Stainless steel is a popular construction material that is strong and durable, but it can be difficult to drill. Drilling stainless steel is a job that’s not easy to do with regular drill bits. Even though it’s a hard metal, it can dull or break drill bits in just one or two uses.

You need to use special bits when you are drilling stainless steel, or you won’t get the results you want.

We will tell you what drill bits to use for stainless steel and what they are designed to do.

Comparison of Our Top of the Chart Drill bits for Steel/ Wood/Cast Iron/Aluminum Alloy/Plastic/Fiberglass

ImageProductDetailPrice
IRWIN M35 Cobalt bit

IRWIN M35 Cobalt bit

  • perfect for heavy-duty construction
  • Higher Heat & Abrasion Resistance
  • comes with a metal case
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Neiko Step Drill Bit

Neiko Step Drill Bit

  • super strong with titanium coating
  • 3 piece set replaces 28 drill bits
  • clean drilling with a 2-flute design
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Hurricane

Hurricane

  • Durable, long-lasting with titanium coating
  • 230 pieces of high-quality bits
  • plastic storage box for easy storage
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Hymnroq

Hymnroq

  • manufactured with M35 cobalt steel
  • self-centering with cutting angle of 135°
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Bosch

Bosch

  • 14 pieces drill bit set
  • M42 Alloy material with 8% cobalt
  • well organized in storage case
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1. IRWIN M35 Cobalt bit

IRWIN Cobalt bit

Drill Bits

Best for Heavy Duty construction

  • Construction Material: 5% Cobalt
  • Coating: Titanium nitride
  • Pieces per set: 29 bits
  • Storage case: Metal case with rubber overmolded
  • Size: 1/16 to 1/2-inch in 1/64 inch increments
  • Split point: 135°
  • Best for: abrasive alloy, hardened steel, heavy-duty construction materials

IRWIN is a brand that’s been around for more than 100 years. They are known for their drill bits that are durable, long-lasting, and resistant to heat. They have a special range of cobalt drill bits made especially for stainless steel.

These drill bits are designed to resist heat, resist abrasion, be used with the drill press, and not require much force.

On top of that, these drill bits are engineered to drill smoothly and are fully equipped for hardened steel.

The IRWIN M35 Cobalt drill bit maximizes the lifetime of the drill by reducing work surface wandering. which ensures that you’ll not need to replace them as quickly.

Hence, you’ll save lots of money on replacement bits because you will not have to replace them as often.

We all know that Drill bits are an indispensable item in any DIY or trade professional’s tool kit, and these drill bits featuring a cobalt coating provide excellent durability so you don’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon.

And that’s not all, because IRWIN drill bits are 4 inches long, allowing perfect quick plunge and pull action through any material that requires drilling, so you save time on each job.

Another plus point of these drill bits is their 1/4-inch shank diameter, which ensures compatibility with most electric drills and drivers.


IRWIN’s M35 Cobalt Drill Bits are perfect for any job that requires drilling into a hard surface. They’re made with high-quality materials and precision-tooled components to ensure that each one is durable and long-lasting.

Also, these cobalt-fortified steel drill bits come with spiral flutes and three cutting edges that help the bit to clear chips quickly so you can drill faster with less effort.

Furthermore, these drill bits come in different diameters ranging from 1/8 inch up to 3/4 inch, making them suitable for a wide range of projects.

Because of their powerful features, these drill bits are great for drilling holes in concrete, masonry, tiles, bricks, stone, and other hard materials.

The steel also resists heat very well, which allows the drill bit to be used continuously without worrying about it getting hot, potentially damaging the drill bit, or even the material being drilled.

Impressive Features of IRWIN Cobalt bits

  • High-quality cobalt is used to construct these drill bits, that is highly resistant to heat, which means it can withstand harder drilling conditions.
  • IRWIN Cobalt drill bits are designed to resist abrasion and wear, which means they will last longer than other drill bits
  • It also has a finessed abrasion handing, which means it won’t clog up easily
  • This drill bit is well-suited with the drill press, so you won’t need to exert as much force as you would with a hand drill. 
  • They are designed for stainless steel, but you can use them easily on any hardened steel as well.
  • These drill bits are very smooth and easy to use.

Best for

IRWIN Drill bits are best for hard surfaces such as steel, alloy, concrete, bricks, stones or any hard surface.

Pros

  • 29 pieces of strong and durable bits
  • 135-degree split point reduces walk during drilling
  • metal index case for easier identification of bits
  • titanium coating for heat resistance.

Cons

  • Steel is a metal that needs to be drilled at a slower speed because the leading edge gets hotter and blunts quickly.

2. Neiko: Step Drill Bit for Stainless Steel

Neiko step drill bit

Neiko step drill bit

Best for Professional tradesmen

  • Construction Material: Alloy Steel
  • Coating: Titanium nitride
  • Pieces per set: 3 bits of 28 sizes
  • Storage case: No
  • Size: Bit 1: 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″ , Bit 2: 1/8″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 13/32″, 7/16″, 15/32″, 1/2″: Bit 3: 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″
  • Split point: 135°
  • Best for: home and professional usage

The Neiko stainless steel step drill bit is an ideal tool for drilling through stainless steel. The compact set of 3pc step drill bits is made with solid M2 steel and high-quality titanium coating to ensure long-lasting performance and durability.

Achieve a high level of smooth drilling because of the two flutes design that provide optimal chip clearance, allowing you to drill swiftly and easily without overheating the bit.

Now, drill efficiently through any kind of metal with this set of 3pc step drill bits.

Moreover, the contrasting, laser-etched sizes inside the step drill bit flute, make it easy to determine which size you require.

They have a durable construction that will stand up to heavy use, and they’re made from hardened steel that stays sharp longer than other materials. You can count on them to last through many projects without losing their edge.

If you need to make holes in metal, these step drill bits are a great choice. They’re ideal for use at home or in the shop – and they’re also great for everyday use around the office.

Pros

  • made of premium quality M2 steel with titanium coating .
  • 135-degree split-point tip on each bit ensures a fast start and smooth penetration
  • Split point eliminates walking, prevents bit from slipping off the screw head
  • two-flute design lets you drill to perfect depth
  • two cutting edges on each flute clear chips faster, allowing you to drill faster
  • Each piece contains different length steps, and the anti-slip function makes it easier to start holes and prevents the drill from slipping
  • compact set of 3pc step drill bit can replace up to 28 drill bits.

Cons

  • The measurement marking is simply engraved on the bit surface with zero color in lettering which makes them unreadable.

Best for

Niko Drill bits are optimal for drilling holes through stainless steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron and more!

3. Hurricane: Best Drill Bit for Hardened Steel

Hurricane: Multipurpose
drill bit

hurricane bits

Best for steel/ wood/ plastic/ glass

  • Construction Material: High speed Steel
  • Coating: Titanium nitride
  • Pieces per set: 230 twist drill bits
  • Storage case: plastic storage box
  • Size: from 3/64″ up to 1/2″
  • Split point: 135°
  • Best for: Steel, Wood, Cast Iron, Aluminum Alloy, Plastic, Fiberglass

If you are a Garage owner looking for a multipurpose drill bit set then the Hurricane Titanium drill bit set will help you get the best possible performance and longevity.

With the Hurricane Titanium drill bit set you’ll get a good collection of all fundamental drill bits that can be used on different projects. So, if you are looking for a drill bit set for wood, plastic, glass, and metal materials then this drill set has everything you may require. 

 With all that said, this product is guaranteed to be strong and durable because of its high-speed steel component along with titanium coating.

it’s got easy transportation and storage as well with the plastic box storage all the drill bits will be located and stored easily.

These drill bits are highly heat resistant because of the titanium coating which helps in corrosion reduction and provides excellent tear resistance.

The only downside of this product is probably how pricey it is compared to what you might expect, but if you want the best quality, well…this is it!

The drill bit has a 135-degree split point for precise drilling, preventing bit walking and working on a variety of surfaces.

The titanium coating prevents deterioration from contact with moisture, which reduces the need to clean the tool after every hole.

perfect drill bits for wood, stainless steel
https://www.amazon.com/Pieces-Titanium-Drill-Accessory-Aluminum/dp/B07GGZQYM9

Pros

  • fully optimized with a 135 degree fast cutting point
  • work exceptionally well on a variety of surfaces like wood, plastic, cast iron and easily cut through the toughest materials like hardened steel, cast iron
  • high-quality bit storage case with cutting-edge angular splits for easy organization.

Cons

  • A little higher priced than competitors

Best for

Hurricane Drill bits are multipurpose drill bits for drilling holes through stainless steel, aluminum, copperr, cast iron, glass, wood, fiber and more!

4. Hymnorq: Cobalt Steel Drill Bit

Hurricane: Multipurpose
drill bit

hurricane bits

Best for stainless steel/ cast iron

  • Construction Material: Cobalt Steel
  • Coating: Bronze oxide
  • Pieces per set: 13 twist drill bits
  • Storage case: plastic storage box
  • Size: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.2mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 4.8mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 6.5mm
  • Split point: 135°
  • Best for: Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, Aluminum Alloy

Hymnorq is a drilling bit made of cobalt steel, which has a high-speed steel tip and a cobalt steel body.

The self-centering tip ensures precision drilling. Also, the tip is made of cobalt alloy, which can drill faster than the competitors’ tips made of high-speed steel.

The perfect cobalt and Alloy mix components make the drill bit both hard and tough. That’s why Hymnorq provides a faster cut in comparison to the competitors.

With these twist bits, you can drill through thicker material with ease. The self-centering design minimizes walking to keep the bit drilling in the right spot for faster speeds, while the high-flow spiral cuts through material faster. These drills are made from M35 Cobalt Steel for increased durability and have a straight shank for slip-free drilling through stainless steel. The drill bit set comes with 13 drill bits ranging in size from 1.5 to 6.5mm.

Pros

  • perfect lightweight drill bits
  • Have 13 different drill bit sizes
  • The bits are optimized with self-centering tips which provide precise drilling
  • Built-in cobalt alloy drill bits make perfect stainless steel drill bits

Cons

  • drill bits tend to dull quickly

High carbon steel has a high level of hardness which can make it very difficult to drill. You may need to use coolants when drilling with these bits, as the heat generated when drilling can cause the bit to become brittle. As well, these bits are more fragile than HSS bits, so they are less effective when drilling through materials with high levels of concentration. these bits are much more fragile than HSS bits and will break easily if they’re not used carefully. One way to avoid breaking the bit would be to use coolants during operation. Some other durability issue with drill bits is the fact that they tend to dull quickly and become useless after a while.

Best for

Hymnorq Drill bits are especially designed for drilling holes through stainless steel, aluminum, copper and high carbon steel.

5. BOSCH: best drill bits for stainless steel bolts

Bosch drill bits

Best for Steel/Cast iron/Titanium/ light-gauge metal/Aluminumstic/ Aluminum

  • Construction Material: M42 coblat alloy, containing 8% cobalt
  • Shank diameter : 1/2″
  • Pieces per set: 14 drill bits including twist and split point bits
  • Storage case: plastic storage box
  • Size: (1) 1/16″, (1) 5/64″, (1) 3/32″, (1) 7/64″, (2) 1/8″, (1) 9/64″, (1) 5/32″, (1) 3/16″, (1) 7/32″, (1) 1/4″, (1) 5/16″, (1) 3/8″, (1) 1/2″
  • Split point: 135°
  • Design : Thick web helix design

Bosch has come up with a quality drill bit set for stainless steel bolts, an issue that has been puzzling many carpenters for a long time.

This BOSCH D-TEK Drill Bit set comes in a wide range of sizes and includes both twist bits as well as split-point drill bits.

The bits are meant for high-speed drilling at higher rotation speeds. This makes them ideal for drilling holes in stainless steel within a very short span of time.

Bosch has a wide range of drill bits that can bore through a number of materials like stainless steel, plastic, glass ceramics and so much more. If you are going to purchase new drill bits or replace the old ones, you will have to choose them wisely.

Their inside corner drill bit set is designed for hard metal, such as stainless steel.

Moreover, they have six different sizes of drills for all sorts of uses, from small screws to large rivets.

The tips are made of triple-tempered special steel which can withstand temperatures up to 700 degrees Celsius.

The outside corner drill bits have split-point tips to prevent walking during drilling.

The high-speed steel bits are hardened and come with an anti-slip coating to keep them from marring the material being drilled. This particular set comes with a quality assurance warranty and a lifetime guarantee against defects on materials or workmanship

For extra durability, the company uses high-impact resistant polymers for the shank portion of the drill bits.

This set features 14 drill bits with diameters ranging from 0.063 inches to 0.50 inches, meaning that you will have the appropriate drill bit for any job. In addition, these drill bits are made from durable and heat-resistant M42 grade cobalt to offer durable service against stainless steel.

The bit shank has been made with an industrial-strength, non-slip coating to make sure that the bit stays secure in the chuck during drilling.

This drill bit set also comes with a durable storage case to keep them secure and organized while they are not in use

Pros

  • wide range of sizes, both twist and split point bits
  • highly heat resistant up to 700 degrees C
  • Durable storage case
  • super solid drill shank with anti-slip coating

Cons

  • drill may break if put extra pressure during drilling tough surface.

Best for

Bosch ll bits are best for drilling holes through stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and any hard metal.

Why do you need special drill bits for stainless steel?

Stainless steel is one of the toughest materials to drill into and you’ll need something that is actually harder than steel itself so it could penetrate into the steel easily. The material used in the drill bit should be something that not only smooths penetration but also guard against overheating.  Drill bits made with carbide material are considered perfect when drilling into stainless steel. Another material that manufacturer uses to create ultra-hard steel drill bits is cobalt infused drill bits. Cobalt drill bits are harder than typical High-speed steel (HSS) bits because they are created with 5% or 8% cobalt element which makes them harder than typical HSS bits.

Buying Guide to pick the best drill bits for stainless steel

Drill bits come in different sizes and shapes for drilling into different materials. Therefore, not all of the drill bits yield the same results because of the material, coating, and size of the drill bits. We are here to provide information about factors that must be considered when buying a drill bit for stainless steel, these factors can be material, coating, size, and how frequently these bits can be used.

Drill bit Material

Stainless steel is not easy to cut through and if the right material is not used in bit construction it would immediately overheat when coming into contact with steel. So, different materials should be optimized along with correct speed, cooling, and feed application to achieve better results.

High-speed steel

High-speed steel is one of the most common materials used for drilling into soft steel. The HSS is considered as the most affordable and cheap option with excellent toughness for soft steel, also for wood, and plastic.

Carbide

Carbide is another tough drill bit material with longer life and faster drilling property. Carbide drill bits are most effective for production drilling where fine-quality tool holders are used. Moreover, the carbide drill bits can dissipate overheating easily therefore these are mostly used for drilling into hardened steel such as safes, bearing races, and dies.

Cobalt

Cobalt drill bits are made of 5 to 8% cobalt infusion into the base material. These bits hold better quality than HSS and work best with harder steel or stainless steel materials.

Drill bits Coating

If drill bits are coated with some metal coating it helps in reducing friction and heat. Also, the metal coating makes penetration better of a drill bit and provides better protection against rust and water which extends the drill bit’s life over a longer period.

Black Oxide:

Black oxide on the drill tip has lower friction and has 50% more durability than HSS bits. These are basic and inexpensive drill bits mostly used for steel, copper, bras, softwood, hardwood, and aluminum.

Titanium nitride:

Titanium nitride-coated drill bits can run faster than ordinary drill bits. These bits are harder and make drill bits more wear-resistant than other bits. The titanium carbonitride (blue-grey color) provides excellent results for stainless steel cast iron and aluminum.

 Drill bit Size

The drill bit size is related to the wire gauge size. If the drill bit number is greater, the smaller will be the diameter of the hole created with it. For example, a drill bit of size 80 will form a hole with a diameter of 0.0135 inches as compared to the bit size of number 1 with a hole diameter of 0.2280 inches. Most of the drill bit sets come with a variety of bit sizes so you could handle different jobs around the house or a the workshop. If the size you needed is not included in the drill bit set, you can easily purchase it from your local tool shop or from the manufacturer.

Drill Bit Chuck

The chuck is the slot that holds the bits in drill machines. The chuck size determines the bit size that you can use therefore choose carefully which size of the chuck you really need. Most commonly used drills for household or general use have a chuck size of 3/8- inches. The power drills for heavy-duty applications come with ½ inch chuck size to accommodate most of the drilling needs. Whereas the power drills for light-duty tools come with a fixed size of ¼ inches.

Drill Bit Angle

Drilling into stainless steel can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, you can ensure that your drill bit is strong enough to handle any task. When you need to drill into stainless steel, you want to do it at 90 degrees, using a standard drill bit. The best drill bits for stainless steel are high-speed steel (HSS) or cobalt bits, which are hardened and can be used with a hand drill or rotary tool. Drill bits come in different angles: 90 degrees, 60 degrees, or 30 degrees. A 60-degree bit is best for drilling into wood, while a 90-degree bit is better for drilling into metal or concrete.

How to drill into stainless steel: drilling tips and tricks

Drilling holes is a tricky proposition. You want the drill bit to go all the way through to the other side, but you don’t want it to tear the metal out of its frame.

Here are a few tips and tricks that can help make your drilling job easier:

Use a piece of scrap metal as an alignment guide. Lay it across the drilled hole to determine if you’re drilling straight. If your metal is thicker than the drill bit, try using two pieces of scrap as an extension guide.

Measure twice, cut once. Before you start drilling, take a measuring tape and measure from the inside edge of the hole to the outer edge of your metal. Then write down this measurement; don’t just guess at it. Use this measurement as a baseline for your adjustments when drilling.

Start slowly. The last thing you want to do is break your material by trying to go too fast or with too much pressure. Slow down and keep moving at a steady pace until you’ve drilled through all the way through.

If you have to drill a hole in the side of your stainless-steel sink, you can avoid breaking a drill bit by applying these simple rules:

1. Make sure that the drill bit is chipped and dull. If it’s sharp, you will have an extremely hard time drilling into stainless steel.

2. The drill bit should be at least 1/8 inch smaller than the diameter of the hole you are drilling. This will provide more clearance and reduce the chance of breaking the drill bit while drilling into stainless steel.

3. Drill slowly and don’t twist or jerk the handle of the drill. This can create excess friction which will cause the bit to break or chip, especially if your hole is not perfectly straight.

How to prevent the Drill Bit from Breaking down while Drilling into Stainless Steel?

A drill bit is a very important part of your drill. In order to make sure you have enough power, it is essential that the drill be kept in good condition so that it lasts longer. Unfortunately, the fact that stainless steel is hard makes it rather difficult to keep the bit in good condition.

Lubricate well

A drill bit is a very important part of your drill. In order to make sure you have enough power, it is essential that the drill be kept in good condition so that it lasts longer. Unfortunately, the fact that stainless steel is hard makes it rather difficult to keep the bit in good condition.

Another method that you can use for preventing the drill bit from breaking down while drilling into stainless steel is by using an anti-friction agent. This can help increase the longevity of the bit by reducing friction and wear.

Right amount of power

Well, it happens more than you’d think. The most common cause of breakdown is due to overheating, so it’s important to plan for this by using the right type of bit and making sure you’re using the right amount of power.

Don’t use too much pressure: Always start slow and work your way up as you get used to using the tool. It’s easy to go overboard with power tools and end up causing more harm than good if you’re not careful.

Magnetic bit holder

Use a magnetic bit holder when drilling steel: It’s much easier to keep the bit sharp if you don’t have to worry about keeping track of it. The magnetic bit holder keeps the bits in place and prevents them from rolling away.

What is the Best Drill Bit for Hardened Metal or Stainless Steel?

When you’re trying to drill through hardened metal or stainless steel, you need a drill bit that can handle the added stress and pressure. There are some specific drill bits made for hardened metals and stainless steel. They are called cobalt mix drill bits.

The best drill bits for hardened metal or stainless steel are made of cobalt, have split points, and are 135 degrees. These drill bits are not only the best for hardened metal but also for stainless steel. They are durable, heat resistant, and can resist corrosion.

They also work very well on cast iron, titanium, aluminum alloys, and other harder materials.

High-speed steel (HSS) bits can be used on softer metal but will quickly lose their shape when used on hard metal. Cobalt drill bits are more heat resistant than HSS drill bits which means that they can be used for a longer period of time before becoming dull.

Storing and caring for the drill bits

Maintaining and storing drill bits is an important part of keeping them sharp and ready for use. Keeping your bits properly cared for will help make sure that they last longer and will be easier to find in the event you misplace them.

Here are some tips for storing, cleaning, and caring for your bits:

Keep in a dry place

Make sure they’re dry before storing them. Clean the bit between uses with a clean rag dampened with solvent, but don’t use solvents to remove dirt or grime. If you want to be extra safe, put a piece of wood between the drill bit and the container — that way, even if the container tips over, the wood will prevent any damage to the bit. Store in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Do not store them in cabinets or drawers where others can bump into them, because that could cause them to fall out accidentally.

Cleaning

Cleaning your bits regularly will keep them in good condition, as long as you use proper tools and methods. Use an old toothbrush to remove sand, grime, or other particles from the tip of the bit. Use a dry brush or soft-bristle brush to scrub the rest of the bit. Avoid using brushes with coarse bristles on soft metals like aluminum. A large needle file or dental pick can be used to clean out any burrs or rough spots. Some small electric drills come with a built-in cleaning feature that does this for you automatically.

Oiling

Oil helps lubricate and protect your bits, which makes them easier to handle and reduces friction. Light oil will do the job; just don’t overdo it by smearing too much on one spot or wiping it all off once you’re done drilling. Keep them in a toolbox with a lid that closes securely. Keep tools in a toolbox — drill bits are small enough that it’s easy to lose them if they’re in your pocket or tucked into your belt.

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