How to use your Drilling Machine to drill metal

Posted on Jul 30, 2020

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How to use your Drilling Machine to drill metal

Using a drilling machine to drill metal is actually quite similar to drilling wood, but there are different techniques and operational differences that you have to pay attention to. Most importantly, you need to follow some basic safety tips and use the right techniques when drilling metal with your drilling machine, such as drilling slowly to prevent overheating. Since metal is harder than most other surfaces, people usually think that this job requires the use of powerful drill bits and specialized drill bits. Although the surface is hard, even if the hole can be easily drilled with a drill or drill press, a conventional cordless electric drill can be used to drill into the metal. In this article on how to use a drilling machine when drilling metals, we provide tips for the right and safe operation, drill bits selection, and more.

Metal Drilling 101

Since different metals have different hardness levels, this guide will help you deal with a variety of metals, including softer metals and harder metals. Through these steps, you will understand that there is no significant difference between using metal and using other surfaces, and there is no other drilling operation more complicated. The techniques highlighted in their article will definitely help you to complete your drilling work correctly and more effectively. It is important to note that drilling holes in metal is not much different from other surfaces. In fact, it is much simpler. However, this requires the use of specific technologies and the use of fewer consumables. When starting to drill metal, any type of drill bit can be selected. Most people think that drilling in metal requires the use of high-power industrial-grade drill bits or drilling machines. In fact, you can complete the work through any type of exercise, including cordless drills.

Read More: Drilling machining process

 

Specialized Drill Bits

Drilling holes on hard surfaces requires the use of special drill bits. Conventional drills cannot cut through metal. Therefore, they are easily worn out. Therefore, you need a hard drill bit that can penetrate metal without damaging it. When choosing the right drill bit for metal drilling, you need to pay attention to the design and material. Most standard drill bits used for drilling metals are twisted. They are also called twist drills. Always choose a twist drill without a prominent center. Instead, they have two relatively flat cutting edges. It is recommended to use a twist drill with a pointed center to drill through the wood. On metal surfaces, the sharp center is easily damaged.

 

5 Essential Tips when using a Drilling Machine


Tip No. 1 - Safety always comes first

Unlike wood, drilling holes in metal does not produce sawdust. Instead, it produces tiny but sharp metal chips. This may cause harm to your skin and eyes. Therefore, it is very important to have the correct safety gear before starting drilling operations. It is best to wear goggles and heavy leather gloves when drilling into metal. Another important safety rule is to restrain your work. Usually, a twisted drill bit can grab metal. If the drill bit stops in the middle, the rotating force of the drill bit will be transmitted to the workpiece. Therefore, it is recommended that you clamp the workpiece correctly. The same rules as for all metalworking tasks apply to drilling: the material should not be held in the hand. During work, it should be firmly fixed in place. When using with metal, safety glasses must be worn, as material fragments may fall into the air. Do not wear gloves when drilling, because the possibility of wearing gloves increases the risk of injury. Do not remove chips while still drilling. If you want to remove the chips, first withdraw the drill bit, and then carefully remove the chips.


Tip No. 2 - A pilot hole makes your life easier

The same rules as for all metalworking tasks apply to drilling: the material should not be held in the hand. During work, it should be firmly fixed in place. When using with metal, safety glasses must be worn, as material fragments may fall into the air. Do not wear gloves when drilling, because the possibility of wearing gloves increases the risk of injury. Do not remove chips while still drilling. If you want to remove the chips, first remove the drill bit, and then carefully remove the chips. Please note: Chips may become hot and sharp.


Tip No. 3 - Lubrication is important

The same rules as for all metalworking tasks apply to drilling: the material should not be held in the hand. During work, it should be firmly fixed in place. When using with metal, safety glasses must be worn, as material fragments may fall into the air. Do not wear gloves when drilling, because the possibility of wearing gloves increases the risk of injury. Do not remove chips while still drilling. If you want to remove the chips, first remove the drill bit, and then carefully remove the chips. Please note: Chips may become hot and sharp.


Tip No. 4 - Operate at an adequate speed

Special attention is required when drilling into metal. You need to keep speed and pressure low. For most exercises, you should work at about half the speed. Cordless drills provide you with the advantage of low-speed work. In addition, you need to maintain moderate pressure. The trigger on the cordless drill can also help you maintain enough pressure to effectively drill through the metal.


Tip No. 5 – Keep an eye on heat generation



 

Drilling Thin Workpieces & Metal Tubes

If you want to drill thin objects, you must additionally clamp them in place. You can clamp the thin part between two boards to prevent the hole from cracking. Clamping can also prevent the sheet metal from warping. When you use your drilling machine on metal, the workpiece shall must be clamped in place at all times. Especially metal pipes must be clamped in order to prevent it from bending. To prevent the tube from bending at the drilling point, a wooden rod of the same diameter can be inserted into the tube.


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Read More: About Drilling and Milling Machines

 

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