Various bit sets come with mixed diameter size drill bits. However, a step drill bit has all its diameters on one bit, and you can drill several holes of varying diameters using a single bit. It is conical in shape and the tipping point has the lowest diameter.
The step drill bits have a 118-degree tip angle specific for making holes in thin metal sheets, ABS, and acrylic plastics. It cuts with high precision on plastic without cracking or creating broken edges.
Let’s look at some features of a step drill bit.
Unique Features of a Step Drill Bit
This kind of drill bit has several unique features, just like Dewalt step drill bit. Check out the unique features of the step bits below.
A shank that fits properly in most impact drills so that it’s used with impact drivers.
- High cutting precision on metal sheets
- 2 cutting grooves that form a two-flute
- split-point end tip for self-centering
- Titanium coating for high heat resistance while drilling in copper, aluminum, and other sheet metal working
- Clear step visibility with increasing diameter
You may like to read, top self centering drill bit.
How Do You Use a Step Drill Bit?
In this section, we will outline a simple way on how to use a step drill bit. The smaller type is self-centering; however, you may need a center punch for the larger step drill bit not to walk. Here is the procedure.
1. Withyour step drill bit on your impact drill, mark off the specific diameter you need with a masking tape so that you’ll drill to the level of the masking tape.
2. Using a center punch, create a pilot hole then introduce the tip of the step bit. At this point, apply a lubricant and tapping fluid up to the desired diameter.
3. Drill your hole up to the level of the masking tape while lubricating properly to avoid overheating.
4. If you need to introduce the next larger diameter, repeat the procedure. Lubricate up to that diameter level before you continue with the drilling process.
Remember, you should protect your eyes during the process. Safety goggles should help you protect your eyes from harm.
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Uses of a Step Drill Bit
A step drill bit is multipurpose, although it best works in metals, plastic and mostly thin sheet works. The smaller step bit can create pilot holes for the larger step bit.
On the other hand, a single bit of this kind can drill various hole diameters without having other drill bit sets around. You can have various ¼ inch holes as this is the farthest it goes. Applications also cut across in electrical wiring functions as it does not crack or break plastic edges.
Also Read: Top-Rated Titanium Drill Bits
Step Drill Bit Benefits
A single step bit carries several diameters, which is not a feature of regular bits. Although a single-step drill bit set costs more than the regular bits, the durability and functions surpass those of a standard bit.
This is true in cutting acrylic and plastics. It ensures that plastic does not crack and that the holes come out clean and smooth compared to what a standard bit can do. This is because of the special tip geometry for plastics.
Besides, regrinding the flute of a dull step bit makes it all functional again. Re-sharpening this bit is an easy process using a bench grinder wheel. However, you need to be cautious that the grinder wheel does not pull your hand in.
Best Step Drill Bits for Metal and Plastics
Although there are several manufacturers of drill bits, a few companies have proven quality and brands of the best step drill bits. Here are a few top-quality brands to look for:
Dewalt step drill bit- They are titanium coated and have both smaller and larger step bits. The ¼ hex shanks make them compatible with most impact drills.
Milwaukee step drill bits- Are suitable for cordless drills, with 3-flat shank ends to avoid bit slipping.
Although a set of standard bits are cheaper than step drill bits, you need both options for versatility and ease of working on various materials. A step drill bit eliminates walking, ensures high precision and ease of centering. You need the right tools for productivity while reducing tool replacement costs.