Top Drill Bits for Hardened Steels

Anything can be drilled. As a very crafty kind of person, I delight myself in much of my ability to create new pieces of artwork using scraps of metal and wood. I turn a piece of plywood into a work of art by just drilling some holes, adding some metal frames to it, and painting into the wood.

My drill bits, however, have become a hefty investment, as it should be for anyone willing to work with metal, tile, plastic, and wood. Accuracy, power, ingenuity, all are keys to a significant drill bit because it isn’t just a hole in the end, but it’s part of a piece to a work of art that you created.

So, while all drill bits are designed to spin the same way, no two ones are alike.

List & Comparison of the Best Drill Bits:

COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit SetCOMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit SetMore Information
Irwin Tools 3018002Irwin Tools 3018002More Information
Viking Drill and Tool 44150Viking Drill and Tool 44150More Information
Drill America KFD29J-PCDrill America KFD29J-PCMore Information
Drill Hog 21M42GBDrill Hog 21M42GBMore Information
Drill Hog 33PCSDM7Drill Hog 33PCSDM7More Information
Mastercraft 054-3692-6Mastercraft 054-3692-6More Information
IRWIN 3018003IRWIN 3018003More Information

Review of the Best Drill Bits:

1. COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set- 115Pcs M35 High Speed Steel Twist Jobber Length for Hardened Metal, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron and Wood Plastic with Metal Indexed Storage Case, 1/16″ – 1/2″

Comoware has designed a spiral drill bit that can drill through hard metals, steel, and cast iron. Made to drill at an angle point of 135 degrees, has high heat resistance, and abrasion resistance, the 115 piece set can fit in any standard brand drill and can work effectively at making any project easier to manage.

How does it work?

As someone who loves doing DIY projects, I tend to work with metal just as much as I would with wood. The packaging makes the drill sets easy to organize, and although it’s on the heavy side, it gives plenty of options for hole sixes.

I decided to test these after a few months, and while working with them, I’ve noticed that these drill bits have the durability to handle a lot my home projects. I’ve always appreciated Cobalt, so this set is perfect for anyone wishing to have a complete set for any project.


  • 115 pieces, organized based on size
  • Made with M35 Cobalt Steel
  • Precise 135 split point
  • Comes in a organized holder
  • Overall dimensions: W: 14.6” D: 5.1” H: 2.7”

2. Irwin Tools 3018002 Cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set, 29 Piece

Irwin Tools created a miniature set for those who wish to have a set of a tool on the go; this 29-piece set is ideal for drilling into hardened metals. Made with 5% cobalt alloys to be heat resistant, the kit includes drill bit sizes ranging from 1/16 to ½ inch.

Also, it comes in a solid, compact case for safekeeping.

How does it work?

In comparison to Comoware’s drill set, while it doesn’t have much in the way of variety, they both offer equally in terms of performance. Whenever I wanted to work on projects away from home, I’d bring this set with me wherever I went.

It drilled just fine, even while there were some issues with some of the nails I used. Lubricating oil helped keep the drill bits steady, and it cuts like butter.


  • 29 piece drill bits
  • Made with 5% cobalt material
  • Ranges from 1/16 to 1/2 inch
  • Overall dimensions: W: 12” D: 7.5”H: 4”

3. Viking Drill and Tool 44150 SP-29 Type 240-UB 135 Degree Split Point Magnum Super Premium Jobber Drill Set (29 Piece)

The Viking Drill tool kit is a stunning set of drill bits made with heavy-duty gold oxide and steel. Designed with a 135-degree split point and is built to tackle the most hardened metals, the kit comes with at least 29 pieces for a variety of sizes and drilling mechanisms.

How does it work?

I find this to work not as well as the Cobalts, but the drills themselves work just fine. They’re already coated with lubricant oil for protecting the metal from damage, so that’s one thing I didn’t have to worry about regarding these drills.

I like the golden sheen on them, and the packaging, despite its heaviness, is remarkably sturdy. These would be good for home use, especially in the garage as an extra spare.


  • 29 piece set
  • 135-degree split point
  • Made with High-Grade Steel
  • Coated with a Gold Oxide
  • Range from 1/16 to ½ inch
  • Overall dimensions: W: 7.1” D: 4.2” H: 1.9”

4. Drill America 29 Piece Heavy Duty High Speed Steel Drill Bit Set with Black and Gold Finish in Round Case (1/16″ – 1/2″ x 64ths), KFD Series

Coming in an excellent, neat package, the Drill American drill bits are made with high-speed steel and coated with black and gold for exterior purposes.

Designed with a 135-split without a pilot hole, the drill set can hang from a person’s pocket, leaving your hands free, and can fit anywhere you need for easy access.

How does it work?

One of the keynotes I would argue for purchasing this drill set is its packaging. I love how tiny and compact-able the storage case is, and the drills are not that bad in terms of quality.

The case itself makes it easier for me to track which ones I’ve used and haven’t, and while they don’t offer a flat shank, it’s quality is just right alongside the Viking Drill and Comodore.


  • 29 piece set with plastic case
  • Round Shank
  • Made with High-Speed Steel
  • 135 degree cutting angle
  • Black and Gold Coated Finish
  • Overall dimensions: W: 2.08” D: 3.1” H: 5”

5. 21 Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set 1/16″ to 1/2″ by 32nds DRILL HOG

Cobalt steel, a tri-flat shank, and packaged in a steel case with pop up tiers, the Drill Hog 21 piece set is made to be an extension for anyone who needs a quick set of drill bits for the job. With a melting point of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, these bits contain the most popular sizes for everyday use.

How does it work?

Because cobalt steel is the best materials for tough projects, I would argue that these drill bits are a unique backup pair for anyone in need of a quick spare. I was surprisingly impressed with the Drill Hog 21 piece set.

When used with my standard drill, it drilled precisely, as it’s supposed to do, without any hiccups with the screw falling off or the drill bit falling out of the chuck.


  • 21 piece set
  • 135 degree split point
  • Range from 1/16 to ½ inch
  • Made with Cobalt M42 Steel
  • Overall dimensions: W: 7” D: 4.1” H: 1.1”

6. Drill Hog USA Silver & Deming Drill Bit Set Index 33 Pc 1/2-1″

Similar to the Drill Hog 21-piece set but with more drill bits, the 33-piece collection offers a mixture of silver and M7 High-quality steel to assure no slippage or breakage.

With a tri-flat shank to prevent slipping and a size range from a ½ inch to 1 inch, these bits are said to help drill through tuck frames, spring steel, and farming implements.

How does it work?

Since the smaller set worked just as well, I also wanted to give their more extensive collection a try and tackle some long term projects with these drill bits. While I find the composition of the material to a bit too flexible, I’d argue that these pieces work just as well as any other standard drill bit.

When I tried to drill some metal attached to a piece of plywood, there was some fringing of metal and wood that scraped the edges of the bit, but that’s kind of expected. Again, I’d say it’s a good backup for people looking for a cheap set of drill bits, but they aren’t necessarily my favorite.


  • 33 piece set
  • Range from ½ inch to 1 inch
  • Made with M7 High-Speed Steel
  • Tri-Flank Shank

7. Titanium Drill Bit Set for Metal – 230pc Kit – Coated HSS – From 1/16″ up to 1/2 Inch

Mastercraft’s Titanium Drill Bits set is the most extensive set I’ve found on the market, with over 230 pieces measuring from 1/16 an inch to ½ inch. Made to drill into softer metals, woods, glass, and plastics, the drill bits are made with a titanium coat to last longer and have high durability.

The set comes in a large carry case for easy transportation and heavy-duty protection.

How does it work?

Most of the bits inside this set are repeats, especially for the smaller sizes. I like this aspect of the set because I tend to lose pieces all the time, and whenever I’m trying to start a project.

When it comes to the quality of these drill bits, the shank on each of the pieces vary, and the cutting edges also vary from dull to sharp. Nevertheless, I don’t expect perfection from my tools, but I can tell that this set is at least authentically made.


  • 230 piece kit
  • Titanium Coat High Speed Steel
  • Range from 1/16 inch to ½ inch
  • Heavy duty storage case
  • Overall dimensions: W: 11” D: 2” H: 9”

8. IRWIN Titanium-Nitride Coated Metal Index Drill Bit Set with Case, 29-Piece, 3018003

The IRWIN 29-piece set is coated with a titanium-nitrite metal and offers sizes from 1/16th an inch to ½ inch.

The drills have a 135-degree split point and made to drill wood, plastic, and soft metals, it offers heat resistance from drilling into abrasive materials and can easily be carried in a compact storage case covered with a rubber mold and also includes a selection chart for reference.

How does it work?

My favorite aspect of this drill set is the case, which if you’re the clumsy type, can help protect your drill bits from opening and spreading all over the floor. The high-speed steel, while not the most durable material on the market, undoubtedly aids in its performance.

When I tried it out on some wood and metal lying around my garage, I found that it drilled quite nicely, although I had to lubricate the bits with some oil to keep the shanks attached to the chunk. I overall like this piece, and would recommend it for construction use.


  • 29 piece set
  • Titanium coated high speed steel
  • Range from 1/16th inch to ½ inch
  • 135 degree split point tip
  • Overall dimensions: W: 11.2” D: 7.1” H: 3.8”


What is a Drill Bit?

Drill bits are a kind of cutting tool used to create holes in the material. Drill bits refer to their size in diameter, and for specific projects, the size of the drill bit matters. Drill bits are usually sold with a pilot hole chart, a diagram used for seeing how big the hole will be when you use it.

Power drills, the machines that use these drill bits, all have their specifications and features that can make drilling more comfortable, such as variable speeds, reverse modes, drill size capacity, and battery charging platforms.

Drill bits can also affect the ability of the hole produced depending on the type of finish and materials.

Beginner’s Guide to Drill Bits

So, what should you look for in a drill bit? The materials classify drill bits they’re made of and the overall shape of the bit itself.

Some options include; High-speed steel drill bits, black oxide-coated drill bits, titanium-coated drill bits, cobalt drill bits, and carbide-tipped drill bits. Each of these bits has its specific uses, can penetrate through the wood, light metals, heavy metals, fiberglass, PVC, concrete, and tile.

The shape of the drill bit also matters, whether its twisted, w-shaped, screw-tipped, plug-cutters, etc. Each type of drill bit can make a job easier or harder if you cannot tell the difference between two different types of drill bits. For instance, twist drill bits are the most common type.

However, the kind of steel they’re made of can determine how long they last. From softest metals to hardest are steel, high-speed steel, carbide-tipped, and then cobalt steel. The harder the material is, the longer they will last.

In the end, the best choice in drill bits depends on the job. I’ll be mostly reviewing cobalt, high-speed steel, and titanium coated drill bits for the sake of convenience and will be using them in a wide array of projects that I have planned.


My Top Picks for the Best Drill Bits for Hardened Steels

Cobalt is top quality in terms of strength and performance, but if you’re low on money and would rather have something that works, high-speed steel will also be able to do the job. Out of the total reviewed, I enjoyed using the Viking Drill sets and the Comodore collection as my favorite in the Cobalt variety.

Their cases are uniquely their own, the quality of the drill bits are high-fashioned, and I found them perfect for my personal uses at home. If you can’t afford Cobalt, then the Drill America is what I’d recommend as an alternative to whenever I can’t get my hands on some Cobalt steel.

The case is the highlight of this set because it can easily fit into my car and can be carried with me wherever I go. I love the way the case neatly organizes the pieces, and I like them as a good backup for when I can’t carry my more massive sets of drill bits with me. I had a lot of fun reviewing these drill bits.

When you’re working with hardened steel, of course, you’re going to want the best, so I made sure to take all of that into consideration as I was reviewing these pieces.

They’re all great and have their advantages and disadvantages, even if they’re minor. Still, whatever you choose, it’ll surely be a great fit for whatever project you work on next.

About the author

Jim Malkovich

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