11 Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel of 2023 [Reviewed]

What good is a cordless drill without the right drill bits that goes into it?

Be it drilling a hole into a metallic surface or driving a screw into drywall, with the perfect drill bit; you can get it done in no time. It makes assembling furniture and fixing floors and fences pretty simple and one simply cannot drill through hardened steel without the proper drill bits.

Sometimes, the bits are sold separately, but mostly the good ones come in sets that enable you to handle a wide range of projects. 

However, as soon as you decide on buying one from the market, you will be presented with thousands of options to select from. And choosing one would become quite tricky. So, to help you, we have designed this guide where we recommend the best 11 drill bits that can go through hardened steel and other hardened metals.

You will get a detailed description of the products along with a buyer’s guide at the end. So, without making any more delays, let’s dive right in!

Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the 11 best drill bits for hardened steel. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a weekend DIY warrior, here’s the list of the 11 best drill bits for hardened steel that will make your next project a success.

1. COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set – Best Overall

As one of our first entries, we have the COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set, which is equally liked by enthusiasts and professionals. It is a favorite of many because it offers multi-functional advantages. It also scores pretty high on both durability and capability.

When testing this product, we felt the best thing about it was its design. It comes in a unique twist design that has a 135-degree split point. Because of the design, the cutting speed increases considerably. It also ensures that the drill bit is always centered and does not slip easily. 

Furthermore, when it comes to durability, this item is nothing but remarkable. It has a 5-percent cobalt concentration that makes it last for a long time and makes it is resistant to high heat. So, if you are wondering whether you can drill this into hard material, do it without a doubt. 

It can handle it well. Take any hard materials such as cast iron or stainless steel, and this item will cut through them like it’s a piece of cake!

Moreover, if you like keeping the tools organized, you’re in for a surprise. This drill bit comes with a holder case which is size indexed to help make your work organized and accessible. 

We do not have any complaints about how well this product performs. However, it would have been nice to have some options when it came to choosing the color of the case. It is available only in blue and if that’s not your favorite color, check out the other options on the list! 

Material: High Speed Steel, Cobalt | Finish: gold oxide | Shank Type: Round | No. of Pcs: 15 | Flute Type: Spiral

2. BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. – Best Performance

BOSCH needs no introduction as their popularity speaks for them. Their CO14B 14 Pc. is a highly effective drill set made of a premium-quality M42 alloy. What makes this item special is its high 8% cobalt concentration. There are so many other features that give this item an edge. Keep reading to know what they are.

What makes this item unputdownable is its superior performance delivery. It is built to last, and it is made of cobalt and M42 alloy, which increases the lifespan by 10 percent. As a result, it has a high heat resistance and can cut through the hardest materials. Be it aluminum, titanium, or cast iron; this can manage to work through them all. 

On top of that, it is equipped with a no-skate tip. This is fast and adds accuracy to your projects. It would not skid on the surfaces that you are working on making unwanted dents. 

What needs a special mention apart from its performance is its design. Because of its thick web helix design, the item provides excellent grip and stability. Once it goes to the surface, it does not come off easily. It is highly stable even during challenging applications in small restricted spaces.

The only thing that requires improvement is their customer care support service. We were facing some delay during delivery, and we wanted to inquire about it and tried contacting their support team. It took weeks before they responded, and we received our product by that time. 

Material: Stainless Steel, Cobalt | Finish: Cobalt M42 | Shank Type: Straight | No. of Pcs: 14 | Flute Type: Spiral

3. DEWALT DW1342 Titanium Drill Bit Set – Best Value For Money

If you are looking to experiment with a cobalt-free product, the DEWALT DW1342 Titanium Drill Bit Set is the ideal bet. With a titanium coating, we can safely say that it is one of the high performers that we tested. We were surprised to see how well it handles the most rigid materials that we put in its way.

The tips of the drill bits are what make it special. They are pilot point tips that make them last for a long time. 

The design completely eliminates walking, and the tapered web structure decreases any chances of them breaking. So, every time you use it, expect more smoothness in the operation and precise clean holes on the surface that you are using it on. 

We cannot help but talk a little more about the design, which is nothing if not incredible. It comes with a 3-flat shank that minimizes the unwanted spinning in the chunk. 

Moreover, the price is pretty affordable. If you are a DIY enthusiast who wants to start experimenting with carpentry work in and around the house, this is a great buy. It is suitable to handle light work and will not burn a hole in your pockets with its cost. You can easily use it on hard plastic and thick wooden surfaces. 

Despite the durability that the drill bits offer, we did not like the case that came with the package. It is made of cheap quality plastic, and if you do not use it carefully, it will break. We recommend that you buy a more sturdy case separately to store your drill bits safely. 

Material: Titanium Nitride | Finish: Titanium Nitride Coating | Shank Type: Straight | No. of Pcs: 21 | Flute Type: Spiral

4. NEIKO 10037A Left Hand Drill Bit Set – Best Precision

NEIKO is a fairly new name in the market, but they’ve managed to garner good user ratings because of their high-quality products. Their product, the 10037A Left Hand Drill Bit Set, is a premium product, and you get complete value for your money. It’s a high-quality 15-piece screw extractor set that comes with an excellent storage case.

The first factor which managed to catch our attention is its quality and build. It is made of high-speed steel with a special titanium nitride coating. This is what gives it the power and strength to penetrate through hard surfaces and tough materials. 

The coating helps in resisting corrosion and prevents unwanted friction between the bits and the working surface. 

Moving on to the design, it is made keeping in mind the need to make the application easy for the users. The bits have a twist design that helps in enhancing the cutting speed. The angled tip, which comes with a 135-degree split point, helps to ensure that the self-centering is nothing but precise. 

This completely restricts walking and makes it easy to clear the chips and debris quickly. Additionally, it comes in a metal box which makes storage very simple and safe. And the bits are indexed to make it easier for you to locate them. 

After using it a few times, we encountered a tiny problem. When using it on hard surfaces, it got jammed a few times, and we had to restart it for it to work. In case you are in a similar fix, try oiling the machine, and it should work smoother. 

Material: Alloy Steel | Finish: Titanium | Shank Type: Straight | No. of Pcs: 15 | Flute Type: Spiral

5. CO-Z SDB-0000 5pcs Hss Cobalt – Best Design

Without a doubt, the CO-Z SDB-0000 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill is one of the best tools for professionals. In projects where a tiny millimeter can make or break it, this item is a great companion for successful project delivery. It is one of our rare finds that performs exceptionally and can be purchased for a dirt-cheap price.

When it comes to design and durability, this item gets a perfect score. It is constructed with a strong and sturdy cobalt core that considerably increases the lifespan of the item. And with a titanium coating, durability is enhanced manifold, and so is the tip integrity. You can use the drill bits for a long without fearing that they will get damaged or broken. 

Furthermore, the tips come with a non-walking option that adds to the smoothness when you are working. It also helps you drill the hole with acute precision on the surface of your choice. Just try and make sure that the thickness of the drill bit is more than the board’s thickness. 

On top of that, the drill bits come packaged in a travel-friendly case. The case is made of metal but is not too heavy. This allows you to carry it wherever you feel like it. And the interior is padded with foam to give extra protection to your tools. 

One more upgrade and we would give it some extra points. While using it, we realized that it is not very suitable for low-speed work. It can only be used in projects that require a high-speed application. A little versatility would have been good!

Material: High Speed Steel, Titanium, Cobalt | Finish: Titanium | Shank Type: Triangle | No. of Pcs: 5 | Flute Type: Straight

6. IRWIN 3018002 Drill Bit Set

For the ones who love versatility, the IRWIN 3018002 Drill Bit Set is an excellent choice. You can be a pro handyman or an enthusiast, and you’ll get everything that is needed from a well-stocked kit. With this, you can conveniently drill through tough, abrasive metals.

As one of America’s oldest and most well-reputed manufacturers, Irwin has made a name for making durable and high-quality products. And this item is no exception!

The excellent craftsmanship is visible the moment you unpack the product. The high-quality cobalt construction helps it to withstand high levels of heat without facing any damage. It is also highly resistant to abrasion. 

Moreover, the set is well-stocked with drill bits in different sizes to meet the needs of all kinds of projects. You can drill a hole of any size according to your requirements. The product is equipped with a removable bit cartridge which further adds to its versatility. 

Additionally, we have to give some brownie points to the exceptionally sturdy case that is included in the package. It has proper slots that are indexed for easy storage. This box helps to protect the bits from falling and prevents the rattling sound when you’re traveling with it.

We have to say that this is a great choice only if you have a high budget. Because of the premium construction, it is priced quite generously and can be a pocket pinch. However, for the result it delivers, we are not complaining!

Material: Cobalt Alloy Steel | Finish: Cobalt Alloy Steel | Shank Type: Straight | No. of Pcs: 29 | Flute Type: Spiral

7. Drill America – KFDRSD3/4

Next up, we have the Drill America – KFDRSD3/4 Drill America – KFDRSD3/4 which is pretty popular for its speed and build. Throw anything you want at it, and it will be able to draw a hole in it. After multiple rounds of testing, we can safely say that it is one of the best products to handle hardened steel.

The bits are designed to ensure that they can make holes in rigid metal surfaces. With a spiral flute design, it easily removes the chips without any walking. 

You can use the longer variants that provide extended reach and enable you to drill deeper holes into the surfaces. With a 29-inch length, the kind of drilling depth it offers is nothing short of extraordinary. 

Moreover, the finish it provides is notable. It can penetrate through stainless steel with much ease and without leaving any kind of grit or rugged edges. The shank comes in a round shape and prevents wear and tear during work. The flat sides provide an excellent grip when coming in contact with the chuck. 

Apart from stainless steel, it works on other hard metals, too, like bronze or iron. It is a tiny workhorse but produces exceptional, efficient results. 

According to us, the only downside to this product is its packaging. Once it got delivered, we noticed that the box in which it arrived was not in good shape. It was tapered around the edges, and we were concerned that the product got damaged during transit. 

Material: High Speed Steel | Finish: Black and Gold Oxide | Shank Type: Round with Flats | No. of Pcs: 1 | Flute Type: Spiral

8. Amoolo M35 HSS Metal Drill Bits

We have the Amoolo M35 HSS Metal Drill Bits for our next entry, which are suitable for all types of hardened materials such as aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, and the like. The cobalt concentration is 5% and of M35 grade.

When a product is made of M35 grade alloy, there’s no doubt that it will be durable. The HSS cobalt helps enhance the strength of the drilling bits comparatively, and they last a lot longer than most of their contemporaries. It also adds to its heat-resistant capacity and does not get damaged even during extreme climates. 

Additionally, we love how it adds precision and accuracy to your projects. If you are using it, rest assured that the holes you make on the surfaces will always be on point and never skid from the target. This is helpful when you are working on serious projects which demand that you be accurate. The split point of this item prevents walking and helps make drilling better. 

Moreover, we love the pocket-size compactness of this drill bit set. It is easy to store in a toolbox and does not occupy much space. If you want to carry it while traveling, you can make use of a small metal case. 

We were not impressed with the quality of the storage case that is included in the package. It is made of flimsy plastic and breaks off within a few uses. We suggest that you buy a sturdier case to store the drill bits safely. 

Material: M35 Cobalt HSS | Finish: Dull Gold Color | Shank Type: Round | No. of Pcs: 13 | Flute Type: Doule Spiral Flute

9. COMOWARE Titanium Impact Drill Bit Set

We have almost reached the end of our list, and for our next entry, we have the COMOWARE Titanium Impact Drill Bit Set. After testing this product, we have to say that we are no more surprised by the multiple 5-star rating it enjoys. It is one of the best value-for-money options!

The hexagonal shank shape enables you to install it in any driller that you wish. Pick up anyone from your workshed, and this drill bit will fit into it with much ease. The design also ensures that it helps to secure the bits in place. 

Furthermore, the build of the drill bits needs special mention. It takes pride in its premium HSS construction and high-quality titanium coating. This enhances durability and makes the bits more hardened, thereby ensuring that the holes you draw are more clean and smooth. 

Moreover, what adds to the excellent design is the 2 flutes form. This is what prevents the chips and debris from flying everywhere. It effectively decreases friction between the bits and the surface that you are working on to increase the item’s longevity. 

The only drawback that we experienced while using this product is that it does not come with a storage case. So, if you wish to travel with this set or keep it safely in your shed, it’s best to purchase a box from the market separately. 

Material: High Speed Steel | Finish: Titanium | Shank Type: Hex | No. of Pcs: 30 | Flute Type: Straight

10. EFFICERE 8-Piece 1/2″ Shank Silver and Deming Drill Bit Set

EFFICERE 8-Piece 1/2″ Shank Silver and Deming Drill Bit Set is a must-have tool in your garage. It is an ideal option if you have to drill large holes in hard metal surfaces such as copper, sheet metal, and other kinds of materials.

A big plus of this item is its construction. Made of premium cobalt and high-speed steel, they are built to last. Additionally, the cobalt adds to the durability and prevents the formation of scratches from regular wear and tear. This enhances the strength of the bits to penetrate through the hardest of metals. 

And, let us tell you about its stellar looks! With excellent gold titanium and black nitride finish, this item will surely catch everyone’s attention. It also adds smoothness to your working process and prevents corrosion and rust formation. 

Lastly, the 135-degree split point design is what enhances its cutting speed considerably. Combined with the self-centering feature, it prevents all forms of walking or wobbling that might otherwise happen during use. 

We were not impressed with the quality of the case that was included in the package. Within a few weeks, it broke. We had to call customer care support asking for a replacement as our product was still under warranty period. They were quick to respond to our request and send in a replacement. 

Material: Metal | Finish: Gold, Corrosion resistant, Titanium, Steel | Shank Type: 3-Flat | No. of Pcs: 8 | Flute Type: Straight

11. Hymnorq DC023 Metric M35 Cobalt Steel

As our final entry, we have the Hymnorq DC023 Metric M35 Cobalt Steel. It is well-loved by users across the globe for its high-quality M35 cobalt construction. We would say that it is an excellent pick for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

If you are new to driller and drill bits, you’ll have no problem using this product. It comes with a detailed guide with much-needed tips that would make the process simple for you. Starting from RPM charts of common metals to review articles, you will find everything in these guides. 

Moreover, this item is specifically made keeping in mind the needs of those individuals who work with hard metals such as cast iron and stainless steel. But do not worry, if you want to use it on softer materials, you can do that too. 

And with 135-degree quick-cut points, you do not require a center punch. With little pressure, the bits will enter the surface without any trouble. 

Unless you have good patience, you might run out of it before receiving this product. It took weeks before it got delivered to us. We suggest that if you are in a hurry purchase it from a local hardware store. 

Material: Cobalt Steel | Finish: Bronze Oxide | Shank Type: Round | No. of Pcs: 13 | Flute Type: Spiral

Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steel Comparison Table

Product Material Finish Shank Type No. of Pcs Flute Type
COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set High Speed Steel, Cobalt gold oxide Round 15 Spiral
BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. Stainless Steel, Cobalt Cobalt M42 Straight 14 Spiral
DEWALT DW1342 Titanium Drill Bit Set Titanium Nitride Titanium Nitride Coating Straight 21 Spiral
NEIKO 10037A Left Hand Drill Bit Set Alloy Steel Titanium Straight 15 Spiral
CO-Z SDB-0000 5pcs Hss Cobalt “High Speed Steel, Titanium, Cobalt” Titanium Triangle 5 Straight
IRWIN 3018002 Drill Bit Set Cobalt Alloy Steel Cobalt Alloy Steel Straight 29 Spiral
Drill America – KFDRSD3/4 Drill America – KFDRSD3/4 High Speed Steel Black and Gold Oxide Round with Flats 1 Spiral
Amoolo M35 HSS Metal Drill Bits M35 Cobalt HSS Dull Gold Color Round 13 Doulbe Spiral Flute
COMOWARE Titanium Impact Drill Bit Set High Speed Steel Titanium Hex 30 Straight
EFFICERE 8-Piece 1/2″ Shank Silver and Deming Drill Bit Set Metal Gold, Corrosion resistant, Titanium, Steel 3-Flat 8 Straight
Hymnorq DC023 Metric M35 Cobalt Steel Cobalt Steel Bronze Oxide Round 13 Spiral

Buying Guide For The Best Hardened Steel Drill Bits

We have listed all the major options that are available out there, but have you been able to make a choice? Well, we understand it is pretty tricky. Just knowing about the details of the product is not enough to make a good decision. You need to take a few other factors into consideration too. 

In this section, we discuss some of those factors. Let’s check them out. 

  1. Number

Before you decide on buying one set, make sure you know how many drill bits are present in it. If you are a professional who takes up various projects, it is better to go for an option with different types of drill bits in varied sizes. 

This provides more flexibility when you work and helps to achieve higher precision. Some of the options we have mentioned on our list have 15 pieces, 20 pieces, and even more. 

  1. Material

Different drill bits are made of different materials. And these materials come with unique properties, which adds to the advantage. So, when selecting a drill bit, make sure that you consider this. 

Most of the options listed are either made of cobalt, titanium, or high-speed steel. However, with enough research, you can find bits that are made of black oxide too. 

Honestly, cobalt is an excellent choice if you are looking for versatility as it can drill through multiple hard metals with much ease. On the other hand, high-speed steel ones are great for beginners who do not want to invest a lot but work with decent drill bits. 

If you are new to this and do not have much idea about the properties of the materials, go with a titanium variant. They are affordable and function quite effectively. While you check the construction material, make sure that you take a look at the coating too. A good finish can effectively enhance the longevity of the bits and make them sturdy. 

  1. Flute Design

Taking note of the flute design is one of the most important considerations before buying drill bits. If you do not know what a flute design is, let us explain.

It is the deep grooves or indentations on the bits that twist around it. It is present on the bits to make way for the waste material to leave the surface when drilling. You mainly get two designs in the market, and they are suitable for two different purposes. 

The first variants come in parabolic design and are highly suitable to work on softer material. On the other hand, the 30-degree angle design is the best when it comes to drilling through hard metal.

Which is harder: cobalt or titanium drill bits?

Cobalt drill bits are generally considered to be harder than titanium drill bits.

What are the characteristics of a cobalt drill bit?

Cobalt drill bits are made from a high-speed steel alloy that contains 8-10% cobalt. This alloy is heat-treated for extra hardness, which makes them more durable than standard high-speed steel bits, and more capable of drilling into tough materials, such as stainless steel. Cobalt drill bits also stay sharper for longer than regular high-speed steel bits.

Can titanium drill bits be used to drill metal?

Yes, titanium drill bits can be used to drill metal, though they are not as effective as cobalt or carbide drill bits.

What is the most effective drill bit for drilling hardened steel?

Carbide drill bits are typically the most effective drill bits for drilling hardened steel. Carbide drill bits are made from a combination of tungsten and carbon, and are extremely hard and durable, making them ideal for drilling into tough materials.


That’s all we have for you today, friends!

We enjoyed a great deal compiling all this information for you. And we hope that after reading this comprehensive guide you have a better idea about drill bits and choose the perfect one. 

But before bidding farewell, we would love to give you a glimpse of our favorites. The COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set takes the award for being our favorite overall. If your prime lookout is durability, the BOSCH CO14B 14 Pc. is an excellent choice. 

And if you are looking for a high-quality product at an affordable price, the DEWALT DW1342 Titanium Drill Bit Set is ideal. With that, it’s a wrap. Keep a watch on this space for more exciting reads. 

Until next time, fare thee well!

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