There are some interesting claims about drilling speed running around—2 times faster, 4 times faster, 8 times faster! But who makes the fastest titanium drill bit for metal drilling? We tested bits from 5 different manufacturers to see who actually drills the fastest in metal.
Titanium bits are a great middle-ground between black oxide bits that dull quickly and expensive cobalt bits. Titanium is a coating that goes over a steel base. While titanium nitride, or “TIN”, is a popular coating, small percentages of other elements can be added to help reduce friction and heat build-up or hold a sharp edge longer. Because it’s a coating rather than a full steel blend running throughout the entire bit, you typically don’t sharpen these the way you do with cobalt.
To find the fastest titanium drill bit, we brought in 3/8“ Craftsman, DeWalt, Kobalt, and Milwaukee Titanium bits. We also added Spyder Tool’s new Mach Blue bits for good measure. We chucked each one up in a drill press set to 850 RPM and used weights to give each one the exact same amount of downforce as they drilled 10 holes into 1/4“ mild steel bar stock.
Testing the Fastest Titanium Bits…by Bit
As we move from one hole to the next, we’re not giving the bit any cooldown time, so we can see if the heat build-up has any effect on the drilling times. We are using a few drops of oil on each hole, though.
Craftsman’s titanium bit features a 1/4“ hex shank that’s compatible with impact drivers and a 135° split point tip. It runs $9.98 for the single bit or $19.98 for a 21-piece set at Amazon.
Kobalt is similar to Craftsman with its impact driver-friendly shank and 135° split point tip. The 3/8“ size runs $9.98 on its own or $29.98 as part of a 21-piece set at Lowe’s.
DeWalt is also impact driver-ready and has a pilot point to help its fastest titanium drill bit get started. You can grab this one for $12.38 or snag a 10-piece set for $29.98 at Amazon.
Milwaukee’s Shockwave titanium bit starts with a 135° split point tip with a quad edge tip and a Red Helix variable flute that improves chip removal. The bit by itself is $12.37 at Acme Tools and a 23-piece set is $29.97.
Spyder is the most unique of the group with its proprietary blue coating that they call “Mach-Blue Armor Coating”. It has a 137° split point tip and an impact driver-friendly shank. It’s also Made in the USA. A 10-piece set that includes the 3/8“ size we tested runs $39.98 at Lowe’s or you can get the single bit for $14.98.
Comparing Our Fastest Titanium Drill Bits Against Cobalt
We prefer drilling metal with cobalt bits, so we also ran this test with one of our best drill bits for metal, the Drill America 3/8“ cobalt bit to add some context. Its fastest hole was 16.32 seconds and it averaged 17.78 seconds. As a brand-new bit, it got progressively faster through the first 6 holes before evening out.
Craftsman started things off for us and had a fast time of 31.62 seconds with an average of 32.82 seconds. As it completed each hole, the bit got incrementally slower before picking up a little speed on the last two holes.
Kobalt’s first hole was 30.85 seconds but was much faster after that. Its fastest hole was 17.40 seconds and it averaged 18.12 seconds without the first test. With the anomaly, its average was 19.39 seconds. There wasn’t much of a trend with this bit as it bounced between 17 and 19 seconds throughout the meat of its test.
DeWalt came out firing on all cylinders with its first hole done in just 8.75 seconds. That was its fastest and it got progressively slower with a final average of 9.49 seconds.
That set the stage for Milwaukee’s Shockwave. However, it wasn’t able to catch DeWalt, posting a top time of 12.86 seconds and an average of 14.96 seconds. Its time generally trended slower through the fastest titanium drill bit test with a couple of faster efforts towards the end.
Would the Spyder Stinger Mach-Blue drill bits overtake DeWalt? It was impressive, but slower by a few seconds. Its first hole was its fastest at 12.03 seconds and it trended slower over the course of the test, finishing with an average of 12.94 seconds.
If Speed Is Your Priority…
The results are pretty clear—if speed is your top priority in metal drilling, DeWalt’s Pilot Point design has an advantage over the others. It’s also worth noting that Spyder and Milwaukee both came in ahead of our cobalt benchmark, making them strong contenders as well.
Which coated bit tops the charts for you? Let us know in the comments below and as always, thanks for watching!