Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Drill bit recommendation

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Phil P, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 341

    Phil P

    Happy new year everyone
    I just spent 1 1/2 hrs under my daughter's car drilling out 2 5/8 studs with my brand new box store drill bits (I even used cutting oil) to fix the exhaust. I'm sure with good drill bits it would have been 1/2 hour tops. Ive sworn off cheep bits (not the only swearing being done). What bits do you use cost no object or at least upper end. Phil
    Elcohaulic, Deuces and XXL__ like this.
  2. 48jeep
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66


    When I have tried to drill a hole up to 5/8" I have found that if you are not careful the material being drilled will work harden making the job that much harder particularly with dull or soft bits. I generally start small (1/8") and work my way up. We used to use a product called Boelube that worked very well to lube and cool the bits. One of the bit manufacturers that come to mind is Hanson. Hope this helps.
    Deuces, hotrodharry2 and deathrowdave like this.
  3. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,314

    from So Cal

    I have a set of Snap On cobalt bits up to 3/8" that I use for hard to drill material. Like 48jeep said, start small and work your way up.
  4. Cobalt bits or any hardened bit for that matter
    Not sure who makes them but the snap-on thunderbits are incredible !

    S-L-O-W and STEADY WINS the race when drilling steel
    Most drills go way to fast for drilling steel google is your friend for;
    What bit in
    What steel at
    What speed
    Will work.o_O

    I like cutting fluid in a pump oil can when using my drill press or when not drill vertical with shit falling on me!
    Wurth and I’m sure there are more make a cutting wax that you rub on your bit and drill away, works great!

  5. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,897

    oldiron 440

    I've had a hard time finding new good bits, the last SnapOn bits I perchanced where not any better than the set I had bought from Fleet Farm. I have two sets of SnapOn from the eighties that have worked great but have been sharpened so many times length is an issue. I'm tempted just to blame China but I don't know.
    Deuces, RMR&C and VANDENPLAS like this.
  6. Snapon just like many other brands have there
    Lines, I try and buy quality bits as often as I cani also like buying old bits at swap meets and garage sales and sharpen them ( better quality steel)

    Canadian tire ( kinda like sears) has there own tool line and often have a 60 piece set of bit for sale for something like 50 bucks it’s basically a 10-15 pieces set with multiples of each bit, not great I think titanium coated, but for the cost and the amount you get it’s ok

    Again wurth has a line of bit that are great and so does brafasco.... a bit spendy for the “best” line but it’s nice drilling with a quality bit
    Truckdoctor Andy and Deuces like this.
  7. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,709


    As I mentioned elsewhere, when trying to drill upwards under a car, use a floor jack under the drill. You won't tire your arms out.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    VANDENPLAS, Deuces, Blues4U and 2 others like this.
  8. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,536


    I've drilled as high as 70 holes free hand in hard material with black oxide bits using axle grease for lube before they ever showed signs of dulling. Trick was to dip the bit in the grease regularly and not let it get hot. Tried the same thing with titanium coated bits. Lucky to get 10.
    Deuces and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. quickchangeV8
    Joined: Dec 7, 2010
    Posts: 415


    Was the exhaust system on the car stainless steel or regular steel? If it was stainless steel then it wouldn't matter what kind of drill bits you used; you would have an absolute brute of a time trying to drill through anything stainless with a hand held drill. I live in Ontario Canada too, and find that the drill bits at Home Hardware and Canadian Tire are just crap. I get Walter drill bits at Ideal Supply (Automotive Supply Store) and if you turn them at low speed; those bits last a very long time.
    Deuces and VANDENPLAS like this.
  10. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,692


    I have used DrillHogs with good results.They are lifetime guaranteed . I dulled up a couple being over confident and they sent replacements for no charge.
    bighemifan, Deuces and 1971BB427 like this.
  11. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,493


    I posted this a while ago :

    There's nothing like a little real world knowledge. Here's what I posted on the "'32-'53 Flathead" site about a year ago. :

    "I have done a bit more research on drill bits. What Doug said about titanium coated bits is the same as what I've found; they are good until they need to be sharpened (or the coating wears off), and the you have just another HSS bit even if you do sharpen it. I've looked a little harder at cobalt bits, and to me, they look like the answer. Cobalt bits come in 4 types; coated, M32, M45, and M56. The coated bits have the same problems as the coated titanium bits as they are just coated. I don't think we have to concern ourselves with M56 bits as the are very hard and brittle, expensive, and difficult to find. I believe they would be overkill in our garages. This leaves M32 and M45. These are both cobalt/steel alloys, so they can be sharpened and not lose their hardness and heat resistant qualities. The M32 bits are 5% cobalt, while the M45 bits are 8% cobalt. The M45's, having a higher percentage of cobalt are a little harder and more heat resistant than M32's. This also makes them more brittle and prone to breakage. Cobalt bits usually have shallower flutes and a more robust shafts than regular bits, which makes clearing chips a little more difficult. Also, they work best when used in an environment of controlled speed and pressure (think drill press).

    Moderators : Delete the following if deemed too commercial.

    After looking around, I am going to buy a set of USA made M45's by Chicago Latrobe from Amazon. They are spilt point 135 degree bits. All of their sets have stellar reviews (21 reviews with 19 5's and 2 4's in one case). Their set of bits from 1/16 to 1/2 in 64's increment is $169.50. This is a lot of dough, but if it's the last set I buy, it'll be worth it. More than one reviewer said you'll probably wear 'em out before you break 'em."

    I bought the set mentioned in 2015 and have been very satisfied with them. I had to replace one small bit, but that was because I broke it by being a little too energetic.
    Deuces and VANDENPLAS like this.
  12. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,597

    from oregon

    I ran a toolroom and bought a number of different brands of Made in USA high speed steel drill bits. That was many years ago and have heard some have gone overseas and/or have merged.
    A few of the major brands:
    Precision Twist Drill Co.
    Cleveland Twist Drill Co.
    Chicago Latrobe

    First learn to hand sharpen a drill bit, no, not with a Drill Doctor either, there are plenty of online tutorials. For the average hotrodder most of the brands nowadays will work fine as long as they are sharpened correctly. Drilling hardened materials by hand requires an electric drill with a variable trigger so not to over rpm the bit which will prematurely dull the cutting edge.

    I would scan through MSC Industrial Supplys' online catalog for a good selection.

    Good read here:

    clem, reagen, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  13. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 484


    I literally just sprung for a 115 piece Norseman set today. I chose the "brite" finish because anything beyond that would be overkill for what I do. I have an a milling machine and lathe which I use regularly for odd ball fabricating. The first time I used a quality drill bit was a game changer. But learning how to use them correctly (IE speeds and lubrication) is key to success.

    I'll report back on how they work once I start using them.

    At $200 it isn't cheap for a home shop but after reading reports of people having the same set for 20 years I figure the investment pays for itself in the long run.


    Sent from my SM-N910V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  14. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,255

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    As was mentioned, DO NOT run the drill motor at full speed when drilling any sort of steel, stainless steel, copper or brass. Hard aluminums generally fall into this thought also.
    You should be able to see the flutes as the drill bit spins. Straight, heavy pressure and cutting fluid helps greatly.

    And yes, cobalt bits are tougher and normally last longer, but also cost much more than "High Speed Steel" bits.

  15. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 720

    from Sweden

    ...but don't go up in too small steps. The idea is that the first drill should make a hole about the size of the non cutting center of the next size drill you use, just so you get rid of that "center metal" that slows down the big drill and let the entire cutting edges of it cut metal.
    If you go up small steps just the outer corners of the next size drill tip will cut metal, putting all the load on a small area and increasing the risk of chipping the corners.

    For something around 5/8" I think you just want to use two drill sizes. Something like 1/8" first probably (depending on how small you can go w/o accidently breaking it too easily in a freehand machine), and then the full size drill bit.
  16. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 341

    Phil P

    It was probably ss (catalytic converter flang) so I was drilling sideways, so it's hard to put steady preasure on the bit. I started small and the first bit did well for the first stud but gave up 1/2 through the second. It was down hill from there. I always thought you should go up in small steps but now I'll know better. Thanks for all your tips. I'll be in the market for a better set. Phil
    Deuces and G-son like this.
  17. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,115

    from so-cal

    5/8"??? or the nut was 5/8" so the bolt was 7/16", not the drilling part but trying to understand what the problem was that had you drilling in the first place
  18. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,708

    from washington

    Most hand drill motors turn way too fast. Try to get one that has a speed adjustment and use the low speed for steel.
    Use a small drill bit such as a 1/8" for a pilot hole.
    Use plenty of cutting oil and don't let the drill bit get too hot.
    ATF fluid works great especially on aluminum.
    I use a mag drill when possible so I can put more pressure and maintain a 90 degree angle on the bit.
  19. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,848


    I understand what you are saying, but I disagree. I go up in smaller increments, not tiny, but for 5/8 I would take at least 4 steps. The secret is decreasing your speed and trying to increase your pressure as the size increases, plus good lubricant. Also to keep from chipping the bits the drill needs to be held steady. Even though it’s machining, hand held is not as forgiving as a mill, press or lathe.

    Just my experiences.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    deathrowdave, Deuces, pitman and 2 others like this.
  20. These guys

    I dont know where the bits come from but I"ve had great success with them.

    Venders at Carlise. Thats how I found them.

    Deuces likes this.
  21. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,391


    Use step bits (when possible!)
    I have a set of Greenlee step bits that are GREAT! Very expensive but...who cares?!
    They were free-to-me because my kid WAS a Greenlee rep and he gave them to me for a gift.
    They are sooo sharp I need to be real careful or I will make the hole too big.
    Deuces likes this.
  22. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,342


  23. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,075

    Dick Stevens

    I purchased all of the drill bits for a major manufacturing plant that required the drilling of a lot of holes thru aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel and these 3 manufacturers all make good quality drill bits and I would recommend any of them.
    Deuces likes this.
  24. Patrick Crumley
    Joined: Sep 12, 2018
    Posts: 27

    Patrick Crumley

    Norseman makes about the best I have used. Their left handed set comes in handy.

    Sent from my moto z3 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Truckdoctor Andy and Murphy32 like this.
  25. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,088


    I was taught to start small (1/8) and skip 2 and take the third. They do want to bite if you use too much pressure. If the bit is sharp and the speed and pressure are right the waste comes out in long spirals. (mild steel)
    Deuces, 302GMC and Boneyard51 like this.
  26. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 341

    Phil P

    Sorry typo 3/8 stud. I had to drill out the stud because the threads were gone, once the studs were gone I replaced them with nuts and bolts. Phil
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  27. I have a set of Mac Cobalt bits at work. I bought them because I got tired of the shitty box store bits, but for what they cost, they are only ok, not great. Dad and I do have a set of Norseman number bits and they do work wonderfully. I told Dad, that when we win the lottery, we will never use the same bit twice! There are damn few things in life that give as much satisfaction as a good drill bit!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  28. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,188

    from red oak

    I started with a set from Mac tools 25 years ago. And when needed, I replace them with bits from Fastenal. A cheap bit isn`t a good deal when it breaks and you scratch paint. Or you have to remove it with left handed bits and easy(not easy) outs.
  29. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,877


    The Cobalt twist drills I am familiar with have a nice split, aka crankshaft point as delivered, but after the first regrind that is gone and you have the regular web. This web is much thicker than the one on a HSS drill, making the drill almost useless, even if reground on a proper grinding fixture, unless you can recreate the split point.

    So my recommendations are the same as Denny's, quality HSS drills. And practice sharpening them, because you will need to do that regularly when using them on old hard, rusty material in a hand held drill motor.
    As soon as you fail to get a nice cutting action stop and regrind the drill.
    Deuces and Boneyard51 like this.
  30. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 532

    from grandin nd

    since we are on the subject of drill bits,I try to always get bits with the 3 flats on the shank.It's about impossible to find a cordless drill any more with a good jacobs chuck.The keyless chucks are worthless for any metal work unless you have a bit with the flats cut.Even a small 3/16 bit for drilling out pop rivets will start slipping and the chuck is soon junk!

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.