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I recently purchased a new (huge) deck umbrella. The metal base only had 2 of thee 4 holes drilled to secure to the deck. When I tried to drill the 2 new holes, it could only make a dent in the metal.

Is there a special drill bit for drilling metal?

Thanks everyone!
 

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no. any standard twist bit will work.

Punch a centre mark (dimple) so the bit doesn't wander on starting the hole.
Use a small bit to predrill, them the larger bit to finish.

Of course, sharp bits work best.
 

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A low RPM drill will make things a lot easier. If you never plan on drilling through steel again, it might not be worth it, but I got a $39 Harbor Freight low-RPM drill and I find I use it all the time now. Here it is punching a 1/2" hole through an inch-thick steel plate with a cheap Harbor Freight bit. No problem at all.



At higher RPMs, it's easy to ruin the bit -- even with oil -- and you often end up with essentially a heat-treated (hardened) dimple.
 

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I don't know what size hole you are attempting to drill but generally, using a small bit first is much easier than just trying to punch out a big ol' hole.
 

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they do have auger bits that are made for metal, they are made out of a stronger material than a wood bit, and are designed for easier starts in metal. You can use a regular bit though, which I would suggest, unless you frequently need to drill metal, there is no point in buying new bits.
a reason to buy new tool...nuff said
 
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