Carbide drill bits are extremely tough bits that are ideal for masonry and other heavy-duty projects. These bits are made of tungsten carbide, with many also containing small amounts of other metals such as cobalt to improve their durability. Although some carbide bits are found in full-body form, most of the bits used in construction are carbide-tipped.
Compared to other bits such as cobalt drill bits, these carbide-tipped bits stay sharper for longer. They have a higher cutting speed and can also withstand higher temperatures. Besides masonry, these bits are tough enough to use on metals such as cast iron, steel, bronze, aluminium, copper, and other hard materials.
In this guide, we will share some more information on carbide drill bits to help you determine whether they are a good choice for your project.
A Guide to Carbide Drill Bits
Here’s what you should know about carbide drill bits…
What is tungsten carbide?
A large number of drill bits are made from steel alloy rather than a single metal. Many bits are tipped with a second layer of metal that makes them tougher and increases corrosion resistance.
High-Speed Steel (HSS) bits are a good choice for softer steel types, wood and plastic. They can cut much faster than other steel types. While they are good for smaller projects, they are not the best choice for industrial projects that involve harder steel types or masonry.
Cobalt bits are made with a steel alloy that contains a small amount of cobalt. This means that they can drill into steel and harder metals, including cast iron.
Titanium bits are made of steel, with a layer of titanium. They are not as strong as cobalt bits, with the coating wearing down with regular use.
Carbide bits are made of steel, with a tungsten carbide tip. These bits are extremely strong, making them ideal for industrial projects, as they can drill through metal as well as concrete, tile and other tough materials.
What makes these bits so tough?
Carbide drill bits contain equal amounts of tungsten and carbide. This makes them one of the hardest metals, with a Mohs rating of 9-9.5 (almost as hard as diamond, which has a rating of 10). These bits are roughly five times harder than steel.
With that said, their strength can also make them brittle, meaning that they can break if not used correctly. Although they are not prone to wear and tear and can drill through some of the toughest materials, full-body carbide bits aren’t always the best choice for every type of tool. Bits that are made of a less brittle metal, with a carbide tip, are much less likely to break. This gives you the full benefit of the durability and strength of carbide, without the risk of bits breaking.
Looking for the best quality carbide bits? Ruwag has you covered. We offer a range of drill bits for every project, with premium products made to suit your needs.