Cobalt vs Titanium Drill Bits: What’s the Difference?

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titanium drill bits

It won’t have escaped your attention that there’s a lot, and we mean a lot! of different drill bits to buy. Choosing the right one for the task at hand is essential for the success of the job. Learning the primary purpose of tools is an excellent investment in your time because you will know how to do simple jobs and projects around your home. This will save you the hassle of employing others and relying on them to turn up and do a decent job.

With so many choices of tools available, it’s straightforward to become overwhelmed, and knowing where to start is a challenge. For the more difficult drilling projects, you need to use cobalt or titanium drill bits, but which one? Knowing the answer will stand you in good stead as you save yourself a lot of time and money. 

A drill is a staple to most people’s toolkit, and it doesn’t require a lot of skill to operate, especially now with the latest technology as you have so much more control. However, you will need different types of drill bits to drill through rigid materials, such as concrete, if you were making wooden furniture. Using the wrong one will no doubt ruin the drill bit and make your project much harder.

In this article, we explore two high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits against each other. Even though a cobalt drill bit and a titanium bit have different purposes and benefits, many people still find it challenging to choose the best. It does get confusing as they share many of the same features and properties, meaning you can use them for the same tasks! We break it down to make it less challenging.

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Here’s a rundown of what we’ll provide in this cobalt vs titanium drill bits article:

  • First, we break down what a cobalt and titanium drill bit is
  • Next, we’ll tell you about their features and benefits that you’ll find useful
  • Then, we’ll explore their drawbacks you might need to know about
  • And finally, we lay out their main differences so you can decide which one is right for you

Sound good?  Let’s get started!


 

Further reading: 5 Best Corded Drills – Reviews and buyers Guide

What is a Cobalt Drill Bit?

It’s easy to think that cobalt drill bits are made exclusively of cobalt from the name, but that’s not the case. Cobalt drill bits are made of a cobalt steel alloy with around 5-8 percent of cobalt. Cobalt on its own is not strong enough, so it needs to be mixed with alloy steel to become super strong and heat resistant.

The metal drill bit is designed to drill through rigid surfaces such as stainless steel and cast iron. You can use them for softer materials, too, but their prowess is in hard materials. Cobalt drill bits are, however, very brittle and should be used with utmost care.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Cobalt Drill Bits

Pros & Cons

Benefits
  • Higher resistance – cobalt drill bits are extremely efficient when dealing with hard metals such as stainless steel and cast iron.
  • Versatility – you can use cobalt drill bits on a wide variety of materials, including soft metals. However, it is not recommended to use these bits on soft materials as they may be a little too much.

  • Durability – cobalt drill bits have higher durability than most bits. You can use these bits for 20+ years. You can also sharpen these bits a couple of times before they break.

Disadvantages
  • Price– cobalt drilling bits are quite expensive. You can use the drilling bits on various materials, but they come at a high price.

Best Overall Cobalt Drill Bits


What is a Titanium Drill Bit?

It’s also easy to conclude that titanium drill bits are made of titanium, but there’s more to it. Titanium drill bits are made of titanium nitride and high-speed steel. What is high-speed steel? It’s a type of steel with an HSS composition. Titanium drill bits are simply hard steel with a hard coating of titanium. The tough titanium coating improves durability.

Titanium drill bits are fitted with a speed tip of 135 degrees designed to minimize walking while in use. Titanium drill bits have a high surface hardness, which makes them ideal for drilling through hard metal.

It’s also easy to conclude that titanium drill bits are made of titanium, but there’s more to it. Titanium drill bits are made of titanium nitride and high-speed steel. What is high-speed steel? Unlike cobalt drill bits, they are less costly and come in handy when drilling soft materials such as wood, soft metals, and plastics. The titanium nitride coating makes these bits shiny, more robust and prevents them from reaching higher temperatures that could damage them.

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Benefits and Disadvantages of Titanium Drill Bits

Pros & Cons

Benefits
  • Durability – titanium drill bits are not the most affordable, but they sure last longer than most regular drilling bits. After cobalt drill bits, they are the second most durable bits in the market.
  • Affordability – titanium drill bits are more affordable than cobalt drill bits, which is an excellent option for someone who does not want to spend a fortune on drill bits. They are not easy to sharpen, but one can quickly dispose of them and get new bits at such a price.

  • Versatile – you can use them on soft materials. As mentioned, you may use cobalt drill bits on soft materials, but it’s not recommended. In contrast, you can use titanium drill bits on soft materials without damaging the material or tool.

Disadvantages
  • Titanium nitride coating expires – these bits become like any other regular drill bits with nothing special to offer. You may need to buy new drilling bits when this happens. A titanium-coated drill bit is also unsuitable for drilling hard metals such as stainless steel and cast iron.
It’s a type of steel with an HSS composition. Titanium drill bits are simply hard steel with a hard coating of titanium. The tough titanium coating improves durability.

Titanium drill bits are fitted with a speed tip of 135 degrees designed to minimize walking while in use. Titanium drill bits have a high surface hardness, which makes them ideal for drilling through hard metal. 

Best Overall Titanium Drill Bits


Video: Cobalt vs Titanium Drill Bits

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Differences Between Cobalt and Titanium Drill Bits

Before we decide on which is the best one, let’s understand the differences.

Composition

Cobalt drill bits are made of hardened steel and cobalt, while titanium drill bits are made of high-speed steel and titanium nitride. The cobalt in cobalt drill bits makes up 5-8 percent, while titanium in titanium drill bits makes up the coating only.

Durability

Cobalt drill bits have a high friction rate, but they are very durable. These drill bits can last up to 20 years. With proper sharpening, they can go a few more years. Titanium drill bits are, however, not as durable as they depend on the titanium coating. As soon as the layer begins to erode, the HSS drill bit becomes susceptible to steel and other factors. Titanium has a higher erosion rate, which means they are not as durable as cobalt drill bits.

Drilling

Cobalt drill bits are efficient in many drilling applications, including rigid surfaces such as cast iron, stainless steel, etc. Titanium can also be used for hard surfaces, but they are typically preferred for softer surfaces such as wood and softer metals.

Both drilling bits are heat resistant, but the friction in titanium drill bits is lower. Professionals can use the cobalt drill bits for an extended time without heat building up, but that’s not the case with titanium drill bits. You don’t need cooling lubricants when using cobalt drill bits for a prolonged time instead of using titanium drilling bits.

Price

Cobalt metal is costly, which means that cobalt drill bits are also expensive. Titanium is not as costly, given it’s readily available. Maintaining cobalt drill bits is also equally expensive, given they have to be sharpened with a harder cobalt-steel alloy. Titanium drill bits need to be coated with titanium nitride, and you are good to go! The best value is a titanium drill bit set.

Cobalt vs. Titanium Drill Bits: Which is the Best?

The cobalt drill bits are pretty different from the titanium drill bits. The two are also used for various purposes, which makes them best for different drilling needs. If you are looking for a twist drill bit for professional work, cobalt drill bits will come in handy. These bits are the most expensive, but they do an exceptional job.

If you only need drilling bits for home uses and soft drilling, titanium bits are the best option. The HSS bit comes in handy when drilling more delicate materials such as wood and soft metals. They are also affordable compared to copper drill bits making them more suitable for home uses. The uses and needs of the user will determine the best drill bits for use.


Here are some other articles you may like:

Best Drill Press for Metal – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Drill Bit Sharpeners for the Money – Top 3 Reviews and Buyers Guide

Hammer Drill vs Impact Driver. Is There 1 Colossal or Decisive Difference?


Here are Our Favorite Milwaukee Drill Bit Sets

 

Walter Snyder

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