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I am having an awful time trying to drill 440C stainless. Can anyone give me suggestions? I am looking for somewhere to purchase drill bits for stainless steel. I am looking for top quality bits that are not going to be found at the local Home Depot or Lowe's (I have already tried these). I have found a company called OSG that offers specialty bits for stainless steel; but, I cannot find anywhere that offers them for sale to the public.

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It sounds like you are trying to drill steel that has been hardened. In that case only a carbide bit will do it as the steel is going to be as hard as normal drill bits.

Is this on a finished knife? If not, you can anneal the steel by heating it to a dull cherry red and letting it cool slowly. This will soften the steel enough to be drilled with normal bits. Of course if the holes are in the area of the blade you will want to heat treat it and harden it again.
I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH MIKE ON THIS ONE AND SAY THAT A CARBIDE BIT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO.
!!cap locks!! lol

Slow drill speed and steady pressure. with coolant. Good luck!
A note of warning: Carbide bits are VERY brittle and will snap easily if not drilling prefectly straight.
Thank you Mike for your reply. I took a chance on a carbide tipped masonry bit and I have won my battle. This task has made quite an impresion on me. I have a new found respect for "hardened or finished" blade steel. I am actually embarrassed that I thought that I could drill this blade so easily....I know enough about steel and blade steel to know better. Thanks again for your help.
Wow ... so you ended up having success w/ a carbide tipped masonry drill. Saw that approach mentioned in a couple machinist blogs ... but didn't lend that much credence to it. Shame on me.

Cool ... ya got it !!!
Google up "Enco tools". They have a very wide selection that you can buy.
Thanks for the tip Slade. I am going to check out Enco.
try this link, if you go slow it will go threw hardened steel like butter!!
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ARTU-DRILL-BIT-1-4-01030-/220633139103?cmd=...


the brand is artu

 

there is a difference between masonry drill bits and concrete drill bits. Masonry bits have a sharp cutting edge on the carbide tip and concrete drills have a carbide tip that is shaped diffrently for taking the beating from an electropneumatic machine such as a HILTI hammer drill.

 

Jan

A store that sells heavy duty sheet metal roofing will sell carbide drill bits. If there's a store near you check it out.

Diffrent size bits cut at diffrent speeds. A drill press helps for proper speed and holding bitt straight. Nothing can move or the bitt breaks. about 800 rpm works for most knife making speeds.

This is an impressive amount of information guys.  Thanks for helping Gary.  Glad you got it done Gary, can we see what you were drilling a hole in?

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