Are you familiar with the numerous drill bits available in the market, some of which come with the ‘cobalt’ option? If you’ve ever wondered what cobalt is and what advantages cobalt drill bits offer, this detailed buyer’s guide is here to provide you with all the information you need to make an educated decision.
What is cobalt?
Cobalt, an extraordinary transition element, boasts extraordinary properties that distinguish it from its metallic counterparts. Together with iron and nickel, cobalt stands out as one of the three ferromagnetic transition elements, showcasing its unique magnetism even at the highest temperatures imaginable.
Therefore, with a melting point of 1495°C and a boiling point of 2927°C, cobalt exhibits exceptional thermal stability. This characteristic enables cobalt drill bits to withstand extreme heat without compromising their integrity. To make it clearer, let us compare it with the most common drill bit material, high-speed steel, which has a melting point ranging from 1370°C to 1425°C.
What do cobalt drill bits bring to your work?
Cobalt drill bits consist of steel or other alloys blended with a small percentage of cobalt ranging from 5% to 7%, offer exceptional versatility and durability for various industrial applications.
- Unyielding Strength: The Cobalt Advantage
When it comes to strength, cobalt steel drill bits leave regular steel counterparts in the dust. Unlike their cobalt-infused counterparts, regular steel drill bits lack the alloying element that makes cobalt bits stand out. Cobalt, known for its exceptional hardness, empowers these drill bits to conquer even the toughest materials with ease. Whether you’re dealing with hardened steel or abrasive surfaces, cobalt drill bits are up to the task, thanks to their extraordinary strength.
- Unleashing Longevity: Endurance for the Long Haul
Picture this: you purchase a brand new set of drill bits, only to have them break prematurely during a drilling operation. It’s frustrating and a waste of resources. Cobalt drill bits address this issue with their remarkable longevity. These drill bits are designed to endure the test of time, delivering a reliable drilling experience that won’t let you down. Even when drilling at low-torque settings, accidents can happen, leading to a broken drill bit. However, cobalt drill bits, with their superior hardness and strength, resist breakage and ensure they stand the test of time.
- Conquering Heat: The Fireproof Solution
Drilling generates heat, and heat can be detrimental to the longevity of drill bits made from conventional materials. Cobalt drill bits can withstand the searing temperatures generated by friction during drilling. Unlike their counterparts, they remain unfazed by the scorching heat, ensuring they maintain their shape and integrity, even under the most demanding conditions.
- Harnessing Torque: Tackling the Toughest Challenges
When it comes to high-torque applications, cobalt drill bits rise to the occasion. Torque and friction go hand in hand, and the greater the torque, the more friction is generated during drilling. This is where cobalt drill bits shine. With their exceptional strength and heat-resistant properties, they can handle high-torque applications with ease. No matter the intensity of the drilling task at hand, cobalt drill bits deliver the performance you need to tackle even the toughest challenges.
Factors to Consider When Buying Cobalt Drill Bits
- Cobalt Percentage
There are typically two types of hss drill bits contain cobalt. M35 and M42, which all have cobalt properties in their materials. M35 has a cobalt content of 5%, and M42 has a cobalt content of 8%.
- Drill Bit Coating
a. Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating: Apart from the higher price, cobalt drills have a downside related to their geometry and web design. They have a tendency to clog more easily with chips, requiring frequent retraction. However, titanium coatings like titanium nitrate (TiN) offer improved chip evacuation by providing lubricity, as well as better geometry suitable for most work materials. If you have a significant number of holes to drill, solid carbide drills available today are the optimal choice. They offer a longer lifespan, higher production rates, and lower cost per hole. (link)
b. Cobalt Oxide Coating: Cobalt oxide coating provides additional heat resistance and lubrication, making it suitable for applications involving harder metals. It helps reduce heat-related damage to the drill bits and enhances their overall durability.
c. Black Oxide Coating: Black oxide coating offers improved corrosion resistance and helps reduce friction during drilling. It is a cost-effective option for general-purpose drilling tasks and provides adequate protection against rust.
There are several combinations between cobalt percentage and coating materials above. For example, if you are handling hardened hard metal such as high-carbon steel, titanium alloys and nickel alloys, M42 Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating drill bits is the answer. However, the average price is between $10 to $50 per piece. If you have a less upgraded requirement, like working on stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum alloy and any other soft metals, M35 Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating drill bits can be your option. On average, you can expect to find M35 Titanium Nitride (TiN) Coating drill bits priced between $20 to $30 per piece.
Cobalt Drill Bit Buying Guide
There are three main drilling purposes: clearance hole, pilot hole and countersink hole.
- Cobalt Drill bits for clearance hole
Step drill bits have a stepped profile with multiple levels or stages, each with a different diameter. This design allows the drill bit to gradually increase the hole size in multiple steps.
When four spiral flute step combines with cobalt, toolant aims at heavy duty, drilling harder material, which the most drill bits can not handle. The spiral flutes which coupled with the step design facilitate efficient chip evacuation from the hole. This prevents the accumulation of chips and debris, ensuring a smooth drilling operation and reducing the risk of overheating or bit damage. Efficient chip evacuation also contributes to cleaner and more accurate clearance holes.
- Cobalt Drill bits for pilot hole
Twist drill bit is the most common type of drill bits for pilot hole as its cylindrical shape with a pointed tip and spiral flutes that help remove chips during drilling.
toolant offers a range of high-performance M35 twist drill bits designed to excel in hardened metals. Through extensive testing on various materials, we have determined that our M35 High Speed Steel Metal Drill Bits Jobber Length for Hardened Metal is the optimal choice for creating pilot holes in metal. These drill bits feature a 135° split point, ensuring a steady and efficient drilling speed. The Jobber Length design is well-suited for cordless drills, making them ideal for on-site drilling applications. With our M35 twist drill bits, you can experience drilling speeds up to 30% faster compared to high-speed steel bits. This remarkable speed allows for increased productivity and time-saving.Moreover, it provides revolutionary accuracy in terms of centering. This eliminates the need for extensive turning or grinding, saving you valuable time and effort.
- Cobalt Drill bits for countersink hole
Countersink drill bits have a tapered shape with a wider cutting section at the tip. This design allows them to create a conical recess around the drilled hole, providing a space for the screw or fastener head to sit flush or below the surface of the material.
To achieve the best countersink hole drilling, what toolant Cobalt Countersink Bit with TiAlN Coating can help you with is outstanding material and shank design. With 82° point angle and 3/8” round shank, it facilitate smooth and efficient material removal during the countersinking process. The sharp cutting edges ensure clean and precise countersink holes, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the finished workpiece.