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nunya
LXI 483
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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Drill bits

I've been having a run of piss-poor luck with drill bits. The bits that Lowe's Depot, Menard's, and the supply house carries are all junk.
Does anybody have a line on NON-Chinese drill bit sets? I usually buy the 13-17 piece sets. They used to last me years, now I'm lucky to get 3 months.

My google fu isn't producing any good results for me. They don't have to be made in USA - Swiss, German, etc... are fine.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by nunya:

My google fu isn't producing any good results for me. They don't have to be made in USA - Swiss, German, etc... are fine.

»www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRHM


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to nunya
I dont know what you're drilling, but my guess is wood and for electrical purposes.

I find that bits in kits are crap. There's a reason kits cost like 20$-50$ but to buy the same bit sizes individually of a good brand would cost 200$.

If I need ONE bit for a lot of repetitive drilling, I'll buy an individual one (bosch, typically).

I have a bosch carbite drill bit that drilled 200 holes in concrete for my tapcons. It still drills very well. Of course, that bit is crap to drill in wood, so don't go buy that


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to nunya
I'll speak for Bosch as well...

Still made in the Far East (Malaysia, I believe) - but seems to be better then average quality.

For SDS masonry bits; Hilti is also a solid choice, in my experience...


KA0OUV
Premium
join:2010-02-17
Jefferson City, MO
reply to nunya
Nunya,

You need to pick up some fresh google fu!

Jore Corporation makes SOME of the Bosch and other drills at Lowe's. It is hit and miss however.
»www.jorecorporation.com/

The manufacture and sell the Montana Brand
»www.montanabrandtools.com/

I have seen and purchased some of their sets in other places (Menard's carries some of them.) Again, hit and miss here in Central MO.

Looks like the best bet is online to get a good assortment.
»www.usaonly.us/SearchResults.asp···se=drill

Good luck. I wish it was easier to get what is still made 'round these parts.

KA0OUV [Tim]

sancraig

join:2003-11-05
Saint Louis, MO
reply to nunya
If your down near South County, there is always Inventory Sales. They are a little pricey but quality bits.

»www.inventorysales.com/

public

join:2002-01-19
Santa Clara, CA
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

I've been having a run of piss-poor luck with drill bits. The bits that Lowe's Depot, Menard's, and the supply house carries are all junk.

»www.advancedtoolsupply.com/produ···ols.html
»www.grainger.com/Grainger/machin···t=subset


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
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Cortland, OH
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1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to nunya
Look for Cleveland Twist Drill! They're premium but I don't think you'll find anything better at any price. Second choice would be Greenfield. Both are high chrome, high-speed, red hardness rated. in other words, they'll keep their edges even when heated to red hot. I used them for years, on some gawd-awful exotic tool steels, and they just keep cuttin'.

The biggest mistake too many people make is that they don't keep their drill bits sharp. When bits get dull, you push them beyond their limits, and they break. Even cheap carbon steel bits will do the job... if they're kept sharp. It's when they get dull the problem begins. The high-speed steel bits don't really cut all that much better, but they do keep their cutting edges much longer.

A simple tool such as "Drill Doctor" will pay for itself in spades... if you remember to use the damn thing. Or you could learn to sharpen drills the old fashioned way with a center gage and a bench grinder.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!


nunya
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reply to nunya
Thanks for the replies. First I'd like to say that I've tried just about every "name brand" bit in the hardware stores. They are ALL crap. I can tear them up quickly: Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Ryobi, and Vermont American - all crap.

My problem is twofold: Firstly, bits actually break in use (shatter). Secondly, they do not hold a sharp. Once resharpened, the sharp time diminishes even more.
Granted, I do a little more drilling than Joe Homeowner, but I can remember a time when drill bits did last.
I use them for general purpose. This means wood, metal, and plastic.
I use old "nail eater" augers for everyday 3/4" boring. They do last a good 500 holes sometimes before I touch them up with the auger file.
I've been sharpening my own bits for decades, and I am pretty good at it.

I'm ordering the "Montana" brand bits. $30 for a titanium coated set. I'll gladly pay a few bucks extra for something that might last a little while. It doesn't look like they can be hand sharpened, but what the hell. I'll give them a try.
Used to be, if you treated your tools right, they wouldn't leave you hanging. Lately, I'm finding that I have to leave job sites to replace crappy items (broken drills, bits, cracked sockets). That is way more expensive than paying a few bucks upfront for quality. It's gotten to be pretty damn frustrating.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


John Galt
Forward, March
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Happy Camp
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1 edit
What are you drilling holes in?

ADD: And yes, I saw your "wood, metal, and plastic" comment, but please be more specific.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to nunya
said by nunya:

Thanks for the replies. First I'd like to say that I've tried just about every "name brand" bit in the hardware stores. They are ALL crap. I can tear them up quickly: Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Ryobi, and Vermont American - all crap.

I don't buy much bits in those stores any more, but I find this a bit hard to believe.

My problem is twofold: Firstly, bits actually break in use (shatter).

That's pretty normal for smaller bits (3/32" and under), but if you break significantly thicker bits, you're probably doing something wrong.

Secondly, they do not hold a sharp. Once resharpened, the sharp time diminishes even more.

Because most bits come with various surface treatments, be it coating (TiN, ZrN, etc.), flame hardening, etc., and once that layer is gone (may be as little as one sharpening) it won't be nearly as hard.

There are other coatings (I have a Zirconium nitride coated set, for one) and depending on what you do, others may be better.
More on coatings here: »armorcoated.com/services/

There are also bits made of solid carbide, and there are also diamond coated bits for something even harder. In case of the solid carbide you really need to be careful about not breaking them. They re very hard, very brittle, and very expensive.

I'm ordering the "Montana" brand bits. $30 for a titanium coated set. I'll gladly pay a few bucks extra for something that might last a little while. It doesn't look like they can be hand sharpened, but what the hell. I'll give them a try.

While coated bits are nice, I have a feeling that more often not, the coating is applied to a lesser grade material.

I think one of the best material is M-42 cobalt steel, though M-35 should work almost as well in most materials.
Here is a set with it: »www.globalindustrial.com/p/tools···gnId=T9F

Used to be, if you treated your tools right, they wouldn't leave you hanging. Lately, I'm finding that I have to leave job sites to replace crappy items (broken drills, bits, cracked sockets). That is way more expensive than paying a few bucks upfront for quality. It's gotten to be pretty damn frustrating.

Personally, I find simpler just to have several pieces of the oft used drill bits (Harbor Freight sells 10 packs for cheap )

I do have a set of cobalt bits for harder metals, some solid carbide and some some diamond coated bits for certain uses, but most of my bits come from HF, and aside from small bits breaking, they usually work very well. They do not work well in ferrous metals, though. (That's why I got the M-42 cobalt bits)
--
Wacky Races 2012!

u475700
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join:2004-02-16
Reviews:
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2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to nunya
McMaster-Carr is a major industrial supplier of drill bits. They offer a wide variety of drill bits with different grades depending on the intended application and specific requirements. See their overview About Drill Bits here for the details:

»www.mcmaster.com/#standard-drill···/=m6oy1h

I often order the drill bits that I need the day before because orders are usually ready to ship in less than an hour from the closest regional warehouse.

themagicone

join:2003-08-13
Osseo, MN
reply to nunya
Get a set from Matco. »www.matcotools.com/catalog/produ···BIT-SET/ Break one, they hand you a new one.

AlarmGuy

join:2010-07-08
Kansas City, MO
reply to nunya
We buy ours mostly from our brothers to the North--www.flexidrills.com. Also, from Irwin.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
reply to nunya
The guy at the welding shop told me to go to Fastenal for drill bits. I have not been disappointed with the bits I've gotten there.


ToyodaCNC

@comcast.net
reply to nunya
Chicago-Latrobe is an excellent brand and can be purchased from mscdirect.com


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to nunya
There's a bunch on ebay, but you don't always know what you get, some of them say Boeing surplus and the like.

Local garage/estate sales?
--
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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to nunya
.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
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reply to nunya

Dual-fluted
.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to nunya
Note that these are Lenox. Don't waste your money on Unibits or other 'looks-like' bits.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to nunya
Most people use speeds for drilling that are far in excess of the recommended feed rate. If you are getting 'chips' when drilling, you are using a speed that is too high. That is caused by 'chatter' at the material/cutting tool interface.

When the proper feed rate and pressure are used, the cutting will come off the material in a long coiled thread. If you use too much pressure, the bit will cut through the metal without making a complete hole. This is what shatters bits. Too much pressure also increases the heat generated, and that kills the temper of the bit.

Don't sharpen bits by hand on the grinder...get a Drill Doctor. A precise angle and precision cutting face are important to success. You'll know when to throw the bits away when you run out of flutes.

It is also necessary to use a cutting lubricant when cutting metal. You don't need to flood the hole with lube. You need just a skosh. The Anchorlube is great in that it is not 'liquid' and it adheres quite nicely when cutting overhead. It cleans up without residue.

Most of the time Sparky just needs 'a hole', not a specific diameter hole. Use Lenox Vari-bits. They are quite robust if treated properly. The exception to that is, of course, when you are tapping holes. In that circumstance the proper numbered drill is highly recommended.
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...


montero1dfw

join:2007-11-17
Bloomington Springs, TN
reply to nunya
Here is a post on another site about drill bits. Everybody seems to be impressed.

»www.garagejournal.com/forum/show···t=194077

new link to one of the sets.

»www.ebay.com/itm/Norseman-40614-···17480%26


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to John Galt
said by John Galt:

Too much pressure also increases the heat generated, and that kills the temper of the bit.

It also work hardens the metal to be drilled exacerbating the problem.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to nunya
said by nunya:

NON-Chinese drill bit sets ... don't have to be made in USA - Swiss, German, etc... are fine.

Consider drill bits manufactured in Canada and Brazil if you must avoid China at all costs.

Chinese companies essentially control the very best base material (molybdenum+cobalt hardened stainless steel) and majority of tool makers outside China mainly apply the coatings.

This site provides tips for different materials:
»www.wellsindustrial.ca/Resources···EEDS.PDF
convert SFM to RPM using info in this doc: »www2.mae.ufl.edu/designlab/Lab%2···eeds.pdf

Their main page (»www.wellsindustrial.ca/) has links to a few drill bit companies that meet your non-Chinese criteria.