Step Drills

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The step drill is used to drill a precise hole into thin metal, such as sheet metal. A normal drill will try to life a sheet metal off of the table and spin it. Like the name implies, you will want to start a hole with the smallest step drill and work your way up in sizes until the desired hole size is achieved.


Step drills are located in the grey center tool box located next to Russ's office on the shelf with "Step Drills" labeled on it. On the shelf, they are in the last two rows of the center section.

Where to find a Step Drill in the tool box
Where to find Step Drill in Machine Shop

Steps for Use

  1. Determine the diameter of the hole desired
  2. Insert the appropriate step drill into the drill press (refer to table below)
  3. Determine the depth required to achieve the diameter
  4. Drill to desired depth to achieve diameter
  5. If changing step drills, REMEMBER to change speed according to the largest diameter of the new step drill
  6. Clean Up!

Step Drill Sizes

Various Step Drills in UI Machine Shop.
Min Ø Max Ø Ø Step Size Depth Between Step Machine Speed to Run at
1/8 1/2 1/32 1/8 450
1/4 3/4 1/16 1/8 306
1/4 7/8 ~*~ 1/16 260
3/16 1/2 1/16 3/8 450
3/4 1 1/2 1/16 1/8 150


  1. Secure work in place using a clamp or vise.
  2. De-bur edge to eliminate sharp edges and prevent cuts.

Demonstration Video

  • How to use a Step Drill


MSC International Supply Co. [MSCDirect]

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