Tools and Equipment


   Twist drills are the most common cutting tools used with drilling machines. Twist drills are designed to make round holes quickly and accurately in all materials. They are called twist drills mainly because of the helical flutes or grooves that wind around the body from the point to the neck of the drill and appear to be twisted (Figure 6-7). Twist drills are simply constructed but designed very tough to withstand the high torque of turning, the downward pressure on the drill, and the high heat generated by friction.

Figure 6-7. Twist drill nomenclature.

   There are two common types of twist drills, high-speed steel drills, and carbide-tipped drills. The most common type used for field and maintenance shop work is the high-speed steel twist drill because of its low cost. Carbide-tipped metal drills are used in production work where the drill must remain sharp for extended periods, such as in a numerically controlled drilling machine. Other types of drills available are: carbide tipped masonry drills, solid carbide drills, TiN coated drills, parabolic drills and split point drills. Twist drills are classified as straight shank or tapered shank (Figure 6-7). Straight shank twist drills are usually l/2-inch or smaller and tit into geared drill chucks, while tapered shank drills are usually for the larger drills that need more strength which is provided by the taper socket chucks.

   Common twist drill sizes range from 0.0135 (wire gage size No. 80) to 3.500 inches in diameter. Larger holes are cut by special drills that are not considered as twist drills. The standard sizes used in the United States are the wire gage numbered drills, letter drills, fractional drills, and metric drills (See Table 4-1, in Appendix A). Twist drills can also be classified by the diameter and length of the shank and by the length of the fluted portion of the twist drill.

   Wire gage twist drills and letter twist drills are generally used where other than standard fractional sizes are required, such as drilling holes for tapping. In this case, the drilled hole forms the minor diameter of the thread to be cut, and the major diameter which is cut by tapping corresponds to the common fractional size of the screw. Wire gage twist drills range from the smallest to the largest size; from No 80 (0.01 35 inch) to No 1 (0.2280 inch). The larger the number, the smaller the diameter of the drill. Letter size twist drills range from A (0.234 inch) to Z (0.413 inch). As the letters progress, the diameters become larger.

   Fractional drills range from 1/64 to 1 3/4 inches in l/64-inch units; from 1/32 to 2 1/4 inches in 1/32-inch units, and from 1/1 6 to 3 1/2 inches in 1/16-inch units.

   Metric twist drills are ranged in three ways: miniature set, straight shank, and taper shank. Miniature metric drill sets range from 0.04 mm to 0.99 mm in units of 0.01 mm. Straight shank metric drills range from 0.05 mm to 20.0 mm in units from 0.02 mm to 0.05 mm depending on the size of the drill. Taper shank: drills range in size from 8 mm to 80 mm in units from 0.01 mm to 0.05 mm depending on the size of the drill.

   The drill gage (Figure 6-8) is used to check the diameter size of a twist drill. The gage consists of a plate having a series of holes. These holes can be numbered, lettered, fractional, or metric-sized twist drills. The cutting end of the drill is placed into the hole to check the size. A micrometer can also be used to check the size of a twist drill by measuring over the margins of the drill (Figure 6-9). The smaller sizes of drills are not usually marked with the drill size or worn drills may have the drill size rubbed off, thus a drill gage or micrometer must be used to check the size.

   It is important to know the parts of the twist drill for proper identification and sharpening (Figure 6-7).

   The point is the entire conical shaped end of the drill containing the cutting edges and chisel edge.

   The body is the part of the drill that is fluted and relieved.

   The shank is the part that fits into the holding device, whether it is a straight shank or a tapered shank.

   The chisel edge is the point at which the two lips meet. The chisel edge acts as a chisel when the drill is turning and cuts into the workpiece. The chisel edge must always be centered exactly on the drill's axis for accurate cutting action.

Figure 6-8. Drill gage.

    The cutting edge lips cut like knives when fed and rotated into the workpiece. The lips are sharp edges formed by grinding the flutes to a conical point.

   The heel is the conical shaped portion of the point in back of the cutting edge lips.

   The amount of slope given to the heel in back of the drill lips is called lip clearance. This clearance is necessary to keep the heel from rubbing the bottom of the hole being drilled. Rubbing would prevent the drill from cutting.

   The flute is the helical groove on the drill. It carries out the chips and admits coolant to the cutting edges.

   The margin is the narrow surface along the flutes that determines the size of the drill and keeps the drill aligned.

   The portion of the drill body that is relieved behind the margin is known as the body clearance. The diameter of this part is less than that of the margin and provides clearance so that all of the body does not rub against the side of the hole and cause friction. The body clearance also permits passage of lubricants around the drill.

Figure 6-9. Measuring a drill with a micrometer.

   The narrowed end of the tapered shank drill is called the tang. The tang fits the slot in the innermost end of the drill spindle, drill chuck, or other drill holding device and aids in driving the tool. It also prevents the drill from slipping.

   The web of the drill is the metal section separating the flutes. It runs the length of the body between the flutes. The web gradually increases in thickness toward the shank, increasing the rigidity of the drill.

    An imaginary line through the center of the drill from end to end is the axis. The drill must rotate evenly about the axis at all times.


  Special drills are needed for some applications that a normal general purpose drill cannot accomplish quickly or accurately. Special drills can be twist drill type, straight fluted type, or special fluted. Special drills can be known by the job that they are designed for, such as aircraft 

length drills, which have an extended shank.  Special drills are usually used in high-speed industrial operations. Other types of special drills are: left hand drill, Silver and Deming, spotting, slow spiral, fast spiral, half round, die, flat, and core drills. The general purpose high-speed drill, which is the common twist drill used for most field and maintenance shops, can be reground and adapted for most special drilling needs.

  800-476-4849  |  170 Aprill Drive  |  Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103  |  USA
Entrust Seal