Best Drill Bits Showdown 2024: Milwaukee vs Dewalt Again!

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best drill bits

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Having the best drill bits for whatever job you are doing is vital to avoid frustration. As I’ve said in a few of my recent posts, I’m in the middle of a complete renovation of my daughter’s townhome, and I have been frustrated multiple times while installing her kitchen cabinets. Townhomes are typically separated by block walls, so her kitchen cabinets needed to be attached to wood studs as well as a block wall. I had older bits to work with, and the process was more than frustrating. So, I did this quick review and off to Lowe’s I went. I opted for the DeWalt Titanium set below, but the other’s in the Top-5 are all great selections. Back to the Milwaukee vs DeWalt Debate again! It’s amazing how powerful Milwaukee and Dewalt are in the tool space.

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Milwaukee Shockwave Dewalt Titanium Nitride Bosch CO14B Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite
Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361 Bosch CO14B 14-Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set
$35.99* $26.14* $31.29* $143.92* $16.98*
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*Price at the time of this review

In this review/guide I discuss the world of drill bits, exploring various types, materials, and a few of the top products on the market. Whether you’re drilling through metal, wood, or concrete, understanding the nuances of these tools can significantly impact your work’s outcome.

Product Reviews

Our Mission & How We Review Products

At, we are dedicated to providing our readers with comprehensive and reliable product reviews. Drawing on 35+ years of engineering expertise, having owned nine homes, along with being seasoned DIY’ers, we meticulously research the products we recommend. From appliances to the latest gadgets, to an extensive array of tools, we’ve seen it all. When we recommend a product, it’s after the same rigorous evaluation we would employ for our own purchases.

Our mission is to ensure you always make an informed choice. We personally use or test many of the products recommended.

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We sift through detailed product specifications, analyze user reviews, cross-reference findings from various sources to identify the top selections then list the Pros and cons. Our Job is to do comprehensive research for you to make the best buying decision.

Types of Drill Bits

Drill bits come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific materials and applications. From twist bits, ideal for general use, to spade bits for large holes in wood, and masonry bits for concrete, the variety is vast. Specialized bits like Forstner bits bits cater to more intricate woodworking needs, offering precision and clean cuts. Understanding the right type for your task is paramount in achieving the best results.

Materials Used in Drill Bits

The material of a drill bit determines its durability, cutting ability, and the materials it can efficiently penetrate. High-Speed Steel (HSS) bits are common for general-purpose drilling, while Cobalt and Titanium bits offer higher durability and heat resistance, making them suitable for tougher materials. Carbide-tipped bits are the go-to for the hardest materials, including concrete and masonry.

Matching Drill Bit to Material

Matching the drill bit to the material you’re working with is critical for both efficiency and safety. Using a bit designed for wood on metal can lead to poor results and potentially damage the bit. Similarly, using a standard bit for concrete can be futile and frustrating. Understanding the compatibility of bit and material ensures a smoother, more effective drilling experience.

Factors to Consider When Buying Drill Bits

Durability and Material

When it comes to drill bits, the durability and material composition are crucial factors that directly impact their performance, longevity, and suitability for specific tasks. Understanding these aspects can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you get the best value for your investment.

High-Speed Steel (HSS)

  • Composition: HSS drill bits are made from carbon steel with an added element like chromium or vanadium, enhancing their hardness.
  • Durability: They are durable enough for general-purpose drilling tasks, especially in softer materials like wood and plastic.
  • Heat Resistance: While HSS bits can withstand higher temperatures than standard carbon steel, they may lose their edge under extreme heat, commonly encountered when drilling into harder metals.


  • Composition: Cobalt drill bits are not coated but are made of a solid cobalt alloy, often with 5% to 8% cobalt.
  • Durability: These bits are incredibly hard and resistant to wear and heat, making them ideal for drilling into hard materials like stainless steel and other metals.
  • Heat Resistance: The high percentage of cobalt in these bits allows them to maintain their hardness even at very high temperatures, reducing the risk of damage during prolonged use.


  • Composition: Titanium-coated bits are typically HSS bits coated with a layer of titanium nitride (TiN).
  • Durability: The titanium coating extends the life of the bit by reducing friction and heat build-up, which in turn prevents wear.
  • Application: Ideal for drilling into wood, metal, and plastic, these bits offer a balance between durability and cost-effectiveness. However, the coating can wear away over time, especially when used on harder materials.


  • Composition: Carbide-tipped drill bits are made from a mixture of carbon and tungsten, known for its extreme hardness.
  • Durability: These bits are exceptionally hard and maintain their sharpness longer than other types, making them suitable for professional and heavy-duty applications.
  • Specialized Use: Particularly effective for drilling through masonry, concrete, and tiles, carbide-tipped bits can withstand the abrasive nature of these materials.


  • Composition: Diamond-coated bits are typically used for specialty applications and feature fine diamond particles attached to their tip.
  • Durability: They offer superior hardness and are used for materials like glass, stone, and hardened tiles.
  • Specialized Application: While not commonly used for general drilling tasks, they are the go-to choice for materials that require an extremely hard drilling surface.

Bit Type and Size

Selecting the right type and size of drill bit is not just a matter of convenience but also a critical factor in achieving precision, efficiency, and safety in your drilling tasks. Different bit types are designed for specific materials and applications, and choosing the correct size is essential for the success of your project.

Bit Types

  • Twist Bits: The most common type, ideal for general-purpose drilling in wood, plastic, and light metal. Their spiral shape helps to remove debris from the hole.
  • Masonry Bits: Designed with a carbide tip, these bits are used for drilling into concrete, brick, or stone. The tip’s design allows it to withstand the impact and abrasion of masonry work.
  • Spade Bits: Featuring a broad, flat blade, spade bits are perfect for drilling large-diameter holes in wood. They are commonly used in carpentry and electrical applications.
  • Forstner Bits: Known for their precision, Forstner bits are used for drilling clean, flat-bottomed holes in wood. They are ideal for cabinetry and woodworking where finish is important.
  • Auger Bits: These bits are used for drilling deep, clean holes in wood. Their screw tip and spiral shape help to bore large holes with ease.
  • Hole Saws: Used for making large diameter holes, hole saws cut a ring and leave the center intact. They are ideal for tasks like installing door hardware or creating openings for piping.
  • Countersink Bits: Designed to create a conical hole for countersunk screws in wood, these bits are essential for woodworking projects where a smooth surface finish is required.

Bit Sizes

  • Standard Sizes: Drill bits come in standard sizes, typically measured in inches or millimeters. The size refers to the diameter of the hole they will create.
  • Set Increments: For precision tasks, it’s important to have a range of sizes in small increments. This allows for more control over the hole size and fit, especially in tasks like doweling or fitting screws.
  • Length: The length of the drill bit affects its reach and the depth of the hole it can create. Longer bits are used for deeper holes, but they require more stability during drilling to prevent bending or breaking.
  • Shank Size: The shank is the end of the drill bit that fits into the drill. It’s crucial to match the shank size with your drill’s chuck to ensure a secure fit. Common shank types include round, hex, and SDS.

Considerations for Size Selection

  • Material Thickness: Choose a bit length that can penetrate through the entire thickness of the material without causing damage or strain to the bit.
  • Precision Requirements: For tasks requiring high precision, such as creating joints or installing hardware, select bits with small size increments to achieve the exact hole size needed.
  • Project Scale: For larger projects or repetitive tasks, consider sets that offer a range of sizes to accommodate different needs within the project.

Compatibility with Drills

Ensure that the drill bits you choose are compatible with your drill model. This compatibility is key to achieving optimal performance and preventing damage to both the bit and the drill.

Best Overall: Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium

The Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium stands out as the best overall choice for its exceptional performance across various materials. Its titanium coating enhances durability, making it an excellent choice for both professional and home use. This bit set is particularly noted for its efficiency in drilling through metal, earning its place as one of the best drill bits for metal.

Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium

Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium


  • ✅ Engineered for extreme durability and long life
  • ✅ Variable Helix flute for rapid chip removal
  • ✅ Ideal for various applications including wood, plastics, and metals


  • ❌ Higher price point compared to competitors
  • ❌ Some smaller bits may struggle with thicker materials

John’s Take

The Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium set is a top-tier choice for its durability and versatility. Its unique design allows for efficient material removal, making it ideal for a range of applications. While it’s a bit pricier, its performance and longevity make it a worthwhile investment.

Price at the time of this review: $35.99
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Runner Up: Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361

The Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361 secures its position as the runner-up with its remarkable balance of durability and precision. Ideal for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals, these bits excel in drilling through wood, making them some of the best drill bits for wood in the market.

Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361

Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361


  • ✅ Connectable accessory storage system for optimized space
  • ✅ Patented bit-bar design for easy removal and placement
  • ✅ Clear lid for easy content visibility


  • ❌ May require a learning curve for beginners
  • ❌ Not ideal for frequent heavy-duty metal drilling

John’s Take

The Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361 is an excellent choice for those seeking precision and organization in their drilling tasks. Its innovative storage system and clear lid add convenience, while the quality of the bits themselves ensures reliable performance. Ideal for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Price at the time of this review: $26.14
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Bosch CO14B 14-Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set

For those tackling hard metals, the Bosch CO14B 14-Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set is a standout. Its cobalt construction offers resilience and longevity, especially when working with tough materials, making it a top choice for the best drill bits for metal.

Bosch CO14B 14-Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set

Bosch CO14B 14-Pc Cobalt M42 Drill Bit Set


  • ✅ M42 Cobalt for high heat resistance and durability
  • ✅ Enhanced alloy material for extended life
  • ✅ Thick web-helix design for stability in tough applications


  • ❌ More expensive than standard HSS bits
  • ❌ May require additional pressure for thicker materials

John’s Take

The Bosch CO14B set is a robust choice for drilling through hard metals like stainless steel and cast iron. Its cobalt construction and heat resistance make it a reliable tool for challenging tasks. While it’s a bit more expensive, the quality and durability it offers are well worth the investment for professionals.

Price at the time of this review: $31.29
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Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set

The Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set is renowned for its versatility. These bits are not only great for metal but also perform admirably on wood and plastic, offering a comprehensive solution for various drilling needs.

Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set

Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set


  • ✅ Cobalt Alloy Steel for higher heat and abrasion resistance
  • ✅ 135 Degree Split Point to minimize walk
  • ✅ Heavy-duty construction for strength and durability


  • ❌ Higher price point than standard drill bits
  • ❌ May require careful handling to avoid breakage

John’s Take

The Irwin 29-Pc Cobalt Alloy Steel M35 Drill Bit Set is a versatile and durable choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Its cobalt alloy steel construction offers superior resistance to heat and abrasion, making it ideal for a wide range of drilling tasks. While it’s priced higher, the quality and longevity it delivers make it a valuable addition to any toolkit.

Price at the time of this review: $143.92
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Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set

When it comes to drilling into concrete and masonry, the Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set is unmatched. These bits are specifically designed for concrete, earning their reputation as the best drill bits for concrete.

Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set

Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set


  • ✅ Carbide-tipped for long bit life and fast material removal
  • ✅ Asymmetric diamond-ground carbide tip for fast drilling
  • ✅ Upgraded hex shank for use in impact drivers and hammer drill/drivers


  • ❌ May not be suitable for extremely hard materials
  • ❌ Limited size range in the set

John’s Take

The Bosch 7-Pc Blue Granite Carbide Hammer Drill Bit Set is an excellent choice for masonry and concrete drilling. Its carbide tip ensures durability and efficient material removal. While it may not handle the hardest materials, its performance in standard masonry work is impressive, making it a great tool for both professionals and home DIY projects.

Price at the time of this review: $16.98
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FAQs About Drill Bits

What are the best drill bits for home use?

For home use, versatile and durable drill bits like the Milwaukee Shockwave Impact Titanium or the Dewalt Titanium Nitride DW1361 are excellent choices.

Can these drill bits be used for metal and wood?

Yes, many of the top drill bits, such as the Milwaukee Shockwave and the Bosch CO14B, are designed to efficiently drill through both metal and wood.

How often should I replace my drill bits?

The frequency of replacing drill bits depends on their usage and material. High-quality bits like Cobalt and Titanium can last longer with proper maintenance.

Are expensive drill bits worth the investment?

Investing in more expensive, high-quality drill bits can be cost-effective in the long run, especially for frequent or heavy-duty drilling tasks.

How do I maintain my drill bits?

Regular cleaning, proper storage, and occasional sharpening can significantly extend the life of your drill bits.


Choosing the right drill bit is essential for managing frustration levels. Whether you’re working with metal, wood, or concrete, selecting a bit that matches the material and task at hand can make all the difference. The top 5 drill bits recommended in this guide offer a range of options for various applications, ensuring that you have the right tool for the job.

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