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What are the best drill bits

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  • #46
    Tap magic

    I have had the same set of bits for years. Drill doctor to sharpen and the best cutting fluid around. Tap magic. American company!


    • #47
      Helpful thread.


      • #48
        If you are hand drilling, use air drills. They don't develope full torque at near zero rpm like an electric motor. I use 1/8 double ended split point 135 degree bits for almost all of my piloting. Over the 40+ years I've learned to put my full 200 lbs on them and not break them. I also use 3/16 and 1/4 s in the same drills. The cobalt bit sets are much harder than titanium coated, just not as tough. A drill doctor, cutting fluid and enough pressure for your bit size to keep it curling metal will keep you on a set of bits for a lot of years. I don't usually pilot with a resharpened bit, they will walk a tad in most cases. Heat kills! Keep the pressure high and the speed down. And I totally agree on the tap magic.
        Last edited by shootist2; 10-05-2017, 01:32 AM.


        • #49
          We have 1000s of bits here in the barns, shop --- picked up an old Darex "factory / industrial" drill sharpener from a company auction and probably won't need to buy bits ever again.
          ESAB TIG 252 with Miller CoolMate
          Spectrum 875
          Diversion 180
          Oxy-A (Harris, ESAB, Ox Weld)
          Miller 252
          MM 211
          CST 280
          Trailblazer - Kubota


          • #50
            Originally posted by jcb View Post
            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 ?

            You may look at amazon. I bought a Craftsman 9-64085 Drill Bit from them & that's really good!!


            • #51
              Doesn't say where you live buy I buy from.a guy at the engine show flea. He does trade shows, he buys from that outfit in Minnesota or Dakota. Really good, I buy a different bulk packet in smaller sizes every year, some I sharpen, some toss as after a while they are stressed from hand drilling. He has some grab bag by the pound are a super deal


              • #52
                I'm pretty sure I have more bits than Cary, possibly more dull ones up to 3", and buying bits has become more expensive since the fat guy finished selling bits from Boeing by the pound.
                The best general purpose bits still come from Cleveland Drill, but quality is falling off since they got bought by Big Holding Corp and bean counters showed up at the factory.

                Perhaps a better discussion would be using the correct bit for the job. Coated bits are superior in soft metal because of chip shedding, and Cobalt is wonderful in hard steel, but offers little to no advantage in general purpose. Cobalt and harder bits are very specific to pressure and speed, and can actually make drilling more difficult in day to day jobs and definitely bring out the best vocabulary when they shatter.

                I am no fan of bits from Sears or Horrible Fright, and the rebranded bits from places like Lowes or Homer Depot generally leave a lot to be desired.
                I'm also not a fan of sets of bits since the majority of them only get used when the drill you wanted is dull or broken or missing from the index.


                • #53
                  Over the years, I have collected an assortment of of high speed, black oxide, titanium
                  nitride and cobalt bits as well as Harbor Freight bits and garage sale types and others my
                  friends give me.

                  Harbor Freight you ask?

                  Got tired of buying new ones and wondered what to do with the old dull ones.
                  Unlike other pros here, I have no skill in hand sharpening them.
                  So I got a secret weapon which evens the odds.

                  I sharpen the drill bits after I use them which saves a lot of cussing.
                  Have standardized on 135 degree split point geometry which has worked well.

                  Granted when I drill titanium, I may only get one or two holes before
                  I need to re-sharpen the bits but Tap Magic helps a lot.

                  The cobalt bits are a bit better on titanium but even the high speed steel
                  ones work if I am careful.

                  Since my Darex only goes to 1/2" twist drills, if I need a larger hole I use a holesaw.
                  There is a large drill adapter for it but then I would need to buy more large drill bits.

                  Now I get to sharpen bits from my neighbors and friends.

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                  Miller Dynasty 350, Dynasty 210 DX, Hypertherm 1000, Thermal Arc GTSW400, Airco Heliwelder II, oxy-fuel setup, metal cutting bandsaw, air compressor, drill press, large first aid kit, etc.

                  Call me the "Clouseau" of welding !


                  • #54
                    I have several sets of drills.........2 fraction, number and letter sets .......along with a set of stub fraction , and cobalt fraction.........that remain near the mill and pretty much only get used there.......a complete of Silver & Deming drills is also near by.

                    Near the drill press there is another large fraction pull out drawer index box that holds about 20 + drills per compartment.........this is where all the average drill bits reside........mostly are HSS and bought in bulk when I see a sale........I also have a scrap box nearby of dull drills that will eventually get re-sharped on the Drill Doctor.

                    Most important to any drilling is of course a sharp point......and then RPM, Feed & suitable lubrication...........on aluminum I use kerosene .....Hot rolled & cold rolled 1018 steel , regular cutting oil or motor oil...........Yes I have several cans of high dollar cutting fluid nearby but only use that on threading , Chromoly , stainless or other heat treated metals.


                    • #55
                      It's the Law in 37 States when you post a picture of your Darex you have to post the address and sharpen a 3# coffee can full of bits for anybody who stops by with them.
                      You forgot to put the address in the post.


                      • #56
                        You probably do have more. I buy 10 pack of a few in smaller sizes at the flea every year. I bought some 17/64 this year for punching holes for 1/4 bolts.
                        I really don't have a drill press anymore, just so rarely do any that kind of work, I torch or plasma cut bolt holes you can dam neat thread in to.
                        My neighbor has small machine shop, I been there once in recent years. .I am such a MacGyver I got it done before most get it chucked up and so much on equipment out of position.
                        I been doing it so long it's about instinct and second nature.
                        O Click image for larger version

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