The 6 Best Drill Bits for Aluminum – Reviews 2018
Different materials are used in the manufacture of drill bits according to their intended use. As you might imagine, it is no use trying to drill through a lintel with the same drill bit that has been made for drilling plywood. It would simply snap in seconds.
You could drill into wood with a masonry drill-bit, but this is not ideal. The hole will be rough, whereas if you use a bit made for wood, it will gently shave its way through smoothly. Drill bits for drilling through hard surfaces such as stone and metal will need to be sturdy and might typically be titanium coated. In this article we are going to explore the best drill bits for aluminum.
Table Of Contents
- 6 Best Drill Bits For Aluminum 2018 Reviews
- 1. Tooluxe 10171L 13-Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel
- 2. CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit Set with Aluminum Case
- 3. Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit, High Speed Steel
- 4. Neiko 10184A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel
- 5. DEWALT DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set
- 6. Bosch TI18 18-Piece Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set with Plastic Case
- How To Drill Aluminum
- How To Pick The Best Drill Bit For Aluminum
- Final Note
6 Best Drill Bits For Aluminum 2018 Reviews
1. Tooluxe 10171L 13-Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel
The first product in our review is made from high speed steel with Titanium coating and contains 13 pieces. The bits that come in this set range from 1/16 all the way up to 1/4 inch bits.
A 135 degree split point tip improves cutting speed and helps self-centering. A special twist design clears out chips and particles. The split point angle is the angle at the tip of the bit.
Typically for general purpose drilling, it is 118 degrees. 135 is much better when drilling aluminum and other metals. It is more self-centering and you will find it easier to prevent the drill from walking.
2. CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit Set with Aluminum Case
Cobalt high speed steel with Titanium coating is what these drill bits are made from with the set containing 5 well-made pieces.
These bits are designed with your sanity in mind. They have specifically been made so that they eliminate any walking of the piece while you are drilling. As well as adding stability it will make your job a lot quicker and easier.
The stepped design enables you to keep a five-piece drill set instead of 50 which is much easier to store and to control, especially as they come in a specially designed case. The two-fluted design facilitates quicker and smoother cutting. It is one of the best drill bit for metal.
3. Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit, High Speed Steel
Like the previous review, this drill bit is also made with high speed steel with a Titanium coating for durability and long life.
Single drill bit to cover 10 step sizes between 1/4"and 1-3/8". It might not be as versatile as the multi-piece drill kits, but a single drill bit is easier to store.
The engraved size markings also make it easy to see the size you wish to drill.
Like the CO-Z, the Neiko sports a two-fluted design for quicker and smoother cutting. The flutes are those grooves on a drill bit that push away the chip debris when you are drilling. According to my expert neighbor this is the best drill bits for wood and metal.
4. Neiko 10184A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel
High Speed steel with Titanium coating is again what makes a hard wearing consistent product.
It is one single drill bit to cover 9 step sizes between 1/4" and 3/4".
The Neiko has the same 135 degree split point tip that the Tooluxe offers for better cutting speed and self-centering.
As explained when describing the Touluxe, a 135 degree split point is much more suitable for drilling aluminum (and other metals), than the more usual 118 degree point. Bits such as these tend to stay centred on the point being drilled instead of walking away or drifting off the point. According to my personal experience this is the best drill bit for hardened steel.
5. DEWALT DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set
Wanting to be slightly different than previous product we have looked at, this set from Dewalt is made from steel with titanium at the pilot point.
There are 21 pieces covering sizes from 1/16-inch to 1/2-inch, that is a good selection covering most options that one is likely to face.
The pure Titanium pilot point starts on contact, thereby making cleaner holes. This focus on the pilot point keeps the bit centered and helps avoiding walking.
A tapered web design reduces breakage. When drilling through any metal there is a danger of breaking the bit and anything that reduces that danger is helpful.
6. Bosch TI18 18-Piece Titanium Twist Drill Bit Set with Plastic Case
This product offering from Bosch consists of super-hard Titanium coating over High Speed Steel for added longevity.
It is made up of 18 separate pieces, with a cutting diameter ranging from 0.0625 inches to 0.5 inches while a balanced double flute cuts down vibrations.
The manufacturers claim that it drills particularly accurate holes on listed thin materials (including aluminum) of up to an eighth of an inch.
This is at the top of the price range for the different products we have looked at in this review. This accuracy may be the way Bosch justifies the high price. Bosch generally has an excellent reputation for quality. This might be the world's best drill bits for aluminum.
How To Drill Aluminum
If you are used to drilling into wood or into walls you might be inclined to drill straight onto the surface on which you will work. However, with aluminum, or indeed any metal, there is a danger that too much heat will be generated and thereby burn out the drill bit.
That is why most people apply some kind of coolant to the metal. It can be simply used motor oil, the well-known WD40 (which is kerosene based) or any oil that you might have at hand. Some people claim that if you are careful, you don’t need to apply any coolant at all.
However, they are the exception rather than the rule. In some cases, it might be sufficient to just wipe the drill bit with an oily rag rather than spill oil on to the actual aluminum.
When drilling aluminum, you also need to be careful that the chippings don’t end-up sticking to the drill bit. Stop every so often and wipe down the drill bit. A good flute design will also help to remove the chippings as you go along. This is why several bit manufacturers highlight their double-flute design.
How To Pick The Best Drill Bit For Aluminum
It Must Be Strong Enough
The most important point to bear in mind in choosing your new aluminum drill bits, is to make sure that it is strong enough for the job. The average steel drill bit used for drilling through wood or even through masonry is just not strong enough. You will notice that all the drill bits we have reviewed contain Titanium in some way or other. Even coating steel with titanium makes the bit strong enough to use on aluminum.
Ideally the part below the titanium coating will be stronger than plain steel. Some manufacturers use an alloy of steel with Cobalt. This makes for great toughness. The COZ 5-piece HSS Cobalt bit that we looked at earlier is a case in point.
What Is The Angle Of The Split Point?
That is perhaps the next question to ask yourself. Typically, a bit’s tip, or “split point” will be angled at 118 degrees. However, to work on metals such as aluminum, it is better to opt for one that has a 135 degree angle as does the Tooluxe 10171L or the Neiko 10184A. Such bits hold their position more easily. They suffer less from “walking” which is what DIY experts call the action of moving away from the point that is being drilled. This 135 angle makes cutting of metal easier.
How many separate pieces should you buy in your drill bit kit?
You can buy single drill bits, so why go to the bother of buying multi -piece kits. Some of these have 5 pieces, others 13 pieces, others 18 pieces, others 21 pieces. The single drill bits usually cater for a number of sizes. They do this by a kind of stepping arrangement, a bit like a pyramid. The smallest size at the top, the largest at the bottom.
A single drill bit is easier to store and to organize. If your use is occasional and not very varied, such bits might adequately cover your needs. In that case though, you need to reflect carefully on the range of sizes you are likely to have to drill.
Typically, one bit (as in the Neiko 10184A) might cover sizes from ¼ inch to ¾ inch in nine incremental steps. The Neiko though will give you ten steps ranging from ¼ inch to 1 and 3/8 inch. If you go for a single bit think of the sizes that you will need to cover and bear in mind that it is better to err on the larger rather than smaller size for your needs.
At the other end of the scale you could opt for a kit containing no less than 21 different bits. The Dewalt DW1361 is a case in point and covers sizes from 1/16 of an inch to ½ of an inch. The Dewalt, incidentally, has a nice feature of a Titanium pilot point which is said to make cleaner holes because of the way it starts on contact.
You could also go for a compromise situation of more than one piece but not a vast array to have to manage and look after. The CO-Z 5pcs is a good example. The kit comes with 5 pieces, each stepped incrementally so that in total you are covered for sizes ranging from 1 and 3/16 of an inch to 7/8 of an inch. This item has the advantage of containing Cobalt in its high speed steel alloy. This makes it very strong indeed.
The best drill bits for aluminum will very much depend on your requirements. Will you need to drill aluminum and other metals every once in a while, or do you need to do so on a daily basis? Will you need to drill a few holes of specific sizes or will you need to be able to handle lots of different sizes? How accurate do you have to be? Whatever your need, we hope that the above article will help you make the right choice in choosing the drill bit that is best for you.