Black Oxide Vs Titanium Vs Cobalt Drill Bits – Which one is Better?

Published on: June 11, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

Are you confused about which one would be the best pick: Black Oxide vs Titanium vs Cobalt drill bits?

Drill bits come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Picking the right combination is not easy for one if you do not know the difference. Also, you have to find the best match for a particular project you are using it for. As one is not good for all, a Titanium drill bit may not be the right fit for the project you are doing.

black oxide vs titanium vs cobalt drill bits

So, it is best for you to learn the differences between these three drill bits. This will help you know where you can use them and avoid wasting your money buying the wrong piece.

Black Oxide Vs Titanium Vs Cobalt Drill Bits: A Clear Comparison

Drill bits are useful tools not only for woodworking projects but also for projects that have metal or stone surfaces. The mentioned three drill bits have a common base element- HSS or high-speed still. This material is used to make ordinary drill bits. When it is combined with other metals, it becomes stronger and enhances drilling performance. Also, these bits are the best hex shank drill bits great for multipurpose use. These are a few similarities. Now let’s look at the dissimilarities.

Titanium, Black Oxide, and Cobalt drills have a common element, but their characteristics and purpose of use are different. Also, temperature tolerance level, price, and life expectancy differ a lot. Let’s find out the differences between them.

Black OxideTitaniumCobalt
It is used to drill hard and softwood, and metal.It is used to drill wood, metal, PVC, resin, and composite materials.Professionally used to drill abrasive and hard objects- metal, stone, etc.
Heated HSS to a certain degreeHSS with Titanium Nitride coatingMixture of HSS with 5-8% Cobalt
2x longer lifespan than standard HSS6x more lifespan than standard HSSHas a very long lifespan
Least expensive among the three.More expensive than Black Oxide drill bits.Pricier than Titanium & Black Oxide

Cobalt Drill Bits

Cobalt Drill Bits are a cutting tool material combining two metals- Cobalt and high-speed steel. High-speed steel is a sophisticated version of high carbon steel and performs better than it. The ratio of Cobalt in cobalt drill bits is at least 5% to 8%. This combination gives the Cobalt drill bits extra strength. It is a 135° standard drill bit to drill through hard materials with its long chisel. 

These bits can endure high drilling temperatures without reducing the performance. These bits start drilling fast and prevent drill walking. One thing you must consider when choosing cobalt drill bits is that it is made of Cobalt, not just a cobalt coating. Due to the high price of Cobalt, these drill bits are pricier compared to the other two bits.


Cobalt drill bits are great for massive production work. You should choose cobalt drill bits to drill abrasive and extra-hard materials. So, these are suitable for drilling cast iron, treated stainless steel, and titanium. These bits are exceptional, and you can sharpen them easily without damaging the tips.


  • Resistant to heat
  • It can drill through hard,  abrasive materials
  • Preferable for massive production work than general use


  • High-temperature tolerance
  • Suitable for harsh and hard surfaces
  • Sturdy structure
  • Good for massive production work
  • Fast drilling
  • Reduced drill walking 
  • Long lifespan


  • Expensive

Titanium or TiN Drill Bits

Titanium drill bits are basically high-speed steel bits with Titanium Nitride coating. So, the outer shell becomes hard and drills through the surface without breaking. This surface coating also reduces friction at a greater deal. This coating also prevents rusting. Its 135° split point reduces drill walking and friction between the surface and bit. 


These drill bits are great for metal and non-metal objects. You can use them when drilling metals (iron, steel, aluminum, magnesium, etc.), wood, alloy, drywall, carbon steel, PVC, and fiberglass.


  • HSS bits with Titanium Nitride coating
  • 135° split point
  • It creates a thermal barrier with surface hardness.


  • 6x longer lifespan than standard HSS
  • Reduced drill skating
  • Stronger than Black Oxide bits and Cobalt
  • Fast drilling
  • Corrosion-resistant


  • Expensive than Black Oxide bits
  • Needs replacement when the tip is dull

Black Oxide Drill Bits

Black Oxide drill bits are heated HSS up to 950 Fahrenheit. The heat treatment strengthens the high-speed steel and reduces drill skating on the surface. Even though they are not as strong as Cobalt bits, they are quite durable and fast. This is a better substitute for standard High-speed Steel for regular drilling jobs. These drill bits with Black Oxide coating do not rust.


Black Oxide drill bits are typically best for lightweight metals. You can use these bits for drilling through copper, brass, steel, aluminum, etc. Additionally, they are good for wooden projects made of maple, oak, pine, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), PVC, polycarbonate, nylon, and other composite materials.


  • The best option for regular drilling
  • High heat-treated high-speed steel.
  • Suitable for mass production work.


  • You can sharpen the end
  • Higher temperature tolerance.
  • Inexpensive
  • Rust and corrosion-proof.
  • A better replacement for standard HSS bits.


  • Not as good as Cobalt bits.


Which Type of Drill Bit Is Best for Woodworking Projects?

When it comes to woodworking projects, choosing the right drill bit is crucial. For NLPfriendly drill bit comparison, consider using brad-point bits for clean and precise holes, spade bits for fast and efficient drilling, and Forstner bits for smooth, flat-bottomed holes. Each type has its unique benefits for different woodworking tasks.

1. Are Titanium or Black Oxide Drill Bits Better?

When compared to Titanium, Black Oxide drill bits are better. Both of them have similar utility- corrosion-proof, fast, durable. But Black Oxide bits are cheaper than TiN. On top of that, you can sharpen them if they get thick, but you will need to replace the Titanium one.

2. Is Cobalt or Titanium Better for Drill Bits?

When you compare Cobalt and Titanium, the Cobalt drill bit would be the winner in terms of strength. The Cobalt drill bits can drill through rough and hard materials. It gains strength when mixed with the HSS. But Titanium drill bits are standard HSS bits having a Titanium Nitride coating. Though it has harder skin than Cobalt, you can’t sharpen it when it flattens out.

3. What Black Oxide Drill Bits Are Used for?

You can use Black Oxide drill bits for woodworking projects in various types of hardwood- pine, ash, beech, oak, maple. Besides that, this bit can drill through different metals, like- steel, aluminum, copper, brass, etc. It is a versatile material that can also drill plastic.


In comparison with the Black Oxide vs Titanium vs Cobalt drill bits, we can see where each of them differs. In spite of having a common base, these drill bits have distinctive characteristics. Also, each of them is suitable for a particular job, and none can replace another. Now pick the best suitable one for your job.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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