Cobalt Drill Bits: 7 Tips

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Cobalt drill bits were constructed and designed to be able to drill particularly hard exteriors such as cast irons, titanium or treated stainless steels. Cobalt drill bits were made from a solid composition of steel and cobalt. It is made to withstand high speeds and is designed to last long. There are two grades available for cobalt drill bits, these grades mirror the amount of cobalt contained within the high-speed steel drill bit. For example, an M42 grade cobalt drill bit contains 95% high-speed steel and 5% cobalt, if the concentration of cobalt is too high then the cobalt drill bit will become brittle and will not be able to withstand high-speeds. Keep in mind that the harder the drill bit, the more brittle it is. A cobalt drill bit is heat-treated to change its color from steel blue to a shiny gold, this helps distinguish it from other standard drill bits.


 Tip 1 – Use The Correct Drill

Make sure that you are using the correct drill bit for the correct surface. Knowing the exact drill bit to use for a specific project will not only save you some time and money, it will also keep you from getting hurt. For example, cobalt drill bits are used for hard steel or metal, if you are dealing with hard wood then opt for a titanium drill bit. Although the most common drill bits used are standard high-speed drill bits, it doesn’t get the job done as fast and smoothly as it would if you don’t use it for the right surface and you risk getting hurt as standard high-speed drill bits cannot withstand extremely hard surfaces better than a cobalt drill bit.

Tip 2 – Wear Protective Goggles

Wear face shield and gloves when operating any drills. Remember that because of the extreme speed of the bits, debris is highly likely, so it is important that your eyes and your hands are protected. Protective goggles also help prevent shrapnel from the drill from ejecting into your eyes.

Tip 3 – Sharpen Cobalt Drill Bit

Make sure that the cobalt drill bit is sharpened to ensure maximum results. It is better to drill with a sharp bit because it doesn’t take that long to finish, if the drill bit is dull, then obviously it will take longer. With sharpened bits, work is conducted at a faster pace and with more efficiency, ensuring that you receive the product you ordered on time, and without flaws.

Tip 4 – Use Masking Tape

Put a piece of small masking tape around the drill bit matching the depth of the hole you want to drill to ensure that you don’t drill deeper than that. Even though this tip sounds a bit inefficient, it is a great way to make use of items just laying around that can boost productivity of your milling job.

Tip 5 – Don’t Rush

It is always better if you keep a slow and steady pace, because this will lessen the odds of having an accident or making an escape. When rushing, not only will an accident be more likely to occur, but with work that you take your time on, the drilling points will look cleaner and the product will look more professionally done.

Tip 6 – Never Overheat

Make sure that the drill doesn’t overheat; over-heating may cause the drill to stop working, which will only prolong your project unnecessarily. An overheating drill bit can either break, or cause damage to the medium in which you are drilling. So rather than restarting a project from a melted drill point, take it slow and make sure your tools stay cool.

Tip 7 – Keep it Clean

Pull the bit out often and clear it of dust, keeping your drill dust-free will also keep it from over-heating. Keeping your work station clear of metal chips and dust can ensure a productive work environment that has less chance of accidents occurring. A clean workplace is a happy workplace!

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