Are Black Oxide Drill Bits Good for Metal?

Black oxide drill bits are highly recommended for soft metals such as aluminum, steel, copper, brass, low carbon steel, and hardwood such as maple, oak, beech, birch, etc. The black oxide coating provides heat resistance and lubricity to the tool and it is a highly corrosion-resistant coating.

Black oxide is a coating that we can apply on the regular drill bit. It can add special characteristics to the drill bit. So let’s see it is good to use the black oxide drill bit for metal.

What Are Black Oxide Drill Bits Used for?

Black oxide drill bits can be used for drilling soft metals such as aluminum, steel, copper, and brass with lower carbon steel.

Black oxide is a thin coated layer around the HSS drill bits. Hence it can be used to drill metals with lower friction, and lower thermal resistance, and the layer can increase the durability of the drill bit.

Black oxide drill bits can be used to drill the below materials,

  • Soft metals
  • Copper
  • Wood,
  • Brass
  • Nylon,
  • PVC
  • Maple
  • Hardwood
  • MDF
  • Polycarbonate
  • ABS
  • Nylon

Black oxide bits have longer 50% durability than the standard HSS bits.

What is a Black Oxide Drill Bit?

High-speed steel (HSS) drill bits are coated with black oxide to maintain the drill bit’s above characteristics. When we search more, there are three types of black oxides. According to the application method on the surface, it has been named.

Hot Black Oxide – Convert the surface into magnetite  (Fe3O4) using sodium hydroxidenitrates, and nitrites at 141 °C (286 °F).

Mid-Temperature Black Oxide – Using low temperatures than hot black oxide, surface metal is converted to magnetite (Fe3O4).

Cold Black Oxide – This is an oxide conversion coating. It can be done at 20–30 °C (68–86 °F). This is less abrasion resistance. This is less performance than hot or mid-temperature black oxide.

In order to add more properties to the drill bits, it has been subjected to many treatments.

The black is the nitride drill bit. It is a chemical method used to improve the tool by placing the finished tool in a mixture of ammonia and water vapor after 550 to 560 Celsius insulation treatment. Most of the black drills currently on the market are the only black in color. The quality of black varies according to the brand.

Some drills are made of very poor carbon steel so it leads to anneal and rust easily. So it is important to do a blackening treatment. 

Is Black Oxide Drill Bits Stronger Than Titanium?

Black oxide drill bits are not stronger than titanium drill bits. Black oxide and titanium are both coatings for the drill bits. But the stronger coating is the titanium drill bit.

When talking about black oxide, So it is not as hard as titanium. Black oxide drill bits are cheap. Hence it is good for newbies and light works. It’s for a handy amateur person as it can use as general-purpose bits.

Which Drill Bit is Good for Metal?

➤ When you drill into metal, you should have a hard and tough drill bit rather than metal strength. HSS drill bits and cobalt drill bits are the most used hard materials for the drill bits. Among them cobalt is harder than HSS. In order to improve the characteristics of these bits, some finishing coatings have been applied to the drill bit.

➤ These coatings are black oxide, TiN, TiAlN, and TiCN coating. These coatings provide extra physical characteristics and improvements.

➤ You can use HSS, black oxide, cobalt steel, and titanium can use to drill metal surfaces.

➤ If you want to drill small holes in the metal surface, black oxide is enough as it is cheap but if you work engage much energy on metal it’s better to go with a titanium drill or a cobalt drill.

➤ Titanium drill bits are high-speed steel drills with (HSS) as there’s a titanium oxide coating. They are harder and corrosion-resistant than black oxide drills. They last much more than regular HSS drill bits and they are good for cutting through any metal, including metal sheeting.

➤ All the titanium drill bits are harder than cobalt. They can’t be sharpened because they are coated.

➤ Cobalt drill bits are made out of cobalt steel and can be sharpened. If they dissipate heat quickly and high resistance to abrasions, they are ideal for drilling through stainless steel, cast iron, metal, and titanium other than black oxide drills and Titanium drills. 

Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.