Metal Lathe, Reamers, Manual lathe

How to use Reamers

What are Reamers and how do you use them

To ensure that holes in such objects as firearms, vehicles, airplanes and boats are dimensionally accurate, use a reamer. Reamers are usually operated with a drill press that spins the reamer bit like a drill bit. They create holes with precise and specific dimensions so that objects such as screws, bolts, pistons and other pieces will fit snugly into them.


  1. Step 1

Choose the correct tool for your project. Types include center reamers, carbide chuck reamers, taper pin reamers and bridge reamers. You may want to purchase a  kit with multiple tools if you need different reamers for a project.

  1. Step 2

Install the reamer bit into the chuck of the tool and place it in the machining center. Because they are commonly used to make holes of an exact dimension for machining purposes, they must spin while cutting the hole. Using a drill press ensures that the reamer drills an accurate and straight hole. If a drill press isn’t available, use a hand drill or lathe.

  1. Step 3

Use a vise to hold down the object that is being reamed so that the reamer bit will not bind up or make inaccurate holes into the object. If the bit binds up while reaming, the bit may break or cause the object being reamed to spin out of control, which can cause injury.


  1. Step 4

Using a micrometer, measure the difference between the drill diameter and the reamer diameter, which is called an allowance? A general rule of thumb is that reamer should only remove 3% of the hole size.  This means the drill should be sized appropriately to leave only 3% material on the hole diameter.

 Using a drill bit, pre-drill the hole to the determined allowance.

  1. Step 5

Ream the hole using the reamer. If you are using a drill press, use the handle to operate the vertical movement of the bit while it is spinning. Slowly press the bit down so that it enlarges the diameter of the hole.


For more information contact Carlson Manufacturing, Inc.




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