Based on the type of material that you are drilling into, various drill bits need to be used. The quality and efficiency of your project can depend on something as small as a bit, which are manufactured using distinct materials after which finishes are applied. This process ensures ideal performance and lifespan for the bits, and is an especially useful fact to keep in mindwhile you areshopping for the best drill bit for aluminum.
Last update on 2017-12-12 PST - Details
Buying Guide – Different Types of Drill Bits &the Best Type of Aluminum Bits
There are a select number of professional options available where drill bits are concerned. Here are the most favored. Below, ‘HSS’ stands for ‘High-Speed Steel’ and ‘PVC’ for ‘Polyvinyl Chloride’.
- HSS drill bits with black oxide coating – The finish on these bits works wonders against corrosion, which positively influences its durability rating. Compared to basic HSS bits, these last much longer. Material compatibilities: fiberglass, metal, PVC, hardwood, and softwood.
- Drill bits with carbide tips – Compared to steel, titanium as well as basic HSS bits, these stay sharper for much longer before requiring maintenance. Material compatibilities: masonry, tiling.
- HSS drill bits with titanium coating–You can experience remarkably less friction with these. Not only can these remain sharper for longer time-periods (as compared to basic HSS bits) they have also proven to be much tougher. Material compatibilities: PVC, wood, fiberglass, metal.
- Basic HSS drill bits–These are often the go-to choices for most professionals. Material compatibilities:PVC, fiberglass, wood, and of course aluminum (a soft metal).
- Drill bits with cobalt tips – In addition to speedy heat dissipation properties, these drill bits are also notably hard. Material compatibilities: stubborn metals like stainless steel as well as soft metals like aluminum.
The last two options covered above are the main ones we recommend, as the topic itself suggests. As for the best type of drill bit for aluminum, here are some recommendations:-
- Twist Drill Bit – The ideal choice, this drill bit is more commonly used than most and is best for home-based projects. If you are of a mind for general-purpose drilling with plastic, wood and soft metals like aluminum this is the drill bit for you.
- Step Drill Bit – A choice best reserved for experienced professionals, these drill bits can work beautifully with thin ¼-inch metal surfaces. The stepped design makes it possible for you to use just one bit to produce a range of holes at varying diameters. If you wish to debur holes, this type of bit still works to keep your work zone clear of waste materials while drilling.
There are several different kinds of drill bits other than the two detailed above. Your aim should be to match the most compatible bit to the material you plan to drill. This is precisely why we covered only aluminum in this exclusive guide.
Top 5 Best Drill Bits for Aluminum – Product Reviews
Instead of giving you just one step drill, which in itself is amazing and highly practical, you have five differently shaped ones that can perform any sort of drilling requirement under the sun. This of course depends on your technique, and how well you apply it. The cobalt High-Speed Steel (HSS) bits are coated with titanium, improving durability and lifespan like few other bits on the market can.
The drills come designed to prevent bit walking, which ensures smoother and faster work completion. An organized aluminum case adds to the practical appeal. Little to no damage can be done to its contents even from a tall drop, and besides the caseitself is easy to clean.Just make sure that the board you are working with (whatever the material) is notthicker than the drill bit length you have chosen to use.
Shank sizes are also as versatile – you have 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch shanks for aptpower tool chucks.DIY-ers and professionals alike are sure to fall in love with this small but powerful collection of drill bits.
- 5-piece step drill set in an aluminum box.
- Cobalt bits designed with High-Speed Steel (HSS) construction, and titanium-coating.
- Shank sizes: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inches.
- Material compatibility: wood, plastic, aluminum, steel.
- Highly durable titanium coating
- Improved lifespan; HSS classic construction.
- Versatile chuck size shanks.
- Can do the work of fifty bits in just five; efficient use of time and space.
- Most ideal for softer materials
- Premature dullness issues reported.
- Not compatible with all power tool chucks, only a select handful.
- Does not work on overly thick materials.
The 13 pieces comprising this set are anything but unlucky. In fact, they have proven to be reliable, durable, and effective in several instances of drilling. From a splendid range of bit sizes to a clever holder that comes designed with markings for you to stand your bits in, this collection has what it takes to make drilling convenient.
In the family of High-Speed Steel (HSS) drill bits, this titanium coated set is as durable as it is ideal for all sorts of drilling tasks, including heavy-duty applications.The ¼-inch hex shank is ideally designed to allow easy fitting in all power tool chucks – this includes secure holds and simplified locking in quick-change chucks.
The design for each bit is modelled after a 135° split-point tip and twist. Not only does this promote self-centering capabilities, it also brings in better cutting speeds, reduced bit walking instances, and more efficient clearing of particles and chips during drilling operations.
- Impressive range of bit sizes: 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 7/64, 1/8, 9/64, 5/32, 11/64, 3/16, 13/64, 7/32, 15/64, and ¼ (inches).
- Holder for convenience.
- High-Speed Steel (HSS) design.
- Titanium coating.
- ¼-inch hex shank.
- Bit design: 135° split-point tip and twist
- Material compatibility: aluminum, copper, plastic, wood.
- Easy organizing and storage for each drill bit in a single-mold holder.
- The hex shank is fit-compatible with all power tool chucks; enables easy lock and hold even with quick-change chucks.
- Titanium coating ensures long life for bits.
- HSS construction influences durability.
- Hex base contains notches to hold the drill bit in.
- Bits do not dull easily.
- No full-cover casing.
- Not effective on steel.
- Slight wobbling has been reported .
Some of the smartest most user-friendly features have gone into making this practical all-purpose drill bit. Essentially a step drill bit, you get to work with more options (10 different step sizes, in increments) on one bit than an assortment on different bits; this certainly ensures portability. The High-Speed Steel (HSS; classic construction) bit is ideal for all sorts of materials, and can alsobe applied to heavy-duty tasks.
A 135° split-point tip comes designed to make your drilling tasks easier – it helps reduce bit walking while at the same time ensures self-centering for the bit itself. The design is made to perform speedy cutting. When it comes to fitting into different power tool chucks, the tri-flatted shank on this bit works marvels. Thanks to its two-flute design, the bit can work more efficiently to keep the drilling hole clear of debris like chips and particles.
- An excellent array of step sizes: 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1, 1-1/8, 1-1/4, 1-3/8 (inches).
- 135° split-point tip.
- Tri-flatted shank.
- Practical two-flute design.
- Titanium nitride coating.
- Material compatibility: aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, copper, and several kinds of sheet metal.
- Professional-grade spectrum of step sizes for use in almost any drilling project.
- Self-centering tip design.
- No bit walking.
- Fast cutting speeds.
- Highly convenient tri-flatted shank forbest fit into most power tool chucks.
- Wonderful compatibility ratings with diverse metals, including steel and aluminum.
- Improved drilling zone cleanliness via the two-flute tip design.
- No guidelines or instructions to help with use; reported cases of misuse due to lack of knowledge.
- Not ideal for long-term use or bulk quantity hole-drilling.
- Thin titanium coating has a tendency to wear off soon.
This 21-piece set is one of the more preferred on the market, mainly thanks to its tapered web design that resists breakage and therefore promotes durability. Bit life is also improved due to the titanium coating at the tip of each piece.In addition to the professional-grade plastic case in which the set is sold, the bit sizes are aptly varied – 1/6-inch to ½-inch.
The holes you drill remain clean, because of the start-on-contact design that has gone into this collection. An added advantage is the complete lack of spin shanks. When you observe the larger bits, you will find three flats on the shank. This ensures very little slippage in the chuck. Handling is a charm, and the bits easily slip in and out of their box slots without undue hassle.
- 1/6-inch to ½-inch bit sizes.
- 21-piece professional boxed set.
- Tips are coated in titanium.
- Compatible with Jacobs chucks.
- Material compatibility:lightweight steel, plastic, drywall, wood, and aluminum.
- No spin shanks.
- Reduced breakage probability.
- Start-on-contact design feature ensures clean drills.
- Very little chuck slippage – three flats on the shank for the larger bits.
- Diverse size range promotes versatility in most drilling operations.
- Improved durability.
- Not as effective as premium drill bits.
- Not ideal for use with steel.
- They dull too soon when applied to metal.
Sold in a neat set, each drill bit in this 18-piece collection comes equipped with a no-skating tip design that gets rid of the need for a center punch and cuts down on bit walking, altogether ensuring more precise bit starts. They come in jobber lengths with 3/8-inch reduced shanks.
Promoting less vibrational retorts and even less chatter, the double flute design introduces outstanding balance to each bit tip. Compared to High-Speed Steel (HSS) bits, these titanium-coated marvels ensure long life.
- 3/8-inch reduced shanks.
- Made up of 18 drill bit pieces in a neat box.
- No-skate tip design.
- Great for use in aluminum drilling.
- Versatile use; good for DIY-ers.
- Material compatibilities: plastic, soft wood, soft metal.
- Each bit is compatible with a 3/8-inch drill chuck, and can fit ideally in the same.
- Lasts up to 1 year before requiring any serious maintenance.
- Reduced chatter.
- Very less vibration output during drilling operations.
- No need for center punch.
- Reduced bit walking; professionally endorsed feature.
- No wobbling, stalling, overheating.
- Not good with steel; goes much slower compared to high-speed steel bits.
- Has a tendency to become dull too soon.
- Occasional instances of drill breakage reported.
Points To Ponder while Purchasing a Drill Bit for Aluminum
Your single goal should be VFM (value for money). There are affordable drill bits as well as expensive industrial-grade ones. But if you have a project that needs only a basic type of bit, then you can save so much money buying, say, a Neiko 10194A rather than a Bosch TI18 (to use two examples from our product reviews above).
Drilling involves different holes and sizes, meaning you need to buy a set of bits rather than just one. This may not always be desirable, but we are only trying to be safe – last thing you need is to find yourself missing the one drill bit absolutely required for the task at hand.
This has to be at the high end of the meter, purely because speedy drilling ensures quicker and cleaner cuts. A split-tip design is often ideal in this regard, because it drills on contact and does not bit walk like other types of bits. This reduces chances of your having to redo that hole or end up with inaccurate drill cuts. Split-tips also remove the whole ‘center-punch’ problem when it comes to project-based drilling, meaning you do not need to waste precious time and energy switching between bits in the middle of a job.
This might seem trivial to newbies, but is a crucial design feature on any drill bit.Titanium is the longest-lasting coating we have come across so far, which in turn influences durability and accuracy for drilling tasks. On a similar note, protective cases can help improve drill bit lifespans too but they are not a crucial factor to consider. Plenty of professionals store their bits in custom-made cases or older ones that have served them well over several years.
Much like good clothes, drill bits need to fit the power tool chucks you are going to lock them into. A poor fit can result in horrible twisting, wobbling, and pressure-loss that will obviously ruin your project and, by extension, your drilling experience.The more universally compatible the drill bit is, the better off you will be using it.
5. Tips& Bits
There are only a handful of excellent choices out there in this sub-category, so you do not need to spend hours and hours searching.
- Carbide-tipped – While these can get pricey, they also serve you well by remaining sharper for longer than other drill bits have shown.
- Steel bits–Great with softwoods, these bits have a tendency to dull quickly (especially when used on hardwoods) and could break just as soon. Light usage is recommended.
- Cobalt-tipped–If you know your project is going to experience plenty of heat accumulation (meaning, you are probably working with hard materials) then this heat-dissipater option is your best bet. They are great with stainless-steel and other similar metals.
- High-Speed Steel bits – These are the more popular choice of bits, owing to blades that are harder than the steel version mentioned earlier. They also remain sharper for much longer.
6. Material Compatibility
Last but certainly not least, your precious drill bits need to come ready to handle various materials. While thickness allowances may be different based on the quality and design of your chosen drill bit, you must know what type of materials they can drill at all. Such materials include: PVC plastics, wood, stainless-steel, steel in general, aluminum, copper, and other soft/hard options.
Final Buying Advice:
You might need to sacrifice something somewhere, so do not wait for a set of drill bits that can do anything and everything. As long as it suits (or is compatible with) the task you have in front of you, it really does not matter what type of bit brand or company it is. In fact, compatibility to your specific project requirements automatically ensures value for money.
When you have a drill bit collection that can do the work of fifty bits with just five ideally designed ones, you better say yes, like we did to the CO-Z HSS Cobalt Multiple Hole Step Drill Bit Set. Aside from their revolutionary design, these drill bits are made after the classic but ever-reliable HSS construction. Versatility is the name of their game, with the only major downside being that they are compatible only with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch chuck sizes; not too great a loss, if you ask us. Our personal recommendation therefore stands with number-1 on our reviews list.