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What are the best drill bits

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  • What are the best drill bits

    What drill bits are best to get if you are drilling metal ? I've seen Titanium, Zirconium Nitride, Cobalt, H.S.S. Some indicate "high speed", some are coated with the above metals only. I do know that some are much more expensive and stay sharp longer than others but I have no idea what type they are. Is price the only deciding factor ?

    JCB

  • #2
    I like cobalt the best. They are very hard and tend to last a long time. TiN is good too, but I prefer the cobalt.

    Comment


    • #3
      good question

      I've been buying bits as-needed (which hasn't been all that much). I can tell you what NOT to buy. Twice I've bought Hitachi brand at Lowes, in 7/16 in. $8 range, and both of them wobbled off center. The first was the first bit I put into a new drill press, and I thought the drill press was trash! Both returned, and replaced with Bosche, I think, for a dollar or two more. No complaints, but haven't used them enough to know how they'll last.

      So, I'll follow this thread, and try to buy best bang-for-buck in the future.

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      • #4
        Im not sure how precise you want to be with drill bits but I bought a set at Home Depot at least 2 years ago. It is a Dewalt set in a plastic case, they have a center point on the bits, I can't honestly say what kind they are. They were around $45 at the time. I use them all the time and they still cut as good as the day I bought them.

        One thing to keep in mind, make sure your drill press is set to the slowest speed, this will help keep your bits in good shape as well as a little cutting oil. I see too many guys running at high speed trying to force it through the metal and burning or bending the bit.
        Last edited by KBar; 01-04-2008, 07:18 PM.

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        • #5
          center point

          Interesting, KBar. I've been afraid to try those DeWalt bits -- that the center would wear or be easily damaged, and be a problem.

          Hey, what's good cutting oil? Lowes didn't have any, and I've been using light machine oil until I get the right stuff (in something like pint size).

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          • #6
            Excellent question.

            Personally, IMNSHO,

            I buy the cheapest bits, keep them sharp and run them at low speed. Consequently, my bits work better and last longer than those of my co-workers.

            Good luck.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EdZep View Post
              Interesting, KBar. I've been afraid to try those DeWalt bits -- that the center would wear or be easily damaged, and be a problem.

              Hey, what's good cutting oil? Lowes didn't have any, and I've been using light machine oil until I get the right stuff (in something like pint size).
              I love my Dewalt bits, I will admit, I snapped the two tiny ones that are about the size of a needle.

              I never preferred one brand cutting oil over another, try Home Depot (not my store of choice) if you have one for Ridgid or CRC, never Bob the Builder Cutting Oil.

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              • #8
                I try to buy USA made. Not Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart etc.
                But the key is appropriate speed and feed. Once it dulls then sharpen it. Learn to sharpen bits, it sucks but need to do it. I have two small cabinets for 1/16 - 1/2" each compartment holds about a dozen to about half dozen depending on size.
                I have Used a Chinese 5/8 to punch 40 holes in 3/4 plate without sharpening because of the right speed,feed and lubricant.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                  ... the right speed,feed and lubricant.
                  Yes, speed would be good to keep in mind for anyone choosing a drill press. I got a benchtop unit, due to space, and difficult to justify a floor unit. Only later did I realize that it would be nice to run somewhat slower than my slowest speed. A benchtop unit typically has 5 speeds, from pulleys on 2 spindles. But, a floor model will have 12 or more speeds, from pulleys on 3 spindles.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                    But the key is appropriate speed and feed. Once it dulls then sharpen it. Learn to sharpen bits, it sucks but need to do it.
                    There is a gauge available to help in the chore of sharpening bits. They are hard to find but I found a few on eBay.

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                    • #11
                      Yep I have cut 3 1/2" holes in 1/2" plate using a hole saw with my drill press.
                      But even using a hand drill ,speed and feed. I use a hand drill for tapping holes also, 4-40 to 1/2 inch. Too lazy for hand tap wrench.

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                      • #12
                        hand drill tapping

                        Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                        I use a hand drill for tapping holes also, 4-40 to 1/2 inch. Too lazy for hand tap wrench.
                        Wow, that sounds pretty bold. I imagine you broke a few trying to get the feel of it. Or, maybe you have very high quality taps. I recently did 16 3/8 in. holes for a set of casters. That did get old. I was really afraid I might break my cheap Lowes tap even doing it by hand.

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                        • #13
                          Been doing this for a few years, I did break a few, its all in the feel. I use cordless drills, 18volt or bigger. I have Porter Cable 19.2 that is a real workhorse. I am on the second chuck, I use channel locks to tighten it with 1/2 taps.

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                          • #14
                            I've got a couple of sets of older Craftsman HSS bits up to 1/2" that have been decent to me. I've got other various ones up to 1". I do keep them sharp and don't burn them up with speed. Keeping a bit sharp is the key to success. No cutting tool works very good when dull. Sharpening a bit isn't difficult if you own a bench grinder with a fairly fine wheel on it. I use the side of the wheel and duplicate the angle of a new bit. If you don't know what that is, go get a new bit and hold it against the wheel to get the idea. Use water and don't burn the bit up on the grinder! If you keep them fairly sharp it doesn't take much to touch them up and keep them like new.

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                            • #15
                              jim-TX just like chainsaw, keep it sharp and sharpen often.

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