How to Keep Drill Bits from Rusting?

Drill bits are made of High-Speed Steel (HSS). This kind of steel is resistant to heat, but this is not must firm against rust attack. That is why your drill bits rust if it comes to contact with water and oxygen at once.

But in order to drill effortlessly, you have to keep the surface of the bit clean and smooth. That is why keeping the bit free from rust is very much important.

In this guide, I will discuss the ways of keeping the bit free from rust attack and the make rusted bits workable again. But for the better understanding of this process, you have to know the reasons that cause rusting.

Why Drill Bit Rusts?

The chemical reaction that results in rust requires three compounds; Oxygen, water and off course the Iron itself. When this three comes in contact with each other they slowly form rust.

Why Drill Bit Rusts

This is really a low process that takes at least a couple of weeks. There are some other ingredients that sometimes quickens the process.

Best Way to Prevent the Bits from Rusting

We have learned that water and Oxygen cause rusting in iron. So the best way to keep your bits free from rusting is to keep your bits free from any of this. You can adopt the following method to do that.

Best Way to Prevent the Bits from Rusting

Painting the Bits

You can use synthetic paints for this process. Apply the paint in three layers over the bit. It will keep water and oxygen away. But this process is not that much efficient because the paint coating gradually gets removed by friction with the material your drill. Therefore, this process needs repetition after a couple of time of use.

Preserve Them into Oil

Submerging the bits into petroleum is a very effective way to prevent rusting. This also keeps the bits glossy. You can use petrol or kerosene for this process.

Covering With Grease Wet Cloth 

In this process, you have to apply a layer of grease on the bits. After that you have to wet a piece of cloth with grease. Finally cover the bits with the cloth and tie it. This will keep the bits free from rusting for a long time.

How to Clean Rusted Bits

When your bit is already rusted there is no other choice to remove them. You can adopt a number of ways to clean them. But here I mention the three easiest and most effective ways to do this.

How to Clean Rusted Bits

Note that you have to preserve then using the ways that I have mentioned above. Otherwise, they will rust again.

Rubbing with Coarse Sandpaper

Sandpaper contains hard but brittle sand particles on its surface. Therefore, rubbing with them cleans the rust easily. For this process you can use or some you have to use two types of Sandpapers – one that contains coarse sand and another that contains moderately coarse sand.

First, use the coarser one to clean the bigger particles then use the moderately coarse one for better cleaning.

Soaking in Oxalic Acid

For this process, you have to ensure some safety kits for you like gloves and goggles. First of all clean the bits with detergents to ensure that there is no grease or oily particles over them.

Then soak them in Oxalic Acid for twenty minutes until the crusts have gone. This may take more or less time depending on the degree of rust.

Submerging into Coca-Cola

I’m not making fun. This really works. Yes, this works because Coca-Cola contains mild acid that slowly works on rust and cleans them. All you need is just submerge them into Coca-Cola at night and wash them in the morning.


There is no doubt on this fact that drill bits require care for better performance. They can't be kept free from rust without a good preserving. Again removing rust, again and again, will cause decay to your bits. So it's better to preserve them.

I think the methods that I have mentioned above will help you out to keep your bits fresh for work.


I am Samantha, an automobile engineer and POD business owner. I am also a wife of Jason and a mother of three children, two of whom are twins. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and strive to be a role model for my children. I believe that hard work and dedication can lead to success, no matter what your circumstances may be. I have a passion for cars and enjoy working on them in my spare time. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and experience with you. Stay connected !

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