FPD Natural Angle: Volume 19 Issue 3
TOOL CORNER: Step by Step Drive-in Stud Application

FootPro Solid Carbide Studs, Step Point Bit
and Bloom Stud Set tools

Drive-in studs have been used for years for seasonal and non-seasonal low impact traction needs. FPD recently introduced solid carbide drive-in studs to the market. In the past, drive-in studs were commonly produced with a carbide insert in the center of a mild steel “sleeve”.

Solid carbide studs are very precise and hard throughout. It’s important to use exactly the right drill bit size and one of a high quality to get an optimum fit. The studs are tapered so that they tighten as they are driven into the hole but require a 17/64” hole to fit correctly. A 17/64” bit is the only correct size. You may find bits in places like Home Deport or Lowes that indicate they are 17/64” but may also have a metric size shown like 6.8mm. It’s very likely that the bit manufacturer is trying to accommodate various markets and the bits marked in this way may not be a precise 17/64” size and you could end up with a hole that is oversized or even undersized in some cases. Buy bits that are consistently correct. The higher the quality, the better the bit will perform and last before dulling. A dull bit will end up creating inconsistent holes.

One option for a high-performance bit is the US made KnKut Step Point bit, now available from your FPD dealer. This bit has a unique point that “bites” instantly when making contact with the shoe. So much so that in many cases you don’t need to center punch to get started, unless you are punching just to make sure of your position on the shoe. The Step Point actually works as if you have drilled a pilot hole, lessening the stress on the full bit dimension and creating less heat. Heat is a contributing factor to the wear of a bit and reducing it will increase bit life.

It’s also recommended to use a drop of cutting fluid with each hole you drill.

C11 applied – note the small gap between head and shoe surface.

Once you’ve drilled the stud hole, carefully position your stud before striking to be sure it is going in straight. Make one light blow to get it started correctly and then drive to the desired depth. It’s important not to “bottom out” a stud on the anvil, something that usually would not occur except when using thinner shoes that are ¼” or 7mm.

The C11 studs have a button head configuration and you need to make sure you don’t drive them to the point the head makes contact with the ground surface of the shoe. Leave a small gap between the shoe and the bottom of the head of the stud. Failure to do so could cause the stud to loosen prematurely or even fracture when applying.

Drive-in studs are an efficient way to provide traction for icy conditions, or travel across hard surfaces. In many cases, the solid carbide studs can be used for more than one shoeing cycle. Carefully applied, they are one more good tool to have in your rig.


• Buy good quality, precise 17/64” drill bits.
• Make certain you have the bit tightened correctly in the chuck of your drill press.
• Be sure your drill press chuck is rotating true- in time they can wear and not produce a true hole.
• Start the studs carefully and centered.
• Do not bottom out on the anvil or the ground surface of the shoe with the head of the button type studs.


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