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Online Tips Index / General Shop Tips / Straight and Tapered Plug Cutters

Straight and Tapered Plug Cutters

Basically, there are two types of plug cutters. One cuts a plug with straight sides. And the other creates a gradual taper on the sides of the plug, see photos.

Straight Plug Cutters

Straight plug cutter Most of the time, a straight plug cutter produces a plug with a consistent diameter, so you get a pretty good fit. But if there's any runout in the drill press, the plug will vary in size. This can create a gap when you tap the plug in the hole.

Tapered Plug Cutters

Tapered plug cutter A tapered plug cutter solves this problem. As its name implies, it cuts a plug with tapered sides. So even if there's a bit of runout in the drill press, the tapered sides allow the plug to wedge tightly in the hole.

In addition, a tapered plug cutter creates more of a shearing cut than a straight plug cutter. Because of this, there's very little chipout on the sides of the plug, so you don't end up with a gap around the plug.