Cobalt Vs Titanium Drill Bits: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to improving the quality of your work, having the correct tools can make all the difference.

For piercing more stiff materials, cobalt and titanium bits are two suitable options. While both are robust and long-lasting, they each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

This tutorial will show you what to look for in a drill bit that is right for you. We will also assist you in determining if cobalt or titanium is the best solution for you.

COMOWARE Cobalt Drill Bit Set- 15Pcs M35 High Speed Steel Twist Jobber Length for Hardened Metal, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron and Wood Plastic with Indexed Storage Case, 1/16'-3/8'

Major Differences between Cobalt Drill Bits VS Titanium Drill Bits

The following are the main differences between Titanium and Cobalt Drill Bits:

  • Titanium drill bits consist of steel with titanium carbonitride or titanium nitride coating, while Cobalt drill bits are of a cobalt and steel alloy mixture.
  • Cobalt Drill Bits are more expensive than titanium drill bits, but they may last longer. Titanium drill bits can lose their coating over time, reducing their heat resistance.
  • Cobalt Drill Bits are better for strong materials like cast iron or other metals, but Titanium Drill Bits are better for softer materials like wood, soft metals, and plastic.

How to pick between cobalt vs titanium drill bits

One should look for the proper drill bit to use for a skilled task, the shape, size, and material are just a few aspects to consider.

It is also vital to know whether the solution you are considering is appropriate for the material. After all, some bits are better for cutting through specific materials than others.

When you use the wrong bit on a surface that is not for you, you can end up with devastating results. Not only do you risk destroying the bit and possibly the drill, but you also risk injuring yourself. Not to mention the material is of poor quality, which is never a good feeling.

Cobalt Drill Bits

Cobalt drill bits are long-lasting. They consist of steel and cobalt, and they do not have a titanium coating. Drill bits with various cobalt concentrations are available: M35 Grade cobalt drill bit sets contain 5% cobalt, while M42 Grade cobalt drill bit sets include 8% cobalt. A drill bit with a lot of cobalt is a little more brittle, but it is also more heat resistant.

Although cobalt drill bits are initially more expensive, they provide excellent value for money in terms of durability. A high-quality cobalt bit should last for many years. Cobalt Drills are sharpenable, and you can get a lot of usage out of them. They are also well-made and durable so that they will not wear out quickly. They are gold in color and will stand out among your other instruments.

Material

Drill bits that consist of cobalt and steel alloy are known as cobalt drill bits. They include about 5% to 8% cobalt, with the balance being steel. It makes them exceptionally robust and capable of cutting through hard materials, such as cast iron. As the bit spins against other metals, the cobalt keeps it from getting warm.

Unlike titanium drill bits, cobalt drill bits have no coating at all.

Sharpening cobalt drill bits

Sharpening cobalt bits is relatively simple. Because there is no coat, there is no surface stripping during sharpening. It provides them with a longer life expectancy, saving them money in the long run. Cobalt bits are sharpenable numerous times before they become unusable.

Temperature

The temperature of all metal-on-metal parts will rise. That is merely the nature of fast rubbing two metal pieces together. Cobalt blades, on the other hand, dissipate heat. Cobalt is especially good at transferring heat away from the contact surface. Even at high speeds, they can quickly dissipate heat. They can withstand temperatures of up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit in terms of heat resistance. It implies it will not damage while spinning against other metals.

You do not have to worry about these bits overheating.

Cost

Cobalt pieces are pretty costly. They are, however, more sturdy and long-lasting than other alternatives, such as titanium. As a result, they might frequently save you money in the long run. Whether you want to spend more money now or later depends on your priorities.

Cobalt pieces come at a great price. But tend to provide good value for money, owing to their long lifespan.

Pros:

  • It has a long-lasting build that extends the tool life.
  • The ability to sharpen the bit extends its life.
  • It can cut through hard materials quickly and smoothly.
  • Heat-resistant; can endure greater temperatures during drilling.

Cons:

  • Brittle and prone to breaking
  • The high cost of replacement makes it a hassle.

Titanium Drill Bits

Titanium drill bits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are not mainly composed of titanium; the core is steel. Different forms of titanium cover them. Titanium Nitride (TiN) is a robust and resilient coating that can tolerate high temperatures.

Another form of coating is titanium aluminum nitride. TiAIN can double or triple the life of a tool, making it an upgrade from TiN.

Titanium Carbonitride (TiCN) is a strong material that performs well in machines prone to mechanical stress. It is suitable for use with both adhesive and abrasive materials.

Titanium drill bits can withstand high temperatures of up to 1500 F with the help of the coating. The coating acts as a barrier between different metals. They are tough and can drill through hard materials. Their coating makes them more resilient and long-lasting than regular drill bits.

Material

While the material differences between cobalt and titanium drill bits are significant, you are unlikely to notice any difference in practice. There are only a few instances where the material distinguishes the bits.

Sharpening

Titanium blades will lose a lot of their heat resistance after the coating. When drilling metal, this is an issue since metal-on-metal contact can grow very hot very quickly.

This covering falls off as you sharpen titanium drill bits. As a result, you can only sharpen titanium drill bits so far before they become worthless.

Temperature

It is the titanium coating on titanium drill bits. The heat is lost along the surface by this layer, which preserves the metal core. This covering does, however, deteriorate with time. It will not be able to accomplish its job properly if it becomes too thin.

Cost

Titanium drill bits are typically less expensive than cobalt drill bits. However, because the coating wears off over time, they do not last as long. As you can expect, this will end up costing you more in the long term.

Of course, some people do not require a long-lasting, sturdy bit. A titanium drill bit will probably suffice if you only need to drill a few holes. The drill into metal frequently, on the other hand, will need to change their titanium bits regularly, which can sum up.

Pros:

  • Cobalt Drills are less expensive.
  • Titanium coating is tough and heat resistant.
  • It is excellent for working with softer fabrics.
  • Cobalt Drill bits are more durable than other drill bits.

Cons:

  • If the coating chips, you will need to replace the drill bit.
  • Drills are not suitable for hard materials.

Which One Should You Use?

Neither of these drill bits is superior to the other. It all depends on the material you are dealing with and the goal you vision.

Cobalt is a versatile metal.

If you work with a wide range of materials, a set of cobalt bits is a must-have. They will endure longer, and you can use them with even the most difficult materials. They are great for professionals, but they will also benefit DIYers with a lot of jobs.

Of course, this assumes that you have some cash on hand. Bits made of cobalt are significantly more expensive than those made of titanium. However, because they endure for a long time, you will save more money in the long term.

Titanium is the best material for working with wood and soft metals.

Titanium bits, on the other hand, are best for wood and softer metals. Comparing them with soft materials, they are less expensive upfront and will not wear out as rapidly. Hard materials will require more frequent honing, which will quickly wear down their coating.

Overall, both of these bits disperse heat effectively and are capable of handling hard materials. Which option you choose will be determined by the amount of money you have to invest upfront, the frequency with which you want to use the bit, and the type of material you need to drill.

Related: How to cut rebar

Conclusion

The cobalt drill bit is more durable and suitable for drilling through more hard materials. It is the longer-lasting alternative between the two due to its sharpening ability and durability. These are, however, quite costly, and they will be an investment for you.

Titanium drill bits, on the other hand, are less expensive and suitable for softer materials. The coating will last for a long time, but this portion will not survive as long as cobalt counterparts.

So, which of the two drill bits is the better option? Choosing one drill bit over the other is entirely dependent on the material you are using.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use cobalt drill bits on wood?

You can use Cobalt drill bits to split wood, but you will be taking a risk.

Is it worthwhile to invest in cobalt drill bits?

Yes, most people tend to believe they are worth it because they last so long.

Is it true that titanium-coated drill bits are superior to regular drill bits?

They are more durable and heat-resistant, allowing you to work with hard materials.

Is it possible to sharpen titanium drill bits?

Yes, but you risk losing the coating, as well as the added strength and heat resistance it provides.

Is it okay to use titanium or cobalt drill bits on masonry?

You will risk ruining the drill bits if you do so.

Is it possible to use drill bits made for wood on metal?

No – you risk destroying the drill bit as well as harming yourself if you do so – it’s always advisable to use the proper drill bit for the job.