COBALT VS TITANIUM DRILL BITS : [Complete Comparison] & Which One Is Best For You

Understanding the differences between two similar tools, and learning how and when to utilize them are overall a good investment. So, if you are reading this, you must be searching how do the Cobalt drill bits differ from the Titanium drill bits. So, in this article, we have compiled the primary differences of both the types of drill bits. But, before directly moving to that part, let’s have an overview of the functioning of a drill and how the drill bits help in performing the task.

Well, a Drill is a technically versatile power tool which helps you in accomplishing almost any type of wooden, electrical, domestic, or other tasks, at ease. Every drilling tool comes with a set of drill bits; each of which is meant for a particular task only. Today we will discuss the two types of High-Speed Steel (HSS) drill bits: Cobalt vs Titanium drill bits.

Sometimes, you will need to drill through tough materials, and a standard drill bit might not cut it. If you’re drilling through metal for a project – for example, if you’re making a piece of furniture from scratch that involves metal materials – then you need something that is going to do the job properly.

Both Cobalt as well as Titanium drill bits are quite sturdy and hence, long-lasting. They are typically designed to avoid getting overheated on coming in contact with any other metal. This is one of the most notable reasons why an HSS drill bit is important to drill metals/metal surfaces.

Both the Cobalt and Titanium drill bits have a wider range of practical applications. So, it often becomes a challenging task to choose between these two. Though the product selection becomes easier depending on your budget and purpose behind the purchase, many other factors still await the consideration list. So, first we will begin with the individual sections of Cobalt and Titanium bits followed by their comparison. Lastly, we will check out how to choose between these two types. 

Cobalt D​​​​​rill Bits

Cobalt Drill Bit Set

Cobalt drill bits are typically designed and made to last longer. A composite material of Cobalt and Steel is used to make the Cobalt drill bits. This type of bit does not come with Titanium coating. The bits come in different concentrations of Cobalt in them, for instance; the percentage of Cobalt concentration in M35 grade Cobalt drill bits set is 5, whereas it is 8% of Cobalt concentration in the M42 grade Cobalt drill bits set.

Note: A greater concentration of Cobalt in the drill bits make them a step more brittle, however, more resistant to heat.

Although the Cobalt drill bits were initially costlier, still they are value for money concerning longevity. A quality Cobalt drill bit should last you a long time. The drill bits can be honed, meaning you can make the maximum use out of these bits. Plus, these bits are tough and well-constructed, that means these do not dull away so frequently. These bits are golden in color, making them fast and easy to spot amidst other tools.

Concerning the heat resistance, the Cobalt bits can withstand a high temperature limit of about 1,100 degree Fahrenheit. That means the bit can bear heat generated from its spinning against other metals, without itself getting damaged/overheated.

These drill bits are quite dynamic and suitable for engineering, commercial as well as purpose. This type of bits can be used to drill into various materials, including cast iron and stainless steel – these typically work-well with abrasive metals.

Note: These types of bits can be applied on softer materials, but very carefully. For instance, if you are utilizing the Cobalt drill bits on wood, you are risking the splitting of wood as these bits lack the brad (a sharp piece located on the end that prevents the bit from slipping into the material). So, you should avoid using such a drill bit that is too tough to split or damage the workpiece.


Titanium Drill Bits

TITANIUM DRILL BITS

Titanium drill bits come in varieties, however, they are not really the Titanium bits. Their outer surface/layer is coated with varied types of Titanium coating. The core material of these drill bits include steel. Titanium Nitride (TiN) coating is sturdy and lasts longer, and it is easily resistant to high temperatures.

  • Titanium Aluminum Nitride (TiAN) is yet another category of coating used on the drill bits. This type of coating increases the lifetime of the drill by 4 to 5 times its actual longevity. TiAN is basically an upgraded version of TiN coating.
  • Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN) is again a tough kind of coating that works well with the machines and tools that generally deal with/in high mechanical stresses. 

Titanium drill bits can withstand heat up to 1500F (without itself getting heated), where the coated layer acts as a barrier between the drill bit and the types of metals to be worked on. The Titanium coated bits are strong enough to drill into harder material surfaces. Plus, such type drill bits have a relatively longer durability than the ordinary drill bits.

Concerning the types of materials that these drill bits can work on, they work well on plastic, PVC, any type of wood; be it a knotted wood, hardwood, etc. The standard drill bits are, however, not fit for drilling into knotted wood. The titanium drill bits work perfect on copper, aluminium, brass, as well as steel materials. You can also utilize these bits in metal routing machines as well as to drill precise holes.


Primary Differences Of Titanium Drill Bits VS Cobalt Drill Bits

Titanium drill bits are built with steel and coated either with Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN) or Titanium Nitride (TiN). On the other hand, the Cobalt drill bits are made of an alloy of Steel and Cobalt. Concerning the drill bit coating, the coating of Titanium drill bits starts falling apart with time and use, which eventually impact the heat withstanding ability of the bit. Conversely, the Cobalt drill bits are costlier but have longevity greater than the Titanium drill bits.Titanium drill bits are typically fit for working on softer materials, such as plastics, wood, and soft metals. The Cobalt drill bits work well on tougher material surfaces including cast iron or other metals.


How to Choose a Drill Bit? 

TITANIUM DRILL BITS

A drill has got a wider use in the field of woodworking, metal working, furniture making, and more. These are some of the few examples when a power drill comes in handy. If you are a beginner, then you can purchase a set of varied types of drill bits, which is a perfect option to get started. However, when it is about getting a drill bit set for professional drilling, you need to consider some factors prior to buying one: 

Type

Different drill bits are designed to accomplish different purposes, based on the bit shape. Here are some: 

  • Wood drill bits – As the name suggests, this type of drill bits are meant to be used with auger bits, wood-like brad point bits, and paddle bits. These bits come in different sizes and are used according to the type of project to be performed.
  • Metal drill bits – These bits are the High-Speed Steel bits and are typically designed to drill into hard metals easily, without getting overheated. Metal drill bits can be used on wood surfaces as well. However, it is generally recommended to use the metal bits on metal materials/surfaces only.
  • Multi-purpose drill bits – These bits are versatile in nature as they can be used to drill into wood, plastic, hard metal, and ceramic. However, if you are looking for a good result, then it is better to use a specific drill bit (discussed in the next bullet). Yet, talking about the convenience of handling, the multi-purpose drill bits are handy enough to do quick jobs.
  • Special drill bits – These bits are meant for typical drilling tasks. For example; drill bits for hole cutting, or safe drilling into glass surfaces. Basically, these bits are meant for performing advanced drilling jobs compared to the standard DIY drilling tasks. Since special drill bits cannot function in a number of ways as a regular twist drill bit does, you need to make sure how often you deal with such projects that require the use of special drill bits.
  • Masonry drill bits – These drill bits are applied on hard masonry surfaces. These are diamond drill bits that are used on porcelain or other hard surfaces/materials. 

Size

COBALT DRILL BITS

The drill bits are of different lengths and widths. Certainly, the size of the bit that you need to use will depend on the hole size that you are about to drill. So, if you are looking for a bits set for general or household purposes, then it is better to buy the one that contains the most commonly used bits sizes. That will be an ideal for you to begin with.

Material

Firstly, focus on the material of the drill bit. If you are looking for long lasting drill bits for heavy duty applications, it is better to go with the Cobalt drill bits. Otherwise, the Titanium drill bits are fit if you are already running on a tight budget. Secondly, you need to focus on the type of material to be drilled; low-carbon steel bits are suitable for drilling into softwood, whereas Tungsten Carbide is the toughest drill bit. Carbide drill bits can drill into the hardest material surfaces. Sometimes coatings, like Titanium Nitride, Diamond Power, or Black Oxide, on drill bits provide additional durability and ability to withstand high temperature conditions.


Verdict

Though prices differ from one brand to another, Titanium drill bits are less costlier than the Cobalt drill bits. However, with time and usage, the Titanium coating starts to fall apart (especially if the bit is sharpened after a number of uses), meaning its ability to withstand heat will gradually decrease over time. Consequently, you may have to end up buying more Titanium bits as they get damaged more quickly compared to the Cobalt drill bits which last longer than the former. 

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