Top tips for drilling metal tubes

Tube drillingMultiform Tubes Ltd is a team with a huge amount of experience in our field. As a result we can adapt tubing to suit almost any needs. We use several techniques to give our clients what they want. This includes bending, expanding, or reducing tubing. We also offer tube drilling to add precise holes when necessary.

Our years of experience mean we know what to expect with all kinds of different tube alterations. In addition, it means we can overcome issues and offer great finishes. One thing many people ask us about is how we can drill tubing so easily. The following are some of our top tips for this.

Use the right drill bits

It is harder to drill through metal than softer substances. The process will also result in more wear on the bit. This increases even more if it not sharp enough. What you need to do is choose the right bits, ensuring they are a durable material and properly sharpened.

Use a punch

One of the biggest issues with tube drilling on rounded tubes is it can be difficult to seat the drill bit. The curve makes it challenging and can result in it wandering. The solution is to use a punch first to create a slight flat indent. The bit can then fit here and should not slide.


The other major problem with round tubes is they can roll when you work on them. This is a safety concern and can damage the tubing if the drill slips and marks the surface. To avoid this you should clamp them safely in place. Be careful here though as too much pressure from the clamps can also damage the tube.

Starting small

You may need to drill a hole that is large enough to fit a wide bolt in. Rather than starting off with a bigger bit, it is a good idea to use a small one first and then work up. While it will take more time, it can reduce the pressure on the tubing and there is a smaller chance of damage.

Slow speed

The thing to remember about drilling metal is it will generate heat. This can cause a problem for the tubing as well as the bit. What you need to do here is drill at a slower speed. It is especially important to do this when you work with harder metals and larger bits.


No matter how hard you try, when you drill holes in metal it will leave a sharp edge or burr. This is a safety concern and could make it difficult to insert bolts and other parts. With that in mind, it is a good idea to do some deburring to make the edges smooth and consistent.

Talk to us about tube drilling

At Multiform Tubes Ltd we have the skills to drill various types of metal tubing. For example it could be a softer metal like copper or a harder substance like stainless steel. In either case we will provide the best service. We will also adapt to cater for the wall thickness.

If you want to arrange professional tube drilling, please contact us. We support clients in different industries and adapt tubing to cater for a huge array of applications.