Step Drill Bits Buying Guide
Much of the time, except when using the largest diameter step drill bits, you don’t even need to pre-drill a pilot hole at all, although a center punch can help to prevent the drill bit from wandering during starting.
The way step drill bits shear the edges of a hole as they cut, they leave clean and nearly bur-free holes. Depending on what the hole is to be used for, you might not even need to debur it.
Benefits of Step Drill Bit
Owing to their pine tree-like shape, you can start small and go bigger with step drills. A fancy luxury you aren't likely to find in other bits. But here are some other pros of these conical bodied bits.
- Different Sized Holes: An advantage you're only going to get with step bits is you can change the size of the hole without changing the drill bit. Further, you can also make existing holes bigger.
- Clean and Round Cuts: Your cuts will be accurate and rounded. They won't be rough or have rugged corners. But more importantly, it will be clean and won't leave much after itself to clean.
- No need for Twists and These are Self Starting: Pilot holes are small drillings needed to fit in the edge of the drill bits. But owing to its conical shape, step bits already have the sharp head to edge in without needing you to put additional pressure and twists.
- Won't deflate or Damage the Sheets: When you're going for precision cuts, you will want these drills because their straight flutes softly plunge in without damaging the shape.
Tips for Taking Care of Step Drill Bit
If you can manage to take proper care of your tool, it will serve the purpose for a long time. This way, you won’t have to spend extra money on buying a new kit soon. Now, is it too challenging to take good care of a step drill bit kit? Not at all, it’s as easy as it can be. Now, let’s learn how to do it right.
- Step 1: You need to clean the bits at a regular interval during the work. Otherwise, it will be prone to damage faster than expected.
- Step 2: You have to wipe the bit once you are done with the work.
- Step 3: Scrub any debris off the bits by using a toothbrush.
- Step 4: You can apply machine oil afterward to the bits.
Titanium (Coating) vs. Cobalt (Steel Blend)
Drill bits made with a Titanium nitride coating resists corrosion and friction. It beats black oxide in that it increases surface hardness and does a better job reducing heat while drilling through metal. For metal drilling, we definitely put these as the bare minimum.
With titanium nitride, you have to remember it only coats the bit. As the coating wears off the cutting edges, you pretty much have to replace them. Don’t use these bits for drilling hardened steel or stainless—not if you want them to last.
Our best Cobalt drill bits for metal drilling are made from an alloy of 8% cobalt (M42). You can also find these bits with a 5% cobalt blend (M35). Since the cobalt is blended into the steel, it doesn’t wear away like a titanium or black oxide coating. That also means you can sharpen them before having to replace them. This helps save money when you buy these more expensive bit sets.
Cobalt bits are our go-to for drilling through metal—particularly hardened steels and stainless steel.
How to Use a Step Drill Bit?
Step drill bits are used with drill motors. Their range varies from product to product. Once attached to the drill motor, you just step into it just like it sounds. However, if the material is tough, use center punch first.
Can You Sharpen a Step Drill Bit?
No, step drill bits can't be sharpened. This is also why they wear out faster. But with the pine tree-like shape, they don't need to be sharpened either.
is cobalt or titanium drill bits better?
Titanium coated bits last up to 6X longer than standard high speed steel bits. ... Cobalt bits are specifically designed for drilling very hard, abrasive materials such as treated stainless steel, titanium and cast iron. Cobalt bits are not designed for general purpose use.