12 Tips for How to drill through metal

Drilling through metal is not so easy. You have to choose the perfect drill bit and follow some step perfectly. For you, we have explained in this article sequentially how to drill through metal.

Let’s see-

What materials do you need?

Let’s make it sure what items you will need to drill through metal. There are many items you should have but there is one thing. The item’s size and characteristic may vary considering the types of the metal or the hole size. Like that you may need to use bench drill machine or power drill or titanium nitride drill bit or cobalt steel drill bit.

  • Drilling machine
  • Drill bit
  • Clamps
  • Lubrication
  • Bench

Now let’s see the process to drill through metal in step by step.

Choose the right drill machine

You can choose the drill machine according to the metal type. It depends actually. If you want to drill a larger piece of the metal sheet, then it will be easy for you to drill with a bench drill machine. But if the piece of metal is not so large then use the power drill. But for that case, you may need to use the clamp to avoid slipping off the metal.

Choose the correct drill bit

Actually, the types of metal define what type of drill bit you should use. But the most interesting fact is that you don’t need any fancy o high price drill bit. Most common and normal drill bit is enough to drill through metal. But yes I am not saying that you don’t need to spend money. Because in most of the cases, it happens to break or dull quickly for cheaper ones.

The different types of drill bits are:

  • High-speed steel
  • Solid carbide drill bit
  • Cobalt drill bit
  • Coated HSS drill bit
  • Titanium nitride bit
  • Cone drill bit

You can use high speed still drill bit. It works perfectly on the metal. Or titanium nitride bit can also be the option in lieu of high speed still. This stays longer maximum six times than high-speed steel. But if you use a very hard metal, you can use cobalt steel bit. Stainless still or cast iron can be the example of hard metal. There is another drill bit named cone or step drill bit. With this, you can enlarge the drilled area without changing the drill bit. The size of the drill bit increase to the upper side maintains a cone size. That’s why it is named by cone drill bit.

Clamp the workpiece or use a pillar drill

Now, clamp the workpiece to a vice. It is so necessary because the high speed of the drill can vibrant the metal and also can displace. And you can’t hold the metal as you have to use your two hands to drill. And it is not also wise to hold the metal during drilling.

You can also use two pieces of the clamp to attach the metal with the bench. The bench should be made of wood. Drilling a sheet metal always requires the wooden bench.

There is another option that you can use a pillar drill machine. There is an attached vice to hold the sheet metal. You can drill thereby holding with the vice.

Mark the workpiece

Decide where to drill into the metal. Then mark on that place carefully. You can mark with a simple marker. It is for like taking preparation before drilling.

Create pitot hole

Then on the marked spot, you have to punch to make a simple dimple. You can do that with a center punch and a wooden hammer. Just punch to the center of that mark with the wooden hammer. It is better to use the wooden hammer. If you can’t manage, then go with the normal hammer.

Drill through the pitot hole

Now with the exact drill bit, you can start drilling. You have to now set your drill machine exact on that pitot hole. Drill through the metal until you get your desired one. Try to drill at one step. Don’t stop during drilling. And hold the drill perpendicular to the workpiece.

If you are using bench drill, it will be easier for you to control the system. Just down the handle and minimize or maximize the pressure and drill quickly. It is easier to fix the height according to your need as well.

 

Use lubricant

It is dangerous to drill continuously. Because during drilling, so much heat arise. And if you use lubricant, then it will be easier for you to control the excess heat and friction. For thin metals like aluminum or brass, this is not necessary but for steel, you must use lubricant.

Optimize speed and pressure

Speed and pressure are the most important facts to drill the metal perfectly. You have to remember that drilling with high speed and pressure won’t give you a good result. You have to step with tactics.

Like for stainless steel you have to go with low speed but with high pressure. But for metal like aluminum you have to apply low pressure with low speed. Same goes for copper too. Low speed with low pressure. Always maintain low speed for drilling metal.  

Remove the drill bit

Now if the drilling into the metal comes to finish, remove the drill bit cautiously. Clean the lubricant and chips. Don’t use your hand. Use a simple brush to clean.

What are the safety issues?

 

  • Never touch the metal after drilling. Metal becomes so hot after drilling.
  • Always wear eyeglass when drilling
  • It is better to wear hand gloves during drilling
  • Use dust musk to stay out from dust

 

Conclusion

So, here was our best effort to explain you in a brief about how to drill through metal. Follow our instructions step by step. And don’t do hurry. Practice for many times. Drilling metal will be easier for you. Stay safe during drilling.

Robert P. Watson
 

Robert P. has been a DIY, woodworking enthusiast for 5 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools. He loves solving problems and crafting ideas from scratch.

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