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  • Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

    I have to cut a 1 1/2 inch hole in a stainless steel sink (20 gauge). I have the 1 1/2" Bi-Metal Hole Saw. Any tips on making a nice neat hole, is this the tool for the job.

  • #2
    Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

    I've read where a stepped, "unibit" will work well. You can probably find one big enough for your needs.

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    • #3
      Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

      Use some cutting oil, or some type of lube. This will keep the heat down, the blade will last longer and prevent bluing of the metal.

      If you do get some bluing because of heat, a Scotch Brite pad should get rid of it.
      Power Tool Blog - Power Tool Reviews

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      • #4
        Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

        use greenlee slug buster knockout punches or rigid makes a great set either will work great.

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        • #5
          Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

          Over a year ago "Gear Junkie"/Ben turned me on to a shallow carbide hole saw made by Lennox.Never looked back.Fast.

          Less speed more elbow grease on the pressure whatever you use.
          I've made more than one helper buy me a new bit cause he ruined mine at too high an RPM

          Gotta drill a hole for the punch.
          Extra step no?

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          • #6
            Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
            Less speed more elbow grease on the pressure whatever you use.
            I've made more than one helper buy me a new bit cause he ruined mine at too high an RPM
            Here here to that.

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            • #7
              Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

              A good hole saw, such as a "Starret" will do a real nice job! as the others have written, use lots of lubricant,preferably paste, a little but often, keep RPM WAY DOWN! prefereably about 200, and use a nice big drill with lots of power at low RPM.
              I have a 52mm Starret at the shop that's done over 1000 holes! just because it is used right!

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              • #8
                Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

                The hole saw should work without a problem. When I worked as a swimming pool installer we would drill holes in the galvanized panels for water returns from the pump with a hole saw. We would hold the drill in one hand and a can of WD40 in the other. As long as we kept it lubricated, the saw cut like a hot knife through butter. Those panels were much thicker than a sink, so I am positive that you won't have any problems.

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                • #9
                  Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

                  Recently had the same dilemma at work. Existing sink is a bar style stainless unit with a very small (narrow) faucet set. Problem has been the spout is way too low in the sink to be useful. First thought was to replace the spout since it is removable. But the owner already purchased a nice standard kitchen sink faucet 1 year ago and couldn't get the $$$ back. I bought a Lenox carbide tip hole saw and it went right through that stainless sink in seconds and left a nice smooth hole with no color change or indentations. The size I bought was 1 3/8" and was $35 at Lowes without the arbor. Might not use it often, but having it is peace of mind when I do need it. Later!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

                    Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                    use greenlee slug buster knockout punches or rigid makes a great set either will work great.
                    I second this, a KO punch makes a nice clean hole in the deck of a SS sink. The downside to them unless you have access to a punch, they are not cheap a 1" conduit size will be close to the size hole you want.

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                    • #11
                      Agree and some more info

                      All materials have an optimum cutting speed given in surface feet per minute (SFM). For stainless steel (SS) this is about 100 - 130 SFM. This means the cutting tool needs to pass over the material at that speed. In the case of a hole saw the 'tool' is the tooth of the saw over the SS sheet under the teeth. So, for a 1 1/2" hole saw this translates to about 200-300 RPM.

                      One difference about SS than many other materials is that SS 'work hardens', which means the SS actually gets harder due to the working of the material by the tools passing over it. It gets so hard in fact, that the tool will not be able to cut the material. Instead the tool will simply get dull quickly. You can tell by the heat, smoke, lack of chips, etc. Once a tool like a saw is dull, its done, throw it away.

                      This is why intense pressure is needed while cutting. The idea is to stay ahead of the hardening that's happening in the SS material so that the teeth are cutting into raw material before it gets a chance to harden. Also, using harder tooling, like carbide allows for higher cutting speeds and greater resistance to dulling due to the slight hardening of the material that is inevitable. Carbide on SS has a cutting speed of ~500 SFM so drill much faster, ie. 1000-1500 RPM, but keep that pressure up!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

                        take a 1x4 and shoot your hole in this first. use this piece of wood as a jig by centering it over the place you want you 1.5 " hole. this eliminates the walking that can occur with hole saws when cutting harder materials.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Any tips for cutting hole in Stainless Steel Sink

                          Originally posted by Brownie View Post
                          We would hold the drill in one hand and a can of WD40 in the other. .
                          That's not safe for at least 2 reasons. Use proper cutting oil.

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