Choosing between various drill bit types is a difficult task. With so many sizes and shape variations, they all serve different purposes.
When high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits don’t cut it, choosing between cobalt and carbide drill bits can quickly become time-consuming. Luckily, here are some notable differences that will help save you time during your decision-making and help improve drilling performance.
What Is a Cobalt Drill Bit?
Cobalt drill bits often get constructed using steel or another alloy combined with five to eight percent cobalt. Cobalt drill bits make for optimal high-temperature applications and offer extreme durability.
Cobalt drill bits can work longer without cutting fluids or cooldown periods, cutting through materials including cast iron, titanium, bronze, and stainless steel. They are also corrosion-resistant but are often fragile and need adequate care.
What Is a Carbide Drill Bit?
Carbide drill bits are a high-end option for manufacturing and computer numeric control applications. They are tough, provide high-heat dissipation rates, and maintain an edge for longer than other drill bits.
However, carbide drill bits can break apart if misused due to their brittle nature. Moreover, they also make for optimal masonry or stonework.
Cobalt vs. Carbide Drill Bits
There are many differences between cobalt and carbide drill bits, especially regarding their pros and cons. Firstly, cobalt drill bits can easily resharpen after repeated use, cut through soft or hard materials, and cost less than carbide drill bits. Carbide drill bits last longer than cobalt drill bits, have higher heat resistance, work at very high speeds to decrease manufacturing speeds, and provide toughness to cut through non-ferrous heavy metals and reinforced plastics.
However, both carbide and cobalt drill bits have minor downsides. Carbide drill bits have a higher price point than cobalt drill bits, along with resharpening difficulties, and will need replacement once blunt. Cobalt drill bits quickly chill on rigid materials, can’t perform high drilling speeds like carbide drill bits, and require resharpening after 100 to 200 holes.
At Drill Bit Warehouse, we pride ourselves on being a well-respected drill bit provider that meets ANSI standards and outlasts the competition. We offer cobalt drill bits for hardened steel and abrasive materials, including bronze, titanium, cast iron, stainless steel, and more. To learn more, contact us today about our high-quality drill bits.