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I'm tring to install a chain lock on the inside of my home. I've tried millions of things to get a hole in the steel door. Is a 12 volt drill not powerful enough?

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Have you tried a million things or just a 12 volt drill? ;) The key to drilling through metal is to make sure you are using an actual metal drill bit. – DA01 Sep 21 '11 at 17:45
Is this a typical residential steel door, an industrial heavy steel door, or an armored security door? – Tester101 Sep 22 '11 at 11:58
Good point on the door type - you'll be screwed if you are trying to get through a bank vault style door:-) – Rory Alsop Sep 22 '11 at 12:27

As @DA01 mentioned, a good 12 volt drill should manage this just fine if you are using a drill bit designed for metal. I have had metal doors on my last three houses, and all were easy to drill.

If you are using a battery powered drill, it may have lower torque than a wired drill, but that wouldn't be a problem here - as long as the battery lasts until you are in:-)

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A Sharp metal drill bit, is key here. – Tester101 Sep 22 '11 at 11:55

Drill power is not critical - you just use a sharp drillbit suited for cutting steel and drill long enough periodically cooling the drillbit with water so that it doesn't burn.

I personally made about two hundred holes in shaped tube with 2-millimeters thick walls when assembling a fence. I used a rather weak looking professional Bosch GSR2 10,7 volts Li-Ion powered drill/driver - that's a good tool, but not a tool one would consider extremely powerful, I had to recharge after about each 30 holes and drilling was certainly slower than with a 500 watts mains-operated drill, yet it was quite doable.

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Good point on cooling -- if you let the bit get too hot, it will dull quickly. In a machine shop, you would use cutting fluid to both lubricate and cool the bit, but it doesn't work when you're drilling on a vertical surface. – Joe Sep 22 '11 at 16:20

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