Can a Forstner Bit Drill Aluminum?

Can a Forstner Bit Drill Aluminum?


Bit drills help in drilling different materials. Bit drills like Forstner bit drills, auger drills, spade drills, HSS drills, etc. all these drills fulfill the shortcomings of one another. Some of these can drill a specific material, some might not. But you’ll find one or the other drill that’ll help you in completing your drilling work. Read more Can a Forstner Bit Drill Aluminum?

You might have landed here to find the answer for choosing a perfect bit drill for aluminum. There are drills like the (HSS bit drill) that are perfect for drilling aluminum, but one might choose to use other drills because of availability, affordability, or ease of use. Let’s find out which drills you used to drill aluminum.

Use of a Forstner bit drill

Forstner bits are designed to make flat bottomed holes, and holes that have smooth sides, and clean entry cuts that have less splintering. Forstner bits are used for woodworking projects. It helps in drilling smooth holes, be it very small, square, or any other shape, or any other precision, you can hole into your plywood or lumber with its help.

Although there are other choices like spade bits, twist bits, Auger bits, hole saws, etc., but it cannot deliver the task of drilling holes smoothly like Forstner bits.

Forstner bits can also be used with a drill press for drilling angeled holes, partially overlapping holes, and holes on the edge of materials.

Different Forstner bits

Forstner bits are available in many varieties and sizes on the market. Generally, Forstner bits come in kits; however, some woodworking suppliers also sell the Forstner bits separately.

The size of Forstner bits is mentioned in its carrying case. The smallest Forstner bit size is 3/8 inches and the largest bit size can reach 2 inches in diameter. It’s difficult to find Forstner bits smaller than 3/8 inches.

Where do the Forstner bits fail?

Along with so many uses of the Forstner bits, there are some of its failures too. Such as the Forstner bit cut very slowly. Second, if the Forstner bit is not sharp, then it’ll heat up. Also, Forstner bits do not remove the cut material from the hole, so the worker has to repeatedly remove the extracts by removing the bit, slowing down the work even more.

Using a Forstner bit to drill aluminum

Before getting to whether we use the Forstner bit drill to cut aluminum or not, first, we should discuss the properties of aluminum. Aluminum is a soft, nonferrous, malleable, highly resistant to corrosion, and low-density material. The physical nature (ductility and softness) of aluminum makes it difficult to drill aluminum.

But with the use of some specific drills, it is possible to drill aluminum.

A Forstner bit can drill aluminum; however, drilling aluminum using a paddle bit is easier. I’ve seen a technician in a Youtube video drilling a 1-inch thick aluminum using a 7/8 diameter Forstner bit, and it was difficult to drill aluminum. The technician had to apply more pressure and coolant while drilling with a Forstner bit.

On the other hand, when the technician used a 3/4 diameter paddle bit to drill the same aluminum with the same speed, it was much easier. The technician still had to apply coolant, but it needed less pressure.

Things to remember before drilling aluminum

As physical properties of aluminum are already mentioned ahead, you already know drilling aluminum is not that easy, so there are some special tips to remember before drilling aluminum. These tips can help one drill aluminum easily.

Using a suitable bit drill

The nature of aluminum is well-known, so choosing a suitable bit drill to make a hole in aluminum is important. A cobalt bit drill will be more suitable for the work since aluminum has a lower melting point and a cobalt bit drill will dissipate the heat.

Drilling speed

The drilling speed to drill aluminum varies between 200-300 rpm considering other factors.


Using high pressure for the drill can increase the heat buildup and hence create problems in drilling. That’s why it’s important to use optimum drilling pressure.


Using lubricants decreases the friction between the drill bit and aluminum, and this will cool down the heat also.


A Forstner bit is used by woodworkers as it makes holes very smooth and flat-bottomed holes. A Forstner bit can also be used with a drill press. Forstner bits come in a range of sizes from 3/8-inch diameter up to 2 inches. You can definitely drill aluminum using a Forstner bit, but it’s easier to drill aluminum with a paddle bit.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q.1: How much does a Forstner bit of 1/8” cost?

A Forstner bit drill of 1/8 size costs $12.49 on Amazon.

Q.2: which bit drill is more suitable to drill aluminum, the paddle bit drill, or the Forstner bit drill?

A paddle bit drill is more suitable to drill aluminum.

Q.3: What is the smallest size of Forstner bit drills?

The smallest shank size of Forstner bit drills is 3/8.

Can a Forstner Bit Drill Aluminum?

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