The importance of a reaming shell in drilling tools

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A reamer refers to a rotary cutting tool that often used in metalworking to enlarge and smoothen the inside of holes. It comes in different types and can be used as a machine or hand tool, like a drill press. Reaming pertains to enlarging a hole using a reamer.

A reaming shell is designed for reaming. It is used to gauge the diameter of a hole and to stabilize a core barrel during drilling. So, what are the important benefits of using a reaming shell in drilling tools? Let’s find out.

Reamer Shells Protect Holes

Reaming shells ensure that new core bits are inserted into continuing bores or holes in different explorations and applications. In that way, there’s a greater chance to reach the bottom of holes without reaming. They help protect the holes, guiding drilling holes and keeping them from getting smaller. Also, a hole’s inclination is avoided from getting bigger.

Here are the good-to-know facts about reaming shells:

  • The main function of a reaming shell is to ream the hole to a specific diameter. It ensures adequate clearance for the new bit, replacing the old one. Also, it acts as a drill bit stabilizer.
  • The typical diameter of reaming shells is 0.3 to 0.5 millimeters, which is bigger than drill bits. The diameter of reaming shells for drilling soft formations is 0.5 to 0.7 millimeters. For hard formations, the diameter of reaming shells is less than 0.3 millimeters.
  • When producing reaming shells, diamond panel pads are used for better performance and quality for various applications.
  • Reaming shells usually last three to four times longer compared to core bits.
  • As soon as reaming shells wear under the gauge, it will retire and could lead to an undersized bore diameter that may cause reaming.
  • A reaming shell can be set with a synthetic or natural diamond.

Improve Drill Performance

Great reamers feature reduced vibrations and increased stability with specially designed reaming shells. With more carbide reinforcements and diamonds, reaming shells will have a longer life. You’ll find the best reaming shell for diamond drilling in Canada and other locations that has the best features and benefits. But what makes a great reaming shell?

Here are the best features of a reaming shell:

  • Heavy Duty: A heavy-duty reaming shell helps prevent undercutting in broken conditions.
  • Cylindrical Structure: It is perfect for stabilizing, enlarging, and drilling holes.
  • Power Source: It provides the force required to rotate reaming shells.
  • Diamond Impregnated Pad: This feature enables using large synthetic diamonds to enhance wear life and eliminate the need to use specialty shells of diamond drilling tools during diamond exploration.
  • Diamond Grit Surface: This feature ensures efficiency and hole stability during the drilling process.
  • Diamond Ground: It reduces size variation and improves stability, producing long-lasting reaming shells.
  • Dual Pad: It allows getting straighter holes if the deviation is a huge concern. This feature should be considered when choosing reaming shells for your application, most especially if you’re dealing with deviated holes.

Used for Various Applications

Reaming shells have different dimensions that can be used for different applications. Surface set reaming shells have a long service time, keeping bore diameter stability during the drilling process.

Electroplated diamond reaming shells can be used quickly with great performance and a low price. Tungsten carbide reaming shells are suitable for harness rocks (soft to medium), and also have competitive prices.

Here are the different applications of reaming shells:

  • Soil investigation
  • Mineral exploration
  • Hydro-geological exploration
  • Geological exploration
  • Water and electricity

Keeps Bore Diameter and Drilling Stability

As mentioned, reaming shells are popular metalwork tools used to maintain the diameter of bores and drilling stability. These hole-drilling, hole-enlargement, and drilling-stabilization tools are designed and constructed for different applications. They come in various sizes, shapes, efficiencies, functionalities, and have different basic functions.

Here are some helpful tips when choosing reaming shells:

  • Reaming shells can be used in wireline and traditional core barrels, working together with core bits of complete core barrels. Choose what’s suited for your application.
  • Choose original and high-quality reaming shells and select the best reaming shells depending on its purpose or the intensity required by the job. Power sources are used for jobs requiring precise stabilization and high drive force.
  • Compare reaming shells and consider the make or construction when choosing one to ensure that you only get quality reaming shells.


When it comes to an understanding of the importance of reaming shells, it all boils down to the quality of the hole or bore during the drilling process. Whether you’re into soil investigation, mineral exploration, geological exploration, or any field requiring the use of reaming tools, reaming shells ensure the protection of holes, stability, precision, and smooth bore diameter.

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