If you need to cut a hole in a sheet of metal, look no further than the annular cutter. By being a special kind of drill bit, an annular cutter will leave a core in the center of the hole rather than leaving nothing but shavings like a spiral drill bit. Read on to learn more about annular drill bits and their advantages.

The Two Types of Drill Bits

There are two types of annular drill bits commonly in use today:

  • High-speed steel (HHS)
  • Tungsten carbide tipped (TCT)

Of the two types, HHS style drill bits are more popular. They are cheaper and can be resharpened as well. HHS drill bits are best used for smaller diameters, up to 40mm, and for cutting softer metals like carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

TCT drill bits, on the other hand, use the tungsten carbide on the tip to cut through harder metals than the HHS drill bits can. Although they are more expensive than an HHS drill bit, TCT drill bits also cut faster and are more effective at making larger holes. This type of drill bit is best for tough metal like railroad tracks or cast iron.

The Benefits of Using an Annular Cutter

Regardless of which drill bit you use, there are three big benefits of using an annular cutter over a spiral or twist drill bit:

  1. Time and energy savings:
  1. Annular drill bits have fewer teeth, allowing them to cut holes at a faster rate than conventional drill bits. In addition, annular cutters require less thrust and energy to cut through metal.
  1. Annular cutters come in a variety of sizes:
  1. The drill bits generally range between 12mm to 150mm in diameter. They are also available in a variety of lengths depending on your needs.
  1. Annular cutters are great for cutting through pipes and tubes:
  1. By using a magnetic drilling machine and a clamp, an annular cutter is able to make a hole in a pipe of almost any size. Although TCT drill bits can be used, HHS drill bits are less likely to break on the curved surfaces.

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