Broken drill bits can be a real pain to remove from metal. You can easily pluck out a bit that’s broken in wood, and removing it from brick is even easier, but we can’t say the same about metals.
When you feel the bit snapping amid drilling, you know you’re in for a treat. Not!
No worries! In today’s article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to remove a broken drill bit from metal. Let’s dive in.
The Locking Pliers Method
The most common way to remove a broken drill bit from metal is to clamp locking pliers onto the end of the drill bit. Then, start twisting the pliers counterclockwise to easily remove the broken part.
If you can’t reach the broken end of the drill bit with your locking pliers, you can cut through a small area around the hole with a chisel.
It’s essential to make the cutout big enough to reach the drill bit with the tip of your pliers.
Using a Screw Extractor
First and foremost, you need to wear safety goggles and gloves before starting this process. The process includes drilling into the broken bit. That might cause tiny metal pieces to fly at high speed, which can cause serious injuries.
After that, you can follow these steps to remove the broken piece of metal:
- Using your chisel, make sure there are no jagged edges on the drill bit. The goal is to make the surface as flat as possible to be able to drill a guide hole to remove it.
- Position the end of a center punch in the center of the broken drill bit.
- Tap the center punch slightly hard with a hammer to create a small divot. This divot will be your guide on where to drill later.
- Insert a drill bit smaller than the broken one you want to remove.
- Apply a drop of cutting oil to the end of your drill bit.
- Place the tip of your drill bit in the divot you previously created.
- Drill about 0.25 to 0.5 inches into the broken bit. You can start drilling slowly until you make sure you drill at the right angle. Then, you can bring your drill to a faster speed. You shouldn’t wiggle the drill while you’re drilling through the broken bit.
- Insert a tap extractor inside the broken drill bit.
- Secure the tap extractor by tapping its end with a hammer.
- Using a wrench, turn the extractor in a counterclockwise motion to extract the broken drill bit.
Welding a Metal Rod
You can weld a metal rod to the top of your drill bit at a 90-degree angle. Then, use the rod as a lever and pull the broken drill counterclockwise. If it seems stuck, you can tap on it a couple of times using a hammer to loosen the drill bit.
Why Do Drill Bits Break?
There are many factors that can cause this unfortunate accident. Here are the most common reasons why your drill bits break:
- Applying excessive force while drilling
- Using the wrong drill bit for the material you’re drilling into
- Low-quality drill bits can break easily
- The drill bit wasn’t securely clamped
- Incorrect cutting speed and feed rate
How to Prevent Breaking the Drill Bit in the Future?
Here are some tips that will help you prevent breaking your drill bit:
- Whenever you use your drill, you should always apply a drop of cutting oil first. It will help prevent the drill bit from snapping while you’re using it. Additionally, using cutting oil will prevent overheating.
- Thin or small drill bits can break easier than normal ones. It’s best if you drill slowly and carefully to avoid breaking them.
- While installing a drill bit, it’s best if you fit it as far as possible into the drill. This will keep it secure in its place and reduce the strain on the bit.
- Pick the suitable type of drill bit according to the type of material you’ll be drilling into.
- When you start drilling, it’s advised to start slowly and work your way up to full speed. This is the best method to control your drill. This method should be applied when drilling on any surface, especially metal.
- Changing the drill bit regularly might be a good idea. Additionally, it’s best if you choose high-quality drill bits. A good quality drill bit has a significantly lower risk of getting snapped during drilling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still, have a question in mind? Here are some frequently asked questions regarding how to remove a broken drill bit from metal:
How to Prevent Overheating of the Drill Bit?
Using cutting oil is the best way to prevent overheating the drill bit, which can lead your drill bit to snap while drilling.
What Is the Strongest Type of Drill Bits?
Carbide or carbon is one of the most durable types of drill bits available. However, it’s not suitable for hand drills.
How to Remove a Broken Drill From a Brick?
The process is simple; you just need to make the drilling hole slightly wider and insert the tip of your locking pliers or even normal pliers. You can remove the broken drill bit easily then. Brick is easy to break or dig into, so you won’t need to apply considerable force.
Having your drill bit snapped off during drilling can be a frustrating situation for anyone. However, it’s fairly easy to remove the broken drill bit from any type of hard metal.
You can remove a broken drill bit from metal by using one of three methods: the locking pliers method, the screw extractor method, or the metal rod welding method.
There are some essential tips you can follow to avoid breaking your drill bit. Applying a drop of suitable cutting oil or lubricant is one of the most important things to do. You also shouldn’t apply excessive force while drilling.