How Can You Tell If a Drill Bit Is for Metal?
Drill bits are commonly used in a wide range of industries, from metalworking to woodworking, construction, and DIY projects. Choosing the right drill bit for the job is essential to achieve accurate and efficient results. If you're working with metal, you need a drill bit that can handle the hardness and density of the material without breaking or dulling prematurely.
Here are some ways to tell if a drill bit is for metal:
Look at the Material
The first and most obvious way to tell if a drill bit is for metal is to look at the material it's made of. Drill bits for metal are typically made of high-speed steel (HSS), cobalt, or carbide. HSS drill bits are the most common and affordable option for drilling into soft and mild metals like aluminum, brass, and copper. Cobalt drill bits are more expensive but offer better durability and performance when drilling into harder metals like stainless steel, cast iron, and titanium. Carbide drill bits are even more durable and suitable for drilling into the toughest metals like hardened steel and alloys.
Check the Point Angle
The point angle of a drill bit refers to the angle between the two cutting edges at the tip of the bit. The point angle can vary depending on the material the bit is designed to drill into. For metal, the point angle is usually between 118 and 135 degrees. This angle is sharper than that of drill bits for wood or plastic, which typically have a point angle of 90 degrees. The sharper angle allows the drill bit to cut through the dense and hard metal more easily and efficiently.
Look for a Split Point
A split point is a type of tip design that helps to reduce walking or wandering of the drill bit as it starts to cut into the metal. The split point creates a self-centering effect, allowing the bit to stay on course and drill straighter holes. This feature is particularly useful when drilling into harder metals that are more prone to wandering. Split point drill bits are commonly used in metalworking and are often labeled as such.
Check the Flute Design
The flute design of a drill bit refers to the spiral grooves that run along the length of the bit. The flute design can vary depending on the material the bit is designed to drill into. For metal, the flute design is usually straight or at a shallow angle, which helps to evacuate the chips and debris from the hole more efficiently. The shallow angle reduces the amount of friction and heat generated during drilling, which can help to prolong the life of the bit.