Attend the Tools Conference this year - Go Here to Register!

The Difference Between Drilling, Boring, and Reaming – Complete Guide

It’s rare that you see people drill a piece of wood or metal. But, you need to know how it’s done for the most part if you’re going to hang pictures on the wall.

The Difference Between Drilling, Boring, and Reaming – Complete Guide
< Back to all blog posts

It’s rare that you see people drill a piece of wood or metal. But, you need to know how it’s done for the most part if you’re going to hang pictures on the wall. Your knowledge of drilling, boring and reaming is also a big help if you’re going to make a hole on an object.

If you want the hole to perfect, you need to know the difference between drilling, boring and reaming. Let this tutorial be your guide to know more about these three processes.

So, let’s begin.


Let’s say you want to cut a hole in a solid material. You need a drill bit as the cutting tool. The rotary bit has a mechanism that would help you cut the hole. This process of cutting a hole on a metal or wood is called drilling. You can drill a hole manually or use electric drill bits.

If you know how to drill holes, it would be easy for you to make holes on the wall. Then, you can use a nail to hang picture frames or decorations on the wall.

Here are the simple drilling steps you need to follow to make drilling successful.

Drilling Instructions

  1. You measure the exact location of the hole. It is best you choose the drill size that fits the materials being drilled or the tool you’re using.
  2. You make the center punch that prevents the drill from wandering on the first contact with the sold surface.
  3. Then, align the material correctly.
  4. Put ear and eye protection. You drill by putting your fingers to the material you would drill.
  5. If the edges of the hole aren’t that good, you use a deburring tool to cut and smooth the edges of the hole.

You may want to check our Best Cordless Hammer Drills Guide

Pro Tips

  • You make sure there are no cables or pipes on the cable on the surface of the material that you would drill.
  • Choose the drill bit wisely.
  • You ensure to pull out the drill to prevent dust jamming if you’re drilling downwards.
  • Don’t drop carbide drill bits in cold water because the weld would crack.
  • Don’t buy cheap drill sets.


For example, you already drilled a hole, and you want to make it larger. Then, boring is the process you would do.  You can also cut a tapered hole with boring.  Boring is usually done after drilling, and it gives excellent accuracy in the hole you already made.

Like drilling, boring is simple to do. But, you need to follow the boring process for you to do it successfully. Do you want to try boring now?

Then, you follow the step by step process below:

Boring Instructions

  1. You use short chips in the hole. Be careful if you use long chips as it might cause surface deterioration and insert breakdown.
  2. Choose the right size for the coupling and the overhang. The large size is the coupling, and the smallest is the overhang.
  3. Next, you add a dampening mechanism to achieve dynamic stiffness.
  4. Prepare 7% soluble oil for the cutting fluid.
  5. You select the biggest point angle in to achieve excellent strength in the boring process.

Pro tips

  • For blind holes, you make sure the chip evacuation is excellent.
  • You operate dry boring for small chipping materials.
  • You reduce the cutting speed if the overhangs are long.
  • For best economy and strength, you choose the largest point angle.
  • Select the biggest nose radius if you want to insert strength.
  • You go for a small radius in case you feel the vibration.


Do you want to make a hole smooth? Then, you need to follow the reaming process. Here, you would use reamers – edge cutting tools that help you smoothen and cut the edge of the hole you have drilled.

In the reaming process, you make the diameter of the hole less than the target diameter of the target surface.  You can gain the target diameter when you’re drilling.

By drilling, you get the hole that you don’t expect. The boring process makes the hole larger than you the hole you drilled. If you want to see the perfect shape, you can follow the reaming process below:

Reaming Instructions

  1. Make sure that the reamer combines its cutting edges for withstanding regular usage.
  2. Next, you remove small amounts on the hole.
  3. You operate the reamer clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the smooth finish you want to achieve.
  4. Try to use the accurate speed of the reamer until you see the desired smoothness of the whole.
  5. You make sure the hole of the material looks excellent.

Pro Tips

  • Don’t forget to use high-quality chuck to prevent the reamer from slipping.
  • You ensure the lubricant reaches the cutters edges.
  • Don’t leave any room for flutes that cause blockage to the hole.
  • Keep the reamers sharp so that you maintain its quality.


Now, you know the difference between drilling, boring and reaming. It would easy for you to make holes on wood or metal materials you choose. You would have an excellent idea of how you would make perfect holes using the information you learned from this tutorial.

So, are you ready to perform drilling, boring and reaming?  You take the appropriate tools for each process and develop your cutting skills!

Get the Latest News on Tools and More for Home Service Pros!

Sign up now and be in the know about the best tools for home service professionals. We deliver news, reviews, and trends straight to your inbox.