How to Tap Hardened Steel

To tap hardened steel, you need to follow a few steps. Start by selecting the correct drill bit for your application. This should be based on the diameter and thread size of the hole you wish to create in the hardened steel.

Next, use a center punch and hammer to make an indentation at the desired drilling location. Then secure your workpiece firmly so it will not move while drilling. Finally, use a slow speed when drilling into the hardened steel with plenty of cutting oil or lubricant applied throughout this process to reduce friction and overheating of parts being worked on.

Once finished drilling, remove any burrs that may have formed using a deburring tool such as a file or chamfer milling cutter before tapping with appropriate taps for creating threads in metal materials like hardened steel.

  • Mark the Steel: Use a permanent marker to mark where you want to tap the hardened steel
  • This will help you keep track of where you need to tap and how deep you need to go into the metal
  • Secure the Steel in Place: Clamp or secure the steel down on a flat, solid surface so that it won’t move while working with it
  • Select and Install an Appropriate Tap Bit: Choose a specially designed hard-steel tapping bit that is suitable for use with hardened steel surfaces such as titanium nitride coated bits or cobalt high speed steel taps
  • Install this bit in your drill press or power drill according to manufacturer instructions and tighten securely until snug but not overly tight, as this could damage both your tooling and material being worked on
  • Start Tapping: Ensure that your workpiece is properly secured before starting your drilling process by turning on your power drill at its lowest setting first then proceeding from there – start at slow speeds and gradually increase as needed depending upon size/depth of hole desired and type of material being drilled into (hardened vs non-hardened)
  • As you begin drilling into the marked area, feed pressure should be steady but light – do not overdo it! 5
  • Finish Tapping: Once depth desired has been achieved, stop feeding pressure onto the drill bit itself immediately – let it spin freely without any resistance from yourself until completely stopped (this ensures proper clean cut threading) before removing tapered portion off workpiece entirely by hand if necessary in order to achieve perfect fitment between parts being connected together via tapped holes created thus far
How to Tap Hardened Steel


Is It Possible to Tap Hardened Steel?

Yes, it is possible to tap hardened steel. In order to do so, however, the steel must first be annealed and brought down to a hardness of between 30-40 HRC. The following steps should then be taken:

• Ensure the surface is clean and free from debris • Pre-drill an appropriate sized pilot hole • Tap with standard taps designed for harder materials or use special taps made of cobalt or high speed steel

• Use cutting fluid when tapping as this will help improve performance and reduce wear on the tools being used.

What is the Best Tap for Hard Material?

The best tap for hard materials is a cobalt or titanium-coated high speed steel (HSS) tap. These taps are designed to be durable and able to handle tough applications such as drilling into stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, and other hard metals. They can also be used on softer materials such as brass and plastic.

Cobalt HSS taps offer superior wear resistance compared to regular HSS taps while titanium coated HSS provide increased cutting action for faster results. Benefits of Using High Speed Steel Taps: • Greater durability

• Increased cutting performance • Ideal for tough applications like stainless steel or aluminum

How Do You Soften Hardened Steel for Drilling?

Hardened steel can be difficult to drill, but with the right know-how, it is possible. To soften hardened steel for drilling: • Preheat the metal to the required temperature using a torch or furnace.

• Quench the metal in oil, water or other coolant until it reaches room temperature. • Reheat and temper the steel until it has reached its desired hardness level. • Use a cutting fluid and high-speed steel twist drills when drilling into hardened steel.

What are the Best Drill Bits to Use on Hardened Steel?

Hardened steel requires special drill bits when drilling. The best drill bit to use on hardened steel is a carbide tipped twist bit, cobalt or titanium-coated high speed steel (HSS) twist bits, and diamond-embedded core drills. Benefits of these Drill Bits:

• Carbide tipped twist bites create fast and precise holes in hard metals like stainless steel and cast iron. • Cobalt or titanium coated HSS are ideal for cutting through tough materials with increased heat resistance, durability, and wear resistance. • Diamond embedded core drills can penetrate even the hardest steels without losing their sharp edge or leaving behind burrs.

drilling and tapping a hardened shaft

How to Drill And Tap Hardened Steel

When using hardened steel, it is important to use the right drill bit and tap. It is best to start with a low speed when drilling through the material, and then slowly increase the speed as you progress. The type of drill bit used should be specifically designed for working with hardened steel, such as high-speed steel or cobalt.

High-speed taps are also recommended for tapping into harden steel, due to their ability to handle higher temperatures without becoming damaged or distorted. With proper preparation and care taken during the process, drilling and tapping into hardened steel can easily be accomplished.

Tapping Tool Steel

Tapping tool steel is a process used to create internal threads in hard materials, typically metals. This process involves using special taps that are designed to cut through the material and form the desired thread shape. The use of tapping tool steel can help reduce manufacturing costs by making it possible to machine complex parts with fewer steps than would be required if machining from raw material.

Additionally, tapping tools offer more accuracy and consistency than other methods such as drilling or broaching for creating internal threads.

Carbide Tap for Hardened Steel

Carbide taps are designed for use on hardened steel. They are made from a combination of tungsten and cobalt, which provides the durability needed to cut through hard materials such as stainless steel and tool steels. Carbide taps have superior wear resistance compared to traditional HSS (High Speed Steel) taps, making them ideal for tapping into high hardness materials that would otherwise be too difficult to tap with conventional tools.

How to Anneal Hardened Steel

Annealing hardened steel is a process that involves slowly bringing the metal up to a high temperature and then allowing it to cool in order to reduce its hardness. To anneal hardened steel, begin by heating the metal until it becomes red-hot (around 1400°F for most metals). Then allow the metal to cool at a rate of 20°F per hour or slower.

Once cooled, the steel should be softer than before and more workable.


It is possible to tap hardened steel with the right tools and techniques. The process can be difficult and time consuming, but it is worth the effort if you want a durable, secure joint that will last for years. With patience and practice, anyone should be able to successfully tap hardened steel in no time.