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How to Use a Step Drill Bit?

How to Use a Step Drill Bit in the Right Manner?

Right Way to Use a Step Drill Bit

Step drill bits are unique types of drill bits that range from their tip to their base in diameter. They look like a small pine tree. Such drill bits have tips that are drilled to a different diameter so that for variable diameter holes they can be used.

The two main types of drill bits are counter-bore and countersink drill bits. The counter-bore is a straight slide between the surface diameter and the main diameter. Countersink drill bits are slightly angled.

Step drill bits have various applications. Although they are quite costly than other drill bits. Step drill bits are mainly designed to drill metal sheets and wood.

How to Use a Step Drill Bit for Metal

It's very easy to use a step drill bit if you know the basics. You just need these measures the following steps:

Use Protection Shield While Drilling

  • Always wear eye protection (goggles) while drilling wood with a step drill bit as wood scrapings and splinters are going to fly in your face.
  • Wear gloves so that your hands are not affected by any shavings or pieces that bounce off the surroundings.
  • Also, make sure the electrical outlet that you have plugged in is secured.  
  • When dealing with power tools, don't throw caution to the wind. In favor of protection, it is often better to postpone work.

Know Your Drilling Surface

You must distinguish step drill bits between different types of surfaces while working on metal, wood, or even an alloy. You would need a separate step drill bit for stainless steel, a separate step drill bit for wood, and a separate one for aluminum or iron.

Place the Step Drill Bit at Right Position

At the exact point where the hole is to be drilled, you need to position the tip of the center punch. If you have the exact position, you can strike the blunt end of the center punch with a hammer. This will have a clear location for the positioning and capture of the drill bit. It will make sure that the drill bit does not swing so that you can operate in the right position.

Secure the Bit into the Drill Motor

First, ensure that the drill bit is matched with the center mark and press down on the trigger of the drill. Make sure that the tiny drill bit passes through the metal sheet or wooden sheet all the way through.

Take Frequent Intervals

Putting constant pressure on the drill bit is not appropriate. Therefore, when you are drilling take short intervals. This is not only to give the machine rest, but it is also to add some tapping fluid to keep the drill cold. It may produce sparks or damage the surrounding material if it overheats.

Removal & Cleaning

You must remove the step drill bit from the motor after the drilling. To remove any metal shavings, you should then continue to clean all the drill bits and the motor. Also, clean these metal shavings from the hole that you have drilled as well.

After using a step drill bit for metal, you must well polish it before store. For storage use the standard drill bit container. This will secure the drill bits more properly for further usage and extend the life span.

Pros and Cons of Step Drill Bits

There are many advantages of using a step drill bit for drilling. But, there is always a second side to a coin. And you must aware of that side too. Here, you will find some pros and cons of using a step drill bit.


  • Using a step drill bit, you can obtain your desired, accurate clean holes. 
  • A step drill bit is much effective, unlike drilling a hole with a traditional drill bit. As it requires less maintenance.
  • Their variable diameters make them much faster than standard drill bits to shape large holes. 
  • Step drill bit work incredibly well on metal sheets.
  • It is easy to drill into soft materials because of the lower acute cut angle that is a feature of the step drill bit.
  • This can drill aluminum, brass, and plastics very smoothly.


  • It is really hard to sharpen step drill bits every time.  
  • Since most step drill bits are 1/4 inch thick, they work on small stock.
  • For effective working of step drill bits, you need to use a pilot hole drill. And these require some extra time.
  • Step drill bits are limited to specific purposes. These bits are more costly than standard drill bits. For high-quality drill bits, sometimes you'll need to spend even more.
  • Apart from metals or alloys, it is not suitable for many other materials.
  • If a single step of the step drill bit is damaged, you will need to replace it all. They can not be machined or fixed, they only need to be replaced. 

Well, That was all about a step drill bit and its advantages and disadvantages. We, assume now you are fully aware of using a step drill bit in the right manner.

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