How to Drill Through Metal? – Best Drill Bits For Metal!

Being a handyman can be both a daunting and a fun task as well. You have to experiment at the beginning with different tools until you become an expert in the field. For some, learning new tricks and tools is their hobby, while others might need it. Whichever it is for you, we must let you know that having the skills of a handyman can save you from a lot of trouble in the future. You can experiment and fix things around your household without having to spend the extra money on finding the right guy for the job.

How to drill through metal?

To drill through metal, the best way is to use a drill bit for metal, such as Cobalt drill bits. Additionally, drill through metal using as slow a speed as you can because metal drilling generates a lot of friction, and friction generates heat that damages the metal you are drilling into.

See below How to drill a hole in stainless steel:

So what are the Best Drill Bits For Metal?

The best drill bits for metal are cobalt bits, where cobalt drill bits use an alloy including 5%–8% cobalt. Cobalt drill bits are most often used to cut through hardened and abrasive materials.

How to drill tiny holes?

The best option is to use gun drilling using high speeds and low feed rates to drill tiny holes. The goal is to minimize runout and vibration when we drill small holes.

How to make a hole in metal without a drill?

To make a hole in metal without a drill, you need to center punch and hammer on a metal block because this will create a small dent where the metal has been previously marked. Additionally, Hole punch pliers can be used to make holes in metal without a drill.


You may have encountered some challenges during your work as a handyman. One of the situations might be where you have to drill holes in a metal piece. This is a different and challenging task as well and requires some careful steps to follow. This article will walk you through the steps needed for drilling holes in a metal piece.

  1. Finding the right twist bits for the metal

Overall, you do not need to get any specific twist bit for the metal, and any twist bit will work fine. Twist bits are typically made of any metal, including drilling through plastic and wood as well. If you are looking for an inexpensive option, you should go for the high-speed step (HSS) twist bit, the most common. This one works well with all types of metal. Next comes the expensive options that are more suited to drilling through solid metals such as cast iron. These options include twisted bits made of cobalt steel or black oxide. Finally, some twist bits come with a special coating of titanium nitride, which helps create a twist bit heat resistant and helps in lessening friction.

2. Get Protective gear for your eyes

Whenever you plan on drilling the metal, you should make sure that you have shielded your eyes to protect them from the welding of the metals. You should make sure to wear glasses for your safety to protect your eyes from any piece of metal going in. It would help if you remembered that any small metal piece going in your eyes can cause severe damage to the cornea and may require medical attention.

3. Make a specific spot

Making a dimple or making a specific spot to drill before beginning is very important to ensure that the drill machine does not move from its place. In addition, it is essential to ensure that the drilling has been done from a specific point. You can use a hammer as well to make a dimple yourself and then start the drilling.

4. Lubricate your metals

To make sure that there is less friction, you should apply lubrication to the metals. Many good quality cutting fluids are available in the shops, which help decrease the conflict when the drilling is done on metals. However, many metals such as cast iron and stainless steel do not require lubrication as such.

5. Use a clamp

You should always invest in a good-quality clamp to hold down the metal. You should never hold the metal with one hand and try to drill with another because the metal piece can slide here and there and cause severe injuries to your hand.

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6. Go from small to large

It would help if you always started with a small hole and then moved to the larger one to drill when you started drilling. This means that if you have a twist bit of 1/4 inches and 1 inch, you should begin by 1/4 inches.

7. Deburring

To work with a clean surface, it is also essential to know that you have to de-bur the hole when drilling it. It means that you should actively remove all of the residues to have a clean surface. There is a lot of fancy equipment available in the shops, but you can also take a twist bit with a larger diameter and try to press it in the hole with your hands. This is likely to remove all of the remaining residues.

8. For bigger holes

To drill the bigger holes, you can use a spot saw instead of a twist bit. They are likely to get the job done quickly and are efficient to use as well. You can put a piece of wood behind the hole saw to not move from its position.

9. Drilling Speed

The speed of drilling also ensures whether the metal will be drilled perfectly or not. It would help if you constantly drilled at a low speed to get too hot the drill machine quickly. When the twist bit is run at high speed, it will likely dull the metal and get heated promptly. There are some metals such as stainless steel that require a very slow speed as well.

10. Use wood

To make sure that the drilled holes are elegant and precise, you should use wood in upward and downward positions. You should put the metal piece in between the wood pieces like a sandwich and make sure to drill it, then ensure that the drills are done neatly.

11. Step Bits

You can invest in a good quality step bit to drill neat and clean holes and effectively use thin metals. They are ideal for use in stainless steel as well.

12. Drill Press

A good quality drill press is usually the answer to all drilling queries and is used by most workers. This usually ensures that there is greater accuracy while drilling and work are done more efficiently and neatly in less time as well.


Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark:

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