Are you wondering what the best drill bits are for drilling out bolts? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with all the information you need to tackle this common household challenge. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking to fix something around the house, finding the right drill bits is crucial for success. So, let’s dive in and explore the top options available!

When it comes to drilling out bolts, having the right drill bits can make all the difference. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect fit. But fear not! We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best drill bits to help you get the job done effectively and efficiently.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s understand why having the right drill bits is so important. Bolts can be stubborn to remove, especially when they’re stuck or rusted. In such cases, using regular drill bits may result in broken or damaged bolts, making the removal process even more challenging. That’s where specialized drill bits come in handy, designed to easily and effectively drill out bolts without causing any harm. So, let’s explore the options that will help you tackle those stubborn bolts like a pro!

what are the best drill bits for drilling out bolts?

What Are the Best Drill Bits for Drilling Out Bolts?

When it comes to removing bolts that are stuck or broken, having the right drill bits can make all the difference. The best drill bits for drilling out bolts are those that are designed specifically for this purpose, with features that ensure optimal performance and efficient removal. In this article, we will explore the top drill bits on the market for drilling out bolts, their unique features, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Types of Drill Bits for Drilling Out Bolts

Before diving into the best drill bits for drilling out bolts, it is essential to understand the different types available. Each type of drill bit has its own characteristics and is suitable for specific types of bolts and materials. Here are three of the most common types:

1. Twist Drill Bits

Twist drill bits are the most versatile and commonly used drill bits for drilling out bolts. They have a spiral-shaped groove (flute) that allows for efficient chip evacuation and smooth drilling. Twist drill bits are available in a range of sizes, and their design makes them suitable for drilling through various materials, including metal, wood, and plastic.

When choosing twist drill bits for drilling out bolts, look for those made from high-speed steel (HSS). HSS bits are durable, offer excellent cutting performance, and can withstand high temperatures generated during drilling. Additionally, consider coated HSS bits, such as titanium or cobalt coated, as they provide better heat resistance and increased hardness.

One popular twist drill bit for drilling out bolts is the Irwin Tools Cobalt M-35 Metal Index Drill Bit Set. It features a high cobalt content, which makes it extremely hard and resilient, ideal for drilling into tough materials like stainless steel bolts.

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2. Screw Extractor Drill Bits

Screw extractor drill bits, also known as easy-outs, are specifically designed for removing broken or stuck bolts, screws, and studs. They have a reverse flute design and typically come in a set that includes multiple sizes to accommodate various bolt diameters.

Using a screw extractor drill bit involves several steps. First, you need to drill a small pilot hole into the center of the bolt using a regular twist drill bit. Then, you insert the screw extractor drill bit into the pilot hole, and as you turn it counterclockwise, the reverse flute bites into the bolt, allowing for easy removal.

One highly-rated set of screw extractor drill bits is the Irwin Hanson Spiral Flute Screw Extractor Set. It includes five extractor bits made from high carbon steel, ensuring durability and reliable performance when dealing with stubborn bolts.

3. Step Drill Bits

Step drill bits, also known as cone drill bits, are another excellent option for drilling out bolts. These bits have a conical shape with multiple steps, each with a different diameter. The step design allows for drilling holes of various sizes without the need for changing bits.

When it comes to drilling out bolts, step drill bits offer the advantage of creating clean, precise holes without causing excessive damage to the surrounding material. They are particularly useful when working with delicate or thin materials.

A popular choice for step drill bits is the CO-Z HSS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set. This set features three bits made from high-speed steel with a titanium coating, providing exceptional strength, heat resistance, and longevity.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Drill Bits for Drilling Out Bolts

Now that you are familiar with the types of drill bits available, it is essential to consider a few factors before making a decision. Taking these factors into account will help you choose the best drill bits for your specific needs:

1. Material

The material of the drill bit should be appropriate for the type of bolt and the material you are working with. High-speed steel (HSS) bits are suitable for most applications, but for drilling through tough materials like stainless steel, consider cobalt-coated or titanium-coated bits for increased durability and heat resistance.

2. Size

Ensure that the drill bits you choose are compatible with the size of the bolts you need to remove. Having a range of sizes available in a drill bit set can be beneficial as it allows for versatility and ensures you have the correct size for any situation.

3. Compatibility

Consider the type of drill you will be using and ensure that the drill bits you choose are compatible with your drill’s chuck size and type.

4. Design

Look for drill bits with features that enhance performance and ease of use, such as a spiral groove for efficient chip evacuation, a 3-flat shank for better grip and reduced slippage, and a split point or self-centering tip for precise drilling.

5. Budget

While quality should be a priority, it is essential to consider your budget. Determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend on drill bits and look for options within that price range. Remember, investing in high-quality drill bits will save you money in the long run.

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Additional Tips for Drilling Out Bolts

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when drilling out bolts:

1. Safety First

Always wear protective gear, such as safety glasses and gloves, when drilling out bolts to prevent injury.

2. Start with a Pilot Hole

When using screw extractor drill bits or twist drill bits, start by drilling a small pilot hole to guide the larger drill bit and prevent the bolt from wandering.

3. Use Lubrication

Applying a lubricant, such as cutting oil or penetrating oil, can help reduce heat and friction during drilling, prolonging the life of your drill bits and making the process smoother.

4. Take Breaks

If you are drilling through tough bolts or working on a large project, take periodic breaks to allow the drill bits to cool down and prevent overheating.

5. Secure the Material

Ensure that the material you are drilling into is securely held in place to prevent slipping or movement, which can cause inaccurate drilling or damage the material.


Choosing the best drill bits for drilling out bolts is essential for successful bolt removal. Twist drill bits, screw extractor drill bits, and step drill bits are among the top options available, each suitable for specific applications. Consider factors such as material, size, compatibility, and design when selecting drill bits, and follow the additional tips provided to ensure safe and efficient drilling. With the right drill bits in your arsenal, you’ll be able to tackle any bolt removal project with ease.

Key Takeaways – What Are the Best Drill Bits for Drilling Out Bolts?

In this article, we will explore the best drill bits to use when drilling out bolts in an easy and efficient manner.

  • Choose high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits for general bolt removal tasks.
  • For hardened or stainless steel bolts, consider cobalt drill bits for increased durability.
  • Use titanium-coated drill bits to reduce friction and heat buildup, making them ideal for drilling through various materials, including bolts.
  • Consider spiral flute drill bits for smoother drilling and better chip evacuation.
  • Invest in a good quality drill bit set that includes different sizes and types to handle various bolt removal scenarios.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you wondering what type of drill bits to use when drilling out bolts? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help guide you in finding the best drill bits for your needs.

What type of drill bits are best for drilling out bolts?

When it comes to drilling out bolts, you’ll want to choose cobalt drill bits. Cobalt bits are made from high-speed steel with added cobalt, making them incredibly durable and suitable for drilling into hard materials like bolts. The cobalt content helps to dissipate heat, minimizing the risk of the drill bit getting too hot and losing its temper.

Additionally, cobalt drill bits have a unique flute design that helps to clear chips and debris while drilling. This enhances the drilling efficiency and reduces the chances of the bit getting stuck or breaking. Opt for cobalt drill bits with a split point to achieve better precision and prevent drill bit wandering.

What size drill bits should I use when drilling out bolts?

The size of the drill bit you should use when drilling out bolts depends on the size of the bolt itself. Generally, you’ll want to select a drill bit size that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the bolt. This allows for easier removal of the bolt without damaging the surrounding material.

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For example, if you’re dealing with a 1/4-inch bolt, you might consider using a 3/16-inch drill bit. This size difference ensures that you have enough room to drill and remove the bolt while still maintaining a secure fit. If you’re uncertain, it’s always recommended to start with a smaller drill bit and gradually work your way up until you find the right size.

Can I use regular drill bits to drill out bolts?

While regular drill bits can be used to drill out bolts, they may not provide the best results. Regular drill bits are typically designed for drilling into softer materials, such as wood or plastic, and may not have the necessary durability to handle drilling into hard materials like bolts. They are also more prone to overheating and breaking under the stress of drilling through bolts.

If you’re faced with a broken or stuck bolt, it’s best to invest in specialized drill bits designed for metal, such as cobalt drill bits or titanium-coated drill bits. These drill bits are specifically engineered to withstand the rigors of drilling through metal and will yield better results compared to regular drill bits.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when drilling out bolts?

Yes, drilling out bolts can be a potentially hazardous task, so it’s important to take some safety precautions. Make sure to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any flying debris. It’s also recommended to wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges or metal shavings.

When drilling, apply a steady and moderate amount of pressure to prevent the drill bit from binding or breaking. Take breaks if needed to let the drill bit and tool cool down, as excessive heat can compromise the integrity of the bit. Lastly, always secure the material being drilled firmly to prevent any unexpected movement that could cause injury.

What are some other tips for successfully drilling out bolts?

In addition to using the right drill bits, there are a few tips that can help ensure success when drilling out bolts. Before drilling, mark the center of the bolt with a center punch to provide a guide for the drill bit. This will prevent the bit from wandering off-center and help with accuracy.

Using a lubricant, such as cutting oil or WD-40, can also improve drilling performance by reducing friction and heat. This can extend the life of the drill bit and make the drilling process smoother. Lastly, start drilling at a low speed and gradually increase the speed as you progress to avoid putting excessive strain on the drill bit.

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So, remember that when it comes to drilling out bolts, you want to choose a drill bit that is specifically designed for that purpose. Look for a drill bit that is made from high-speed steel or cobalt, as they are durable and can handle the tough job of drilling through metal. Make sure the drill bit has a sharp point and cutting edges to effectively grip and remove the bolt. Lastly, consider the size of the bolt and choose a drill bit that matches or is slightly larger. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any bolt removal project with ease!

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