Step drills for metal: the best solution for beginners and professionals
Step drills for metal (herringbone) are used when it is necessary to process sheet material whose thickness does not exceed 4 mm. The use of such products requires certain skills from the master. For the purchase and proper operation of the necessary tool, it is recommended to pay attention to some nuances.
Step drills are ideal for metal up to 4 mm thick
Step drills for metal: how do they differ from cone drills
Stepped and cone products have many common features. These tools primarily have similar facets. Their edges are very sharp, which significantly increases the efficiency of tools during operation. The advantages of step and cone tools include the fact that they allow you to save time, as well as simplify the processing of sheet metal. The main disadvantage is the price of step drills for metal and cone parts.
Step drills have sharp edges in the form of steps, and conical drills have a smooth surface
What are the differences between stepped and cone products? The main distinguishing feature, with which you can easily determine the type of drill, is the design of the main element of the product – the head. This part, regardless of the type of tool, has a conical shape.
The head of a step drill includes several steps with sharp edges. This design increases the efficiency of the tool. In turn, conical products are characterized by a smooth surface.
Shape features are the main criterion that distinguishes cone products from step drills for metal. Cone options are less expensive, but they are not very convenient to use. The step tool allows you to make a hole of the required diameter even if a person has no experience with such a device. This is achieved by clearly dividing the part into steps (levels).
What kind of work can herringbone drills be used for
Functional parts of this type are used to organize holes in metal sheets. Such drills belong to the category of specialized tools, so their cost is quite high. Often it is this fact that stops buyers from buying. However, the purchase of such a product may be justified, for example, in the case when accuracy is required when performing work.
Mainly step drills are used to create holes in metal
Each level of the stepped tool has a unique diameter, which increases as it approaches the base. The convenience of this type of construction is undeniable, since it is very easy to choose the right diameter during drilling.
Such products are used to make holes in metal. Herringbone drills for metal are distinguished by high drilling quality. Moreover, this is noticeable even when processing very thin sheet material. Other drills do not allow you to make a smooth hole in a metal sheet with a thickness of up to 1 mm.
It is worth saying that step-type tools are used not only for metal processing. They can also be used for drilling holes in the following materials:
- the tree.
Herringbone drills can perform absolutely smooth holes
If it is necessary to make a hole in the pipe, it is also recommended to use a step drill for metal. Reviews of such a tool can be studied on the Internet. It should be said that step drills are often used to grind the edges of holes made with other tools. Metal shavings can also be removed manually, but this is much more difficult.
Step drills for metal: the main advantages
Tools of this type have many positive qualities that determine their high efficiency. Of course, the main disadvantage of such a product is its cost. The price of stepped parts varies from 2 to 5 thousand rubles. The final cost of the drill is influenced by the following factors:
- material of manufacture;
- strength class;
- the presence of spraying.
The price of step drills is fully justified, since their advantages greatly simplify the work of drilling holes in a variety of details. One of the most significant advantages of such products is their versatility. One cutting tool can be used to perform a huge number of tasks, which is very convenient.
Step drills for metal are efficient and versatile
Another advantage of such drills is high strength. In particular, it is worth paying attention to their cutting edges. The strength characteristics of these elements not only ensure high accuracy during operation, but also extend the service life of the tool.
The speed of operation is also a positive characteristic of these products. The tip of the herringbone drill has a pointed shape, which allows it to be used for processing very strong metal surfaces (for example, stainless steel). A metal drill is a specialized tool. When using it, there is no need to use additional devices (centering parts, etc.).
The design features of the stepped tool make it possible to make precise holes with smooth edges. Thus, when using such a product, there is no need to use a grinding machine or a file.
It is also worth noting that such products are installed both on hand-type drills and on professional stationary machines. Before purchasing a herringbone drill, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with its varieties. This will allow you to choose the best step-type metal drill taking into account individual criteria.
One of the main advantages of such drills are strength and speed of operation
Design and characteristics of a cone-step drill
These tools have a rather complex design. Their configuration may vary depending on the variety. Let’s take a closer look at what parts such products consist of. The tip of the drill is represented by a pointed tip, which makes it possible to easily cut into metal of any density.
Other tools, such as crown tools, are also used for processing metal sheets. A metal drill of this type does not require the use of auxiliary centering devices, but it is not suitable for working with thin metal. Spiral analogues also do not allow you to accurately perform such work.
Step products are very effective when working with aluminum, steel, copper and other sheets and pipes. Tools of this type have the shape of a cone, which includes 2 grooves. They contribute to the drilling of materials. During operation, when moving to the next level, a chamfer is formed for the hole that is created by the previous stage.
Due to their design, step drills are suitable for working with copper, steel and aluminum sheets
A step drill for metal 4-32 mm has an opposite end, which is attached to the tool holder. The opposite end, or tail, has the most suitable design for this and consists of six faces. The advantages of such tools are undeniable, so they are recommended by many masters for working with metal parts.
Varieties and sizes of step-type metal drills
Step tools used to organize holes are classified according to several criteria. In order to select the necessary product, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with each of its types in more detail. The first factor that differentiates such drills is the dimensions. Depending on this criterion , such drills are distinguished:
Step drills also differ in the coating material. Today you can buy cobalt drills for metal, as well as titanium analogues. The second type of products has a higher strength, which is reflected in their cost.
The diameter of the step drill can vary from 4 to 38 mm
The design of drills of this type assumes the presence of a groove. Most often there are drills that have a straight groove. The second configuration option is the location of the channel in a spiral. On sale you can find models that have a combined type of groove for chip removal (longitudinal-spiral).
Pay attention! Step-type drills need to be sharpened from time to time. Sharpening will be more difficult if the tool has a spiral groove.
Of course, one of the most important characteristics of any tool is its size. The steps in such a drill may have a different pitch. This indicator may differ depending on the type of product. It is also worth paying attention to another important criterion – the diameter of the drill for metal. This parameter varies from 4 to 38 mm. The limit value of the diameter may be lower. It all depends on the number of steps in the tool. The height of one step, as a rule, is 0.5 cm.
The number and shape of working grooves in step products
One of the most important indicators of such step tools is the number of cutting edges. It is important to understand that this parameter has nothing to do with the drill steps. The cutting parts are located on the grooves of the conical product. In addition to their main function, they perform another one: they remove the chips that are formed during operation.
Grooves in step drills help to remove chips during operation
Grooves can be of 3 types: rectilinear, spiral, and longitudinal-spiral. Each variety has its own advantages and disadvantages. As an example, a straight edge can be given, which is easily supplied to sharpening. However, it does not behave as smoothly as a spiral during operation.
Despite the high cost, the step tool replaces a full set of metal drills. It is much easier and more convenient to operate one product. The number of grooves is an indicator on which the quality of sheet metal processing depends. The drilling quality may vary depending on the speed at which the material is processed.
When choosing a drill to make holes in a metal material, it is necessary to focus on several points. It is not recommended to purchase the first product that comes along, as it may not be suitable for a specific job.
Color of step drills used for metal processing
All step tools used for processing metal sheets of small thickness are divided into groups according to quality. Identifying a particular drill bit is quite simple. All you need to do is pay attention to its color. Currently , the following options of tools can be found on sale:
Step drills are black, gray, dark and bright golden
- golden (dark);
- golden (bright).
Gray drills. This color indicates that the material for the manufacture of the product is ordinary steel, which has not undergone additional processing. These tools do not have high strength characteristics. Of the advantages of such devices, it is worth noting their low cost.
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Black. This color indicates that the steel product has undergone additional steam treatment, heated to high temperatures. This enhances the technical characteristics of the tool and extends its service life. The price for such products is higher than for gray ones.
Pay attention! The material and the product itself made of it must meet all the parameters specified in the GOST. Gray metal drills are not suitable for long-term operation.
The black-colored drills are treated with high-temperature steam, which increases the technical performance of the tool
Golden (dark). Such tools undergo quite intensive temperature treatment. This type of procedure helps to eliminate stress in the metal product. The result is a durable piece that is best suited for long-term use. The cost of such drills is quite high.
The color of the drill is not related to its configuration. All products have a special channel. The presence of a groove allows for efficient drilling of metal. Special curved channels can also be found in other products that are used for drilling metal. A good example in this case are self-tapping screws on metal with a drill.
Golden (bright). Another variant of step-type drills. This coloring is obtained as a result of applying a special protective coating of titanium to the surface of the product. Such tools have the highest strength.
Criteria for choosing step drills for metal: which one is better to buy
When choosing such products, it is recommended to pay attention not only to their color, but also to some other points. For example, a high-quality 4-32 mm tool costs at least 1 thousand rubles. The dependence of the price on the diameter can be traced not only for stepped products. A spiral drill for metal of 3 mm will cost less than the same tool with a cross section of 10 mm.
Drills of American and German manufacturers are considered the most high-quality and durable
Drills produced by domestic companies, as a rule, have a more attractive cost. However, experts prefer products that were made by foreign manufacturers. The working life of drills of German and American brands is much higher.
When choosing, it is necessary to pay attention to the final and initial diameters. In this case, there is a certain pattern. The more steps, the higher the cost of the tool. As an alternative to a stepped product, you can purchase a set of spiral devices. Drills for metal of 10 mm or more still have not proven themselves so well in work. However, the cost of such a kit is usually lower.
To determine the quality of steel, there is a special marking. The letters HSS are indicated on the body of the product intended for processing metal sheets at high speeds. The quality of the steel in this case does not allow the drill to deform even with severe overheating.
Another important criterion that should be taken into account is the possibility of repeated sharpening of the tool. This procedure is regulated by regulatory documentation (GOST). Thus, if desired, you can familiarize yourself with all the nuances of this operation and carry it out yourself.
The drill must be made of high-quality steel, as indicated by the HSS marking.
How to sharpen a metal drill: step-by-step instructions
In the process of using a stepped tool, its edges are blunted. Sharpening allows them to return to their previous characteristics. Such work is easiest to entrust to qualified specialists. Therefore, it is recommended to contact specialized workshops that can be found in every city. This option has the following advantages:
- the diameter of all tool levels is preserved;
- the correct angle of the cutting edges is not violated;
- the possibility of pumping the product is excluded.
Sharpening of a drill on metal can be performed independently at home. However, to do this, you need to carefully familiarize yourself with the basic rules that you need to follow while working.
It is worth knowing that the cutting edges of each stage must necessarily be the same. Sharpening should not damage them. Compliance with the exact original dimensions guarantees high-quality sharpening. After performing this procedure, the angle corresponding to the planes of the edges should be the same as before the start of sharpening.
A special machine is required to perform drill sharpening
Before starting such work, you need to prepare a support stand. An even more correct way out is to fix the drill. The movable element is much easier to damage during sharpening. It is important to remember that for this procedure, abrasive materials are used, which belong to the category of fine-grained.
Various devices can be used for these purposes. Sharpening of metal drills is best performed on a machine. This equipment must contain a special abrasive wheel. The outer surface of such a tool contains fine-grained sandpaper.
The quality of the work performed is quite simple to determine. To do this, you need to pay attention to the shape of the chips that are formed during drilling. If the sharpening was made without errors, then the chips will have the correct dimensions.
Sharpening of a drill on metal with your own hands using manual devices is performed in the case when the drill has a straight groove. Tools with a spiral channel are not recommended to be processed without special equipment. To perform this operation, you can also use a grinder and a special circle.
Sharpening must be done carefully and correctly so as not to spoil the drill
Price of cone step drills for metal: overview
The cost of cone drills, the design of which assumes the presence of steps, is influenced by several main factors. Various materials can be used to make tools of this type. Titanium drills are more expensive, as they are high-strength and have a longer service life.
The difference in cost is also determined by the diameter of the tool. Products in the shape of a Christmas tree, which are coated with titanium, can be purchased at a specialized store or place an order online. You can buy a 4-20 mm tool for about 450 rubles. The price of metal drills with a large number of steps (4-32 mm) can reach 1100-1200 rubles. It is worth noting that such a cost is inherent in domestic products.
Foreign analogues may have a higher price, which on average is 4 thousand rubles. A Bosch tool with a maximum diameter of 39 mm costs approximately 5 thousand rubles. And even this amount is not the limit when it comes to step drills.
Depending on the size, quality and manufacturer, drills can cost from 450 rubles and above
Pay attention! The high cost of such tools requires careful selection. The modern market is replete with a variety of fakes, the quality of which leaves much to be desired. In order to exclude the possibility of buying a low-quality product, it is recommended to purchase drills only from trusted manufacturers.
The spread of prices of step drills on metal is quite wide. The most correct solution is to purchase a tool that is located in the average price range. Before buying a particular drill, it should be noted that the seller must have a certificate for such products.
A step drill is a professional tool that has a large working resource and allows you to make holes in metal without using auxiliary parts. When choosing such an element, it is necessary to focus on individual criteria, such as the nature of the work and its frequency. It is also worth considering the material of manufacture, diameter, shape of the grooves and the manufacturer. If desired, you can always consult with the seller, who will help you choose the necessary product.