Which is the Best Drill Bit Material?

Drill bit material is one of the many factors you will need to consider when choosing your bits. There are numerous types of bits made of materials that are designed for specific types of drilling. Each type has its own pros and cons. To help you get a better idea of which is the best option for your project, we’ve put together a guide to drill bit material.

Choosing the Best Drill Bit Material

Some of the most common types of drill bit material include the following:

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel bits are best suited to wood and certain plastic. They need to be sharpened frequently to ensure that they last. 

High-Speed Steel (HSS)

These are easily the most effective bits available at the moment. HSS is a type of carbon steel. It has the ability to handle very high temperatures and it is resistant to wear and tear, thanks to its hardness. This type of bit can be used for most wood and metal drilling, at high or regular temperatures. Coatings can be applied to lubricate the bit and reduce friction during drilling.

Titanium Coated

Titanium coated bits will last a long time. This coating has a high resistance to corrosion, a high fatigue limit, a high heat limit, and a long life span. It is lightweight, yet tough enough to drill through just about every material from steel and iron to wood, plastic and other materials. It has a fast RPM and a short cycle time. Common titanium coatings include titanium nitride, titanium aluminium nitride and titanium carbon nitride. Titanium aluminium nitride and titanium carbon nitride ensure a longer lifespan than titanium nitride. The one downside to this coating is that bits cannot be sharpened without wearing the coating material.


This type of bit is typically used for materials that HSS bits cannot drill through, including stainless steel and other more challenging materials. This type of bit can withstand high temperatures and still retain hardness. On the flip side, cobalt content makes the bit brittle, which can shorten its lifespan if used incorrectly.


For non-ferrous heavy metals, fibreglass and reinforced plastic, carbide-tipped bits can be a good choice. These bits are very hard, with good heat dissipation and the ability to hold an edge longer than other bits. With that said, these bits are also brittle. They may not last very long and may break if not used properly.


One of the hardest materials for drill bits is polycrystalline diamond (PCD). This type of bit can be used on very tough materials, including ceramic. It grinds material at a micro-level. Although they are pricier than tungsten carbide bits, they have a much longer lifespan. This type of bit is not ideal for ferrous materials and will not be good for drilling into hot steel.

Ruwag offers a wide selection of bits for every project. If you’re looking for more help on choosing the right drill bit material, get in touch and we’ll help you get started.

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