In computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools a process called peck drilling, or interrupted cut drilling, is used to keep swarf from detrimentally building up when drilling deep holes (approximately when the depth of the hole is three times greater than the drill diameter). Peck drilling involves plunging the drill part way through the workpiece, no more than five times the diameter of the drill, and then retracting it to the surface. This is repeated until the hole is finished. A modified form of this process, called high speed peck drilling or chip breaking, only retracts the drill slightly. This process is faster, but is only used in moderately long holes otherwise it will overheat the drill bit. It is also used when drilling stringy material to break the chips.
Cutting fluid is commonly used to cool the drill bit, increase tool life, increase speeds and feeds, increase the surface finish, and aid in ejecting chips. Application of these fluids is usually done by flooding the workpiece or by applying a spray mist.