Best drill bit for aluminum

 

What are the best drill bits for aluminum in 2018?

 

If you don’t have the time to go through everything we have prepared and only want a quick suggestion for a good drill bit for aluminum, then the following short paragraph should contain all the information you want. After going through dozens and dozens of reviews of drill bits for aluminum, our team found that the Bosch CO2155 cobalt bit to be one of the best-appreciated products available for sale. Made out of cobalt, it is extremely durable and heat resistant, so it can be used for relatively long spans of time without needing to pause for cooling down. It has a round shank, 7/16-inch chuck which allows for good accuracy when placing the bit in the chuck while also preventing the bit from traveling thanks to a number of shaved flat surfaces. If you only need a bit for lighter applications, then the 5/16-inch Bosch CO2147 should serve you well.

Buying guide

 

Finding the best drill bit for aluminum might not be as easy as you would expect since there are quite a number of characteristics to choose between. For example, you will need to consider whether or not you’ll be using the bit only for aluminum or the need for other more demanding applications might arise in the future. This will help you balance the cost, as tougher bits tend to cost significantly more.

 

 

Material and toughness

 

For working with soft metals like aluminum you’ll most likely need high speed and low torque, which means that although toughness won’t be such a big issue, high heat from friction definitely will.

High-Speed Steel bits are engineered specifically for such light tasks and are often hardened and coated to prevent the material from losing its properties under high temperature and pressure. These are also the most affordable solution, but you shouldn’t expect them to work for long, or on any metal harder than aluminum, so their use, hence value for money will be rather limited.

Cobalt is considered to offer the best solution for low to medium demand metal applications as it is significantly tougher than steel while also offering great heat resistance. This is the option to go for if you want a relatively versatile bit that will serve you for a long time.

 

 

Bit size and shape

 

For light metal applications, specialists generally use bits with a twist construction, which are fairly common and simple to work with. The angle of the point constitutes a trade-off between durability and precision, with steeper ones that form a 118-degree angle being easier to set on soft material but might chip away under significant load.

Flat heads, generally at a 135-degrees angle are considered better suited for hard material, but might sometimes require a pilot hole to keep them from wandering. Speaking of hard material, an increase in the diameter of the bit will make it progressively harder to work with tougher metals, since a greater amount of mass will have to be pushed out of the way.

 

 

Shank shape and size

 

The shank can be either hexagonal or round. The first type allows for greater convenience, as it prevents the bit from traveling when used with a quick to change keyless chuck and the second one is easier to properly fit and fasten inside a keyed chuck.

Household applications will require anything from 1/16 to 1/2-inches bit sizes, with 5/16-inches; ⅜-inches and 7/16-inches considered the most common.

 

 

Our recommendations

 

The high number of available options out there might make it hard to decide upon the best model for your needs. That’s why we’ve narrowed down the list by highlighting only the drill bits which enjoyed a high degree of appreciation from customers and expert reviewers alike.

 

 

Bosch CO2155

 

Since it’s made out of Cobalt, this 7/16-inch drill bit can withstand temperatures as high as 1,100 degrees F for extended periods of time without softening and bending.

This makes it good for a number of light-gauge metal applications, from high carbon steel to soft aluminum.

The flat tip will give it good durability under heavy loads so it should last for a good while, although the high precision machining and good quality cobalt used in its construction place it in the premium range in regards to cost.

The fact that it’s available in jobber length increases its versatility which further extends its use. It won’t give you much of a bother keeping it in place when drilling, as its web design makes it surprisingly stable.

The base is rounded to decrease play inside the chuck, and some surfaces have been shaved flat so it’s harder to slip under heavy use.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

Bosch CO2147

 

At 5/16 inches in diameter, this Bosch drill bit is just the right size for most applications around the house.

This doesn’t mean it won’t raise up to par when it comes to stricter demands, as the cobalt it is made from gives it a substantial degree of durability and heat resistance of up to 1,100  degrees F.

As you would expect from the company, the machining of this model is highly precise, and there is hardly a flaw to act as a breakpoint in its construction.

Precision is the name of the game when it comes to the destined use also, as the resilient flat tip is very easy to set thanks to its special shape that allows for a hollow center.

People report that it works well with relatively tough metals such as high carbon steel and cast iron, although its main intended use is for less demanding applications involving aluminum.

Similar to the other model we’ve looked at, this has a round base, with three surfaces shaved off flat for better stability inside the chuck.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

Bosch BL2634

 

If the difficulty of your intended application doesn’t really justify the use of Cobalt, Bosch also manufactures a series of high speed twisted drill bits out of steel.

The one we’ve looked at uses a “speed helix” design, advertised by the manufacturer to offer better functionality than more conventional designs at speeds three times as high.

This is also reported to extend the bit’s life by a significant amount, and the steel also received oxide coating for better durability against grinding and high heat.

While somewhat of a specialized product it can be used for steel, copper, as well as aluminum and a whole variety of soft non-metallic materials.

The one we’ve looked at is in “aircraft length,” meaning 6 inches, to ensure better access to the surface in various construction tasks, but this unit can also be purchased in jobber and stubby lengths.

Like other Bosch products, this comes with a “3 flats” shank for better stability inside the chuck and also has a no-skating tip, reported to cancel the need for a pilot hole.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

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