Tips for drilling stainless steel tubing

In our many years of service Multiform Tubes Ltd has learnt how tough it is to work with some types of metal tubing. Luckily, we use our experience here to deliver the best services. That means clients can rely on us for everything from tube drilling to bending and end forming. We can deliver a precision service every single time.

Working with stainless steel

One of the trickiest types of metal tubing to deal with is stainless steel. The nature of the alloys means that there is a high risk of work hardening. That can cause issues if you are not careful when you do additional things like drilling holes or bending tubes.


Tube drillingWhatever your goals for the tube drilling, you need to prepare when you work with stainless steel. First you need to ensure you have the right set up for your equipment.

It is especially vital to use the right tooling. Because the steel is so hard and suffers from work hardening, you will need a suitable drill bit. HSS is generally the best option but you could also choose cobalt.

Selecting the right drill bit size is important too. Many people have issues when they try to drill larger holes or are dealing with wall thicknesses over 3mm. Here it may be wise to begin with a smaller bit to begin with. Then you can make a second pass with a larger one. This is better than using too much pressure on a large bit from the beginning.

Best practice here is to ensure you have everything you need to hand before you start drilling. If you stop part way through the work hardening can cause problems for you. So, it is better to have everything so you can work smoothly and consistently.


One of the most important things with every kind of tube drilling is ensuring the workpiece won’t move. The drill bit will grab when you start and that can cause the tube to move. Movement can also occur as the bit exits on the other side. If you don’t clamp the piece the movement can cause injury and very poor drilling. The drill could even slip when you start working.


Liberal use of coolant is important here too. It will help to clear debris and cool the drill bit. The first can prevent damage. The latter helps prevent friction welding and reduces work hardening.

Trust us for all kinds of tube drilling

Multiform Tubes Ltd is a leading expert for all things tubing. We provide a whole range of alteration services to adapt tube for our clients. As a result they can come to us for a host of things, from bending to drilling and more. We have very high standards in everything we do, ensuring the quality is always there.

So, if you need tube drilling or anything else, contact us. We work effectively with stainless steel as well as metals like copper, titanium, and aluminium.