Some thoughts to keep in mind when drilling stainless steel

Stainless steel has great corrosion resistance and as such, it is a popular choice in many sectors when they need tubes. However that being said, there are certain mechanical properties like heat resistance and high ductility which make it a challenge to work with. This is no problem for us though because we are experts in tube manipulation services. In this article you can learn about some of the factors it is important to keep in mind when you are completing tube drilling on stainless steel.

What to consider

Tube drillingStainless steel is relatively soft when it is in its initial state. However, this is a material that work hardens fairly fast, more so with the heat from drilling. This means that working with stainless steel will become more difficult. The surface of the metal will glaze and this will result in the bit deviating and bouncing. This can result in surface damage, can cause the drill bit to become blunt, and can even snap the bit.

Don’t worry though as there are precautions you can take that will provide you with great drill holes.


You should keep the material and drill bit cool as well as lubricated. This will improve drilling integrity and quality by reducing the friction. In addition, you will enjoy a shorter cutting time, longer drill bit life, and a better surface finish.

A lot of machine shops will use a continuous stream of lubricant. You can spray this on the drill bit tip in order to cool the material and bit while also lubricating the cut. Alternatively, you can stop the drilling process at regular intervals to drip oil in the hole and onto the bit.


Work hardening can take place even when you use a conical punch to mark where you plan to drill holes. As a result, it can be hard to drill in a small area because the drill bit can slip against the walls of the indent. Try using a 3-corner pyramid punch in order to reduce risks or a marker pen to help with referencing drill placements.

Take precautions for the best results

As when working with any metal, you need to take care. For example there is the possibility of the drill bit snapping. The high pressure when drilling this material increases the risk of it happening. This can send shards of metal flying, including towards your eyes. As a result anyone in the area should wear safety glasses.


The drill edge can snag the metal when the tip starts coming through the bottom of the hole. This can result in the piece you are drilling spinning with a fair amount of force, enough to cause cuts and broken bones. It is critical that you firmly clamp the tube in place to an anchored surface. This will also reduce the chances of it moving and resulting in a poor quality hole.

Tube drilling services you can count on

When you are in need of tubes, there is no better establishment to turn to for your needs than us. We are an authority in terms of bending and manipulation services, including tube drilling. As a result, we can produce the high-quality results you require in a timely manner. Our team will never let you down, so reach out to Multiform today.