unique patented pilot point for non-slip easy start
  • Clean tidy holes
  • Titanium bit and point for extended lifespan
  • Non-slip shank design
  • Bit sizes are 1/16 inch to ½ inch.
  • Tapered web design improves strength
  • Versatile 21 piece set

By now you have gathered that Dewalt makes some of the finest drill bit sets and the DW1361 is no exception. One of the big advantages is their unique pilot points that starts the drilling process without walking on the material. This makes for very clean neat work.

This set is titanium for a good strength without any rust or corrosion. This set can be used on plastic, wood and non-ferrous metals making it extremely versatile. It comes in a handy carry case.

This is a popular option with the DIY enthusiast market.

Pros:

  • Strong and durable
  • Versatile set suitable for a range of jobs
  • Good clean holes
  • Non-slip shanks
  • Non-slip pilot point

Cons:

  • Will lose sharpness over time

 

Neiko 10197A Step Drill Bit Set

Features:

  • Versatile set of 5 bits that can produce 50 different size holes
  • Suitable for a range of metals as well as plastic
  • High-speed steel design
  • Tri flatted shank design eliminates slipping in the chuck

This is another great set from Neiko. The set is extremely versatile as it can drill a range of plastics and metals. The 5 bits will allow for 50 different size holes. The cleverly designed shank will ensure there is no slipping when you are drilling.

Pros:

  • 50 size holes from only 5 drill bits
  • Great value for money
  • Non-slip shanks design

Cons:

  • Again, the carry case is not the most durable

 

IRWIN Tools Cobalt High-Speed Steel Drill Bit

Features:

  • Versatile 29 piece set
  • Sizes from 1/16 to ½ inches
  • Cobalt adds strength and durability while also reducing heat
  • Suitable for heavy-duty work
  • Unique split point to prevent walking
  • Suitable for high-speed drilling
  • The material is abrasion resistant
  • Works on harder metals

 

Irwin is another trusted name in hardworking quality drill bits. If you are looking for a tough set of drill bits that can handle the heavy work, this is a great option. The M-35 with 5% Cobalt is what gives it superior strength and allows it to cope at high speeds without overheating.  This quality, well-built set will make the tougher jobs easier on the operator as well as the drill.

It comes with a handy case to keep the set safe.

This Irwin set is undoubtedly one of the best drill bits for steel.

Pros:

  • Super strong high-speed drill bits
  • 135-degree split pointed apex for ease of use and reduced walking
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good aftersales service

Cons:

  • Strength and durability comes at a price
  • Bits need to be oiled regularly
  • Smaller bits lack the strength of larger sizes
  • Bits will need to be sharpened occasionally

 

Black & Decker 15-110 High-Speed Steel Drill Bit

Features:

  • Suitable for metal, plastic, and wood
  • Versatile 10-piece set
  • Convenient carry case
  • High-speed steel
  • Round shank

 

Black & Decker obviously needs no introduction and is a name that most DIY enthusiast, as well as many contractors, have come to trust and rely on. This is a good general purpose set to have at home or in the workshop and the sizes will meet most of your requirements.

 

One of the great features is the reasonable price. If you consider that it comes with the Black & Decker 2-year warranty that is really good value for money.

Pros

  • Handy set with a good range of sizes
  • Versatile for use on softer metals, plastic, and wood
  • Carry case is compact and convenient
  • 2-Year warranty
  • Outstanding value for money

Cons

  • Not designed for heavy duty projects

 

IRWIN Tools Spiral Flute Screw Extractors

 

Features:

  • 48 piece extraction set for a wide range of sizes
  • Spiral flute design is fast and effective
  • Size is displayed on each tool for easy identification
  • Removes broken screws, bolts, and studs

 

There is nothing more frustrating than a screw that has become stuck or damaged and is difficult to get out. Fortunately, there are some great tools that can sort that problem out quickly. The Irwin Spiral Flute Screw is one such tool and it will sort your problem out in no time.  

Irwin have been around for more than a hundred years and this is a testament to the quality of their tools. This set is highly rated by those that have used it and it is a popular choice.

Pros:

  • Well designed
  • Fast and easy
  • Large versatile set for most screw extraction requirements
  • Powerful grip

Cons:

  • No instructions for those that have never used a screw extractor before
  • Not ideal for stainless steel

 

Buying guide

There are a number of things to look out for selecting a drill bit set. Here are the most important points to take note of:

Type of drill bit

There is a wide range of bits. While many are general or multi-purpose, some are designed only to work on specific surfaces. Make sure you get the correct type of drill bits for the work you intend doing.

Size range

You do not want to start a project and then find you do not have the correct size drill bit for the required job. Select a set that offers a range of sizes to give you versatility.

Material

It is important to get the right drill bit for the type of work you intend doing, the material being drilled, how often you intend to use the drill bit and your budget. Apart from the standard high-speed steel twist bits, there is a range of coatings. This will add strength to the bit and help it to operate at lower heat. They will, however, add to the cost of the drill bit.

Here is a summary of the main coating options and their features:

Black oxide

  • Good all-purpose drill bits
  • Value for money
  • Versatile for range of materials
  • Low friction, less heat
  • Prevents corrosion

Titanium

  • Stronger than Black Oxide
  • Lower heat production
  • Less chance of corrosion
  • More expensive
  • Can operate at higher speeds

Cobalt

  • More expensive than Black Oxide and Titanium
  • Stronger and longer lasting
  • Easier to sharpen effectively

 

Shank Design

A standard drill bit has a round or cylindrical shank. During heavy work, this can cause the bit to spin in the chuck. Most of the drill bits we reviewed here have a hexagonal shank or other features that prevent or reduce slipping. These bits are also faster to change which makes your projects a bit less time-consuming. If you will be doing heavy duty work or changing bits often, it pays to get a hexagonal shank.

 

Drill Bit FAQ

Q: Can drill bits be sharpened if they become blunt?

A: The answer is yes, most bits can be sharpened if they are blunt or dull. Some styles of drill bit are easy to sharpen but most twist type bits will require a special machine to sharpen them. As a general rule, one should consider sharpening more expensive bits whereas the entry level bits should simply be replaced.

One important thing to remember is that the sharpening process will remove much of the protective coating used on drill bits. This will mean that the strength is reduced, they will not stay sharp for as long and will be more prone to rust and corrosion.

Q: How should I maintain my drill bits?

A: To prevent rust, always wipe the drill bit clean after use and apply a small amount of oil. Store the drill bits in their protective cases in a dry place.

Q: What safety precautions should I follow when using drill bits?

Never use a drill bit that is bent or damaged. Safety goggles are always a good idea. Ensure the surface you are drilling into is sturdy, secure and clean. Make sure there is nothing you could damage behind the item you are drilling (pipes, electrical, gas lines etc.)

Q: How do I stop the bit from slipping?

A: As we mentioned above, there are many drill bits designed to prevent this. If you still have a problem you could try applying less pressure as you drill.

 

Verdict

We have found only the best metal drill bits for you. Sure, some are better than others but that will cause the price to increase. You cannot make a mistake purchasing any one of the best drill bits sets we selected here.

If you are just doing the occasional DIY project it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a set of drill bits so in this instance, we recommend the popular Black & Decker 15-110 High-Speed Steel Drill Bit. They offer amazing value for money and are backed by an excellent 2-year warranty.

If your plans include more heavy duty work, invest a bit more in the premium IRWIN Tools Cobalt High-Speed Steel Drill Bit. The addition of Cobalt means that these drill bits are super strong and will last you many happy years of efficient use.

Robert P. Watson
 

Robert P. has been a DIY, woodworking enthusiast for 5 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools. He loves solving problems and crafting ideas from scratch.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: