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What are the best drill bits

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  • #16
    I have two sets of Chinese made Zirconium Nitride bit sets one I bought about 3 years ago at Costco. I think it has Master Grip printed on the front and another I just recently purchased at HF. Both sold for around $50.00us and appear to be the same bits. They have approximately 100 bits in fractions, wire gauge and letter gauge. Very handy for matching taps with drills. The Master grip set has been very durable and the bits stay sharp for a long time. I drilled 112, holes in 1X2 steel bar for a shelf pin hole guide. I also have a Dewalt set that has not been as durable as the Chinese made drills. The Chinese drills are all different lengths, if you compare different sets next to each other the drills of the same size will often be different lengths. I believe these sets are made up of industrial drills that have been re-sharpened and re-coated. Not sure but it makes sense to me and would explain the high quality steel at such a low price. As said above speed is very important, slower for larger dia and faster for smaller. Plenty of coolant/lube for steel. Aluminum is not a coolant critical as long as the bit is sharp and cutting in new material each revolution.

    Paul

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    • #17
      well for the bits i buy viking tools bits but once again have to keep sharp and use the right pressure. as for cutting oil i use rapid tap for general holes but it does not weld well. water soluble oil that u use in ur band saw for holes that get welded that cant get a clean up, but my trick for lots of holes in thick material i use kerosene. yes it does work freaking awesome its a old millwright trick. one 1/2 in drill bit drilling 2.5" thick material lasted 35 holes not bad for a $30 bit.
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      • #18
        i think the chinese bits in the huge sets are very brittle. they cut well and last long but i did hang one up (3/8") and one side of the tip snapped clean off.

        i have several sets of bits but my go to set is an irwin from costco and they have lasted very long with care. for steel, slow speed and high pressure. if you getting curlies and there not blue your doing well.
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        • #19
          At work they used to order two types of drill bits (don't ask why... ), some were cheap junk and the others were TiNi coated Norseman bits. The Cheapies usually lasted about 10 holes with a hand drill and that was about it. The Norseman's would go for a very long time as long as you didn't do anything stupid, but the do cost a lot more.

          Bit speed is crucial to making fast, efficient cuts and helping extend the life of the drill bit. I recomend finding a speed chart from a manufacture or reputable source, just remember slower is not always better. Running a 1/4" drill bit on the slowest speed only prolongs the agony of drilling the whole and wears the bit out faster.
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          • #20
            homier drills

            this bit is from an outfit that shows up in town every now and then and sets up for a few days and sells tools and whatever. This bit was used to drill holes in wood for picnic table seats. The guy hit a steel brace on the other side of the wood. He was using this in a battery operated drill. When I saw it I thought it was some specialty drill. Silly me.
            Attached Files

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            • #21
              Neat looking "specialty" bit. Sometimes you get less then you pay for.
              Tim Beeker,
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              (my side bussiness)

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              • #22
                Originally posted by KBar View Post
                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..
                If they have a center point, they may be brad-point, which are specifically designed for wood.
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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tasslehawf View Post
                  If they have a center point, they may be brad-point, which are specifically designed for wood.
                  A brad point is used to push into wood on your mark, these are cut and sharpened to help keep the bit from wandering on metal, almost like drilling a pilot hole. They are cobalt bits. I stand corrected though, they are called pilot point not center point. It also cuts down on lock up when you get through the metal.
                  Last edited by KBar; 01-05-2008, 01:30 PM.
                  Ken

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                  • #24
                    i like the 135deg cle-line black oxide bits, ive got a drill doc to sharpen them back up. ive avoided the brad point since there almost impossible to sharpen.

                    alot of times once ive sharpened them a bunch and the dia is getting a bit less at the bottom ill cut a inch off them grind it up on the bench grinder some and stickit in the drill doc and its good as new
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tnjind View Post
                      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.
                      drill doctor it is the best

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                      • #26
                        I have used a drill doctor but still prefer to do it by hand.
                        Tim Beeker,
                        T-N-J Industries
                        (my side bussiness)

                        Miller Synchrowave 350LX with tigrunner
                        Esab 450i with wire feeder
                        HH135 mig
                        Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 51 plasma cutter
                        Miller aircrafter 330 - sold
                        Marathon 315mm coldsaw
                        vertical and horizontal band saws
                        table saw
                        Dewalt cut off saw
                        Sand blast cabinet
                        lots of hand grinders
                        Harris torch
                        beer fridge

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jake View Post
                          i like the 135deg cle-line black oxide bits, ive got a drill doc to sharpen them back up. ive avoided the brad point since there almost impossible to sharpen.

                          alot of times once ive sharpened them a bunch and the dia is getting a bit less at the bottom ill cut a inch off them grind it up on the bench grinder some and stickit in the drill doc and its good as new
                          I have the black oxide 115 piece set by CL I've had since 94......118 degrees
                          I've only broken one small bit so far. Good bits!

                          What do you drill that you prefer 135 degree bits over the 118 degree?
                          I also have the large Drill Doctor. Love it. I still feel that one that sharpens bits by eye on a grinder with bit in hand is not going to be doing any precision drilling. Making a hole is easy. Making a precise hole in metal where you want it is another thing.
                          Last edited by monte55; 01-06-2008, 09:30 AM.
                          Nick
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                          • #28
                            Sharp bits!!!!!
                            Here's what I use
                            HSS (high speed steel) for just about everything. Then switch to 5%cobalt HSS drills for tougher stuff. I hate Tin coated drills because they are only coated and as soon as they go dull and you re-sharpen then there goes the coating.Tin are for production drilling not home or shop use. The advantages of Tin will not be realized until you have drilled a few hundred holes with the same drill. In a production setting Tin will make the bit last a lot longer.

                            When I bust off a tap or some other tool steel part in a work piece I then go to solid carbide. They are very expensive and have a very limited use in a drill press, they are very fragile but are sometimes the only thing that will cut a hardened piece of steel.
                            One skill you should learn is how to properly sharpen a drill bit. Most of you will have a bench grinder and it will be hauled to the field. Those drill sharpening gizmos are good but will most likely be left at home.
                            Then learn about cutting speeds and how it affects your bits.
                            Kerry
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                            • #29
                              I will agree that everyone who uses a drill much should learn how to sharpen
                              a bit with a grinder if not only to help to understand the geometry of the cutting surface. Different bit angles for different metals etc. I was very surprised the first time I went to drill a deep hole in brass only to have the brass grab the bit with a death grip and tried to complete the hole in 1 rpm or less. I was using a 118 degree which can really grab softer metals if you're not careful.
                              Anyway........the reason some say to learn to grind your bits in the field is if you break a bit. Good reason. Here's an idea........take more than one bit.

                              True story..........I was helping a guy do an interior and exterior iron railing
                              job at a very nice home. We are delivering the last of the exterior to install on concrete and rock. I brought the railing and he brought the tools. We had about 40 3/8" holes to drill...............he brings his Dewalt XRP hammer drill
                              (cordless) and an extra battery(dead).........and 1 cheap masonry bit (dull).
                              The day was not going well. Finally after he got over his baby fit, I went to my van and found a set of bits I always carry. He's good at what he does but hardly ever prepared properly. Whenever I go to a job, I have a backup on most everything I will need. It beats finding a hardware store when you're
                              in the boondocks or asking the customer if you can borrow their B&D set.
                              Nick
                              Miller 252 Mig
                              Miller Cricket XL
                              Millermatic 150 Mig
                              Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
                              2-O/A outfits
                              Jet Lathe and Mill
                              Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
                              DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
                              Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
                              20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
                              Propane Forge
                              60" X 60" router/plasma table

                              www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
                              Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
                              and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

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                              • #30
                                bits

                                I still have some of the bits left from my original set purcahsed in 1975. I ahve bought other sets since but have only bought HSS bits. They have been used in air drills, electic drills and drill presses. I believe that keeping them sharp and the correct pressure are the most important. Any oil for holes up to one inch thick material has worked well. If tapping the holes then rapid-tap is a very good product. I built my own hydraulic press at home and needed to drill 32 one inch holes through 3/4 inch material. I did not have a one inch bit at that time so I used a hole saw and a lot of engine oil. I still use the same hole saw.

                                Byron

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