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How to Cut a Hole in a Stainless Steel Sink

How to Cut a Hole in a Stainless Steel Sink is a question I get asked a lot. For example, you may have just purchased a new faucet with a sprayer or soap dispenser, that is side mounted and this requires one more hole than your sink already has.

Consider your options, you can return the faucet and exchange it for one you may not like as much, you can purchase a new sink with the right number of holes to accommodate you new faucet or you can simply cut a hole in your stainless steel sink.

I get asked all the time how can I add a hole to my stainless steel sink? Well, it's not easy but at the same time it's not impossible. It takes about a half hour (30 Min) if you have the right tools. Let's start with what your are going to need.

Replace a Faucet

Add A Hole To This Sink And Replace The Faucet

Tools Required:

  • Drill
  • A "brand new" standard size 1 3/8"  Bi-Metal hole cutter (some faucets require a  1 1/2" hole)
  • Lubricant - Some 3 in 1 oil or similar
  • Hammer
  • Center Punch or Nail
  • A small wooden block (optional)
  • Measuring Tape
  • A Marker (sharpie or similar)
  • A small file or emery cloth
  • An old rag
  • Safety Glasses

Whether you want to drill a hole in an existing sink or a brand new sink makes no difference.  You can do the job without removing an existing sink or you can do it while the sink is out of the counter top.  If you are installing a brand new sink that needs one or two more holes, it may be easier to the job before you install it.

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 Getting Started:

Using a tape measure and marker, locate the center of the hole that you want to cut out. Fig. 1.

Measure 2

Fig. 1 Measuring


Trusted e blogs, wear safety glasses  For Your Safety, Be Sure To Wear Safety Glasses While Performing This Task!

 Make a Dimple:

Next, using a center punch or nail, create a small dimple, where you marked the center of the hole, that you want to drill. (You can use a hammer and a wooden block). If the sink has not been installed, (into, the counter top), place the wooden block underneath the lip in order to keep it steady, when hitting the center punch with the hammer. Fig. 2.

Punching a hole in a sink
Fig. 2 Making a Dimple

 Apply Lubricant: 

Next, you will want to apply a liberal amount of lubricant (3 in 1, oil) to the surface of the sink; cover the size of the hole you plan to cut out. This will prevent the cutter from getting too hot. You will need to apply more lubricant as required. Don't let the surface get dry and don't let the cutter get too hot, if you do, there is a chance that it could lose its "temper" and stop working. Work slowly, and allow cooling time for your cutter. This may take up to twenty minutes.



Cutting the Hole:

To cut the hole, use your drill and hole saw, set the drill on slow speed and start drilling.  Take your time and be patient, don't let the drill or cutter get too hot or you could damage it. Apply lots of lubricant as you're going along. This may take up to 30 minutes.

Cutting a hole in stainless steel

Fig. 4  Cutting the Hole

Removing the Sharp Edges:

Once you have succeeded in cutting the hole, you will want to remove any sharp edges from the inside of the hole.  First clean the surface of debit using a rag or paper towel.   Then, use a small file or some emery cloth, to sand and smoothen the edges. Be extremely careful doing this, those edges are very sharp.


How to cut a hole in stainless steel

Fig. 5  Deburing the hole

The Final Steps:

If you need more holes you will need to re start the process all over again for the additional holes. If you don't need any more holes you can install the faucet and re install the sink into the counter top.  Congratulations, you're done.  Be sure to check this blog for more How To Information.

Watch the video "How to drill a hole in a stainless steel sink"

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