This article will show you how to remove a broken drill bit from aluminum to avoid surprises when drilling later on!
Drills are a handy tool to have around, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Many people make one mistake in drilling into aluminum without first putting a hole in it with another drill bit.
If you end up breaking your drill bit and the hard metal goes down the shaft of the drill, there’s no way to get it out other than using some creativity!
How to Remove a Broken Drill Bit from Aluminum: 6 Steps
Step 1: Prepare for Removal
Prior to removing the broken drill bit, you must first prepare your work area. Use a towel or shop cloths to cover surrounding surfaces that could potentially be damaged by flying metal shards created when drilling out the broken bits from aluminum.
You should also put on safety glasses and gloves prior to starting this project. Keeping these items in place will keep both yourself and any bystanders safe while eliminating clean up after complete removal.
Step 2: Drill Out Bit
Use an electric power drill with a sharp masonry bit attached (the type used for concrete) that has been tested on scrap pieces of aluminum before use; soak up saltwater test it beforehand if available.
The goal here is to create holes around and through the entire circumference where the drill bit has broken off. This will ensure that removal is possible with minimal damage to the surrounding aluminum surface.
Step 3: Grinding Bit Shaft
Once holes have been created, place metal grinding or cutting discs on the power drill and use it at medium speed to slowly grind down the shaft of remaining drill bits until they are no longer attached to metal shavings left behind cuttings disc.
Allow time for complete cooling between each pass through this area during the process. If you are working over a sink, be sure not to let debris fall into the drain as particles could clog plumbing pipes later on if missed while cleaning up the project.
Step 4: Remove Remaining Drill Bits Using Needle Nose Pliers
Use pliers to pull out any remaining drill bits without touching the remaining shavings with your skin. Gently pull out remaining drill bit shafts in the same manner that you would remove the cap of a soda bottle, twisting it back and forth as needed to break free any friction holding them in place inside the aluminum surface.
Step 5: Remove Remaining Debris With Soft Bristled Brush
Use a soft bristle brush to clean around the hole area where the drill bit was removed. Use moist paper towels or shop cloths for cleaning up leftover metal filings from the project.
Once all debris is cleaned up, allow the aluminum panel to completely dry before applying sealant compound directly on top of dried areas if required by manufacturer specifications per product instructions.
Step 6: Re-Attach & Test Fit Panel Back into Place
Re-attach the aluminum panel to its proper place and test fit it before applying sealant compound. If you find that necessary, use a putty knife or small metal scraper to remove old dried-up caulk from around the edges of the hole where the drill bit broke through the surface. Discard removed material in the trash prior to the final cleaning step, so no debris enters the storm drain system.
Once the area is completely free of any residual caulking contamination, re-apply for new caulk if required by product instructions per manufacturer specifications for your project type. Once completely dry, apply the final sealant compound to a finished surface using a putty knife or small steel scraper.
With these steps completed, you will have successfully removed a broken drill bit from aluminum! If you are interested, you can also check out our post about how to sharpen a step drill and how to measure a drill bit with calipers.