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Our Top 5 HSS Drills

HSS drills can offer amazing value and good tool life in a range of machining conditions. They are tough and, depending on the geometry and range you choose, can be held in a wide variety of different holders. Typical situations where HSS drills are used include:

  • For general purpose drilling, perhaps where tooling costs have to be minimised
  • On a manual machine or power drills where you cannot guarantee stable machining or the high speeds that are required for carbide drills.
  • In light drilling where high-performance drills are not required.
  • Unstable clamping conditions.


At Cutwel, we supply economy, general and performance HSS drills for machining steels <HRc45, stainless steels, heat resistant super alloys, cast irons & non-ferrous materials including brass and aluminium.

To make it easier to choose from our comprehensive range, we have highlighted our 5 most popular HSS drills below. Here you will find out their features, benefits and where it is best to use them, because we want to ensure you pick the right drill to suit your application.


Gold-P Drill

Our most popular HSS drill is the DLGP195 series Gold-P drill from YG-1 – the most economic coated drill we supply!

The HSS substrate contains 5% cobalt and the drilling edge is TiN coated. Together, these increase tool life compared to standard HSS drills.

We have had nothing but positive feedback on these drills, which are ideal for general drilling of steels <HRc32, stainless steels, titanium, inconel and aluminium.

These jobber length drills range from 1-13mm. Anything above 1.6mm diameter has a split point geometry which gives the drill a higher accuracy when entering the material.

Overall, this is a fantastic economic drill for all general applications where tool costs have to be kept low without negatively affecting performance and accuracy. These are ideal for both manual and CNC machines and also suitable for use with power drills.


Worm Pattern Drills

If you are looking for a general purpose HSS drill that is dedicated for aluminium and non ferrous materials, look no further than the YG-1 worm pattern drills.

Worm pattern drills feature a parabolic u-shaped flute for efficient chip evacuation of softer, longer chipping & sticky materials like soft steels, grey & malleable cast iron, magnesium alloys and aluminium.

Just like the GOLD-P drills, these also feature a 5% cobalt substrate for added tool life and strength. However, these come uncoated to avoid the material sticking to the drill (a common issue with coated drills on softer materials such as aluminium). They also featuring deep flute pockets to prevent chip clogging.

The range of depths they cover is an added bonus too – our worm pattern drills are available at depths from 3xD all the way up to 25xD!

Larger drill depths have a special design specifically for deep hole drilling in soft materials, with specific ranges for aluminium & soft steels.

Overall, these drills are perfect for economic drilling of softer materials like non-alloy & alloy steels <HRc30, aluminium and cast iron, as well as in deeper hole drilling (with up to 295mm drill depth at 25xD).

These are ideal for both manual and CNC machines and also suitable for use with power drills.

HPD Premium HSS Drills

The next step up in performance (when machining steels) from the 5% cobalt ranges are our YG-1 HPD drills. These have a premium cobalt content, making them first choice where improved tool life and performance is required over general HSS drilling.

A standout feature of these drills over the more general HSS range is that it is self-centering. This eliminates the need for a pilot hole completely. Removing this process both saves time and money, as a spot drill is not needed.

HPD drills offer higher feed rates and tool life over standard cobalt drills, with a reinforced web design giving high rigidity and a good surface finish.

This drill is designed for machining carbon, alloyed & tool steels and cast iron.

Overall, the HPD premium cobalt HSS drill is great for higher performance machining, meaning you can push it further than general HSS drills and, in return, will get greater tool life and higher rigidity. Its self-centring geometry further reduces tool costs by removing the need for a pilot hole.

Suitable for use on manual, NC and CNC machines.


HPD-SUS Premium HSS Drills

Stainless Steel can be a daunting prospect when using HSS Drills because deflection and tool breakages are common. YG-1’s SUS drills are the perfect solution to the problem. Our number one choice for HSS drilling on stainless steel.

The YG-1 SUS drills boast a unique vanadium cobalt substrate (with a TiN coating) which offer exceptional wear resistance in stainless steel and HRSA (heat resistant super alloy) applications.

It’s special design, utilising deep flute pockets and a 4-facet flute geometry, prevents built up edge, work hardening and flute clogging, which are all common issues faced in stainless drilling. The SUS drill is also useful when machining soft sticky steels and long chipping materials like copper and aluminium.

The wide flute design also reduces vibration and deflection, making this drill great on manual machines or where it is hard to control vibration. It can also be used on NC/CNC machines.

Overall, the SUS drill is perfect for higher performance stainless steel drilling without the need for high performance machines or through coolant. If of course you do have the machining capacity for higher performance carbide drills then we would recommend our Dream Drill Inox range. But if vibration is an issue or our Dream Drills are out of your price range, the SUS drills are our go-to range.



Multi-1 Powder Metal Drill

Do you want the toughness of a HSS drill but the tool life and performance of a carbide drill? Our Multi-1 powder metal drill is the answer!

We call powder metal the bridge between HSS and carbide as it features the best of both substrates:

  • It features the toughness of HSS, meaning it can be run in unstable machining conditions where vibration is present without the risk of chipping (which is common on carbide).
  • Performance and tool life is improved over HSS drills due to the tough powder metal substrate – you can (in most cases) push these harder than HSS drills.

It is also useful where a carbide drill is not suitable, but you need carbide-like properties, for example where there is a lack of through coolant. This is especially useful on demanding materials such as titanium, Inconel, stainless steels and alloy steels.

Whilst this option is higher cost than HSS drills, its self-centring geometry does eliminate the need for a spot/centre drill which, combined with its much longer tool life and higher performance, may in the long run make this your most economical option.

Overall, the Multi-1 drill offers the best performance and tool life of all the drills listed here because it features the best of both HSS and carbide (tougher and faster). Also, on manual machines where vibration is an issue or where through coolant is not possible, this will be by far the most best option.



Of course, the decision at the end of the day is entirely up to you, and can come down to a variety of factors like cost, machine type and material. But I do hope I’ve given you a better understanding of how each of our HSS drills can be useful and in which situations they work best.

If you do have any further questions, or if you would like a personalised drill recommendation, please click here to get in touch or call 01924 869610 or email