Step Drills know the drill. You don't need to twist the drills or use pilot bits to dig in holes first. Their use is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is punch a hole at first and then use steady pressure for a clean and round vent.
But buying them can be quite challenging as many of the weaker ones will break down or create a rough hole.
So, in order to save you the ordeal, we have tested different bits by seeing how fast and efficiently they drill to make it into the best step drill bit list.
To make matters more interesting, we have also used them on metal sheets of different hardness.
COMOWARE Step Drill Bit Set & Automatic Center Punch
5 out of 5
Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set
5 out of 5
Neiko 10181A Step Drill Bit 3-Piece set
4.5 out of 5
Step Drill Bit, Knoweasy 3pcs High-Speed Steel Drill Bit
4 out of 5
TACKLIFE 5PCS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set
4.5 out of 5
Benefits of Step Drill Bit
Owing to their pine tree-like shape, you can start small and go bigger with step drills. A fancy luxury you aren't likely to find in other bits. But here are some other pros of these conical bodied bits.
Different Sized Holes
An advantage you're only going to get with step bits is you can change the size of the hole without changing the drill bit. Further, you can also make existing holes bigger.
However, if your sheet is bigger, this becomes a double-edged sword as your hole gets bigger, the deeper you dig in, even if you don't need it to.
Clean and Round Cuts
Your cuts will be accurate and rounded. They won't be rough or have rugged corners. But more importantly, it will be clean and won't leave much after itself to clean.
No need for Twists and These are Self Starting
Pilot holes are small drillings needed to fit in the edge of the drill bits. But owing to its conical shape, step bits already have the sharp head to edge in without needing you to put additional pressure and twists.
Won't deflate or Damage the Sheets
When you're going for precision cuts, you will want these drills because their straight flutes softly plunge in without damaging the shape.
7 Best Step Drill Bit Reviews
We have chosen the step drill bits for this list by testing them out on metal and steel sheets. And only included products that are compatible with different kinds of drilling motors.
1. COMOWARE Step Drill Bit Set & Automatic Center Punch
If you've worked with drill bits, you've heard of this brand. Comoware has been specializing in innovative and advanced bits for quite a while now, and their step bit takes the take the lead for its easy mechanics and fast cutting speed.
A step bit has two jobs making a round hole and doing it fast. This tool does both with precision and refinement. Compared to the previous models, this one cut much faster and turned out to be one of the fastest reapers on our test.
As you know, boring tools wear out fast, and that's just something technology hasn't quite caught up with. But call it a defense mechanism or not, Comoware has designed their tool to be more wear-resistant by putting the slip point tip at a 118°.
Most step bits say that they have a titanium coating, but many don't. But on this tool, you can rest assured, you're getting what you're told.
With the solid coating, the bit is more durable and sharper. The sharpness makes this more resilient by reducing collision effects when running.
Moreover, you get a nifty little metal case to put all the bits in so that you don't have any issue carrying them. This was made for professional use, and it has been delivered that way as well.Highlighted Features:
2. Neiko 10197A Titanium Step Drill Bit Set for Metal
Neiko tools are well-known tools and an automotive brand from China. Their products are known for the good materials they're made from and their affordability. That's also why they are one of the best drill bits for electricians and mechanics who are always working and need a diverse collection to their set.
What we love about this toolbox are diversity and quality. These are made from high-quality HSS and, of course, the titanium coating.
The sturdy construction makes this durable and lasting. You can't sharpen step bits, so you want something that lasts, and that's exactly what these were manufactured for.
Another advantage of this Neiko set is that you can apply this on a diverse range of substrates. Steel, plastic, metal, whatever the sheet is, you can create clean and perfectly round holes with this.
Although these are made in China, you won't have any issue fitting this with your drilling motors. The products have a universal design. Their tri-flatted shanks will nicely attach to your drilling machine and give you a firm balance.
Moreover, the split-tip of the bits is at a 135-degree angle, which creates a design for faster drilling on most surfaces.
However, if you don't want to maximize the performance of these bits without breaking them, we recommend you follow the standard methods when using them on harder surfaces like steel.Highlighted Features:
3. Neiko 10181A Step Bit 3-Piece set
Step bits are generally intended for thinner metal sheets because you can hit the precision of the different sizes they offer when you're using them on thinner sheets.
So, if you're a professional who wants a step bit for its intended purpose, then we will tell you right away that this could very well be the best step drill bit for metal that we have reviewed.
Neiko has already impressed us with their products, but what makes this still the spotlight is the value you get from this tool. If you want to cut through metal with absolute control, you won't find a better drill bit than this. It cuts fast, and it pierces with accuracy.
If you hate to clean the mess after a job, then you will prefer this all the more as this was designed in a way that spreads very little dust and debris.
The double fluted design creates a smooth rounded hole without rough edges. If nothing else, you will keep using this just to see the nicely pierced vents.
To hit the accuracy mark, the bits have sizes engraved on them. Planning to dig some countersunk holes that require precise measures? You have it right on the bits.
Moreover, much like other Neiko products, this too fits well with power tools. So there shouldn't be an issue there. However, since this is a 3 set tool, you won't get a box with this.Highlighted Features:
4. Knoweasy 3pcs High-Speed Steel Drill Bit
Knoweasy brings one of the most affordable drill bits. We weren't expecting anything extraordinary from this, and you shouldn't either.
This is priced reasonably amongst the pricier step bits. But they haven't sacrificed much in the way of functionality, and that's the reason for including this.
It can't be sharpened and won't last forever, but if you want a step bit for a specific task, you don't have to spend more than you want to for it. That's where this tool awes all.
With its hexagonal shank, you can easily drill into sheets. You will have to follow the proper steps when using it on tougher sheets, but for soft metals, plastic and copper, these are more than enough.
Further, we like the mechanism of its flute design; the double-edged pattern makes the tip sharp and easy to reap into holes. Also, you get a smooth cut fast and easy.
In terms of speed alone, this is not quite as fast as the more expensive brands, but it still does a decent job, and that's the only compromise you're making when going for this lesser priced product.
However, do keep in mind although we recommend this for professional application, this is still mainly for light jobs. If you use this for extensive puncturing, you might overwork the bits and break them.
With that said, for the price, the value for money is as good as you can get. And top it off with the decent build and fast use, this is a pretty decent bit to add to your collection.Highlighted Features:
5. TACKLIFE 5PCS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set with Automatic Center Punch
For professionals who use tools on a regular basis, you need something powerful and durable- and that's what Tacklife brings to the table.
There's much reason to choose this set, but the most convincing one is it's the best step drill bit for stainless steel and tougher materials that aren't usually covered by regular bits.
This is the complete tool for all your drilling work because this also comes with an automatic center punch, meaning you don't have to hit your target with a hammer- the automatic punch will do that by itself. And when you want to be very precise with your measurements, there isn't a better way to do it.
Also, you have specific laser marks to know exactly the size you're reaping. Within these 5 bits, you have 50 size options to help you make the most of this set. So, with the laser marks and multiple size options, you can accurately dig the hole you need.
In terms of build, this has us convinced. The high-speed steel and titanium work together to shape a double blade design, which allows the bit to steadily pierce through sheets and make a round and clean hole.Highlighted Features:
6. HYCLAT 5pcs Titanium Drill Bit
Hyclat is the brand people look at when searching for parts and tools. And they are also the first choice of many professionals for their reliability.
For step drills, they have a very specific purpose of creating precise holes. But many still avoid them as these can't be sharpened. However, this set is very durable and one of the most lasting sets on our list.
What makes Hyclat set, so reliable is its firm construction. Made from cobalt and titanium, this is very strong. The titanium only makes this more efficient as you get a smooth drilling experience.
Further, you get this is a nice aluminum case to always keep this safe. To add to that, the edges of the piercings aren't rough or jagged; instead, they have a smooth texture.
Apart from that, having the cobalt build also makes it more durable. If you're a professional, then you will want to use this.
Also, cobalt will reduce the amount of friction caused when reaping through and give you a steady and even motion.
Another thing that makes this toolset better than the lot is when using it, you don't have to worry too much about making a mess as the scurf pieces fly around. The mess is minimum, and so is the flying flakes.Highlighted Features:
7. DEWALT Step Drill Bit Set
Step Drills are meant for thinner sheets, but you can use them against tougher materials provided you have the right toolset. And that's when you look towards a brand like Dewalt who has cemented its place in the power tool industry.
Everything about this step drill exhibits power and excellence. There's not an edge that you can fault and such is Dewalt's finesse.
These are impact-ready step drills; as a result, if your hands get shaky when using drill motors, you can still get the job done with ease. Also, having less torque also means you can do it a lot faster as well.
One thing about the drill bit is they are mostly for using against Dewalt tools. So, if you already own a Dewalt rotary drill, you're in luck. If not, then any rotary drill should still make this work.
Unlike the regular flutes, this features an extra spiral design, which will perform better. The piercing will have a lot less friction, and the bits themselves won't wear out like other bits.
This is definitely for those who use step drills on a regular basis and need them to function at their best at all times. And it has been priced for a higher rate for the amazing service it provides.Highlighted Features:
Step Drill Bit Buying Guide
Step Drill bit aren't probably the first bit you're using. And these tools stand among the bits which aren't used very often- as a result, most people don't know much about them.
So, we will discuss the features and facts that you ought to check in order to buy the best step drill bit for yourself.
This is common for any bit you buy. How effective a bit is going to be, or will it break apart even before denting the sheet, depends somewhat on the material used for its makings.
For step drill bits, HSS or high-speed steels are good for thinner sheets like plastic, aluminum, and other soft metals.
But when you need to pierce through tougher sheets, you need a stronger material like cobalt. However, don't blame it all on the material even if they break down because, more often than not, it happens because of the wrong application.
Drill Bit Shank
Now we bring shank right into the mix because if the shank doesn't match with the power tool you own, then buying it will be a waste. Do check the compatibility of the shanks with your tool. It's usually mentioned in the details or on the packaging.
Another thing to notice on the shank is its shape and quality. Flimsier shanks might make using the bit shaky and will result in the hole being rougher as well.
Titanium is the most popular finish used for step drill bits. It is also what separates this type of bits from the lot. The titanium coating reduces the friction between the surface and the bit and makes piercing easier for it.
Step Drill's main advantage is that they give a range of options. So, the more size options you can find, the diverse range of work you can do with the bit. This increases the potential of the tool and gives you more to work with.
One of the main reasons why step drills are popular is because they have size marks imprinted on them. When you need to drill a hole to fit in screws, you want them to have a specific size, and that's where the necessity of the size marks come in.
So, we recommend bits that have laser indentations instead of other kinds of marks. With other kinds of the mark, they might fade out and make it difficult to view.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is Step Drill Better For?
Answer: If you want to pierce a hole into a surface without deforming or damaging it, you won't find an easier way to do it than with these tools. They have a sharp edge that digs in and enlarges the hole into a perfectly round shape.
2. What are They Used For?
Answer: The main use of step drill bits is to work on thin sheets and enlarging the size of holes precisely to what you need. They also do a good job on tougher sheets, provided you use the right methods.
3. How to Use a Step Drill Bit?
Answer: Step drill bits are used with drill motors. Their range varies from product to product.
Once attached to the drill motor, you just step into it just like it sounds. However, if the material is tough, use center punch first.
4. How Can I Tell If the Step Drill Bit Works Fast?
Answer: Check the split point tip's angle, and this will tell you somewhat about the speed.
However, there is no actual measure for checking the speed. It varies with the surface you use it on. But generally, higher-end products are faster.
5. Can You Sharpen a Step Drill Bit?
Answer: No, step drill bits can't be sharpened. This is also why they wear out faster. But with the pine tree-like shape, they don't need to be sharpened either.
People say step drill bits wear down, but we are telling you that all you need to do to make them last longer is use them the right way.
Properly apply the cutting fluid when using it on tougher sheets and store them safely after use.
With that, we think we have covered all grounds on drill bits and chosen the worthy products. So, all these can have the best step drill bit title, but the decision depends on what you need it for.
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