Using a Step Drill Bit to Drill Different Size Holes
By: Joe Truini
A step drill bit can be used to drill a range of different sized holes with a single bit. Since each bit size drill holes less than 1/4″ deep, a step bit is mainly used for drilling thin material such as sheet metal.
To make it easy know how deep to plunge the bit for the right sized hole, wrap a piece of masking tape around the bit at correct hole size. Watch this video to find out more.
- Drill Bit Depth Gauge (video)
- Drilling Into Tile (video)
- Stop Drill Bit from Wandering When Drilling Metal (video)
- Preventing Tear Out When Drilling Wood (video)
Joe Truini: I just drilled these 13 different size holes using a single drill bit. That’s possible because I used a step drill bit. This single bit, will drill 13 different holes, ranging in diameter from about eighth-inch to half inch. And here is how it works.
Start drilling, and with each step of the drill, you’re getting a larger and larger hole. So we get started right here. There you go, that’s an eighth-inch. Now it’ll start cutting pretty quickly, and again, each step the hole gets larger and larger. There you go.
Now, the trick to using a step drill is, when do you stop at exact right size hole, because you don’t want to stop and keep measuring. So here’s an additional tip. Take a piece of tape and wrap it around the bit exactly where you want to stop drilling. In this case, about a quarter inch. Then you just keep drilling until you hit the tape. And then stop, and you get the exact size hole.