Cutting a hole into 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 your 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 in 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 you are going to need.

 Adding A Hole To This Sink To Replace The Faucet

Cutting a hole in a stainless steel sink


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 do  this job, before you install it.


Cutting a hole in Stainless Steel


Getting Started - First Step 

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

Safety Glasses

For Your Safety, Be Sure To Wear Safety Glasses While Performing This Task!


Punching a hole in a sink

Now Make a Dimple

Next, using a center punch or nail, create a small dimple, where you mark the center of the hole. You can use a hammer (for striking)  and a wooden block.  If the sink has not been installed, simply place the wooden block underneath the lip in order to keep it steady, then hit the  center punch with the hammer, to form a small dimple. 

Adding Lubricant

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 cutting tool, 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  twenty minutes or more.

Cutting the Hole in stainless steel

Cutting the Hole:

To cut the hole, use your drill and a good quality bi-metal 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 the cutter. Be sure to avoid letting the cutter or the sink get too hot, if you do the area may turn blue on you, this is really hard to undo.  Apply lots of lubricant as you're going along and remember, go slow. This may take up to 30 minutes.

Drilling a small pilot hole first, is sometimes helpful. 

Filing a Stainless Steel  Sink

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 debris using a rag or paper towel.   Then, use a small file or  emery cloth; to sand and smoothen the edges. Be extremely careful doing this, those edges are very sharp and it's very easy to cut yourself. 

The Final Step

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 website for more How To Information.

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


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