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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
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    38

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    621

    Default

    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.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    West Georgia
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    103

    Default 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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
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    431

    Default

    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 at 07:18 PM.
    Ken

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    West Georgia
    Posts
    103

    Default 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).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX area
    Posts
    267

    Default 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.
    Triggerman

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
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    431

    Default

    Quote 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.
    Ken

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

    Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 187
    Dewalt Chop Saw
    4" Air Grinder
    Die Grinder
    Rigid Drill Press
    Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


    2009 FXDC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    541

    Default

    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.
    Tim Beeker,
    T-N-J Industries
    (my side bussiness)

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    West Georgia
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    103

    Default

    Quote 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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancaster, Pa
    Posts
    431

    Default

    Quote 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.
    Ken

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

    Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
    Hobart Handler 187
    Dewalt Chop Saw
    4" Air Grinder
    Die Grinder
    Rigid Drill Press
    Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


    2009 FXDC

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