How to Drill Through Hardened Steel: Drill Steel Like Pro

Hardened Steel is hard to make holes since its molecules are attached firmly to each other. This guide has information on How to Drill Through Hardened Steel. You will notice that the skills and methods used to make drills vary from one metal to another. Besides, having special tools to make drills on a hard metal such as Steel would be best. The metal is brittle, unlike other metals with a flexible atomic structure.

Making holes on hardened Steel might be possible using an emery disk but not an angle grinder. Also, you cannot make a hole in hardened Steel using a normal driller since Steel is more stringent than the material of the driller. The metal is brittle, unlike other metals with a flexible atomic structure.

How To Drill Hardened Steel

What You Need – 

You must have the right tools and materials to drill the hole properly. You must also protect your hands, eyes, and body from harm.

It would be best to have good quality protective wear, Steel to drill through, Drill bits for Steel, Heavy-duty cordless drills / corded drills, Water or Lubricating oil, Rasp, etc.

Safety Consideration

You should follow several safety precautions when making drills on hardened Steel. They include:

Wearing safe cloth(optional)

  • Creating holes in metal, especially when using a drill bit, might be dangerous if you don’t have protective attire.
  • Wear a thick apron that will protect your body while doing the drills. However, avoid long garments that can entangle in the work area.
  • Furthermore, avoid carrying jewelry when working with a drill bit, and keep your hair out of the way.

Wear goggles for eye protection.

Wearing goggles for eye protection is very important While operating a drill bit. Some sharp, tiny pieces of metal might fly off the working space.

Sharp, tiny pieces of metal might cause discomfort and eye issues if it gets into your eyes. Wearing goggles to protect your eyes is highly recommended.

Besides, choose translucent goggles to protect you against the harsh light beams from the working surface.

Wear ear protector(Optional)

You don’t have to harm your ears while trying to drill through metal surfaces. This task is often complex and might make more noise from the drill bit.

Wear hand Gloves

Hand gloves are essential when drilling. Wood or metal chips may be cut or blister on your hands. Hand gloves give you the convenience of holding the drill while drilling.

Wearing a mask(Optional)

Metals produce some poisonous gases when heated; hence, you must be more cautious. Wear a costume that will cover your nose, thus protecting you against dangerous gases from the metal surface.

Steps on how to Drill Hard Steel –

Drilling through hardened Steel is pretty simple. Follow the steps below to learn how to drill holes in hard Steel.

Step 1 — Identify the Steel you want to drill through

Before searching for the tools to perform the task, you must choose the Steel you want to drill. After identifying the metal, set it aside from other working tools to avoid confusion. Furthermore, ensure the metal is in good condition before initiating the next step.

Step 2 — Use clamps to tighten the Steel to the working surface

The Steel should be firm and tight on your working table before drawing the cutting mark. You can use metallic or plastic clamps to hold the metal. This step applies only to lightweight pieces. You don’t need to tighten the more massive parts since they are steadier on the working surface. Also, if drilling on a painted structure, ensure you put stir sticks between the clamp and the hardened Steel to avoid scratches.

Clamps prevent accidents, so make sure everything is stiff before drilling hard Steel.

Step 3 — Decide what type of bits for hardened Steel

The kind of drill bit you choose will determine the output of hardened Steel. If you want to drill more holes in Steel, you need a sharp bit. However, you can use a standard speed bit to make a few drills on the metal. Furthermore, it would help if you had a drill bit half the diameter of the hole you want to make. Also, you can use it with a drill press if you are working with large, hardened Steel.

Also, Read — Best Drill Bit For Drilling Hardened Steel In 2021 – Reviews & Guide

Step 4 — Lubricate oil on the drill bit

Lubricate oil to reduce the friction between the drill bit and the hardened piece of Steel. Oil of 30-weight oil is enough for lubricating the metal.

Besides, consider spraying water on the metal composition to supplement the oil. This trick helps to yield extraordinary performance.

Oil lubricates the drill bits and keeps their temperature down, protecting them from damage.

Step 5 — Mark where you want the hole using a pencil

This step is very critical when it comes to drilling any piece of metal. You need to mark carefully where you wish to drill the Steel using a pencil and a ruler.

Besides, it would help if you considered the diameter of the drill bit when making the mark. Also, use a permanent fount pen if the pencil is not visible on the Steel. Remember to mark correctly the spot you need to drill to avoid many inconveniences.

Step 6 — Hold the drill perpendicular to the hardened Steel

Holding the drill in the right direction is more significant than you think. Ensure you place the drill right on the tip of the mark you made. Also, hold the drill bit straight to avoid making crooked drills.

Step 7 — Use appropriate pressure

Before drilling, familiarize yourself with the drill bit’s settings. Using low RPM and little pressure will let a bit of smoothness go through the material.

Step 8 — Drill slowly

One of the best ways to drill hardened Steel is to use a slow speed. Starting at a slower speed will enhance your control over the task. Furthermore, extreme speed may result in the ruin of hardened Steel or the drill bit itself.

It would be best if you controlled the speed of the drill to get accurate results. Furthermore, make sure to pause between operations to cool down the Steel.

However, you can use high speed if you work on a larger piece of Steel. Otherwise, use a medium speed throughout the operation.

High speeds create high temperatures that cause the drill bits to dull.

Step 9 — Start with a small hole

It would be best to use a slower speed at the initial rate to make a small hole. You don’t need to make the drill complete at once. It is a process with several steps that you should follow consecutively. 

A small hole will attract your attention to the task; hence, there is a high chance of making a quality smooth hole.

Step 10 — Pause when you are close to the other side of the drill

Hold the drill firmly yet comfortably in your hand. If you notice breaking the drill, interrupt the bit for additional power.

After a short while, hold the drill and push the trigger on the bit in short intervals until it goes to the other side. Let the drill stay in the same position before removing it.

Step 11 — Drill through the hardened Steel using a more significant drill bit

Repeat the stage with a drill bit of a larger diameter for more efficiency. Place the drill bit to the original mark and drill while lubricating the metal. If you see smoke while drilling, pause the process so the metal can cool.

Step 12 — Remove excess lubricant

Use a soft cloth to remove shrapnel and excess lubricant from drilling. Before cleaning the Steel, ensure it is free from dirt.

Ensure you don’t wipe the metal residual with bare hands since it contains some sharp elements that may cut you. And the drilled bit may remain hot.

Step 13 — Use a rasp to smoothen the hole

You can use a medium or a heavy metal rap to file the surface of the hardened Steel. Ensure that the surface of the Steel is clean from sharp edges. 

Work gently to prevent harming the metal. The above steps are crucial, and you should complete all of them.

Best Drill Bit For Drilling Hardened Steel

What drill bit to use for hardened Steel?

Sometimes, the science of drilling might be simple with the right tools. You need to determine the best drill bits for hardened Steel.

Not all drill bits can indeed make holes in hardened Steel. The first tool you must consider for the task is the cobalt drill bit set series.

Also, the Dewalt series might be the perfect tool When looking for an appropriate drill bit to drill through hardened Steel.

These two varieties are affordable and are better known for power and reliability.


Apart from wearing protective garments, it would be best to take extra caution when dealing with hardened Steel. 

Ensure that the clamp is strong enough to hold the piece of Steel for more stability.

Your knowledge of How to Drill Through Hardened Steel is clear. Making holes in the metal may be tough with the wrong tools.

If you want good results, you should use the following drill bits. Also, as a novice, expect to make a few blunders when drilling, but that’s how you learn.

Call a professional to guide you through the above steps if you feel the task needs to be revised.

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