Jobber-length drill bits are some of the most popular cutting tools because they work well for a variety of applications. However, workers sometimes need to use special cutting tools for hard-to-reach places.
While extra-long drill bits are less sturdy than shorter bits, they make it possible for people to reach spaces that are difficult to get to and drill through metal, wood, and plastic. Discover six industries that use extra-long drill bits.
1. Residential and Commercial Construction
Construction workers use long drill bits to help build housing, industrial facilities, business establishments, and warehouses. Workers can use extra-long drill bits for temporary and permanent components.
Workers drill through formwork made from timber, chipboard, and formwork board with extra-long drill bits. Formwork is the temporary molds into which the crew pours concrete or similar materials. Once the concrete sets in the desired shape, workers remove the formwork.
A formwork twist drill bit can drill through several layers of materials. Features like a threaded connection between the bit and the shank give the bit more stability.
Extra-long drill bits can also drill through boards, beams, planks, and floorboards. And they can help affix facades and metal roofs to structures.
2. Aircraft Repair and Production
Another industry that uses extra-long drill bits is aircraft construction. Manufacturers created long aircraft drill bits for use in the aircraft industry; the bits had to reach through deep cavities and drill through thin materials. Aircraft construction requires different drills and drill bits for cutting holes in difficult-to-reach spaces.
Airlines assess structural design information, evaluate components’ damage tolerance, consider experience with similar aircraft, and run pertinent tests to create structural maintenance programs. Workers must then maintain aircraft using extra-long drill bits to reestablish safety and reliability.
Hardware items wear out over time, but proper maintenance helps parts reach their full lifespan. On the other hand, undermaintaining components can lower performance reliability, so tools such as extra-long drill bits are important for saving money and keeping people safe.
Laypeople and workers in various industries use aircraft drill bits to drill in tight spaces or through long or wide materials. You can use aircraft bits to drill pilot holes for screws. And when you drill pocket holes, you can use an aircraft bit for the clearance hole.
3. Metal Fabrication
Metal fabricators create products for use in cars, aircraft, marine vessels, electronics, and more. They use various tools to cut and shape metal parts and structures.
Depending on the business, fabricators work with various materials, such as aluminum, copper, mild steel, zinc, stainless steel, and aluminum composite material (ACM). They use saws, drills, press brakes, casts, dies, and CNC machines to make precise bends and cuts.
While metal fabricators sometimes use extra-long drill bits, they use other types of drill bits more often. They especially use drill bits coated with titanium or solid cobalt drill bits; both types of drill bits perform well in metalworking projects because they’re durable and heat resistant.
Overheated drill bits can damage the workpiece and the cutting tool. Fabricators use cutting fluid and adjust their drilling techniques to avoid excessive heat buildup.
4. Automotive Manufacturing
Automotive manufacturers use extra-long drill bits during production. Mass production of vehicles relies on standardized processes and interchangeable parts. Reliable and precise cutting tools help keep production costs low.
Extra-long drill bits for metal can drill through thicker materials like bronze, titanium, steel, and cast iron. Steel is the most common material used to make cars; it’s strong and relatively inexpensive, making it ideal for use on the automobile’s body, chassis, frame, and wheels. Steel also enhances safety since it bends instead of snapping upon impact.
Aluminum is another metal commonly used in automobiles since it’s lightweight and improves energy efficiency. Durable drill bits help assemble aluminum parts such as engines and wheels.
It’s important to note that extra-long drill bits are less rigid than shorter bits, which makes them more likely to break. That’s why it’s best to use the shortest drill bit you can for the job.
Plumbers often work in small spaces that limit access to the work site, impede movement, and increase the risk of damage to surrounding areas. Traditional tools are often too large to fit into the space or don’t offer sufficient leverage. Specialized tools like basin wrenches and extra-long drill bits help plumbers work in small areas.
Extra-long drill bits can also make precise cuts and openings in tight spaces. When plumbers need to add plumbing pipes through a building, they can use an extra-long bit to go through wall lengths. Of course, they also use other bits to make holes, such as masonry bits.
As with other applications for all drill bits, plumbers consider the drill bit material and working material before selecting a cutting tool. Masonry drill bits bore through concrete, brick, and mortar; they use a hammering action to drive the drill bit through the hard material.
When working in bathrooms, plumbers can use carbide-tipped bits or diamond tips to drill clean holes in tile. Other types of drill bits can crack the tile or leave unsightly holes.
6. Electrical Installation
Electricians are responsible for wiring homes, businesses, and other buildings. The process can be more straightforward when they run wire in new constructions. But when electricians replace older systems or troubleshoot existing systems, they need extra-long drill bits to run through finished ceilings and walls with minimal damage.
Electricians can maneuver more easily through lengths of walls with flexible drill bits. The bit’s flexible shaft allows for drilling without damaging drywall, plaster, and exterior finishes. After creating a hole, the electrician can thread wire through the hole at the tip of the bit and feed the wire through.
Always know the material you’re drilling through, no matter which drill bit you use for your project. Inspect walls for electrical outlets, wall switches, and nearby plumbing to avoid hitting electrical cables and pipes. Cutting a small drywall inspection hole can help ensure you avoid hazards, and it’s cheaper and easier to fix drywall than it is to repair drilled pipes or cables.
Drill Bit Warehouse carries extra-long drill bits for deep drilling. Our long drill bits are durable for drilling through metal and many other materials. Shop with us today for high-performance cutting tools.