Best Drill Bits for Holes in Metal with a Dremel Tool?

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I use cobalt drills with a 135 degree split point. i get them from Manhattan Supply Company. i use them for silver, gold, copper and jewelers brass. The type of metal you are drilling does make a difference- some look like brass but may be brass plated steel. If you call MSC you can speak to an engineer there who will advise you on what type of drill is best for whatever you are drilling. Also you may want to use a drill instead of a dremel (more control).

Posted at 9:26 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

weyakin says

Well, I didn't use the same drill bit on the brass because it broke on the steel before I could try it on anything else. They all broke on both brass and steel. It was silver plated brass. Don't know what I'm doing wrong. :-( Actually, it went through the metal just fine and broke once it got into the wood under it (which was soft pine). I'll look for other types of scrap metal to try it out on again (once I get more bits) and see if that makes a difference.

Thank you for the help!

Posted at 9:50 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

weyakin - think you've identified the problem - those tiny drill bits are very fragile. I could almost promise if those were used with a drill press - drilling vertically with no sideways movement - you'd have no problem. With the sudden extra movement down when the bit goes through it's very easy to put a little sideways bending force on the bit. You'll get it, but maybe get a couple of cheap 1/8" bits for practice. Take heart, I'll bet everyone starts out breaking tiny drill bits.

Posted at 10:08 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

weyakin says

Thanks cgwhitfield! That might be a good idea. Fortunately the bits weren't very expensive, so at least I'm not fretting about the cost! lol. Do you think the drill press kit made for a Dremel would work? Or would you recommend just going with a regular old drill press?

Thanks again for all your help! I really appreciate it. :-)

Posted at 10:18 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

I haven't used those Dremel drill press attachments, probably not the best solution but better than nothing. If you have a regular drill press it will definitely be better, although a large one might not have a chuck that will hold 1mm. I have a cheap small drill press - I'll bet they're down to under $50 now, and I've done lots and lots of drilling in metal and wood with it. Not the highest quality but sufficient for my purposes. Makes life a lot easier.

Posted at 10:30 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

lv2cr8 says

I am just a newbie when it comes to metalsmithing, but I use a cordless drill with a tine bit to make the holes for my jump rings.

What I want to know is what kind of bit as in what is the name of the bit you use to file. Now I am just hand filing.

Posted at 10:43 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

lv2cr8 says


Posted at 10:43 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

I use cobalt and a drill press.

Posted at 11:47 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

raynecloud says

Still in a learning phase myself. I started with a regular hand drill and cobalt bits. Went smoothly through copper. Graduated to drilling through steel washers. That's when things get tricky! But I've had successful cuts.

Posted at 11:58 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

uncljohn says

A dremel is a high speed tool and even little weeny drills are happier at low speeds. All suggestions more or less apply here as you practice and figure out how to deal with this, but your dremel should be an adjustablle speed tool, use a very slow speed with your practice metal until you develope a feel for what you need.

Posted at 4:12 am Oct 15, 2009 EDT

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