When using a drill, it's not just the quality of the tool itself that is important but also the quality of the drill bits (HSS CO-SPOT Drill Bit). BS Fixings are proud suppliers of drill bits from leading manufacturer Goebel, which are manufactured using HSS (High Speed Steel). Here is our guide to this unique material...

As with so many other materials, the process of creating HSS was discovered accidentally. The first HSS steel was made in the 13th century but was difficult to recreate due to the many different types and combinations of ore found in different locations. It was not until 1868 that a reliable method of creating consistent HSS was refined by Robert Forester Mushet, a metallurgist.

Mushet steel, as HSS was first referred to, originally consisted of an alloy of tungsten, carbon and manganese. It was later discovered that chromium performed better than manganese and, by 1919, official designation was given to the first formally-classified HSS.

HSS is today known as a 'tool steel' and is an alloy containing tungsten, molybdenum or a combination of both. It belongs to a multi-component alloy system known as 'Fe-C-X', where 'Fe' represents iron, 'C' stands for carbon and 'X' is tungsten, molybdenum or sometimes, depending on intended use, cobalt, chromium or vanadium.

Goebel HSS drill bits provide a dramatically-enhanced level of resistance to wear thanks to an improved working hardness compared to other metals traditionally used to manufacture drill bits. With excellent retention and remarkable strength, the bits are prevented from breakage at cutting edges and drill points, performance qualities that are unaffected by temperature.