Dremel recommendations from stickbuilders? Want to drill button holes


I’ve never done this before so I am looking for recommendations on tools and accessories. I want to drill holes in metal. I think I need a dremel to do this but am not sure. I also need to know the head for the dremel I should get. I want be able to fit standard Sanwa buttons (like from a TE - OBSF-30) in a metal plate. Sorry if all of this sounds newbish - I’m not very familiar with the power tools needed to accomplish this in a precise way.

I’m looking to get recommendations from people who have built sticks from scratch before. But anyone who knows can help me out.


Easiest is to use a drill with a hole saw bit. You can get the right size @ lowes/Home Depot. This way, you’ll cut a perfect circle if done correctly!

Practice a few runs before actually cutting into your actual panel!

Hope that helps man!


Thanks, I’ll check those out. Any manufacturer recommendations or other tool recommendations?


I don’t think it matters, but just make sure you get the one for metal since that’s what you’re using.


Any dremel you find at Home Depot, or other similar hardware stores, will work fine. You just need to make sure you get the correct bits for cutting metal (an employee can help with you pick that).

Patience and technique will trump the tools you’re using.


Hey commander… Look up 24mm and 30mm forstner drill bits. They are the exact measurements for jap buttons. The ones you’ll find at Home Depot / Lowes are all set to measure in inches and are slightly off.


Thanks eltrouble and jonyfraze for the further suggestions.


Yeah, if you use a hole saw, go one size too small and then deburr/enlarge the hole using a dremel with a sanding drum.


problem with a sanding drum is if you are not careful you can distort the opening.

In plastic and wood I had alot of success with a foster bit.
Hole saw is alright for metal, although a good metal punch works much better


A Drill, and actual drill and not a dremel.

Preferably a drill press over a hand drill, but hand drills have the usefulness.
I treat a dremel as more of a cutting and grinding too rather than something to make actual holes with.

any filing or sanding is better off doing by hand.

A step bit isn’t bad at all

Or there the metal punch


Yeah, a Dremel is really not meant for drilling large holes. You can get a Dremel press and do tiny holes easy and for that it works wonders, but for holes in a stick a drill press is essential. However, if you’re using metal panels, then a forstner bit is not what you want.


@Gummo‌ secret is that his 8-button is a dremel.


Dremel seems to clearly be the wrong track. I’ve used it to make holes in wood before, but it was a painstaking process.

Darkasaul, thanks for the links and explanation. What are the advantages of going with a step bit vs a metal punch? And a newbie question - can both be used with a drill press?


With a punch you only use a drill to tighten a bolt that squeezes the two plates together. It uses pressure to cut. A drill is needed but it would be harder to use a press IMO. An impact driver is best.