Cutting holes in metal sheets is pretty easy. Moreover, there are several ways of doing that.
But when it comes to cutting a hole in stainless steel sheet, then the real game begins.
Stainless steel is one of the hardest substances on earth. And for that reason, you don’t have several ways to cut a hole in it.
How to cut a hole in stainless steel sheet? – answer to this question is pretty complex.
Even with the right tools, you don’t get a guarantee of getting your desired holes. Moreover, slight blunders might lead you to a broken drill or even worse, an injury.
So, it’s highly important to know about the techniques of cutting a hole in the stainless steel sheet.
And we’re here with just that. Here, you’ll get to know about the right tools and techniques of this task.
So, let’s cut through everything else and begin with the details-
Table of Contents
Choosing the Tool:
It’s pretty easy to choose the right tool for this job.
You have to answer one simple question- What is harder than stainless steel?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, only a few materials are harder than stainless steel.
But there’s a catch-
You cannot get a cutter from all of those materials. So, we’ve sorted out some materials that are effective for cutting a hole in steel sheets.
Carbide and tungsten carbide are the best materials for this job.
That brings us down to tool selection. So, you have to either get punch sets for stainless steel or drills with carbide bits.
That’s not all-
You can also use a plasma cutter for cutting holes in stainless steel.
We’ll give out a guide of using all three tools here. So, let’s move on-
Cutting with Punch Sets:
You will get punch sets made especially for cutting stainless steels. If you don’t have one, then get one.
Now, let’s go through the steps of using a punch set for cutting stainless steel-
- Step 1: Mark your center and diameter.
- Step 2: Take a center punch and use it. This will help you in the upcoming frilling process.
- Steps 3: Put your drill bit on the center and drill around a quarter of an inch.
- Step 4: Put one half of the punch on one side and the other half on the opposite side.
- Step 5: Use a wrench to turn the socket. At one point you’ll get a nice hole based on your requirements.
This process has some drawbacks too. You’ll need some time at hand if you want to use this method. Also, the hole sometimes isn’t evenly cut. So, it needs further burring later on.
The beauty of using punch sets is that you can create square holes too. It all depends on the die. If the die is rectangular, then you’ll get a rectangular cut.
Cutting with a Hole Cutter:
Using the hole saw (cutter) on a drilling machine is one of the best ways of doing this job.
Probably you’ve already chosen your cutter. But if you haven’t, then again, we’re telling you. Get a carbide or tungsten carbide cutter.
Now that you’re set, let’s get going with the process-
- Mark your hole center at first.
- Secure the steel sheet with clamps. You can even put a support board beneath it to avoid teardowns.
- Use a center punch on the hole center to create dimples in the area.
- Put some cutting lubricant in the center. Steel hardens with heat. So, you have to keep that lubricant close by. You can also use cutting gel.
- Lower your RPM and put that side handle on because there will be a lot of torque.
- Double check if everything is set and start drilling.
- Pause once in a while. Also, lube your drill bits while pausing. This will keep the steel sheet’s temperature low.
- Keep everything in order and soon you’ll get your perfect hole.
This method will take a lot less force and might even finish off pretty fast.
However, don’t expect to finish off within a minute or something. This is a stainless-steel sheet that you’re cutting.
Using a Plasma Cutter
Through this method, you can cut the fastest. Plasma cutters use plasma for cutting. And the best part is plasma can cut through almost everything.
To cut a hole with a plasma cutter, you’ll need a plasma guide or plasma cutter guide. Some people use plasma cutter stencils for this purpose.
However, be careful while using it. Don’t breathe in any smoke produced from the steel plasma cut.
We believe that now you’ll be able to cut through that steel sheet without pulling out your hair. Always take safety measures while cutting a hole in steel sheets.
Good luck with that cut.