Drilling / pocketing with small straight bits

Hi, The smallest bit I have is a 1/16" straight bit. I need to drill holes as small as possible. Would it be safe to pocket cut a 2mm circle using this bit? I’m unsure because it does not have a cutter in the center. Any advice on how to do this with a 1/4" shank? I’d happily buy a proper drilling bit, even if smaller than 2mm. But with a 1/4" shank there doesn’t seem to be many options.

Perhaps the drill press is the best method. I just have a lot of them to do!


hold up you have a .0625" straight flute bit? I have been looking all over the place for one of those could you post a pic lol I want to see and then tell me where you got it!!!

and to your question

So I think you will be okay if you used a small feed rate you might want to use a upcut sprial bit instead so that the extremely small piece in the center gets ejected upwards but really I think even using the straight bit that chip is not going to be an issue

but heres the thing I would not use easel until you tested it on something really soft like foam I would personally use something like Fusion 360 so that you can change the plunge rate and the way that it spirals down easel does okay but i think its a bit wonky

I’ll get a picture later, don’t have it handy. But it’s a Freud 04-096. If you google that you’ll find it easy. I bought it at a local tool place, but I think it’s cheaper online. I paid $26 Canadian.

Thanks for the feedback. I use vcarve. I’ll try the ramp feature but I’ll have to look into that to see how it works exactly. And I’ll take your advice about using a soft material. I’m sure I have something.

thanks lol even walmart and home depot sell those online lol problem is there is only one place where i live that sells small end mill tooling and about 5 that sell large end mill tooling pretty sad guess i will have to order online

Depending on the gcode it should be safe.

I use Bore operation in Fusion 360 to drill holes and it ramps slowy into the material and then digs out to the diameter I want. Multiple passes and things turn out well. I have yet broken a bit with F360 generated gcode.

If you use V-Carve, just use the drilling feature. Peck your way in. Set a dept for each peck and make sure to adjust your safe z or retract so it doesn’t take for ever. I use it all the time to drill tons of holes in signs to hold other elements, like letters in place with 1/8" dowels (or toothpicks).

I’d use the drilling (peck) coding, except won’t the center of the bit not drill out and resist the z downward movement? I just looked at the bit a little closer and it seems there’s about 0.5mm (eyeballing that) where there is no cutter. Im not sure how that would be physically removed unless I did an oversized hole (maybe 3/32" or 2mm) to whack out the center. That’s the crux of my concern.

Ah, I see what you are saying. I have never had a problem using any of my bits for a drilling process. Give it a shot on some scrap. After all, these things have to plunge during normal milling right? Though it is better to use a .125" bit for durability and speed, if you do use .0625, I bet you could go 20ipm, .05" pecks. With my .125" I use 30 ipm and .1" pecks and it makes quick work of the holes. IF you are talking hardwood or aluminum, obviously, you would have to be much more conservative.

Remember to adjust your retract distance as well for speeds sake. It would be painful to watch that thing have to retract 1" after every peck.

Just to update this thread in case it’s useful to someone in the future, the bit worked like a charm punching 2mm holes into the PCB blanks inventables sell here. That bit also make nice breaks in the PCB. I was doing a pretty simple board, otherwise I would have gotten smaller bits and a proper collet.