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Cobalt Steel

Cobalt Steel is very similar to High Speed Steel. Its identifier is M40CO or M42. Most drills made of Cobalt have a brownish gold tint and are marked with their identifier. Cobalt is a step up from HSS and offers better tool life than HSS. Since Cobalt is harder and therefore more brittle than HSS, Cobalt drills usually have a more rugged construction with less room for chips to escape in the flute area. Although they work great cutting materials like stainless steel and cast iron, they do not work well in wood or plastics because they do not clear chips well. In an application in which a good grade of HSS Drill cut 2000 holes before becoming dull, a Cobalt Drill might cut 2200 holes before dulling. Sharpening Cobalt Steel tools requires a grinding wheel made of stone or one that is Borazon plated.

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