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Although twist-type drill bits easily bore holes through wood, plastic, and composite materials, they’re really designed to drill through metal. Back in the day, each type of bit had a particular point configuration that was easily distinguished by its color and material. For example, when you picked up a high-speed steel bit, also known as a “bright” bit, you knew it had a 118° chisel point on it. When you picked up a cobalt bit, you knew it had a 135° split point. Now the market is saturated with each kind of bit in a variety of different point styles. Understanding how each type of material affects a bit’s performance is still important. High-speed steel High-speed steel differs from ordinary steel in that it is alloyed. During the heat-treatment process, it becomes extremely hard and wear resistant. The harder a drill bit, the less friction is created when drilling, and the longer the bit will last. Cost: Low, around $2 per 1⁄4-in.-dia. bit Best uses: These bits are great for general use in soft to medium-hard materials. Drawbacks: This bit isn’t strong enough to perform well in hard metal like alloys and is still often found…
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