What's the difference between HSS and cobalt drill bits?

What's the difference between HSS and cobalt drill bits?

When drilling into any material, it’s important to use the correct type of drill bit. There are many types of drill bit available, which can make it confusing when you’re deciding which bit you need.

There are a number of the differences between high-speed drill bits and cobalt drill bits:


HSS drill bits work well in soft metals and wood, whereas cobalt drill bits work well in hardened metals, cast iron, and chrome steel.

Resistance to heat

Cobalt drill bits perform well at higher temperatures than HSS drill bits, which have a lower resistance to heat. Because cobalt bits can resist heat for extended periods of time, they don’t need to be cooled and cutting fluid doesn’t need to be used. 


Cobalt drill bits are incredibly strong. A cobalt drill bit can drill as many as thousands of holes on stainless steel, alloy steel, aluminium alloys, carbon steel, cast iron, structural steel, brass, and bronze. With the proper maintenance, a cobalt drill bit will outlast a HSS drill bit. HSS drill bits contain steel as well as other elements such as chromium and vanadium, whereas cobalt drill bits contain an extra 5-8% cobalt in addition to these metals.

Drilling any type of hole requires the use of the appropriate drill bits and adaptors, rather than just a single bit. UK Tool Supply has all the drill bits you'll need to get the job done. 

Get in touch with our team if you’ve got any questions about which drill bit you need!

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