Application Guide

Stainless and Mild Steel Drilling with Cryobit® Drill Bits


Maintenance groups in most food and beverage plants face the same challenge: drilling stainless.

While stainless is not a hard metal, it will harden quickly if it is not drilled properly.

Some use cobalt bits to drill stainless, but these bits have a thick web and will not pass bulky chips (like aluminum and mild steel). Standard HSS bits typically dull quickly drilling stainless.

A major non-dairy creamer production facility directed their maintenance group to test the Cryobit drill bits against "premium" HS and cobalt drill bit samples from four companies. 

After extensive testing, they concluded Cryobit drill bits possess the toughness and diversity they require. cryobit drill bits drilled up to 6 times more holes in stainless steel.

Additionally, they found Cryobit drill bits to be perfect for drilling softer metals like carbon steel and aluminum. 

Tips for Drilling Stainless Steel 

Drilling stainless requires 50% more feed pressure than mild steel and reduced RPM. 

Stainless steel work-hardens up to 45 Rockwell-C in some cases. There is too little feed pressure work-hardens the immediate drilling surface, and a dull bit will work-harden the starting divot. 

Pilot holes are NOT beneficial when drilling stainless because they can work-harden the hole 

Always use cutting fluid for drilling stainless to promote cleaner hole finish and double bit life. 


Features & Benefits

  • Designed to be tough enough for abusive hand drilling yet open enough to pass large softer chips without binding

  • 50% Flute resists breaking caused by excessive flexing 

  • CM-8™ alloy steel combines with the patented Cryophase™ treatment to help keep the drill bit sharp in the toughest applications

  • 3-Flats on the drill bit shank makes these bits perfect for keyless chucks commonly found in hand drills.

  • Available in 29 piece jobber lengths to 1/2" and in reduced shank bit sizes up to 1-5/16"



Using high-speed steel (HSS) drill bits to drill stainless steel during regular maintenance. Each bit drilled only 2 holes before failing and each hole took approximately 1 minute of drilling.

On an average month, 1500 holes are drilled, which required 25 man-hours and 750 drill bits.  

Repair with Partsmaster Products: Using Cryobit® Drill Bits on stainless steel averages 15 seconds per hole and each bit drills an average of 12 holes.

Drilling 1500 holes each month now requires a little over 6 man-hours and only 125 drill bits. 


Estimated Monthly Savings: $7,368

Estimate Annual Savings: $88,425