Reamers - The Value of Precision

Published: 22nd March 2011
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A reamer is a drill bit that is used to shape or enlarge holes. Now, there are many different kinds of reamers. There are the adjustable hand reamers, bridge reamers, burring reamers, car reamers, chucking reamers, hand expansion reamers, hand reamers, maintenance reamers, piloted reamers, taper pin reamers, and taper pipe reamers. The most popular among these types are bridge reamers, they are used to create an aligned hole in a structural steel assembly and installed with an impact wrench. Choosing the correct reamer can make any job a success or a complete failure. Also, it can take a lot more time to complete a project if you do not have the proper tools and in today's economy time is money.

So how do you know which reamer is best for your project? First of all you need to make sure you have the proper equipment at your disposal to operate a reamer. A reamer will be extremely successful when using either a lathe or a drilling machine otherwise known as a drill press. Secondly, all reaming jobs must be preceded by drilling a hole to begin with a little smaller than the size needed. By smaller it is recommended that the allowance is no more than 0.13 of a millimeter. The allowance is the difference between the hole drilled in the first place and the desired diameter of the hole upon completion of the project. If you have an allowance greater than 0.13 of a millimeter it can severely damage the reamer to the point that it could never be used again.

Okay, now that you have your hole predrilled in the material you are working with, which type of reamer should you use? Well, if all you want to do is clean up the burrs from the hole and make it look neat and clean, you can use a tapered hand reamer for this. However, if your hole has to be precise, you may want to consider using a tapered machine reamer constructed for precision. These reamers can get a hole within 0.02 of a millimeter. Also some jobs require that the cylinder walls of a hole have a smooth surface finish. This is needed for many precise engineering applications.

Reamers can be used on a variety of materials varying from plastics to cast iron to aluminum. If you are working with metal or plastic, reamers are the perfect tool for precision. However, if you were working with concrete or stone a reamer is not a good choice for materials of this nature. Instead of ruining a good and expensive reamer, use masonry drill bits. Usually holes in concrete or stone do not have to be as precise with an allowance of less than 0.2 of a millimeter. Masonry drill bits will get the hole close enough for concrete and stone.

As you can see, reamers are a wonderful tool for projects that require precision. However, as with anything, they have their limits as to the material best suited for use. You cannot go wrong using masonry drill bits when it comes to concrete, stone or tile.


For more tips and information about reamers and masonry drill bits, please visit us online.

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