A step drill bit can be used to drill a range of different sized holes with a single bit. Since each bit size drill holes less than 1/4″ deep, a step bit is mainly used for drilling thin material such as sheet metal.

To make it easy know how deep to plunge the bit for the right sized hole, wrap a piece of masking tape around the bit at correct hole size.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: I just drilled these 13 different size holes using a single drill bit. That’s possible because I used a step drill bit. This single bit, will drill 13 different holes, ranging in diameter from about eighth-inch to half inch. And here is how it works.

Start drilling, and with each step of the drill, you’re getting a larger and larger hole. So we get started right here. There you go, that’s an eighth-inch. Now it’ll start cutting pretty quickly, and again, each step the hole gets larger and larger. There you go.

Now, the trick to using a step drill is, when do you stop at exact right size hole, because you don’t want to stop and keep measuring. So here’s an additional tip. Take a piece of tape and wrap it around the bit exactly where you want to stop drilling. In this case, about a quarter inch. Then you just keep drilling until you hit the tape. And then stop, and you get the exact size hole.

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Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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