DeWalt Black & Gold (Black Oxide) Vs. Titanium Drill Bill Set

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Whether you are a DIYer or an Industry Professional, there are always certain tools and equipment common to every toolbox. A trusty framing hammer; a pair of worn in gloves; your go-to speed square; or that old tape measure—that still seems to work no matter how many times you’ve dropped it.

Every worker has a common set of tools they wouldn’t be caught without, and most would agree that included in that list would be a reliable and durable set of drill bits.

For many, a good drill bit set will can keep the job running smoothly, while a bad set can cause setback after setback and severely impact the quality of work.

Fortunately, craftsmen now have access to a variety of drill bits from a number of companies, all with their own unique strengths, applications, specializations, and price-points.

Among these companies, DeWalt has stood out for decades as an industry leader in both quality and selection. And this applies to two of their most popular offerings in the segment: The DeWalt Black & Gold (Black Oxide) Drill Bit Set and The DeWalt Titanium Drill Bill Set.

While both drill bit sets are recognized as industry leaders in terms of functionality and quality, they have slightly different applications that may make one more suitable than the other, depending on intended use.

This article will walk users through how to determine which set is right for them, and the pros and cons of both.

DeWalt Black & Gold

Beginning with the DeWalt Black & Gold, this drill bit set has been a staple for carpenters, woodworkers, metalworkers, and other professionals since its release. Made from High-Speed Steel (HSS), each bit has been hardened and tempered to resist chipping and to maintain a sharp cutting edge.


What sets the Black & Gold set apart from standard drill bit sets is the Black Oxide coating that gives each drill bit its distinctive black coloration.

This triple-tempered, Magnetite (Fe304) coating is applied through a process known as conversion coating. Each bit is dipped in an alkaline solution at temperatures exceeding 280F. Once cooled, the black oxide provides not only a hardened, sharp cutting edge, but also increases the lubricity of the bit which reduces friction and increases the speeds at which the bit can cut.

Add to that a split-point (cutting angle) of 135 degrees – which increases the aggressiveness of the cutting action – and drilling becomes less time consuming, less strenuous, and with less heat build-up.


Given its hardness and durability, the Black & Gold Set has a greater range of applications and materials it can be used on. Black & Gold Bits are suitable for use on ferrous metals, hard and soft woods, as well as most plastics; all while being able to drill 1.5-2 times faster than their HSS counterparts. They are not, however, recommended for use on non-ferrous metals such as cast iron.


The final selling point of the Black & Gold Drill bits (and for some, possibly the most appealing one) is the serviceability of the bits themselves. Despite the black oxide coating, these bits can be readily sharpened once they’ve started to go dull and lose their cutting ability.

Unlike many other hardened and coated bits, the Black & Golds have a lifespan beyond their initial out-of-the-package sharpness. Couple this with an affordable price, and it’s easy to see why this is a viable option for many DIY craftsmen.

DeWalt Titanium Set

For someone looking for a higher end, higher performance drill bit set, the DeWalt Titanium Set may just be the right option.


Unlike the Black & Golds, the Titanium bits are coated in an incredibly hard ceramic coating known as Titanium Nitride (TiN). This is applied through a process known as Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) which gives the bits their distinctive yellow color. For those curious, PVD as a process is essentially the application of a ceramic coating in a vacuum chamber. The coating is turned into a vapor in a vacuum chamber – where it settles on the drill bits – and when the vacuum is released, the coating solidifies, giving the bits their extreme hardness.


The applications for the Titanium bits include all of those previously mentioned for the Black & Gold (Ferrous metals, hard and softwoods, plastics), however they can also handle the extreme hardness of non-ferrous metals such as cast iron and aluminum, as well as stainless steel. Another advantage of this hardness is the edge retention, which allows the Titanium bits to drill holes at a rate up to six times faster than conventional HSS bits.


There are, however, drawbacks to the titanium bits. Although the Titanium Nitride coating is extremely hard and durable, it will eventually begin to dull after extended use. Unlike bits coated in black oxide, though, the ceramic titanium nitride coating cannot be resharpened using conventional means. Instead, titanium bits need to have their coatings re-applied, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

Final Verdict

Now, to compare the two sets and decide which set is right for whom. Let’s first consider intended use.

DeWalt Black & Gold

The Black & Gold set is versatile and can handle a variety of materials. Their steep split-point angle allows for aggressive cuts and the black oxide coating minimizes heat build-up. They’re also readily serviceable and can be sharpened by conventional (and affordable) means.

They are limited to mostly ferrous metals, however, as the harder non-ferrous metals can damage the edge prematurely. That being said, this mix of affordability, performance, and serviceability makes the DeWalt Black & Gold set ideal for the DIYer who might not have the budget for the higher end drill bit sets, but still wants the performance and quality for their personal projects at a reasonable price.

DeWalt Titanium Set

The Titanium Drill Bit Set provides the highest levels of performance. The ultra-hard ceramic titanium nitride coating maintains a razor-sharp edge that can handle even the hardest non-ferrous metals from cast-iron to aluminum. The drawback here being the difficulty in servicing the bits once they get dull.

Conventional sharpening is not an option for this set, as the only way to reapply the factory edge is to re-coat the bit. This makes the Titanium set more suitable to the professional tradesmen/craftsmen who needs the highest quality cuts in as little time as possible to keep job productivity and quality as high as possible.
In conclusion, both the Black & Gold and the Titanium Drill Bit Sets from DeWalt are top of the line, performance-based cutting tools capable of delivering quality results over repeated use. It’s simply up to the user to weigh affordability and serviceability vs performance and cutting speed, and seeing which of these is more valuable to them in their particular set of circumstances.

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