Drilling metal might be so hard! I know most of you have this thought in your mind. But it is a wrong thought. As you have come to read this blog, now I am going to show you the easiest process of how to drill through metal.
I believe after reading this you can easily drill through metal.
There is a secret technique which if can be followed then drilling metal becomes really easy.
The secret technique is keeping the drill bit cool.
So, keep reading to know how to drill through metal by keeping the drill bit cool. But before that don’t you need to know which drill to use for drilling metal?
Which Drill Bit to Use?
For drilling normal metal like aluminum, you can use twist drills. Because they are the perfect choice for drilling metal.
- 0.1 How to Choose the Perfect Twist Drill Bit?
- 0.2 Safety Measures for Drilling Through Metal
- 1 How to Drill Through Metal
- 1.1 What you’ll need:
- 1.2 The process of drilling through metal easily is stated below:
- 1.3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- 2 The Close-up
How to Choose the Perfect Twist Drill Bit?
First, let us know which material twist drill bit we should choose.
Basically, Standard Twist drill bits are made from five different materials, which are- high speed steel or HSS, cobalt, tungsten carbide, black oxide, and titanium.
Among these five materials, tungsten carbide is the most powerful and expensive material which is used to drill stainless steel.
Tungsten carbide drill bits are really good and last for a longer period. These drill bits are only three or four bucks more than the cobalt bits.
Check this out to know more about stainless steel and how to drill through stainless steel.
Then comes the high speed drill bit which is the cheapest one.
Moreover, for drilling normal metal like aluminum and copper you can use any standard twist drill bit.
So the process of choosing…
Now, we are going to see how to choose the right drill bit based on the appearance.
First of all, you need to look at the tip of the bit and see if it contains relatively two flat cutting edges but no protruding center point.
Drill bits with center points are used for drilling wood. And if you use this drill bit for drilling metal then both the bit and work will get ruined.
Oh, the name of one drill bit got slipped out of my mind!
A drill bit named step drill can also be used to drill some thin plate metal. A step drill bit is a cone-shaped bit and you will find this drill bit in different sizes.
How to Select Desired Drill Bit for Desired Hole Size?
Choose a drill bit equal to the size of your desired hole. But if you are confused, then choose a drill bit that is 1/64th inch larger than your desired hole size.
For more detailed information, just visit here: What size drill bit do I need?
Drill Machine for Drilling Metal
Okay, so as you have selected the perfect bit for your hole, don’t you need a drill now?
Now the question arises, which drill should I use to drill metal?
For drilling metal, you can use any power drill machine.
Wow! We are only halfway away from our destination!
Hey, Read This Part to Know How to Attach Drill bit with a Drill!
So far, we have selected our perfect drill bit and drill. Now it’s time to know the process of fitting a drill bit into the drill.
There are three methods and I know after hearing about three methods you might be thinking that “Why three methods?”
Then you should visit how to put a drill bit in a drill, to know the process of attaching a drill bit with the drill in detail, and to know why there are three methods.
Safety Measures for Drilling Through Metal
- Before starting the drilling process, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from sharp, tiny, curly metal shavings. They are dangerous for your eyes and even skin. But eyes are very sensitive. If any metal shavings get into your eyes then you might even lose your eyesight.
- Wear heavy leather work gloves while drilling the metal
- Hold the metal (which you are trying to drill) securely. You need to clamp the metal securely so that it doesn’t move or spin while working.
While drilling a material, drill’s spinning force gets transferred to that material and thus it can spin or move.
Sudden movement of the metal sheet can cause any kind of accident.
So, make sure to wear safety goggles, heavy leather work gloves, and most importantly, clamp the material securely.
How to Drill Through Metal
Still reading to know how to drill through metal and how to keep the bit cool?
What you’ll need:
- Safety goggles to protect eyes
- Heavy leather work gloves
- Sacrificial board
- Center punch and hammer
- Lubricant oil
- Any power drill with required drill bit
The process of drilling through metal easily is stated below:
- Take a sacrificial board and place under or over or on both sides of the metal (which you are trying to drill). And you have to drill through or into this sacrificial board.
If you are drilling thin metal then clamp the thin metal over the sacrificial board (MDF or particle board, plywood). Otherwise, the drill bit will tear up the hole.
Clamping another sacrificial wood over the thin metal will result in a clean hole.
- Drill bits will wander off as soon as you will start drilling metal. Wandering while drilling can cause any accident and will also ruin the work. So, before starting drilling directly with drill bit, make a dimple on the place where you want to make the hole with the help of a center punch and hammer.
- Now it’s time to add the lubricant oil. While drilling through metal, a lot of friction is created. And this friction makes the drill bit heated up easily.
Add a few drops of lubricant oil to the metal before drilling to avoid friction and heat. You can use cutting oil, household oil, or motor oil (like 10W-40).
And for drilling a large hole you might need to use the oil several times.
So, this is the technique of keeping the drill bit cool. Using enough oil keeps the drill bit cool.
- Now start drilling with a drill bit that is a bit smaller than your desired hole. It is better to drill with a small bit at the initial stage to speed up the drilling process. For example- if you need a 1/4th inch hole, first start drilling with a 1/8th inch drill bit and then move up to 1/4th inch bit.
Some tips for drilling through metal:
- Drill slowly and with low pressure. You should always run the drill with half or slower speed. You need to drill slowly because drilling too fast heats up the drill bit soon.
And also, it depends on the bit size.
If the drill bit is large then you have to reduce the speed of the drill. So, it can be said that, the larger the drill bit, the slower the speed should be.
- Stop drilling if you see that smoke is appearing. Appearance of smoke means you are not using enough lubricant and you are drilling with too much pressure and speed.
If the smoke appears then stop drilling and let the drill bit cool down. Then add lubricant oil.
And this time start drilling slowly and with low pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Will my Drill bit get dull if I drill through metal?
Yes, there is a possibility of your drill bit getting dull while drilling through metal.
Why the drill bit gets dull?
I said that there is a possibility of your drill bit getting dull while drilling through metal. Because metal is a hard material and it can get dull if you try to drill through it too fast.
But if you drill through metal with slow speed and low pressure and use lubricant frequently, then your drill bit won’t get dull.
What to do if my drill bit gets dull?
There are few tips available which if followed then you can keep your drill bit sharp for a long time. And even if your drill bit gets dull then you can re-sharpen your drill bit by clicking here.
So, what’s up? Happy after knowing “how to drill through metal” and realizing that drilling metal is easy?
Now you know the key secret of drilling metal easily. Still, let me remind you again that the secret technique of drilling metal easily is keeping the bit cool.
And for that, you need to use enough lubricant and also drill slowly and with low pressure.
It’s a simple but very effective technique.
Just always keep that secret technique in your mind while drilling.
And also make sure to follow all the instructions and tips of the process of how to drill through metal properly.