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What Are The Best Drill Bits For Stainless Steel?

Published by Lucy Thurston on

Drill Bits Stainless Steel

From mild steel boxes to stainless steel in all other shapes and sizes, working with this metal type may require you to use a drill. Despite this, since stainless steel is such a hard metal, navigating the drilling of such can be a tricky process. As a result, individuals are often left wondering what the best drill bits for stainless steel are.

When it comes to drilling stainless steel, there are a number of aspects to consider, and each of these aspects will affect how the drilling is carried out. Detailed below are just a few of the features that need to be taken into account when it comes to selecting the best drill bits for stainless steel.

How The Type Of Metal Affects Your Drilling Practices

First things first, the type of metal you’re drilling plays a huge role in determining your drilling practices. This is arguably the most important aspect of consideration, as different metals react to the drilling motion differently. For instance, the metal type will determine how much pressure you need to apply to the material, the ideal cutting speed, and the most appropriate type of drill bit.

In fact, when drilling stainless steel too quickly without a significant amount of lubrication, the material will harden. As a result, it will become much more difficult to drill. To avoid this from happening, you should:

  1. Drill slowly.
  2. Apply plenty of lubricant.
  3. Drill for 10 seconds, stop, allow the drill bit to cool for 20 seconds, lubricate, and repeat the cycle.
  4. Apply minimal pressure.
  5. Use a good-quality drill bit.

Choosing The Right Drill Bit For Stainless Steel Sheet Metal

The overwhelming selection of drill bits on the market can make choosing the right one difficult and confusing. That said, some of the most popular drill bits for drilling metal include diamond core, diamond coated, solid carbide, carbide tipped, molybdenum, and cobalt. For stainless steel, though, cobalt drill bits are undeniably the best choice. This is because cobalt drill bits are crafted to work on heavy-duty and high-tensile performance metals. Essentially, the use of cobalt as an alloy boosts the parent metal’s strength and increases its heat-resistant properties – each of these is fundamental for drilling stainless steel.

Selecting The Right Power Drill For A Sheet Of Steel

It’s not just about choosing the right drill bit for drilling stainless steel; it’s also about selecting the right power drill. Outside of the workshop, powered hand drills are typically used; however, it’s essential that these tools have an adjustable speed. As previously mentioned, working with harder metals often means working at a slower speed. Fortunately, the vast majority of power drills come with an adjustable speed setting as standard, meaning you can start slowly and work your way up if necessary.

Selecting A Metal Lubricant

Naturally, when drilling metal, the build-up of heat is inevitable, meaning this needs to be reduced as much as possible. As previously mentioned, drilling in short bursts is an effective method of minimising heat build-up. A second method of achieving this is by using a metal lubricant, which can range anywhere from pastes to oils. Each type of lubricant has its own pros and cons; however, the choice you make tends to come down to personal preference.

Wearing The Necessary Protection

It should go without saying that protection is required for working with metals; in particular, protective goggles should be worn. Depending on the extent of the job at hand, a face mask, gloves, and ear protection might also be necessary.

Managing The Drill

One problem that you might encounter when drilling stainless steel is deflection. This is down to the high tensile strength of the material. In order to manage this, you should start with a pilot hole, which can help you ensure the stability of the drill bit.

Even before you start making your pilot hole, your metal should remain clamped to the table for stability. Aside from this, though, the speed of the drill plays a huge role in how the drill bit performs. Slow and steady always wins the race when it comes to drilling stainless steel.

Consult The Steel Suppliers

As stainless steel tube suppliers, we’re well-equipped to answer any questions you may have about metal. Whether it’s about the best drill bits for stainless steel or fashioning any other metal type, we’re here to help.

You can browse our collection of stainless steel here, suited for all manner of projects and applications. If you’re unsure about your requirements, please feel free to get in touch with our team. We’ll be more than happy to provide the necessary advice and guidance to help you make the right choices when it comes to purchasing all manner of metals.

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What Are The Best Drill Bits For Stainless Steel?

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