07 Reasons – Are Cobalt Drill Bits Better than Titanium?

Cobalt drill bits and titanium drill bits are widely used in metalworking and woodworking. Due to their hardness, both can be used in metal and wood easily when you are working; which drill bit is good for your task?

Are Cobalt Drill Bits Better than Titanium?

Cobalt drill bits are better than titanium drill bits because cobalt drill bits have a longer service life, more heat resistance, high wear resistance, and long-lasting cutting edges. Hence cobalt drill bits are more expensive than titanium drill bits. But it is really worth the price.

Before you invest in both, you had better check their specifications and comparison. This guide will help you to choose the right drill bit among cobalt and titanium drill bits.

Cobalt vs. Titanium Drill Bit Comparison

When we compare cobalt vs. titanium drill bits, both are used to drill harder materials. Titanium is mostly used as a coating of the drill bits, and cobalt is used as a base material of the drill bit. When titanium is coated on the drill bit, its service life, and heat resistance will improve, and friction will be reduced. More than that you can compare the below characteristics

Cobalt Drill BitsTitanium Drill Bits
Cobalt drill bits are created with alloy steel containing 5% to 8% cobalt.  Created with high-speed steel with TiN coating. 
They are more expensive than titanium drill bits.  Less expensive.
Offer longer life.  Less durability.
More resistant to heat.Less resistant to heat compared to titanium drill bits.   
Excellent Wear Resistance than titanium drill bits.  Very good Wear Resistance than cobalt drill bits. 
Perfect for drilling hard alloy steel, weld seams, and various hardened steel.  Good for drilling wood, aluminum, copper, brass, mild steel, cast iron, etc.
Long-lasting sharp cutting edges.  Drill bits get blunt faster
Drill bits get blunt faster.Difficult to sharpen and reuse due to the coating.
Cobalt vs Titanium Drill Bits Comparison Table

Cobalt Drill Bits Are Harder Than Titanium Drill Bits

Cobalt and Titanium drill bits
Cobalt and Titanium Drill Bits

Both cobalt and titanium drill bits are formulated with high-speed steel alloy steel. The most significant difference between these bits is that titanium drill bits are high-speed steel bits coated with titanium nitride (TiN), while cobalt drill bits contain 5 or 8 cobalt percentages.

Cobalt drill bits are harder enough to withstand heat than titanium drill bits and can drill through the most rigid materials, maintaining the sharpness of the cutting edges. Even though cobalt drill bits are harder than titanium drill bits, they are more likely to break if they fall or if you fail to take care of them properly.

Cobalt Drill Bits Can Drill Harder Metals

There is no doubt that cobalt drill bits are incredibly solid. They perform at elevated speeds than standard HSS drill bits. Consequently, cobalt drill bits are ideal for drilling through hardened materials, even though you can use them on softer materials as well.

Cobalt drill bits assist in perfectly cutting through tough materials such as cast iron, titanium, stainless steel, bronze and weld seams, etc.

Drilling through tough metals takes considerably longer than on soft materials. Heat is produced due to friction when drilling for a longer time, particularly on harder materials. Cobalt drill bits’ ability to withstand without coolants or cutting fluid makes them the perfect drill bit for harder metals. Unlike titanium drill bits, the cutting-edge of these drill bits are more durable, making them best to use on tougher metals.

Cobalt Drill Bits Are Long Lasting

Approximately cobalt drill bits can drill through 1,000 – 2,000 holes in materials like cast iron, bronze, brass, stainless steel, and alloy steel. They are highly resilient at higher speeds and withstand higher temperatures than the titanium drill bits. The coating of titanium drill bits wears off, gradually changing mechanical and chemical compositions under high temperatures. 

Such things will not occur when you use cobalt drill bits which are more durable than titanium drill bits. Cobalt drill bits are a mixture and, therefore, do not change composition as they are being used. For this reason, Cobalt drill bits are more durable than titanium drill bits.  

Cobalt Drill Bits Are High Performance

Cobalt drill bits are high-speed steel drills that contain cobalt. The included cobalt percentage greatly enhances the drill’s high-temperature resistance, making the drill a bit more wear-resistant. The melting point of cobalt is 1495°C, whereas the boiling point is 2927°C. The combination of alloy and cobalt makes cobalt drill bits ideal for high temperatures.

One of the other strengths of cobalt drill bits is they perform well on tough “challenging-to-cut-through” steels. A Titanium bit performs well until the coating wears off.

Once the coating is gone, it becomes a regular high-speed steel tool. Titanium drill bits are unsuitable for hard metals as they can harm the titanium coating. Since cobalt is not a coating but a part of the core formulation of the bit, there is no need to worry about a coating, and it performs best under high heat and on more challenging materials.

Titanium Drill Bits Are Coated

The coating is one of the key differences between cobalt and titanium drill bits. Titanium drill bits are regular high-speed steel tools coated with titanium nitride, and Cobalt bits do not have a coating. TiN boosts the hardness of the bit surface and works as a thermal obstacle lessening friction. 

This secures the drill bit a durable lifespan, proper production rates, and corrosion resistance. Even though titanium drill bits are harder than cobalt, the coating makes it hard to sharpen the drill bit, the main disadvantage cause due to the coating.

Titanium Drill Bits are Difficult to Sharpen

A prominent disadvantage of titanium bits is that it is difficult to sharpen them. Unlike cobalt drill bits, Titanium bits are coated with titanium. Therefore, sharpening can damage the coating, lowering its heat resistance. 

However, even without sharpening, the coating will wear off with time, and you can still use it after sharpening with the help of coolants.

You do not have to face any difficulty sharpening cobalt drill bits as they do not have a coating. Sharpening will maintain the cutting effectiveness of the tool.

Cobalt Drill Bits Are More Expensive Than Titanium Drill Bits

Cobalt drill bits are pricier than titanium drill bits. But the money is worth it, as cobalt drill bits are more durable and resistant to heat than titanium drill bits. These drill bits come in a tougher form and finely drill through hard materials.

Titanium drill bits are more inexpensive than cobalt bits. The coating wears off over time. You will have to replace them often, which makes you spend money in the long run. Cobalt drill bits are much more advantageous as discussed in the above topics and worth the money you spend on them.

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.