Though more expensive than other types, cobalt drill bits are the best investment if you’re working on hard metal. It’s way tougher than other bits and it’s also distinctive through the dull gold color that came from the process of heating the metal. Even if it’s called ‘cobalt bits’, it’s not actually made of pure cobalt. Most of the time, it would be 5 percent which is what they call as M35 and 8 percent which is the M42. The more cobalt, the stronger the alloy would be.
Aside from the strength, cobalt bits could also endure a higher temperature of up to 593C. Being more heat-resistant is advantageous if you’re regularly drilling as the tips of the bits are less likely to tear fast. Another thing about cobalt bits is that, as an alloy, it could be resharpened.
If you’re looking for the best finds, I have a dozen picks here from different brands that I personally love and tested.
1. CO-Z 5-Piece Multiple Hole Drill Bit Set with 50 Sizes
Drilling metals require the toughest bit and a series of sizes. If you want to save money from buying different twist bits, invest in CO-Z 5-Piece Multiple Hole Drill Bit Set. This is a massive set of step drills that will give you 50 different hole sizes without the need to change bits all the time. As high-speed steel coated with titanium, this is nothing but a monster drill bit set for heavy metalwork.
All these bits are compatible with chuck sizes of 1/2, 1/4, and 3/8. You can use this on steel sheets and even wood, though it’s not advisable for thick ones.
2. Irwin Tools 3018002 M35 29-Piece Drill Bit Set
If you don’t have a drill compatible with step bits, you can get the Irwin Tools 3018002 M35 29-Piece Drill Bit Set. Being an M35 type, this has five percent cobalt and a reinforced web for durability. The bits come in 1/6”-1/2” with 1/64” increments. Like most cobalt drill bits, you can use this on metal sheets like stainless steel but it’s not advisable that you drill it on masonry.
For a set of 29 pieces, this is long-lasting and you can resharpen each one to restore its edge. The size suits most metal drilling needs.
3. Drill America DWD29J 29-Piece Cobalt Bit Set
If you’re always misplacing your bits at work, you might love the Drill America DWD29J 29-Piece Cobalt Bit Set. The 29 bits with sizes ranging from 1/16” to 1/2 are stored in a case that serves as a drill cooler with size markers. You can even mount it on your belt for quick access or your car’s cup holder if you’re on the go.
Instead of the usual titanium finish, this set has black oxide that gives it a smoked gold look. The shanks are the typical round-shaped paired with a spiraling flute. It has a drill point of 135 degrees.
4. Bosch CO2135 Cobalt Drill Bit
It’s not a requirement that you get a set right away. If you want, you can invest in Bosch CO2135 Cobalt Drill Bit that measures 1/8” x 2-3/4” and can withstand a temperature of up to 1,100F. Depending on the type that you need, this Bosch bit is available in both full shank and jobber length. This will work on light-gauge metalwork, cast iron, steel, aluminum, and more.
This has a thicker web helix than other cobalt drill bits for efficient removal of material while you’re drilling. The best part is you can get one of this for two dollars. If you’re new with cobalt bits, this is good for starters.
5. DEWALT DW1263 Set of 14 Cobalt Drill Bit Set
If you want a set but can’t afford the first products, the DEWALT DW1263 Set of 14 Cobalt Drill Bit Set is a trusty investment. The bits range from 1/16” t0 3/8” and has industrial grade cobalt for topnotch strength. Each of the bits has pilot points for smooth drilling the moment it touches the material and for fewer chances of lock-up.
The bits comes in a neat case so you can use it conveniently anywhere. If you’re looking for a bit to drill through your galvanized steel, this one will work well. Just use a low RPM setting, some cutting oil, and you’re golden!
6. Neiko 10178A Cobalt-Coated Drill Bit Set
Most cobalt drill bit set nowadays is expensive and it might be impossible to avail one if you’re on a budget. The exception would be the Neiko 10178A Cobalt-Coated Drill Bit Set. This 13-piece set is less than 10 bucks, and though it’s not as sturdy as DEWALT or Bosch, you can never go wrong on this for minimal use.
Each of the cobalt drill bits has high-speed metal that can cut smoothly and with less tendency of breaking. If you’re just looking for bits for light drilling needs, this one is a handy set.
7. Irwin Tools 316015 15-Piece Cobalt Drill Set
No, it’s not DEWALT, it’s Irwin Tools 316015 15-Piece Cobalt Drill Set. Each bit on the set has M42 cobalt alloy that can withstand the most abrasive drilling. The bits also have a 135-degree drill point for less pressure while in use. The Irwin Tools set is a China-made product but the quality can somehow be comparable to most expensive brands.
If you’re drilling stainless steel, this is your best bet. The whole set is worth less than $35 which is a big deal in saving money from dud pieces.
8. Beili Tools HSS M35 Twist Drill Bit Set
If you’re working on the same drilling size, the Beili Tool HSS M35 Drill Bit Set would be a good addition to your toolkit. All the 10 bits have 1/4” size and contains M35 cobalt alloy that can drill through hardened steel. Even if Beili Tools is almost an unknown brand in the drilling industry, the cobalt drill bits on their set is long-lasting and sharp enough to cut through thick bolts.
Like some users say, this is a ‘miracle’ in the import world involving China. It seems like these products are debunking the old stereotypes.
9. DEWALT DWA1240 14-Piece Industrial Cobalt Drill Set
Nothing beats the trusty brand, and if you’re also a fan, don’t miss checking out the DEWALT DWA1240 14-Piece Industrial Cobalt Drill Set. The bits are in 1/16”-3/8” sizes with some coming in two. Each of the drill bit has a pilot point and split tip for efficient drilling as well as a no bit-walking technology to give you a stable experience.
Although not a step drill bit, this set can pass through hard metal and even better than most titanium types. This is an impressive set for starters and even professionals.
10. Drillcraft 29-Piece HSS Cobalt Twist Drill Bit Set
If you’re into a bigger set, the Drillcraft 29-Piece HSS Cobalt Twist Drill Bits would be a perfect choice. Each bit contains the high-grade M42 cobalt that’s as hard as 68-70HRC with a 135-degree split point. You can use the cobalt drill bits on truck frames, high-grade bolts, stainless steel, and more sturdy metals.
The case that comes with this isn’t much of a glam, but the bits would be the compensation as it’s very sharp.
11. Craftsman 9-64085 Professional 21-Piece Drill Bit Set
The Craftsman 9-54085 Professional 21-Piece Drill Bit Set is, yet again, another addition to the brand’s high-quality consumable products. These bits range from 1/16” to 3/8” with split points to avoid the tendency of walking.
The Craftsman set works just as advertised and for its price, you won’t regret getting one as it drills smoothly like butter. This can serve as an all-arounder set for your drilling projects. Just remember that this isn’t included in the lifetime warranty of Craftsman being a consumable item.
12. Max-Power 10-Piece 1/8” Cobalt Bits
For starters, the cheap and quality find is the best buy. This is where the Max-Power 10-Piece 1/8” Cobalt Bits would come handy. This has ten 1/8” bits made of M35 cobalt alloy that’s good for general use. You can drill stainless steel, cast iron, copper, iron, etc. using these cobalt drill bits.
This set is a tough bunch that can be at par with the famous brands like Bosch and DEWALT. You’ll actually get more than what you pay for as this set can last long – quite a surprise from its packaging and price tag.
There’s no denying that cobalt drill bits are the champ in finishing metal works. It works smoothly and conveniently given that there are step drill bit types. On the other hand, twist bits are equally functional but with limitations, of course. Are you planning to buy any of these? Discuss it with us in the comment section!