One of the reasons why it is so difficult to drill a stainless steel is its composition. Chromium is a metal used in the chrome of objects to make them stainless.
Yes, it is the guilty element of the problem!
This hardness creates friction and heat. As soon as the cutting edge of your tool gets glowing from the friction, it starts to melt!
This is why tools dull fast when you are working with stainless steel. If you are thinking of doing some remodeling project, you will have to deal with this difficult material.
In this article, we are going to teach you how to drill a stainless steel like a pro.
What will you need?
- Electric drill machine.
- Squirt bottle with water as a lubricant for your tools.
- Drill bits for stainless steel: you can use a cheap one if you only plan to drill a few holes.
- Smaller diameter drill bit: they are perfect at starting the holes.
- Center Punch: This will allow you to make a tiny dimple, which is key to a good start.
- Quarter inch drill bit to actually drill the stainless steel.
- Piece of stainless steel.
- Protective eye wear and shoes: to protect yourself from flying shards of hot steel.
Now you are ready to drilling through using freshwater!
Safety comes first! Put on your protective gear. Now, mark the location you plan to drill and please, check that you are marking the right place. Then, use the center punch to dimple your start.
Next, put a little bit of water on your piece of stainless steel. You will see the steam coming off. This is an indication that the water is boiling. If you can have a helper who can keep a little squirt on there, will be good! It allows you to work without stopping. Everyone uses oil as a lubricant but this is a terrible mistake.
Oil burns off relatively quickly and as soon as it is burning off, your tool will lose its cooling effect. Remember: heat is your enemy. The secret to success is using water to keep your tool always cool!
Apply medium pressure to the drill but take it easy. Go on high-speed and harder at the same time is not an intelligent movement. You must be patient and ensure to reduce the friction. Drill at very low speed.
This will keep your sharpness cool and it can last longer. If you run your metal drill bit too fast, you will heat the surface to the point of melting. Of course, it is all about balance. The trick here is practice.
You will find a happy medium at which the drill, the bit, and the metal cooperate fully and everything will be so easy. Keep working on this way, slowly and steadily. Be sure to lubricate the bit and the hole.
When you have achieved the hole size, you must check it. Make sure it has the appropriate size. You can use sandpaper to round it out and finish it off as a professional. Finally, enjoy your results! If you follow these tips, you will be able to drill a stainless steel without any problem.
You do not need a high-speed tungsten drill bits to achieve this. You can pay a fortune for fancy tools but do not waste your money. With an ordinary cheap drill, you will be able to drill like a pro.
Drilling a stainless steel is no mean task but with the right equipment and skills, the process can be achieved sooner than you possibly can imagine.