The best metal drill bits allow you to bore accurate holes in steel, cast iron, non-ferrous metals, and even in hard plastics. They are essential in any workshop, but inexperienced DIYers could find it hard to choose from the wide range of options on the market.
So what should you look for when picking metal drill bits? We review some of the top models below, taking into account the material they’re made from, the type of shank and diameters available.
To help you find answers to your questions and the best drill bits for any application, our expert team has tested and rated the most popular sets of metal drill bits in the UK. Check out our top picks below, then learn how to drill holes into metal like a pro.
Last update on 2021-02-13 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
Precision-ground HSS-G drill bits deliver a fast drilling rate in most materials.
Bosch is a brand renowned for quality, and their 13-piece metal drill bits set lives up to these expectations.
It comprises drill bits of diameters between 1.5 and 6.5 millimetres, perfect for drilling smaller or larger holes through alloyed and non-alloyed steel and cast steel, sintered and cast iron, malleable cast iron, non-ferrous metals and hard plastics.
Manufactured with high speed steel to DIN 338, these drill bits boast a 135° drill bit tip with self-centring split point. You won’t have to pre-punch or pilot drill the material, and they are easy to use even by the novice.
These drill bits come with a shank equal to the diameter of the bit. Although they are compatible with most power tools, they are slightly less secure than drill bits with a standard hex shank. Other than this slight drawback, these metal drill bits withstand most jobs and come at an attractive price point.
Other than this slight drawback, these metal drill bits withstand most jobs and come at an attractive price point.
• Precision-ground HSS-G drill bits bore faster and require a lower feeding pressure than standard HSS drill bits.
• Designed for quick removal of debris.
• Suitable for most ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including stainless steel and aluminium.
• The convenient carry case has an easy-access transparent lid.
• HSS-G metal drill bits require constant lubrication with universal cutting oil.
• Figuring out how to open the box could take some time.
Handy set of metal drill bits for occasional use.
If you’re looking for a quality yet budget-friendly set of metal drill bits, look no further. Draper has produced this set of fifteen titanium nitride coated high-speed steel bits robust enough to drill soft metals.
They won’t withstand heavy-duty or high-volume applications but are perfect for amateurs and occasional use.
Ideal for drilling through most metals and wood, they come in various sizes from 1.5 to 10 millimetres in diameter. Like our top pick above, they also have a straight shank design and are compatible with most power tool brands.
A convenient carry case adds further value. Its attractive green colour makes it easy to find in the toolbox while the rubber surround prevents it from slipping.
Perfect for a range of applications and cheap too – these metal drill bits deliver excellent value for money.
• Titanium nitride coating adds strength to the drill bits and prolongs their lifespan.
• Robust plastic case for safe storage and easy transportation.
• Universal shank type is compatible with most power tool brands.
• Smaller drill bits can break easily, while larger ones may lose their sharpness quite quickly.
A great metal drill bit set for enthusiast DIYers.
Last but not least, another set of metal drill bits ideal for hobbyists and homeowners. Despite being Bosch though, they won’t withstand heavy-duty use. These drill bits are more suited for occasional use and consumers reported them breaking or losing their sharpness easily.
This mostly happens because of overheating – which is why the manufacturer recommends keeping the drill bits lubricated with universal cutting oil or another coolant.
Despite the slightly lower resistance, we still recommend this set. It comprises 19 drill bits with diameters from 1 to 10 millimetres. The 0.5 millimetres increments also ensure suitability for a wide range of applications.
Another nice element of this product is the compact carry case made of metal. More resistant than a plastic case, it provides safe storage and ensures easy transportation. An attractive price point adds further value.
• Drill bit set comes in HSS-R and HSS titanium nitride coated variants. The latter is ideal for all materials, including wood and plastics.
• Compatible with all Bosch electric drill/drivers and an array of other power tool brands.
• Designed for fast removal of debris.
• Less resistant than expected.
How To Drill Into Stainless Steel & Metal
At first-glance, drilling into stainless steel or metal could seem daunting. But with the right technique and precautions, the task is more straightforward than you might expect. It all starts with choosing the right drill bits and drilling tool. Then, follow the straightforward steps below.
Step 1 – Put on Protective Equipment
Protecting yourself while drilling into metals is essential – it’s surprising how many amateurs tend to skip this step. Drilling small holes is riskier because smaller drill bits snap easier and can send sharp metal shards toward your eyes.
To prevent unfortunate situations, wear at least a shirt with long sleeves and goggles. You must also firmly clamp the piece to a robust work surface, to prevent the drill from spinning it.
Step 2 – Set the Right Drilling Speed
Stainless steel is a harder material that requires drilling at low speed and high torque. To prevent incidents and to bore an accurate hole, set the drill at the lowest speed and apply sufficient pressure to force the drill bit into the material.
Defining how much pressure to exert is near impossible, but you’ll know you’re doing it right when you’ll see spirals of material coming away from the work piece as the drill turns.
Step 3 – Keep it Cool
If the workpiece is thin, apply a small quantity of cutting oil on the drill bit and on the drill point before starting. On a thicker workpiece, you might have to keep lubricating during operation, to prevent overheating.
Just stop drilling, pour a few drops of coolant into the hole and on the drill bit, then resume operation until reaching the desired depth.
That’s it! This procedure can be used to help you drill into stainless steel and metal with any standard high-speed drill bit.
I'm an avid gardener and home DIY enthusiast from Yorkshire in the North of England. I'm passionate about helping our readers get out into their gardens - by making the most of the outdoors and ensuring they get the best possible deals on their gardening equipment. I also believe strongly in the preservation of our beautiful garden wildlife.