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Hole New Ways to Make Money

With so much of your time spent on drilling, reaming, boring and threading holes, lowering your cost per hole plays a big role in raising your profitability. Here are some of the newest tools to help you improve your holemaking productivity.


With so much of your time spent on drilling, reaming, boring and threading holes, lowering your cost per hole plays a big role in raising your profitability. Here are some of the newest tools to help you improve your holemaking productivity.

Holemaking can be one of the more complex and demanding operations in your shop, particularly given all of the new materials you are being asked to quote on for processing jobs. Matching the proper tool to a specific application is more important than ever in helping improve your bottom line. To help you in your research, here we list some new tools that have just been introduced for a variety of holemaking applications:

Emuge Corporation (West Boylston, MA), a leader in tapping technology for more than 90 years, offers MultiTAPä, the industry’s first high performance tap designed to cut a wide range of materials including carbon steel, steel alloys, stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, copper, brass, and bronze. MultiTAP is also uniquely designed to produce threads within both 2B and 3B classes of fit, eliminating the guesswork of calculating H-limits.

The MultiTAP provides job shops and other manufacturers with an affordable, high performance tapping solution for a wide variety of common materials and applications. “This is the ideal tap for a shop that works with short and medium run threading applications across a wide spectrum of materials,” explains Peter Matysiak, the president of Emuge. “It will significantly improve thread quality and boost output while reducing production costs, because one high performance MultiTAP will handle most common materials and applications. It eliminates the need to stock numerous types of taps in the tool crib.”

MultiTAP is the result of collective years of extensive tapping expertise, application research and a challenge the company issued to its engineers to design a multi-purpose tap. They responded by choosing a select base material, along with a special cutting/flute geometry and a surface treatment that works in as many common materials and applications as possible. In addition, the tap is designed to cut threads to both the common 2B class of fit, as well as the tighter 3B class.

This new tool is constructed of a proprietary grade of high speed steel (HSS-E), nitrided with an Ne2 surface treatment. It is available in both spiral point and spiral flute configurations for through-or blind-hole applications. Tap sizes cover a full range for UNC or UNF threads, from #4-40 to ¾-16 in sizes, to metric sizes from M4 x 0.7 to M16 x 2.0.

MultiTAP is available through distributors with a guaranteed performance offer: If the tool does not successfully outperform the user’s current taps in most common materials, the tool purchase will be fully refunded. An action video of this tool at work in various materials, along with further information and specifications, can be accessed online at

Another new tap with innovative and superb chip-breaking capabilities that is ideally designed for machining applications in the energy and related industries is the Rekord DZBF Series Tap. It features technology that eliminates the formation of long continuous chips that commonly occur when tapping carbon steels, alloy steels, and austenitic stainless steels.

These new taps are designed with a newly developed cutting face geometry and spiral flute form, which combine to affect chip flow, chip curl and chip length. This innovative chip-breaking technology (Emuge CBTz) produces short, broken, controllable chip formations that eliminate flute clogging and potential failure of the machine tap due to chipped cutting teeth or breakage. This contributes to higher reliability of the threading process, eliminates machine down time required to clean chips, improves tool life, produces a better surface finish and also increases operator safety.

“Our new chip-breaking capability is a testament to our unwavering commitment to developing the latest cutting tool technology,” notes Mark Hatch, the product director of taps and threads, mills at Emuge. “The new chip-breaking design we’ve developed is going to drastically improve tapping in difficult applications such as in the oil field, petrochemical and power generation industries.”

Made of premium cobalt high speed steel and ground with eccentrically relieved threads which feature full pitch diameter relief, the Rekord DZBF Series that feature Emuge CBTz provide much greater tool life and machining efficiency than conventional taps. The tap is surface treated with TIN to reduce friction between the tap and work piece, which results in improved thread finishes and increased tool life in carbon and alloy steels, cast and forged steels, tool and die steels and 300 stainless steel up to 35 HRC.

These new taps are ground with an increased pitch diameter, designated 2BX, which optimizes the gage tolerance for a 2B class-of-fit, in order to add an additional wear allowance for improved tool life. The taps are also made with trademark long shanks, DIN length for extra reach, improved chip evacuation, cooling and lubrication. These taps are designed for use in both horizontal and vertical machining applications, which saves tooling changeover time and eliminates the need to stock two lines of taps in the tool crib. Also, a modified bottom chamfer is ideally suited for blind holes.

The Rekord DZBF Series is offered in inch sizes ranging from ½ in to 2 in. Taps are now fully in stock at Emuge’s North American headquarters.

Another component in thread cutting technology are the KSN5 and KSN6 Softsynchro® Tap Holders that are designed for tapping operations in components used in oil, power generation and wind turbine applications and in the production of large diesel, locomotive and ship engines. “We are seeing an increased need for larger tapping applications such as in the energy sector,” adds Hatch. “The KSN5 and KSN6 are ideal for work in energy and other large component applications.”

The KSN5 series is for tap sizes M16 to M56 and ANSI sizes to 1¾ in. The KSN5 series uses the ER50GB collet and is available in both DIN and ANSI tap sizes. Tension and compression of 2 mm is used in machines with rigid tapping cycles. Coolant-through capability is available up to 50 bar and the KSN5 holder is also available with an integral shank CAT50 or HSK100A.

The KSN6 series is for sizes M24 to M76 and uses the HE2 large QC Tap Adapters used currently on HF20 tap holders. HE2-IKZZ adapters are available in both DIN and ANSI tap sizes 1 in through 2½ in. The KSN6 has 2 mm of tension and 2 mm of compression for rigid tapping cycles. The tool is coolant-through capable to a maximum of 50 bar.

KSN Series tool holders are designed, engineered and manufactured with the utmost precision and quality and provide excellent concentricity, rigidity and safe tool clamping in machines with synchronous spindles. Axial forces that occur in the threading process are minimized by the use of an integrated minimum length compensation on tension and compression.

Kennametal Inc. (Latrobe, PA) has new high-performance HSS-E-PM (powder metal) Beyond™ taps for large-diameter tapping. Target applications for these new tools include some of the most essential wind turbine components, such as hubs, rings, and gearbox housings. With a highly wear-resistant powder metal substrate and proprietary top layers and coatings, the new Beyond™ HSS-E taps provide superior performance in  tapping steel components such as gear rings and mainshafts; or for tapping cast-iron components such as hubs, housing, and gear boxes. The taps are available in sizes from M24 to M42.

Designed for both conventional non-rigid and CNC-synchronous tapping machines, precision h6 shanks enable use in either conventional tap holders with square drive or in precision round toolholders. Wind energy component suppliers will want to note an extra-long version is available to reach the longer overhangs common on these large components.

“Unlike other choices on the market, the addition of these large size taps with our KSEM Plus modular drilling program provide a complete solution to drill and finish the hole,” says Marcelo Campos, the senior global product manager of tapping at Kennametal. “Where most other large-size taps are specials, we’re providing a broad standard range of differentiated designs and coatings for increased speeds and better tool life across a wide spectrum of applications.”

A completely new type of exchangeable tip drill is offered by Sandvik Coromant (Fair Lawn, NJ). The CoroDrill 870 is designed to save time and reduce hole costs for the intermediate hole-tolerance area of IT9–IT10. The drill can be tailored to optimize applications through diameter range, steps and length possibilities. Holes can be made more efficiently and closer to the specifications required, leaving them better suited to subsequent operations.

The highly secure interface between the drill body and the tip is simple, accurate, and stable while ensuring reliability and precision. The rigid drill body supports high penetration rates and excellent hole quality. The quick and easy tip change procedure helps to maximize active machining time. The new cutting edge geometry provides a safe cutting process with optimized chip control, high penetration rates and long dependable tool life. Optimized drill flutes facilitate chip evacuation and, with tip changing possible while the tool is still in the tool holder, you do not lose valuable cutting time.

The drill is available in diameter range of 12 mm to 20.99 mm (0.472 in to 0.826 in) and lengths of 3x and 5x hole diameter as standard. The system provides for internal coolant for all drills and has torque values and key codes marked on the drill body. The tip uses the new grade GC4234 that was developed for predictable wear, long and reliable tool life at high productivity rates when drilling in steel.

Walter USA, LLC (Waukesha, WI) offers the specially engineered Titex X·treme Inox high performance solid carbide drill with internal coolant and special coating that is designed to tackle stainless steel and other high-alloy ISO M materials.

The X·treme Inox advantage begins with a tip geometry that has been specially adapted to these materials, reducing the cutting forces and minimizing the otherwise frequent formation of burrs. A multilayer TiAlN tip coating maximizes tool life while minimizing adhesion. A high degree of process stability is ensured thanks to the superior stability of the X·treme Inox’s main cutting edges and the drill’s new flute profile. The coordinated margins ensure minimal friction against the hole wall, while correct operating temperature is made possible through the internal coolant supply characteristic of the universal drills in the X·treme series.

These properties and features work together to produce excellent hole quality when drilling stainless steel, along with a high degree of process reliability and feed rates up to 50 percent higher than those obtained with other universal solid carbide drilling tools.

Walter supplies the Titex X·treme Inox drill in diameter ranges 1/8 in to ¾ in and 3-20 mm, and in standard lengths up to 5xD. Additional lengths of up to 12xD and stepped tools are optional. Typical applications for this drill can be found in the aerospace, chemical, and medical device industries, as well as in the production of food processing equipment and in general metalworking.

Custom-designed, multiple carbide drills and reamers are now available from Star SU LLC (Farmington Hills, MI), include single-pass port cavity tools that reduce cycle times while allowing complete cavity machining. These tools use patented Super Round Tool (SRT) technology to hold industry tolerances for size and finish. They produce extremely round holes within microns, ream holes with interrupted cuts, and produce excellent finishes for spool bore applications.

Star SU also has single-flute gundrills that machine straight, deep holes in virtually any material in one pass. High-pressure coolant delivered through the tool keeps the cutting edges lubricated, allowing for adequate chip evacuation down the flute channel. These gundrills are available in various lengths with diameters ranging from 0.078 in to 0.75 in (2 mm to 19 mm) for shipment within 24 hours. Larger diameter tools can be custom ordered.


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