High Speed Steel
, or HSS
as it's abbreviated
, is a metal
commonly used on all purpose drill
s. It is also an alloy of metals that remain quite hard
at hot temperatures
. Making HSS
great for cutting anything including metal. As opposed to high carbon steel
, which is better for cutting hard materials, HSS
can cut metals or woods or even plastics at blazing speed.
HSS drill bits are usually coated in Titanium Nitride. Titanium Nitride is a compound that extends the life of standard HSS drill bits and allows for faster and repetitive drilling of materials. It can even allow you to go faster since it takes some of the stress off the core of the bit.
Drill speed limits for HSS can vary depending on if is coated in Titanium Nitride or if there is lubricant involved.
To simplify: Drilling holes in any wood with HSS can be done in seconds (this is assuming the stock doesn't go beyond 3' thick). Drilling holes in most plastics with HSS takes seconds(this is assuming the stock doesn't go beyond 3' thick). Drilling into aluminum with HSS can go between 5 seconds and a minute depending on the thickness. Drilling into steel with HSS can take minutes, approximately 5 minutes to drill through 1/2" thick of steel. Because of all of this it is obvious that high speed steel is a great material purpose material for drilling/boring holes.