Though a range of types of drill bits out there, but all of them aren’t suitable for tough materials like stainless steel. So what is the best type of drill bit for stainless steel? Only a few types of drill bits can conquer the stainless steel that we have explained throughout the article.
Stainless steel is a solid material and heats up quickly. So applying a typical drill bit won’t be able to drill through stainless steel and end up breaking down. Thus, learning and using the right type of drill bit is vital to successfully create a hole in the stainless steel. So let’s get them!
Why stainless steel requires specific type drill bit?
Drilling through stainless steel is a tougher job than other materials. It’s a solid material and produces extensive heat during drilling through it. As a result, the drill bit you use must be able to withstand the heat and remain durable through such tough metal. Thus, the user requires a special drill bit for bolts or stainless steel that is made of durable construction and can withstand extreme heat.
What is the best type of drill bit for stainless steel?
Among a range of types, you can essentially use three types of drill bits to drill through stainless steel.
- Step bits
Note: both the titanium-coated and cobalt bits are known as twist bits. It’s the most common type of drill bit that is also used broadly. Thus, while choosing a twist bit, make sure it is suitable for stainless steel and metal instead of just wood or plastic.
This type of drill bit is coated with titanium. If the manufacturer made it properly, this coating should have decent durability and be harder than a typical drill bit. Thus, the drill bit is suitable for drilling through stainless steel and other metals. The titanium-coated drill bit should also have a tip so it can remain sharper for longer. Otherwise, sharpening by hand or other tools can lose its coating.
Another best type of drill bit is cobalt, which can drill through extremely hard materials like treated stainless steel. The drill bits are made of 5% up to 8% cobalt to form tough material rather than a coating. The construction makes the drill bit highly durable, so it can withstand extreme temperatures and drill through stainless steel without losing its edge. Cobalt is more preferable for drilling through strong steel and for an extended time, as both are great heat resistant. However, this type of drill bit is pretty expensive yet more brittle.
Step drill bits come in a combination of conical shapes and multiple cutting edges. These also come in different diameters and are mostly suitable for drilling through thin softwoods, laminates, particle boards, drywall, plastics, and sheet metal. it can even be used to drill through thinner stainless steel for cleaner holes. It’s a perfect brilliant bit to use for getting different sizes of holes on the panel and junction boxes.
The key advantage of using the step drill bit is it will offer various sizes of holes using the same bit. Even it doesn’t require a pilot hole to drill through the large hole in the working surface, either.
How to drill into stainless steel?
To drill through stainless steel using a twist bit, you have to start with a considerably lower speed. The reason is, stainless steel is quite soft and drilling too quickly will heat the metal, making it difficult to drill.
Still, if you want to drill quickly, apply a decent amount of pressure so the bit can penetrate the stainless steel. But make sure the drill bit remains undamaged. Another important thing is to let the drill bit cool down in between holes. So, apart from drilling slowly with decent pressure, applying cold water or fluid can also make the process successful.
Conversely, if you are using a step bit, follow the same technique. But it isn’t necessary to give the drill bit more time to cool down. The reason is that the step drill bit isn’t made of the typical flute design, hence it doesn’t heat up easily. In particular, this feature makes the step bit the best for drilling deep holes.
So what is the best type of drill bit for stainless steel? Highlighting the article, you have got the three best types of it. However, you can choose to use the drill bit based on the stainless-steel type. If you need to drill through tough and thicker stainless steel, use a titanium or cobalt drill bit. Conversely, the step drill bit is more suitable for thinner stainless steel for different sizes of the hole. Finally, use the best drill for stainless steel so you can make the task easier and safer.