Can Drilling Wood Cause Fire? – 7 Reasons and Solutions

When we drill, we can observe the smoke and smell of the firing, but we can’t see any flames. So is there any firing when drilling wood? I will explain this step by step with considering essential reasons in detail. Finally, you can solve this yourself by using this guide. So let’s see, can drilling wood cause fire?

Normally, drilling wood causes fire and smoke inside the drilling hole due to increase the friction between the drill bit and workpiece. This can happen due to these reasons such as high RPM, too much pressure, using a dull drill bit, chips clogging, continuous drilling and misidentifying the type of wood.

There are so many solutions for this. I have listed them in detail below. So let’s see what the reasons and solutions for this problem are.

Drilling and Firing the Wood

1. Misidentifying the Type of Wood

Drilling wood cause to fire due to many reasons. Misidentifying the type of wood is one of them. So let’s see what the reasons and solutions that we should know about firing the wood are?.

Here, wood can be divided into two main types.

  • Softwood
  • Hardwood
HardnessSoft than the hardwoodHeavier than the softwood
UsageProduce temporary structures E.g.: For construction purposes
(props and trusses)
Manufacture furniture manufacturer high
quality and durable structures
ColourLight colourDark Color
PriceLess expensive than the hardwoodMore expensive than the softwood
Ease of DrillingEasy to drillHard to drill
Fire ResistanceFire resistance is poorFire resistance is better
DurabilityLess durabilityHigh durability
Differences between Hardwood and Softwood

Choosing the suitable wood for the user’s needs is very important. Because things like speed and RPM of the drill bit are determined by the type of wood, therefore, misidentifying the type of wood can cause fires during drilling.

2. High RPM

Mainly, the correct RPM for drilling wood depends on several factors. Such as:

  • Material (Softwood or hardwood)
  • Diameter of the drill bit
  • Drill bit type

When the user drills the wood at a high RPM, the wood can be burned and damaged. However, low RPM is also not ideal for wood drill bits. Moreover, using a large drill bit at high RPM cause fire. Therefore, high RPM will cause fire when drilling wood.

You can drill various diameters and depths using these 13 Types of Wood Drill Bits

3. Dull Drill Bit

If the drill is not sharpened properly and dull drill bit, then it is a cause of the fire. Moreover, it also leads to reduce work efficiency. Therefore, this is the most common cause of firing the wood while drilling.

This is my favourite guidance to sharpening the drill bits

4. Wood Flakes/ Chips Get Trapped in the Flutes

When drilling wood, small wood flakes/ chips are formed inside the hole. If the flute length of the drill bit is insufficient, those wood flakes/ chips get trapped in the flute of the drill bit. Those flakes/ chips burn due to friction and heat.

5. Apply too Much Pressure

Pressing the drill bit too hard will cause burning marks. Burning marks occur due to the fire that generates when drilling wood.  Therefore, if the user continues to apply too much pressure, the wood will burn.

6. Use an Incorrect Drill Bit

As mentioned earlier, the drill bit use will vary depending on the type of wood. Moreover, some drill bits are not suitable for wood, such as Cobalt drill bits. Therefore, using an incorrect drill bit also led to firing the wood while drilling.

7. Drill the Same Place/ Hole Continuously

Accordingly, when drilling wood, repeatedly drilling the same place/ hole will increase the heat and cause it to burn. Moreover, the drill bit can be dull if use the drill bit without breaks.

Read More About – Why Does a Drill Bit Hot? – Top 09 Reasons

How Can You Drill Without Burning It?

1. Identifying the Type of Wood Correctly.

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of wood: softwood and hardwood. The wood can be drilled without burning by correctly identifying the respective wood by the characteristics of each type of wood. It is also very important to choose the type of wood that is relevant to one’s needs.

2. Choose a Suitable RPM

As mentioned earlier, RPM for drilling wood depends on several factors. Accordingly, the user must identify the appropriate RPM for the wood drill.

Simply, hardwood requires low RPM than softwood. Moreover, it requires low RPM if the drill bit is larger. The RPM is also determined by the type of the drill bit. Accordingly, different types of drill bits with the same diameter have different RPM values.

Drill bit and Suitable RPM for Softwood and Hardwood

3. Choose a Suitable Drill Bit

drill bits for wood

The drill bit used will vary depending on the wood. Accordingly, the pressure and speed to be applied are also determined. Therefore, choosing the right drill bit for the job is very important. Moreover, using high-quality drill bits is also really important.

You can choose the right drill bit using this guide.

4. Sharpen the Drill Bit

Sharpen is required at the right time because that is led to avoiding wood burning and increases efficiency.

5. Choose a Suitable Drill

Use the right drill is led to avoid wood burning. For example, electric drills or gas drills are not suitable for hardwood. Therefore, the drill should be selected according to the wood.

6. Sufficient Flute Length

Flute length and its angle must be concerned when drilling the wood. This flute length has different angles. For example, hardwood requires a large helix angle.

Why There is a Smoke When Drilling Wood?

The user can detect the fire early before it catches fire and causes burn marks. That is, it can be identified by the heat and smoke around it.

When there is smoking, you should make sure whether the drill is smoking or drill bit smoking. When a drill is overheated, you can see smoke there.

  • High RPM

Higher RPM create more friction and generates heat. Moreover, using a large drill bit at high RPM cause fire. Accordingly, there is smoke when drilling wood.

  • High Pressure

The user must apply considerable pressure to drill the wood. But applying too much pressure will cause the wood to smoke while drilling.

  • Dull Drill Bit

If the user uses the drill bits continuously or uses the high RPM or uses the low-quality drill bits can cause for dull drill bits. Accordingly, the use of drill bits as mentioned above, causes smoke when drilling wood.

  • Wet Wood

Drilling wet wood is easier than drilling dry wood. Moreover, wet wood is less likely to catch fire when drilling. Instead, the possibility of smoking is very high.

  • Insufficient Flute Length

When drilling wood, small wood chips are formed in the hole. They are called wood chips or flakes. Their presence in the cavity, combined with friction and heat, creates smoke. Therefore, these chips should be removed from that hole.

The drill bit has a flute to remove them. But if the length is not sufficient, the chips will not be removed properly and smoke will be generated as mentioned earlier.

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