How to sharpen a step drill

Sharpening a drill for metal

Surely you tried to sharpen a drill with your own hands. Did not work out. Well, let's look at this problem. First, a little theory and terminology. Then we will get acquainted with the tools and technology. Including a budget drill sharpening kit. Let's begin.

1. What kind of drills are there?

The geometry of this tool is very diverse. We will only consider shapes that are typical from a sharpening point of view.

• Cylindrical spiral.

    The most common drill. Usually it has 2 chip removal grooves, but there are more.

• Stepped.

    Convenient to use when holes are drilled in sheet metal and of different diameters.

• Metal crown.

    Used for drilling large diameter holes in sheet metal.

2. Drill material

Let's consider the materials in order of increasing wear resistance and price:

• Conventional drill made of cutting steel without additional processing. The cheapest. The color of ordinary steel.• Treated with superheated steam. It has a black color.• Tempered ones have a faint golden tint.• When coated with titanium nitride they have a bright golden color.

• Cobalt alloyed ones are characterized by the presence of a golden-red hue.

3. Drill elements for sharpening

For a better understanding, we will consider sharpening elements using the example of a two-flute cylindrical twist drill.

• Cutting edges cut metal from the hole area.• Flank surfaces. It is they that are processed when sharpening a drill, to give the cutting edge sharpness and the desired geometric shape.• The jumper will be the first indicator of the correct sharpening of the drill.

It is these elements that you should concentrate on when sharpening a drill.

4. Device for sharpening drills in a workshop

Here we will look at a device for sharpening drills with tools that are often used at home.

4.1. Grinding machine (grinder)

To obtain acceptable sharpening quality, it is necessary to secure the power tool.
If you have an assistant, everything is solved quite simply. Have an assistant place the electric machine on a hard, level, horizontal surface with the disc facing down and the shield facing up. For example, on the table. The grinder should rest on the disc guard. And, holding the body, in the places indicated in the photo, it will securely fix it.

If you do not have an assistant and suitable holders, you can use a common bench or carpenter's vice. Fix the angle grinder so that the jaws of the vice do not cover the ventilation holes. The abrasive disc can be oriented either vertically or horizontally.

You can use a regular (cutting) disc, but it is better to use a special one – a sharpening one. It is much thicker than the cutting one.

4.2. Hand drill

For attaching a drill, everything you read about attaching an angle grinder in the previous paragraph is true.

IMPORTANT! Only a drill with a jaw chuck is suitable for sharpening.

Not everyone knows, but there are holders for grinder discs on sale that allow you to use “grinder” cutting and sharpening discs with a drill. This is how a high-speed drill can replace the functions of an angle grinder.

You can also use a sanding disc with sandpaper glued to it. The harder the base on which the paper is glued, the better. Nowadays you can find sandpaper that does not stick to the disc, but sits on Velcro. This one is also good. In this case, the quality of sharpening will be worse.

Instead of a drill, a grinder disc holder or a grinding disc is installed in the drill chuck.

4.3. Roughing and sharpening machine (sharpener, emery)

Not every home has a similar unit. But we will still take a brief look. Since it is easiest to understand the technology for properly sharpening a drill and how to properly adapt a home tool for sharpening.

An abrasive wheel made of electrocorundum is designed for processing steel, including sharpening drills.

Horizontally, at the level of the axis of rotation of the abrasive wheel, there is a support - a steel strip. Serves as a support for fingers and tools when sharpening.

5.1. Preparation for sharpening

Using a marker, draw a line on the surface of the tool rest at an angle of 60 degrees relative to the working surface of the abrasive wheel (the end of the circle that faces you).

This helps to correctly orient the drill when sharpening. The angle shown in the figure is approximately 120 degrees in most cases. In general, the harder the metal for drilling, the larger this angle should be.

IMPORTANT! Do not use gloves while sharpening. Be sure to protect your eyes with glasses or a transparent shield. Be careful not to move your hand or forcefully touch the abrasive wheel.

Hands and fingers should not be strained.

5.3. Drill movement when sharpening

After installing the drill in its original position, slowly move it forward until it touches the circle. Immediately after touching, we move simultaneously in three directions: tip up, shank down, drill forward along the axis.


Repeat points 5.2 and 5.3 2 more times.


We rotate the drill around the longitudinal axis by 180 degrees and perform steps 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 for the second rear surface.

5.6. What should we get

Place the drill vertically, tip up. In this position, the entire back surface should be below the cutting edge. Moreover, the further from the cutting edge along the rear surface, the lower. In sharpening technologies this is called underestimation.

By grinding down the back surface, we lower it. As a result, only the cutting edges and the bridge touch the surface of the metal that the drill cuts. Lack of understatement is the most common mistake of novice sharpeners.

6. Technology for sharpening a metal drill using a grinder or hand drill

If you have figured out how to sharpen a drill on a sharpening machine, then it’s time to find out that this is done in a similar way on a grinder (grinder). As a tool, we simply use the edge of the protective shield of the abrasive disc. The rotation of the shield is adjustable.

Before sharpening, turn it so that it is comfortable to rest your finger under the drill being sharpened. Try to perform the same movements on the sharpening machine. The fact is that you can learn how to properly sharpen drills on a sharpening machine quite simply and quickly.

That is why it is recommended to fix the angle grinder - you will get a decent result faster.

It's more difficult with a hand drill. She has nothing to use as a tool. But you can use available items for this. Here you will need two stable, flat surfaces. A drill is fixed on one, the other is used as a tool. The surfaces are placed at the same level so that a disk mounted in a drill chuck can be placed vertically between them. For example, these could be tables, workbenches, drawers.

In any case, the quality of sharpening on a drill will be worse than on other tools considered.

7. Quality control of sharpening

During sharpening, you will have to constantly monitor the parameters of the drill elements. In most cases, this should be done after all back surfaces have been treated.

7.1. Visual inspection of the jumper

The jumper should be located in the center of the end of the drill tip. Besides. Its edge should pass between the deepest points of the chip evacuation grooves. In other words, it should be as short as possible.

7.2. Cutting edge length

This is the distance from the jumper to the edge of the drill along the cutting edge line. You can measure with a caliper or ruler. Obviously, all cutting edges must be the same. If this is not the case, then you should sharpen the back surface that is shorter.

7.3. Lowering control

We discussed what understatement is in paragraph 5.6. You can quickly check its presence by placing the drill vertically, tip down, resting the jumper on any flat surface. Look at the back surface from the side of the drill. If you do not visually see the understatement (the edge of the back surface, turned towards you, does not smoothly rise up), the surface will have to be re-sharpened.

8. Sharpening a step drill

If you have mastered sharpening a twist drill, then this will seem like a sandbox to you.
The photo in point 1 shows a step drill with a straight flute for removing chips. Lightly run the disc or grinding wheel along the cutting edges of the steps on the groove side. Be careful not to disturb the angle between the groove and the back surface of the step. Things are more complicated if the groove is spiral. Sharpening is also done, but more skill and accuracy will be required.

9. Sharpening the crown

Take a closer look at the tooth of the metal-cutting crown. You will easily find all the same cutting edges and back surfaces. There will be only a jumper and a groove for removing chips. Now you are competent enough to remove a minimum layer of metal from the back surface and get a sharp cutting edge. The crown may have a central twist drill. You already know how to sharpen it.

10.1. An attempt to fix not the tool, but the drill when sharpening with a drill or grinder

A heavy tool, with a rapidly rotating heavy rotor, will never become stable even in the hands of a strong man.

10.2. Excessive pressure when sharpening

It is better to repeat the cycle of operations 10 times with light pressure, checking the result after each cycle, than to turn a third of the drill into metal dust over the same 10 times.


Which step drills for metal are best to choose?

To make a high-quality hole in metal, you need to select a drill that will cope with this task.

If you need to perform high-precision work in sheet material up to 4 mm thick, then a step drill for metal will be most suitable for this. Such cutting products not only have increased accuracy, but also require the correct approach to the drilling operation.

To process the material correctly, you need to know some of the nuances of selecting and using such a tool. All the intricacies of metal processing using cone drills will be discussed in detail below.

Advantages of cone drills

Stepped products have the following positive properties:

  • allow you to make a hole with smoother edges compared to spiral and feather counterparts;
  • For holes of different diameters, one step drill is used;
  • perfectly centers the hole;
  • used for processing very thin sheet metal;
  • ideal for processing non-ferrous metals;
  • for large volumes of work, it saves time due to the absence of the need to frequently replace drills of different diameters.

A step drill allows you not only to perform high-quality drilling of metals, but also to correct hole defects that were made with other types of products. For example, if the center of the hole is displaced when using spiral analogues, a conical one can completely correct the defect.

It is also possible to expand the holes if necessary to a fixed diameter. Despite the higher cost of cone drills, significant savings can be achieved with frequent use. Due to the absence of the need to purchase a large number of tools of different diameters.

A cone drill allows you to chamfer during drilling and therefore does not require additional time, which saves time during large volumes of work.

How to choose a cone drill

An indirect sign of a quality product will be its price. In addition, by the color of the metal it will be possible to tell from the material and what strength the gimlet is made of.

Stepped products can be divided by color into several quality groups:

  1. Gray color indicates that the product is made of steel that has not been subjected to additional processing. Such products have low strength.
  2. Black color indicates quenching with superheated steam. The quality will be slightly higher than that of their gray counterparts, but the cost will also differ significantly.
  3. A dark golden color is obtained if the tool has been subjected to high-temperature tempering. The procedure allows you to remove excessive stress in the metal, which has a positive effect on the performance characteristics of the product.
  4. If the cone drill has a bright golden color, then by this feature one can identify the presence of a wear-resistant surface consisting of titanium nitride.
    The type of material is the most durable, but the cost will be several times higher in comparison with cheap analogues.

In addition to the quality of the material, the final cost will be influenced by the diameter of the purchased tool.

THIS IS INTERESTING:  How to properly sharpen and sharpen a saw

For example:

  • a high-quality step drill for metal 4-32 mm will cost at least 1000 rubles;
  • if you do not need to drill large-diameter holes, then you can purchase a 4-20 mm drill, the cost of which, with equal quality, will be approximately 500-600 rubles.

Cone drills from domestic manufacturers are always cheaper, but if it is possible to purchase an imported tool, then you should do so. Despite the higher cost of imported products, the resource of manufacturers such as Bosch, AEG, Irwin will be noticeably higher, but only when purchasing original products.

What are the best step drills for metal can be determined by reviews on the Internet. You can get high-quality information on specialized forums where specialists who use cone products in their daily work communicate.

Tool sharpening

With prolonged use, even high-quality products can become dull. Every home craftsman needs to know how to sharpen a step drill for metal. The procedure is complex; in addition to theoretical information, you need to master practical skills.

To sharpen a cone gimlet, you must perform the following steps:

  • secure the drill in a vice:
  • pick up a small grinder with a grinding wheel;
  • Carefully sharpen cutting edges that have been damaged.

This way you can restore the functionality of the cone tool yourself.

If you have the opportunity to contact specialists, you can get a complete restoration of the gimlet for little money.

How to drill

With a well-sharpened tool, it is easy to make high-precision holes in a metal sheet up to 4 mm thick.

To perform drilling correctly, it is advisable to follow the recommendations:

  • the drilling location is marked with a core;
  • during operation, the drill is kept in a strictly perpendicular position relative to the plane of the metal;
  • Drilling metal should be done at low speed. The larger the hole diameter needs to be made, the slower the cutting tool must rotate. A screwdriver is ideal for this task;
  •  The drill should be lubricated with a small amount of machine oil to reduce the operating temperature of the tool during operation.

If the requirements are met, the cone product will last a long time, without sharpening.

Manufacturers of step drills

Products made in China are of low quality (there are exceptions). To buy a good cone drill, you should pay attention to tools made in Europe and Russia.

1. “Zubr” - stepped drills from a domestic manufacturer are of reasonable cost. The quality is at a fairly high level.

Cone drills from Zubr can be made from ordinary tool steel or coated with more wear-resistant alloys. In the latter case, the price will be significantly higher, but the quality of the cutting surface will remain sharp longer even when performing a large volume of work.

2. “Attack” - Russian-made conical drills, which in quality and cost are not inferior to the best products from foreign companies.

Reviews about the products of this company are only positive, so you don’t have to worry about the quality, and in order not to overpay, you should select a tool taking into account the maximum diameter that will be needed in the work.

3. “Bosch” - the products of this German company are excellent for professionals and for working with metal at home.

The diameters on the tool are marked using a laser system, so in case of long-term use, the inscriptions are not erased. To increase the drilling speed, the top of the Bosch step drill is sharpened crosswise, and the workpiece is ground in both the transverse and radial directions.

Such processing of the tool allows, when using it, to obtain a high-quality hole, the diameter of which will fully correspond to the stage of the product.

4. “Falon-Tech” - drills from a German company have an additional titanium coating, which allows you to increase the tool life by more than 2 times.

The product has a laser marked diameter and a standard shank that is ideal for use with a screwdriver or hand drill.

Despite the increased quality of the product, its cost remains low. If you need to purchase a cone drill for home use, then the choice of products from this company is the most optimal.

All of these cutting tools do an excellent job of drilling metal up to 4 mm thick. If you need to work with thicker metal, it is recommended to use core drills.


We figured out what a cone drill is needed for. A properly selected product will last for many years. When working with metal of small thickness, to obtain high-quality holes, the use of drills of this design is the optimal solution.

(3 3,67 out of 5)


Choosing a step drill for metal

[A step drill for metal] can also be called a cone drill; the tool received the first version of its name due to its appearance.

Each of its steps, formed due to a smooth spiral transition, has its own diameter, which allows you to determine during the drilling process what size the hole currently has.

At the same time, novice craftsmen have a poor idea of ​​why step drills are needed, if there are a great variety of different devices that allow you to make any hole in metal.

Many may think that buying a step drill is a waste of money, especially since the price for this category of tools is quite high.

To dispel unnecessary doubts, let’s consider what advantages a cone product has and in what cases it can be used.

Features and benefits of using cone drills

The cutting edges of the stepped device have a high strength index, which ensures a long working life.

Unlike conventional metal drills, a step tool allows you to perform a number of jobs that would otherwise require the use of a litany of other tools.

It is precisely because of this versatility that the price of step drills is too high.

The second advantage of using a drilling product is the drilling speed, at which the quality of the edge is not reduced even for thin sheet metal.

In addition to metal, using conical devices, you can work with drywall, wood, plastic and other materials.

Dense metal is also not a problem that a step drill can't handle.

Its sharp tip easily cuts into a metal product with the densest structure. In this case, there is no need to use a centering element, which simplifies the working action.

The unique design of conical products makes it possible to eliminate the use of an angle grinder and a needle file, and, if necessary, polish the finished hole.

The translational channels of the device differ in size and have a smooth transition of 35-450, which in turn increases the efficiency of drilling work with thin metal by 50%.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Features of horizontal milling machines for metal

In addition, their design helps to enhance the cutting properties of the tool and at the same time ensures its smooth operation when processing metal.

This attachment can be used for both automated and manual devices.

The abrasive coating gives the cone product special strength.

It can be made of diamond or titanium chips, thanks to which there is no need to frequently sharpen the product under normal load conditions.

The price of cone drills for metal depends on the diameter of their working part and the type of spraying; at the moment it can range from 2 thousand to 5 thousand rubles.

The easiest way to solve the problem of “ragged” holes, which can have different configurations, is to use a step metal drill.

With the correct diameter of the tool, you can improve any unsuccessful attempt to make a hole.

In addition, a cone drill is indispensable when working with thin sheet metal, fiberglass and plastic products.

Therefore, a step drill can be called a device “for all occasions”; it is good to have for specialists in various workshops, installers and home craftsmen.

In our video you can see how to use this tool.

How to choose a step drill?

It will not be possible to make the right choice of the tool discussed above if you do not familiarize yourself with its main technical characteristics in a timely manner.

Firstly, the color of the product will play an important role in the choice, and this is not an aesthetic whim.

A steel-gray color will indicate that the steel from which the tool is made has not been properly processed. Based on this, one can doubt its quality.

The tool is made of black steel - the material was treated with hot steam, due to which the steel is hardened.

Such a processing technology will be beneficial to the master.

Golden-colored steel is a sign that the internal stress of the metal has been relieved; working with such a tool will be a pleasure.

The product for drilling metal with a bright golden hue has a wear-resistant surface layer, which uses titanium nitride. The price of such drills is higher, but they also last much longer.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Using 3D milling and engraving machines for metal

Steel specifications and markings. There is no point in considering all existing types of steels from which step drills can be made, since there are many of them.

Therefore, it is recommended to choose a metal tool marked HSS - the product is designed for high-speed drilling, while preventing metal deformation when heated.

Diameter of working thresholds, starting and final. You need to decide on these parameters right away, since the average price for a tool is approximately 2,500 rubles.

Manufacturer and cost of step devices.

You don’t have to pay special attention to the first fact, since it’s better to buy a tool from a certain steel, which must meet GOST standards.

For those craftsmen who are accustomed to buying expensive and proven items, we can recommend products from the TOP CRAFT brand.

Possibility to sharpen. According to experts, a tool without the possibility of sharpening can last longer if you do not interfere, and if there is a need for sharpening, the drill will also last a long time.

In this case, the choice can be made without being guided by anyone’s advice.

How to sharpen a step drill for metal?

Step drills are available in several design options, and each model allows you to drill holes from 4 to 32 mm in diameter.

Some of them, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, can be sharpened yourself, while some options cannot be sharpened at all.

As a rule, these are expensive but high-quality products that take about 2 years to become dull, of course, subject to normal use.

Unlike simple metal drills, step drills are not so easy to sharpen; if done incorrectly, the cutting edge may become unusable.

In general, there is nothing difficult about sharpening a cone drill with high quality.

Sometimes, to sharpen a step drill, sandpaper, which is equipped with a special rotating wheel, is enough.

In general, such drills can be processed either “by hand” or using a sharpening machine for end mills.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: Review of equipment for cold metal forging

In this case, “on hand” it is best to update step drills for metal, which have straight flutes. But for tools with spiral grooves, sharpening on a machine is suitable.

It will definitely be possible to effectively update the characteristics of the cutting edge if the drill was originally of high quality.

More details about sharpening metal drills in the video section.

Cost and practical advice on choosing

The price of step or cone drills depends on two main factors. The first and main one is the type of material from which the drilling tool was made, the second is the working diameter.

Today, the variety of prices for step drills for metal is impressive.

For example, a titanium-coated tool with the ability to make holes from 4 to 20 mm costs an average of 440 rubles.

But the price of the same drill, but with a diameter of 4-30 mm, reaches 1100 rubles. In this case, the cost of products from a domestic manufacturer was considered.

A foreign alternative is valued even higher, for example, Boshev metal products with a working diameter of 4-20 mm can cost 2,900 rubles, but for the same step drill, but with parameters 6-39 mm, you will have to pay up to 5 thousand rubles.

Very often, a high price becomes the reason for the refusal of many buyers, because in this case the product may not be so ideal or it turns out that a fake was purchased.

That is why it is recommended to buy this category of products only from trusted manufacturers.

As a rule, such products are marked and a quality certificate is provided.
At the end of the article, we offer useful thematic video material for viewing.

THIS IS INTERESTING:  When was welding invented?


How to sharpen a step drill for metal

A step drill for metal can also be called a cone drill; the tool received the first version of its name due to its appearance.

Each of its steps, formed due to a smooth spiral transition, has its own diameter, which allows you to determine during the drilling process what size the hole currently has.

At the same time, novice craftsmen have a poor idea of ​​why step drills are needed, if there are a great variety of different devices that allow you to make any hole in metal.

Many may think that buying a step drill is a waste of money, especially since the price for this category of tools is quite high.

To dispel unnecessary doubts, let’s consider what advantages a cone product has and in what cases it can be used.

How to sharpen a step drill

To make a high-quality hole in metal, you need to select a drill that will cope with this task.

If you need to perform high-precision work in sheet material up to 4 mm thick, then a step drill for metal will be most suitable for this. Such cutting products not only have increased accuracy, but also require the correct approach to the drilling operation.

To process the material correctly, you need to know some of the nuances of selecting and using such a tool. All the intricacies of metal processing using cone drills will be discussed in detail below.

How to sharpen a tapered step drill

Today, a large assortment of drills designed for a variety of purposes has appeared on our market. Of these, the cone drill for metal attracts special attention. Appearing in the 70s of the last century, it became indispensable for installation or other work. It is distinguished by its versatility, durability, and ease of use, thanks to which it gains wide popularity.

The name of this type of drill comes from its unusual cone-shaped shape; this design allows you to make completely smooth and round holes without burrs. In conventional products, the shank may have the form:

  • Morse cone, more popular abroad;
  • instrumental, this is usually used on machine tools;
  • metric with a proportion between the shank and the working area equal to 1:20;
  • elongated, with diameters from 6 to 30 mm.

Morse cone

Cone drills, like regular ones, have a guide and cutting parts, a neck, and a shank. A unique feature of their design is the sharp tip, eliminating the need for centering when drilling. Their advantages are:

Cone drill table

  • in making holes of different diameters with one single element;
  • high strength of the cutting edge, providing sufficient working life; high drilling speed;
  • no need for preliminary centering of the material;
  • the ability to produce holes in any type of material, from drywall to sheet metal;
  • perfectly straight cuts even on thin sheet metal.

Advantages of the stepped form

A type of cone drill is a step drill. Its design is different in that the expansion of the cone diameter occurs in the form of a step. Each of them is marked with a diameter, which makes work easier and frees you from constant measurements. The limit on the thickness of the processed material is indicated on the edge. If the metal is thick, it can be processed on both sides. The step drill has a lot of attractive characteristics:

Step drill for metal (conical)

  • it allows you to accurately cut a hole of a certain diameter;
  • the cut hole does not require additional grinding;
  • using one device, you can cut a significant range of diameters - from 4 to 40 mm, which saves money and time;
  • a step drill does an excellent job with metal sheets less than 1 mm thick;
  • it is used to polish the edges of a hole made with a conventional tool;
  • the same element can be used to chamfer the product;
  • The stepped device can be used both when working on a machine and with a hand tool, having previously provided for strong fastening.

Sometimes the disadvantage is the need to use a drill with a low rotation speed or excessive sensitivity to distortions during operation. There will be no distortions if you pay close attention to working with the conical device and follow the instructions.

Speed ​​range and selection for step drill

Areas of use

The advantages of a step drill allow it to be used for drilling holes of various diameters in products made of aluminum, steel, and non-ferrous metals of sufficient thickness. It is successfully used in many areas of economic life:

Scope of application of step drill

  • landscape or industrial design;
  • various types of repair work;
  • on construction sites;
  • installation of plumbing or heating equipment;
  • industrial production, home workshop.

The cone jig has been successfully used to correct uneven surfaces or smooth out jagged edges caused by the use of conventional tools. It is especially convenient for cutting straight holes in plywood, fiberglass, and other types of plastic materials.

Design and types

The device consists of:

  • the actual working part, which has a conical shape;
  • a shank with which the tool is attached to the drill;
  • sharp tip capable of cutting through the densest metal.

The cutting edge of a step drill can be straight or spiral type. Each of them has its advantages. A straight edge is easier and quicker to sharpen, while a helical edge allows for a smoother, smoother drilling experience for a smoother operation. When using a spiral edge, the processing efficiency of thin sheet metal is especially increased. There are varieties of tools designed for different materials - wood or plastic. But all step drills are designed the same.

Shanks can be round or hexagonal, which are considered more reliable in use. The tool is made of high-quality stainless steel, and a durable coating of titanium nitrogen or diamond chips increases its service life and reduces the need for frequent sharpening. It must be remembered that compliance with the operating rules and the permissible load is required.

There are two types of step drill shanks - hexagonal and round

Recommendations when choosing a product

Cone drills are expensive, so when choosing them, you need to study all the characteristics. According to state standards, high-quality products are made from high-strength alloy steel in the range of the following parameters:

  • with diameters from 5 to 80 mm;
  • working cone length – from 58 to 85 mm;
  • tail diameter - from 6 to 12 mm.

The color of the metal as an indicator of its strength

An important characteristic of a product is the color of the material from which it is made.

The color of a step drill indicates its quality

The gray color of the cone drill with a steel tint indicates that the steel has not been hardened. Consequently, the product is not of high quality and will not last long.

Hot steam treatment makes the steel more durable; products made from such steel have a significant service life and are distinguished by a black color.

Conical products of golden color are made of higher quality metal, in which residual stresses are eliminated. They are more durable and comfortable to use.

Elements of a brighter golden color have high wear resistance. They are coated with titanium or diamond coating, which significantly increases their service life. The long working life explains the high cost of the products.

Quality parameters

Depending on the composition, there are more than four dozen iron alloys. Typically, conical drills are made from durable high-speed steel, which is indicated by the first letter of the marking.

Marking. The highest quality of the offered options are considered to be conical devices made of steel marked HSS. They are designed for high-speed processing of any type of metal without deformation from overheating. But we must take into account that there are many Chinese counterfeits on the market with the same markings, so it is preferable to focus on price.

Size . When choosing a product, you need to decide which holes will have to be drilled. The larger their range, the higher the cost. For example, the price of step drills for forming diameters from 4 to 20 mm is almost two times lower than products of the same quality, but for holes from 4 to 30 mm.

Step Drill Dimensions

Trademark . Products from well-known brands show higher prices. Step drills from TOP GRAFT are in greatest demand. Although they are noticeably more expensive, they are of higher quality. Bosch cone drills have an excellent reputation - their quality justifies the price.

Bosch cone drills

Possibility of sharpening . The next option to choose from is the ability to sharpen. Products that can be sharpened have a longer service life, although cone drills that do not have this characteristic will last longer without sharpening. Their durability also determines their high cost.

Coverage . The cost of the product is also affected by the presence of titanium coating. Spraying provides a significant increase in strength, but increases the cost of the product by at least a third.

Instrument care

Today, the industry produces different types of step drills, which makes it possible to choose devices for certain types of work:

  • for processing materials with a high degree of hardness;
  • drilling products from various alloys;
  • for working with wood, plastic, plywood.

Step Drill Care

Step drills require proper care. After use, the tool must be lubricated with a special compound. If you don't have it, you can use machine oil or liquid soap. Regular lubrication will increase their service life.

Sharpening a tool requires some skills that can be learned by following the recommendations of experts. To sharpen a stepped part, you need to use a diamond stone to restore the guide grooves, which have a straight shape. Spiral grooves need to be sharpened with a sharpening machine. The higher the quality of the drill, the easier it is to restore its parameters. It is better to sharpen a cone tool on a machine using an abrasive wheel with sandpaper.

Choosing a cone drill will provide convenience, ease of use and will give you pleasure with a high-quality result.

on topic: How to sharpen a step drill


Step (conical) drill for metal: selection, application, sharpening

The working part of a step drill for metal (also called a cone drill) is formed by a spiral groove and a number of stepped annular transitions of different diameters. Thanks to this unique design, step drills allow you to determine at any time during processing what diameter the hole has been formed.

One step drill can replace a set for metal processing, including crowns

At first glance, it may seem that using such drills (which, by the way, are quite expensive) does not make much sense, because you can always select a tool of a certain diameter and use it to create the required hole. Meanwhile, conical tools for drilling holes have a number of unique advantages that make their use justified in many cases.

Scope and design features

Cone (or step) drills have a long working life, which is ensured by the high strength of their cutting edges. Unlike a conventional drill, a cone drill allows you to perform technological operations that in any other situation would require the use of several tools. It is this versatility that largely explains the high cost of drills in this category.

The conical drilling tool, due to its design features, allows processing at high speed, at which the quality of the edge of holes formed even in thin sheet material is not reduced.

Step drill device

Cone drills can make holes not only in metal, but also in drywall, wood, plastic, etc. They also successfully cope with dense metal, which cannot be said about any other type of drilling tool.

The sharp tip of the step drill not only eliminates the need for a centering tool, but also easily cuts into the structure of even the densest metal. The resulting hole does not require additional processing using a needle file and a grinder.

Most step drills are capable of drilling through metal up to 4mm thick

The progressive channels of the step drill, arranged in a spiral, are made in different sizes with a smooth transition. This design feature increases the efficiency of the cone drill when working with thin sheet metal by at least 50%. In addition, when drilling metal parts with a tool with such spiral translational grooves, its smoothness is ensured.

Cone-type drills can be used either in conjunction with a manual drilling device or when installed on special equipment.

An abrasive coating based on diamond or titanium chips can be applied to the working surface of step drills (this does not contradict the requirements of GOST).

THIS IS INTERESTING:  What electrodes are for welding cast iron

This coating of the cutting surface significantly increases its strength, which makes it possible to minimize the frequency of sharpening.

Naturally, you can count on this advantage of using a sprayed cone drill if the rules for its operation are followed and the permissible load on it is not exceeded.

These drill bits are made from high quality high speed steel with titanium coating.

One of the tasks that can be solved with the help of a cone drill is the correction of defects in holes produced by a tool of another type. Such defects, in particular, include torn edges. Step-type drills are practically irreplaceable in cases where it is necessary to obtain high-quality holes in thin sheet metal, products made of fiberglass and other polymer materials.

Considering all of the above, we can conclude that cone drills are even more versatile than traditional twist-type tools. That is why they will not be superfluous at the production site and in the home workshop. How convenient and effective a cone tool is, the cost of which depends both on the diameter of the working part and on the type of spraying, can be judged by the video of processing with its use and by reviews from specialists.

What to look for when choosing a conical drill

You should make a choice of a tool such as a conical drill for metal only after you have become familiar with its characteristics. The color of a step drill can tell you a lot about it.

  • The gray-steel color of the manufacturing material indicates that the drill has not been subjected to any heat treatment; therefore, you should not count on its high quality.
  • The conical tool, the surface of which is black, has been treated with hot steam, which increases its strength.
  • The golden color of the steel indicates that all internal stresses in the metal were previously eliminated, which improved its quality characteristics.
  • If the surface of a step drill has a bright golden hue, it is highly wear-resistant. This is provided by the titanium nitride contained in the metal. The fairly high cost of such products is fully compensated by their long service life.

The marking of a step drill indicates its characteristics

For the production of cone drills, various types of steel are used, which are determined by marking. If the marking contains the abbreviation HSS, this means that with this product you can perform high-speed processing without worrying about it deforming or losing its strength characteristics under intense heating.

When choosing a step drill, pay attention to the main dimensions

When choosing cone drills, you must also consider the following parameters:

  • diameter, which completely depends on the characteristics of the holes that need to be obtained;
  • brand (this parameter largely determines not only the quality of the product, but also its cost);
  • compliance of the purchased conical drill and the material from which it is made with all GOST requirements;
  • possibility of multiple sharpening (here you should be guided only by your own preferences and experience in sharpening spiral and conical drills in accordance with GOST requirements).


Drills, which are called stepped or conical, allow you to create holes with a diameter of 4 to 32 mm and are available in two versions: with the ability to sharpen or with a design that does not involve this technological operation. The high cost of products belonging to the second type is justified by their durability.

Their cutting edge (subject to all operating rules) does not become dull for a long time. It should be borne in mind that sharpening them without the appropriate experience can only lead to the fact that they become unsuitable for further use.

Cone drills of a certain configuration can be sharpened with a triangular abrasive rod

In order to properly sharpen a step drill, just watch the training video and follow the recommendations of qualified specialists. To perform this procedure, you don’t even have to rely on the drawing, but simply restore the original geometric parameters of the product.

Also, in some cases, it is permissible to use for these purposes thin abrasive diamond bars intended for sharpening knives, scissors and other tools.

Such a tool, like spiral drills with a conical shank, can be sharpened using a special machine equipped with an abrasive wheel, the working surface of which can be covered with ordinary sandpaper.

The geometric parameters of step drills, the guide grooves of which have a rectilinear shape, can be restored manually, and products with spiral grooves are best processed using a sharpening machine. It should be borne in mind that it is easiest to restore the geometric parameters of high-quality step drills.

Cost of step drills and recommendations for their selection

If there are no problems with the purchase of conventional spiral drills, the landing part of which is made in the form of a Morse cone, then the choice of a stepped-type drilling tool has some features. Its cost is influenced by two main parameters: working diameter and material of manufacture.

A consumer who is planning to purchase a step drill may be misled by the serious price range. To bring some clarity to this issue, we can look at some price examples. Thus, products for forming holes with a diameter of 4–20 mm are distinguished by their relatively low cost (400–500 rubles). A step drill from domestic manufacturers, which allows making holes with a diameter of 4–30 mm, will cost the consumer almost twice as much (1,100 rubles).

Significantly increases the cost of the product if it belongs to a well-known brand. Thus, the price of step drills from Bosch, the diameter of which is in the range of 4–20 mm, is 2900 rubles, and for a tool that allows you to produce holes with a diameter of 6–39 mm, you need to pay up to 5000 rubles.

Such a set of three Swiss-made Bosch drills costs 8–10 thousand rubles

Many organizations that sell step drills offer them at a fairly high price, without in any way confirming their quality characteristics.

When purchasing a tool from such organizations, as well as from places where it is sold at low prices, the consumer should be prepared for the fact that the quality of the drill will be in great doubt. That is why it is necessary to buy cone drills only from those companies that are ready to provide all the necessary certificates.

You should also pay attention to the markings of the drill, by which you can determine that this is a certified product with characteristics that meet the requirements of GOST.

Anyone who is planning to purchase a cone-type drill should keep in mind that its rather expensive cost is due to the fact that it is characterized by exceptionally high quality, versatility of use, reliability and durability.


Features of using cone drills

A step drill is characterized by the presence of cutting edges characterized by high strength characteristics. This is precisely what accounts for their high durability.

A special feature of step devices is that they can be used to perform a list of jobs that would normally require the use of a fairly large number of other tools.

And it is precisely the versatility of step metal drills that determines their high price.

Among other advantages that this type of product has, we should highlight the drilling speed.

This allows you to ensure high quality edges even when working with thin sheet metal.

Cone-type devices are suitable for creating holes in different materials:

  • metal;
  • drywall;
  • tree;
  • plastic.

The design has a sharp tip , which effortlessly enters a metal product, regardless of the degree of density of its structure. The owner does not have to resort to the help of a centering element, which makes using such a tool quite simple.

The design features of conical products are responsible for the fact that they eliminate the need to use an angle grinder and a needle file. Only this one tool allows you to grind the finished hole.

Such drills have translational channels that are of a special size, and the smooth transition is usually in the range of 35-453 . Thanks to this feature, when creating holes in thin metal with such drills, work efficiency can be increased by 50%.

In addition to this, the special design of the tool makes it easier to penetrate deep into the material being processed, which at the same time allows this device to enter quite smoothly.

A similar attachment can be equipped with drilling tools with automated and manual drive. The conical device is characterized by increased strength, which is due to the presence of abrasive coating.

Diamond or titanium shavings can be used as a material for it . They allow you to avoid frequent sharpening of products when operating the device under standard load conditions.

Conical drills for metal work differ in their cost, which is determined by the diameter of their working part and the type of spraying. On average, these devices are offered at prices ranging from 2 thousand to 5 thousand rubles.

Quite relevant when drilling holes is the problem of “torn” holes, characterized by the presence of different shapes. The simplest solution to this problem is to use a step drill for metal.

If you choose the diameter of the device wisely, the owner will have the opportunity to create a hole even in the place where an attempt has already been made and ended in failure.

For this reason, a step drill can be considered a universal device, the presence of which will not hinder every workshop worker, installer and home craftsman.

Steel specifications and markings

There is no need to dwell in detail on all types of steels that can be used to create step drills due to their large number.

For this reason, the best choice would be a product that has the HSS mark .

From this you can understand that this tool can provide high-speed drilling without allowing the metal to deform when heated.

Diameter of working thresholds, starting and final

Already at the very beginning of the choice, you need to pay attention to these parameters, given that the average price for drills reaches 2,500 rubles.

Manufacturer and cost of step devices

The first criterion is so important, since it is best to choose a drill for the manufacture of which steel was used that meets the requirements of the current GOST.

If it is important for you to be sure that the drilling product you purchase is of guaranteed high quality, then you can pay attention to products under the TOP CRAFT brand .

Possibility of sharpening

According to experts, the absence of such an option in the drill will ensure a long service life, since the user will not change the configuration of the product.

At the same time, in some situations it may be necessary to sharpen the device, which will also increase its service life.

Here you can make a final decision, focusing only on your opinion.

Sharpening a step drill for metal

In stores, such drills are presented in several versions. The capabilities of the proposed models make it possible to create holes reaching a diameter of about 4-32 mm .

Some of these drills provide the possibility of sharpening, for which it is important to strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

At the same time, there are also devices that cannot be sharpened.

Compared to conventional metal drills, sharpening stepped products can be fraught with certain difficulties.

If this operation is performed in violation of the rules, the cutting edge may acquire such a shape that it will no longer be possible to create a hole with it.

Although this procedure is quite simple in terms of implementation.

In some cases, to perform high-quality sharpening of a step drill, it is necessary to prepare sandpaper, which is subsequently attached to a special rotating wheel.

If necessary, sharpening of such drills can be done “by hand”, as well as using a sharpening machine for end mills .

The “hands-on” method is more suitable for situations where you only need to update metal step drills equipped with straight flutes.

If you have to deal with a device characterized by the presence of spiral channels, then it is better to opt for sharpening using a machine.

You can give the working edge of a product improved cutting properties without much effort if you purchased a drill from a reliable manufacturer.

  Electric drill sharpener

Did you like the article? Share with friends:
Metals and their processing
-- Sideb lion (lipk) -->
How to Clean Gold with Hydrogen Peroxide

For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]