Drilling: an introduction for beginners - DIMAKIN Machinery Pillar Drills
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Drilling: an introduction for beginners

Drilling tips and advice from DIMAKIN

Which bit?

You need to drill holes, but what type of drill bit is required?
Are you drilling wood, metal, or something else? It can be a daunting prospect.

When drilling metals, the most common drill bit is the Twist Bit style. The classic fluted drill bit you will be used to seeing.

The most common of these, and easiest on your wallet will be HSS, which stands for High Speed Steel. This drill bit is a great starting point for most common drilling applications and as they’re made from high speed steel, they’re an excellent economical option.

A little stronger than its HSS counterpart, is Black Oxide, a little more expensive, but a powerful bit to cut through metals.

Next, Cobalt. Preferable in the drilling of larger holes, cobalt dissipates heat better than HSS and Black Oxide, prolonging its life. Although more expensive, if you’re drilling holes 25mm (1”) or similar, it may be your most economical option in the long run.  

Faster is hotter

Unless you are friction drilling, speed is not always king.

Higher speeds equal higher temperatures, and heat will dull your drill bits faster. Getting through your material should not be viewed as trying to win a race.

Consider the material you’re cutting, and the thickness of the material.

For thick steel (25mm+), look to drill at around 350 – 1,000rpm. For thinner materials, you can go a little faster before the heat build up will become an issue.

Give a little guidance

For best results when drilling, give your drill bit some starting guidance.

Without it, your bit can wander from the location you are looking to bore before biting. To do this, use a centerpunch. Centre punches come in two main forms: standard, or automatic. With standard, you strike the solid piece of metal with one sharp hammer blow, creating a small dimple in the surface of the metal. This gives the drill bit a starting point. With an automatic centerpunch, a spring mechanism inside the device builds up energy as you press it against the workpiece, eventually releasing it as an impulse into the surface, creating the dimple.

Drilling tips and advice from DIMAKIN

Work your way up

When drilling larger holes, best practice is to work your way up.

Don’t try and drill that inch hole in one go! Build up to the large hole with successively larger drill bits for best results.

Keep it cool

Cool parts make for good holes!

All DIMAKIN Pillar Drills come with an integral flood coolant system, that recirculates coolant from the base of the machine back into the hose, where you can direct it at your material and your drill bit. Keeping both the workpiece and the drill bits cool will maximise the life of your gear, and improve the quality of your drilling.


Safety first

It only takes the tiniest bit of swarf in the eye to cause serious damage, and even blindness.

You should always wear a pair of safety glasses. Ideally, these glasses have side protection, too. In addition to this, a good pair of work gloves should be an essential part of your PPE when drilling. Metal chips in the skin can be extremely painful and can sometimes lead to infection.  

Hold it!

In another consideration for safety, the material bed of all DIMAKIN Pillar drills are machined with T-slots. Use these T-slots for a good vice, and vice your material securely. No one wants to deal with a piece of metal spinning at 2,000rpm!

Never, ever, hold your workpiece by hand!

Dimakin Pillar Drill DP 3175 M

Dimakin Pillar Drill DP 3175 M

Quality matters

There are many types of drill, from hand drill, bench drill, and smaller pedestal drills. These can be fine for smaller work, where accuracy or durability is not important.

DIMAKIN supply only the best quality drills for the best quality fabrication.

The extremely robust columns in these drills leaves no possibility of flexing, even during the most demanding fabrication.

The high horsepower motors will eat through your production, and the variable speed inverter allows for ultra-precise fine tuning of the spindle speed.  

If you have any further questions at all, feel free to call us on 02476210123 or email us on sales@dimakin.co.uk.