best drill bit for drilling out broken bolts

Best Drill Bit for Drilling Out Broken Bolts

Bolts are used everywhere in metal or woodworking projects. And their importance can never be neglected. But they may create a mess sometimes. The cheap bolts we buy from local vendors are usually creating a lot of mess when their heads get broken in the tapped workpiece.

I had this problem a lot of times while working in the lab when I was just opening or closing the bolts and found that the head is the only thing that came out. I have tried a lot of different things to get the threaded part of the bolt out. Some of the techniques work and some fail. In this blog post, I will throw light on only those techniques that worked like a charm for me.

Also, I will cover some of the best drill bits for drilling out broken bolts.

2 Ways For Drilling Out Broken Drill Bit

If your bolt head is broken and your length is still in the tapped potion. You might be doing a lot of stuff to get that part out. I also did that. I tried with screwdrivers, pliers, drilling down the bold, and other such techniques but most of them didn’t work out.

The only techniques that worked out for me and may work out for you as well are:

1- Left-handed drill bit

This is one of the best and cheapest methods to remove the broken bolt without much hassle. And it works best for smaller-size bolts M1-M10. You first have to mark the center point on the bolt using the center punch. Then with the help of the center drill bit, you can drill a smaller hole in the bolt length (smaller in dia than your drill bit).

Then when you have drilled using the center drill bit. You can use the left-handed drill and move your drill in the counterclockwise direction. The left-hand drill will make your threaded part become loose due to the rotational force of the drill and it will eventually lose open.]

Remember that this technique only works best for smaller bolts and in case your threads are not damaged or rusted. You also need to know that the drill bit should be of hard and wear-resistant material or otherwise it may break during the process. You can avoid this by using the bigger drill bit. As it will have a high torsion value and may not break easily due to twist.

You can buy the reverse drill bit of any hard material, but I recommend you go with Carbide (high budget) or Cobalt drill bit for this extraction. As they may not break easily due to high torsion stiffness.

Carbide drill bits

A carbide drill bit is the most premium drill you can get for this job. It is also a high-end drill bit and will cost a little higher but it will last longer and can be reused (sharpened easily) due to high-quality material (carbide).

Cobalt drill bits (HSCO)

After carbide, cobalt drill bits are the best suited for the extraction job. You can get these bits a little cheap as compared to carbide drill bits. They also work fine and you will not find a major difference between the carbide and cobalt ones.

2- Bolt extractor drill bit

Now, if your bold size is larger or if it is stuck badly like threads are damaged or the part is very rusty. You can use the bolt extractor drill bit to get your bolts out easily and efficiently.

It’s a twisted metal bit made up of High-Speed Steel (HSS) and is specifically designed to get your bolts or screws out in no time.

You first have to drill a small hole in the area from where the bolt head is broken. Then you can insert the bolt extractor in the drill and set it in the reverse direction and it may not work in the forward direction. Due to its ingenious design and friction, it will be stuck with the length of the bolt and the bolt will get out of the tapped hole easily.

Bolts with sizes larger than M10, rusty bolts, and damaged bolts may need a bolt extractor to get them out of the part. Rest of the article we will be talking about the bolt extractor drill bits as they are most versatile and better suited for the extraction job.

5 Best Drill Bits for Drilling Out Broken Bolts

1- IRWIN Screw Extractor

Irwin tools are renowned for their powerful and innovative properties. IRWIN HANSON Spiral Extractors and Drill Bits are one of the top of the line drill bits and extractors. In addition to their spiral flutes, their main specialty is embedding themselves deeper into the material, regardless of whether it is a softer or harder metal. The bits provide excellent precision and accuracy when drilling your workpiece. 

Its aggressive design increases its capabilities and makes it a perfect fit for woodworkers and metalworkers. This kit is designed to remove fasteners of the most commonly used sizes quickly and easily. 

This superb starter set comes equipped with five screw extractors and five drill bits. The screw extractors enable you to remove damaged and seized studs, bolts, and screws without any hassle. 

The size of each extractor or drill bit is embedded in it, which makes it easy to find your desired one and save time while working. The added benefit is that they are durable and cost-effective. A blessing for novice workers and professionals as well.

Item Specifications

  • Identification is easy due to the etched sizes on every bit and exactor.
  • They are specifically designed to remove studs, screws, bolts, and fittings.
  • Resistance and grip increase side by side.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • Cost-effective for budget buyers.

2- Stocking Stuffers for Men

You might not have tried a more powerful and easy-to-use tool in your mechanical career than stocking stuffers. You might want to give it a shot if you haven’t yet. Specifically designed to fit in virtually any drill, these universal extractors fit in all types of drills. Regardless of their stripped state, these striped screw extractors remove screws and bolts that are damaged, embedded, rusted, and painted over.

With two simple steps, you can accomplish the task. By using a screw remover, drill a hole of the appropriate size and use the extractor tool to extract the screw or bolt—the extractor tools work by reversing the damaged screw counterclockwise until it unsticks.

Their robust build quality is engineered with 63-65HRC, which adds to the hardness and sturdiness of these extractors. This capability makes them durable and future-proof. These exactors sell like hotcakes and stand alone among their competitors due to this distinctive feature.

Above all, your satisfaction is the priority for stocking stuffers. You can assure the money-back guarantee if the product does not match your marks.

Item Specification

  • Four pieces screw extractors for the 3-12mm screw sizes or bolts.
  • Powerful and easy-to-use drill bits
  • Extract all types of rusted, damaged, and embedded screws and bolts.
  • Ensures 100% money-back guarantee.
  • Hard and sturdy material manufacturing.

3- NEIKO 10037A Left-Hand Drill-Bit Set

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a pro machinist, the NEIKO 10037A is an amazing twist drill bit set that can fulfill your work requirements. 

They are made of high-speed steel, which is not only harder but also looks aesthetically pleasing with titanium nitride coating. Hence, the surface hardness of this material is high, allowing it to penetrate even the toughest materials. In addition to reducing friction between the bit and the workpiece, the steel also makes the bit easier to handle.

Steel drill bits feature angled tips, twist styles, and 135-degree split points, allowing them to center themselves precisely. In order to clear chips and particles as quickly as possible, these drill bits increase cutting speed by preventing walking.

The versatility of these steel extractors makes them the best fit for any workspace and workpiece. The rusty, embedded, broken, and torn nuts, bolts, screws, strips, and studs are no more headache now. These easy-to-use extractors perform hassle-free counterclockwise rotation to unscrew the sticky material.

Item Specification

  •  Each drill bit has an angled tip, a twist style, and a 135-degree split point.
  • Designed with high-quality steel with a titanium nitride coating.
  • Amazing left-hand extractors are available in 5-piece, 13-piece, and 15-piece SAE sets.
  • Capability to unscrew stubborn and rusted nuts, bolts, and studs.
  • Suitable and must-have accessories for all workplaces.
  • Comes packaged in an elegant metal index storage case.

4- Topec 35-Piece Screw Extractor

If you are a multitasker and need a multitasking tool kit, you can’t be wrong if you opt for the TOPEC 35-piece screw extractors kit. This kit contains 13pcs multi-spline screw extractors, 16pcs left-hand cobalt drill bits, and 6pcs spiral screw extractors. You can use them for any application easily from a wide range of different types of bits from the kit.

These drill bits are manufactured of High carbon steel and HSS materials that are the hardest and most powerful enough to screw and unscrew the fastened rusty screws and studs.

In this kit, you will find a variety of extractors that can be used in various applications. It is easy to extract fasteners with spiral flute extractors. Bolt extractors are useful for unscrewing partly-exposed fasteners, while multi-spline extractors are appropriate for tools with higher torques and lower profiles. Furthermore, the kit comes with a left cobalt drill bit for fasteners that can be used in drilling these screws.

Item Specification

  •  Manufactured with High-carbon steel and HSS materials.
  • Useful for multiple applications.
  • The kit consists of a wide range of multiple bits and extractors.
  • 35 pieces with various specifications and sizes.

5- Luckyway 10-Piece Screw Extractor

Luckyways handy remover kit is one of the best tool kits that benefits you alike whether you are a carpenter, a hobbyist, work on an automobile, a woodworker, or a metal worker. This kit comprises 5pcs HSS left-hand drill bits and five alloy steel bolt extractors. These drill bits and extractors come in different sizes to extract the embedded, broken, and rusty nuts, bolts, studs, fittings, and socket screws. 

Their robust and hardened building material makes these tools withstand even adverse effects while working on rugged material. These tools have the capability to show unmatched performance even working with stubborn and damaged material that seems impossible to unscrew. 

These superb quality extractors drill the hole in the broken and damaged bolt, and the tap wrench puts off all the broken parts from the whole and accurately keeps the hole undamaged.

Item Specification

  • Manufactured with durable, hardened steel material.
  • Spiral flutes easily penetrate deeper into the hardest material.
  • 5pcs HSS left-hand drill bits and five alloy steel bolt extractors.
  • All drill bits and extractors come in various sizes.

Best Drill bit for hardened steel bolt

A bolt extractor drill bit is the best drill bit for hardened steel bolts. As it has a sturdy design and can handle complex jobs easily. I personally have removed SS and MS bolts with the help of this screw extractor and it works like a charm.

If you try to use the reverse drill bit to remove of hardened drill bit it may break easily or can overheat the drill. As high torsional rigidity is required for this job which may not be achieved with help of reversed drill bit technique.

Factors to Pick the Best Drill Bits

Following are some of the factors that should be taken into account before buying the best drill for drilling out the stripped bolts:

1- Material

The material plays a very vital role in the selection of bolt extractors. As the bolt extractors have to work with very harder bolts and will be suspected to a lot of friction so it is more prone to damage. A harder material will make sure that the extractor is more wear-resistant and less suspectable to damage due to high torsional forces.

Cheap quality extractor bits are also available in the market and they are they usually have other impurities added to them to minimize the cost. But they may break easily if high torque is applied. So it is recommended to always buy stainless steel or HSS drill bits to make sure you are investing in the right thing.

2- Gripping Power

The gripping of the drill bit depends upon a variety of factors. That includes design, material being used, and surface treatment is done. The reverse-hand spiral flute design provides a good amount of gripping power as compared to other conventional designs.

3- Variety of Pieces in Set

Always make sure that the set you are buying must have a lot of different sizes of bits available so that you can use the perfect size for your bolt. If there are fewer pieces available in a set then it may cause some trouble and will make the removal process more difficult.

4- Durability

The drill you are selecting should be durable enough that it may last for years in your workshop and pay back your investment. Always buy from reputed brands, and check the materials mentioned, surface quality, and youtube reviews to make sure you are buying a durable drill bit. Don’t worry I have already listed the best ones above.

5- Surface Treatment Quality

This is an important and underrated point that may affect the quality of the drill bit you are buying. Drill bits are used for extraction purposes and they may have rubbing, friction, and just with the harder materials so the surface them are more prone to damage and which may lead to corrosion, pitting, and scratching on the bit which will make its life span shorter and also lowers the performance.


1- Can you drill out a broken drill bit?

Yes, you can drill out a broken drill bit with the help of a drill press or hand drill. To do so you can use a drill bit of a much smaller diameter than the broken drill bit and first drill the all-around place, then with the help of a plier or any gripper, you can remove the broken drill bit.

2- What kind of drill bit do you use for metal bolts?

You can use the bolt extractor drill bit to remove metal bolts. It has spiral flutes that provide enough gripping power and is usually made up of HSS that has enough strength to cope with harder metal bolts. Also, the torsional rigidity of the bolt extractor is so high that it can withstand higher torques compared to its size.

3- Which is stronger black oxide or titanium drill bits?

The titanium drill bits are more stringer than black oxide ones. Due to their high hardness and strength. Also, they are not prone to damage due to higher temperatures. Black oxides on the other hand are more on the budget side as they are much cheaper and readily available. Considering the life span, titanium drill bits last longer and have a better shelf life.

4- How Do You Get a Stuck Drill Bit Out of a Chuck?

This is the most common problem I see in the machine shop. It usually happens when the drill is misaligned in the chuck. I have a tip for that. You can use a metallic tool (plier, hammer) and gently strike the drill bit from all sides multiple times. And then with the help of adjusting pliers, you can lose open the drill check. It always works for me and I wish someone would have told me earlier.

5- How do you extract a bolt without an extractor?

If you don’t want to buy an extractor you can use the reverse drill technique to remove the stuck bolt. For this, you need to have a reverse drill bit (carbide or cobalt: recommended) to drill through the bolt and remove it.

6- Can I use a drill for the screw extractor?

Yes, you can use a cordless or corded drill and install a screw extractor on it. Make sure to keep the drill in high power mode and run in the reverse direction. If you are experiencing drill overheating or stalling it is an indication that you need enough power and this is where you need to twist the screw extractor manually with the help of a wrench or adjustable pliers.

Leave a Comment