Drilling through steel or metal


Summary: How to drill through steel, drill through other metals, what drill bit to use when drilling metal and what technique to use when drilling metal.



Drilling through metal isn’t the hardest job for a DIYer, though certain techniques will need to be applied and using the correct tools is a must. If you know the metal you want to drill through, then you can choose the right drill bit and technique required to make a successful hole.


Drilling metal

  • The most important thing is knowing what drill bit to use for the metal you want to drill through. For hard metals such as steel, you will need a hard bit. High speed steel (HSS) is a bit that is coated with aluminium nitride to toughen it. A cobalt bit is also good for drilling through steel. When drilling hard metals, do so slowly to avoid damaging the drill bit.
  • Softer metals such as aluminium, brass and copper only need a softer bit, but the speed at which you drill should be faster than that of hard metals otherwise metal shavings will build up and ruin the cut.
  • Measure where you want to make your hole and mark the spot. Using a nail, make a little indent in the metal where you made your mark. This will show more clearly where you want to drill, but also helps the drill bit grip when you first start to make the hole.
  • Secure the piece of metal you want to drill through using either a clamp or a vice. You will ideally need to use both hands when holding the drill, so be sure the metal is firmly in place where it will not be able to move.
  • Start drilling very steadily. You do not want to let the drill slip and slide as this will damage the surface of the metal. Once you have started to make a hole, employ the drilling technique correct to the type of metal you are working with.

Drilling through steel or metal video

Drilling metal - lets-do-diy.com