Black Oxide Drill Bits VS Titanium VS Cobalt – Ultimate Comparison

Drill bits are available in several materials. However, the most recognized and popular ones are the black oxide, cobalt, and titanium ones. Yet, picking the right drill bit is not an easy task. For a beginner, several complications arise which stops them from making an immediate purchase. For example, how to properly maintain the drill bits? Which drill bit to consider for working? The only thing that’s stopping you is the lack of knowledge.

To help you out, in this article, we will thoroughly educate you about these drill bits by properly comparing them. Each of the drill bits has its specific purpose and utilization in the field. So, don’t frustrate your mind with stereotypes.

Now, without wasting any more time, let’s get into the topic.

Black Oxide Drill Bits VS Titanium VS Cobalt
Black Oxide Drill Bits VS Titanium VS Cobalt

Black Oxide Drill Bits:

Black oxide drill bits are also known as HSS bits. These drills are heated until they reach a temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temp, the bits create a black oxide finish. Not only do the bits look much better yet also the black oxide drill bits become corrosion-resistant. After the process, the bit generates less friction during drilling, and eventually, the bit works at a higher rate.


Some of the significant features of black oxide drill bits are as follows:

  1. A rust-resistant material is produced after the heating procedure, enhancing the drill bit’s overall performance and lifespan.
  2. The black oxide drill bits produce less friction and eventually work faster than a regular bit.
  3. In case the drill bit tip gets damaged or dis-oriented. Then, you can effortlessly reshape it into its original position.
  4. Black oxide drill bits are budget-friendly and don’t cost a hefty sum.
  5. Black oxide drill bits are effortless to work with and can be utilized for multiple purposes.
  6. With a black oxide drill bit, you can quickly drill the following material;


  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Composite Materials
  • Aluminum
  • Nylon
  • Brass
  • ABS
  • Oak
  • PVC
  • Maple
  • Pine
  • MDF

What are black oxide drill bits used for?

Unlike the traditional HSS bits, black oxide drill bits last 50% longer. These bits are mainly used to drill through copper, aluminum, hardwood, softwood, and fiberglass. Also, these bits produce less friction and work at a higher speed.



Titanium Drill Bits:

Before we discuss it, let us tell you titanium drill bits are not made of titanium. These bits are generally HSS and are coated with Titanium Nitride (TiN). The existence of this coating aids the titanium drill bit in several ways. It enhances the bit’s lifespan, makes them corrosion-resistant, and the drill works faster than usual. Moreover, the titanium drill bit easily drills through solid materials.


  • Just like the black oxide drill bits, these bits are also corrosion-resistant. In addition, the TiN coating on titanium drill bits makes them immune to rust and corrosion.
  • Also, the titanium drill bits pass through objects quickly without losing control. The titanium coating is the main reason behind this.
  • Unlike the typical bits, the titanium drill bit can survive a longer life span.
  • You cannot resharpen the titanium drill bits due to the coating.
  • These bits are a bit more expensive than the black oxide ones; however, they still don’t cost that much money.
  • Titanium steel bits can easily cut through metal surfaces. However, these bits cannot be resharpened, due to that these bits are mainly utilized for drilling;
  • Hardwood
  • Softwood
  • PVC
  • Fibreglass
  • Steel


What are Titanium drill bits used for?

Titanium drill bits are used to drill iron, steel, hardwood, softwood, PVC, and other materials. While working, these drills don’t lose grip and work at a higher rate than the standard drill machines.


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Cobalt Drill Bits:

The cobalt drill bits formulation matches remarkably within the titanium bits. Cobalt is only utilized 5% to 8%. The other significant material used is the alloy of high-speed steel. For drilling through solid materials, cobalt drill bits are the best ones to go with. The bits don’t lose grip and firmly pass through the material. Also, you can easily resharpen the drill bits. The only drawback of the cobalt drill bits is that these are the most expensive ones available in the market.


  • Just like the other two drill bits, the cobalt drill bits are also coated. Hence these bits stay protected from corrosion and rust.
  • Unlike the other ones, cobalt drill bits are specially manufactured for speed drilling.
  • Also, the durability level of cobalt steel bits is much higher than the regular ones. This is because the cobalt drill bits can easily penetrate through hard surfaces.
  • In case the tips get damaged due to overworking of the drill bits. You can easily take care of this issue by resharpening the edges.
  • Cobalt drill bits are costly and cost significant revenue. So, make sure you go to the hardware shop with loads of cash.
  • Titanium drill bits can effectively drill through hard surfaces with ease. The primary material that is mainly prepared with cobalt drill bits are;
  • Iron
  • Steel
  • Magnesium
  • Wood

Other general materials are also drillable with the cobalt drill bits.


What are cobalt drill bits used for?

Cobalt drill bits are primarily used to cut through solid materials. However, these drills can easily penetrate through steel, aluminum, iron, and other solid substances due to their high toughness levels. Moreover, you can also reshape the edges in case the tips get disoriented.


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Chart Comparison between Black Oxide Vs. Titanium Vs. Cobalt

Features Black Oxide Titanium Cobalt
Hardness Hard enough Harder than black oxide Hardest
Material drilled Wood, metal, plastic Wood, metal Hard metal
Usable for Woodworkers, amateurs Professionals Professionals and industrial works
Durability 50% more durable than HSS Lasts 3 to 6 times more than HSS Highest durability
Rust resistance Yes Yes Yes
Speed Fast Fast Fast
Re-sharpenable Yes Unfortunately, not. Yes
Price Cheapest Fairly expensive Highly expensive


You can also take assistance from the chart.


How to Choose a Drill Bit?

It’s just a misconception that choosing a drill bit is a complex process. To select a drill bit, the only thing that you need to consider is your need first. You must be buying the drill bit for a specific purpose, whether it’s about drilling holes in wood or steel. If you are looking for a good drill bit set, then a black oxide bit is the best option. You can also re-Sharpe the edges, and it’s pretty easy to manage them.

On the other hand, consider the titanium drill bit set if you are looking for a more durable option. Last but not least, cobalt drill bits are pretty expensive, yet you can smoothly drill through any surface with these bits.


Taking Care of your Drill Bits:

It’s essential to manage the drill bits once you are done using them. Also, with proper care, the set lasts a decade with you. Otherwise, there’s a greater chance of corrosion and rust. Therefore, let the drill get cooled when you are done using it. After that, use a brush to cleanse the drill bit so that no debris and moisture is left on it. In the end, use oil to coat the drill bits. The whole process only takes a few minutes, and it’s pretty straightforward to follow.


Sharpening Your Drill Bits:

With the excessive workload, sometimes the drill bits get dis-oriented and less effective. In this regard sharpening method is considered to give life back to the bit. To sharpen a drill bit, firstly put on Google and ensure all safety prospects. After that, turn on the bench grinder and close the bit to the wheel. Keep the drill bits intact for 4-5 secs and then take a pause. Once you notice the exercise is perfectly shaped. Put the drill bits in cold water so the metal gets cooled thoroughly.



A grinding wheel with the base is perfect for honing a drill bit. But, of course, there are other jigs too, yet those objects make the working process way too complicated. Hence, the critical thing to ensure is that the forward part of the drill. And the point stays in the center and is symmetrical. So, when you horizontally put the drill, the grinding wheel will naturally work on the drill bit.


Frequently Asked Questions:

These are the most asked questions related to the Black Oxide drill bits vs. titanium vs. cobalt comparison.

How to clean black oxide drill bits?

Once done working, let the drill bits cool down. After that, use a brush to cleanse the deposits and dust. After that, use oil that suits your black oxide drill bits. Apply a coat of oil, and that’s it! Your bits will become clean and don’t stick while working.

Are Titanium coated drill bits better?

We can say titanium-coated drill bits are better than oxide ones. These bits are pretty durable and can easily penetrate through solid surfaces. Besides the durability, the only drawback which these bits have is that they cannot be sharpened. But, overall, these bits work great.

What is the most robust drill material?

The most robust drill bit material is Carbide. This is the principal element that is utilized in the making of top-end drill bits. However, these drills are mainly used on an industrial scale.

Is black oxide stronger than titanium?

No, black oxide is not more potent than the titanium drill bits. Although the black oxide ones are pretty good yet they don’t meet the durability standards of titanium. However, besides the strength edge, the black oxide is superior in a resharpening factor. So you can sharpen the edges of drill bits in case of distortion due to excessive usage.

However, if you have to select between Black oxide or titanium drill bits, go with the titanium ones.

Is cobalt stronger than titanium?

Yes, bits that are made up of cobalt are more vital than titanium. You can smoothly drill through any surface in cobalt drill bits, whether it’s steel, iron, or some other hard surface. The drill doesn’t lose friction and even works faster than the standard bits. Plus, you can also resharpen the edges in case of disorientation. So, yes, cobalt is more vital than titanium material. However, cobalt also costs a hefty sum in the market.

What is the hardest drill bit for metal?

Although each drill bit performs well against metal surfaces, occasionally, the edges get damaged, or the base doesn’t stay still. However, in all the categories, cobalt drill bits are the best ones available in the market. These bits can effortlessly work with any surface. And, what’s interesting is that the cobalt material doesn’t get damaged and is coated with anti-rust material. Moreover, with care, you can keep the drill bits in optimal condition.


Final Thoughts:

The comparison between the Black oxide drill bits VS titanium VS cobalt is a hot topic. However, each drill bit works well in a specific scenario. Some can pass through each metal while others can’t. However, if we summarize the whole situation, consider the black oxide drill bit if you are a newbie and save some money. Also, these bits are easy to manage. In contrast to dealing with high-end tasks, consider the titanium and cobalt drill bits.