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Technical Lawson Products drill bits

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Joe H, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,544

    Joe H

    Has any had any experience using Lawson Products, Regency@ drill bits? I am looking for a new set of bits and ran across these for a decent price, just can't find much information on them. They claim USA made.
  2. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 3,315

    oldiron 440

    The only bits of Lawsons I've ever used are carbide cutters for the die grinder.
    Best I've ever had, thirty years and still work'n.
    Hnstray likes this.
  3. Paulz
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 129


    Bought a shorty set about 20 years ago. Still have them, no complaints.
    I live in an area where you can't just walk into a store and buy high quality cutting (taps, dies, drill, endmills, etc) tools, Lawson stocks our bolt bins at work so I just had the saleman add the set to our order.

    I also hear good things about Norseman drill bits but have no eperience with them.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
  4. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,950


    All drill bits are not created equal. There are several different types of drill bits with different qualities. The type of drill bit is more important than the manufacturer. Most drill bits are High Speed Steel, sometimes with varying coatings (titanium or cobalt the most common). Here's what I posted on the "'32-'53 Flathead" site about six years 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 did buy the M45 bits from Amazon in 2016 and since then, I have broken one very small bit.

  5. dalesnyder
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 610


    We use Lawson bits at work. They do well. Their step bits are good too.
    Hnstray likes this.
  6. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,544

    Joe H

    Thanks for the help, I not building a rocket, just messing around the garage. I know there are better ones out there, I just don't need them for what I do. I think these will be mid of the road or slightly better which is in my ball park!
  7. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 3,075


    My experience with "Cobalt" twist drills is that they have very thick webs, which doesn't matter initially because they are ground with split points. However when you need to resharpen them it's pretty tough redoing that split point at home.
    So after plain sharpening, you end up with a sharp drill with a very wide web, making drilling take a large amount of pressure to force the wide web into whatever's being drilled.

    Ordinary, high quality (not Chinese) HSS twist drills work really well and can be sharpened at home on an ordinary pedestal grinder.
  8. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 5,173


    speed and pressure determine the lifespan of any good quality drill bit...lubrication goes a long way too....
  9. Although I use Greenfield Industries HSS bits for carbon steel, I have used Lawson's bits. They work well.
  10. Have to admit I use Harbor Freight's titanium coated HSS bits. Can get their 1/16' - 1/2" 29 piece set for less than $20 (ocasionally around $10 o n a super sale) so can get 3 or 4 HF sets for the price of a Hansen or Dewalt. I also bit 10-packs of all the sizes below 1/4" which regularly break, regardless of brand. Have run the larger sized bits for decades, still going strong. Have to pass them across a grinding stone occasionally but same with Hansens. I know this will anger a lot of HAMBers but they have been working for me in constant use for 30 or 40 years.
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  11. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,287

    from Spring tx

    different strokes for different folks...

    I have been running CleLine set I got from Lowes. Its been holding up very well on sharpness etc. I have heard of the Lawson, and have been wanting to give them a try when these wear out or break...

    I got tired of buying 20 dollar drill bits also myself after the 5th pack, I bought the cleline and its lasted about 2 years so far, with 2 broken due to operator error... Still as sharp as new....

    Buy a good set of bits, and get good use out of them, being cheap normally costs you more in the long run....
  12. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,544

    Joe H

    I could get away with cheap drills, as I really don't use them all that often, but what I want is for them to be the right size. I read a lot of reviews on Amazon on the cheaper drill bit, most all of them said when measured, they were way off in size. This was the wire size bits #1 -#60, I use these for measuring more then drilling, so size matters.
  13. I've been using "Viking" brand bits for years. Made in Minnesota. Probably one of the best brands I've used. I also like the Dewalt "bullet" bits, the ones that are made in Germany. They have Chinese & German made ones. Have to look at the back of the package to see where there made. The Chinese ones are like $90 a set and the German made ones are around $130 a set
    Murphy32 likes this.
  14. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,535


    My take on this subject is a dull bit will drill a over size hole and wander out of position. Many import bits or sets are sharp out of the box but dull quickly. This is a bad thing and a bit drill ,endmill or any cutting tool needs to be sharp. One of the first things in your apprenticeship of the tool and die industry is learning to sharpen a drill bit. A bit of instructions and some practice will get you some good drill bits. I recommend learning to sharpen a bit and inexpensive or not will give you better results. I also recommend spotting the hole with a punch and or center drill to avoid wandering . The bit is sharpened to the materials your cutting as well but as a overall bit this wouldn’t matter.
    Budget36 and rusty valley like this.
  15. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,112

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    They used Lawson as a one stop supplier where I worked. I new I could buy cheaper if not better from several suppliers instead of one. Their quality was not a problem. This was 20 yeaqrs ago however.
  16. Feeds and speeds go a long way to a longer drill life, when in doubt go slower with the rpm's.
    continentaljohn likes this.
  17. Xtrom
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 1,029

    from Forman, ND

    I've had great luck with the Norseman brand bits.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  18. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,438


    Some time in the 70's I bought a set of high speed drill bits off the Snap-On truck. They start at some ridiculously small size and go up to 1/2 inch. The shanks on the larger bits are stepped so you can use them in a 3/8 chuck. I have used these extensively and still have the same set. I've only broken one or two of the very small bits which I have replaced. One of the best things I bought a few years ago was a Drill Doctor. When used properly it does a very good job of sharpening drill bits.
  19. I was given a box of old drill bits and tore into them with my Drill Doctor but using it is like eating potato chips – you can’t stop at just one! Now if I can just master the hand sharpening of the bits that won’t fit into the ‘Doctor.
  20. I suffered for years with bits from the box stores. I finally had enough and bought a set of cobalt bits from the Mac truck. I want my 300 some odd dollars back. They don’t drill well brand new. I suspect, like a lot of Mac stuff, they are imported. I bought a set of Norseman bits and haven’t looked back. I’ve never had a Lawson dealer but I suspect they would be good quality, their bolts are.
    loudbang likes this.
  21. Was gifted a set of Snap on bits new in the box. Cut great but the larger holes are not round?
  22. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 3,836

    from norcal

    Cheap bits suck
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  23. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 13,225


    My dad taught me how to sharpen bits as a kid. As I got older and my eye sight wasn’t as good, I bought a drill doctor. Damn good tool. I can still hand sharpen 3/8’s up on the grinder, but use the DD for smaller bits.
    I have a grinder with two stones on it, one is semi coarse, other is a fine stone. I use the coarse side to shape a broken bit, fine side to just sharpen. That is the only thing I use that grinder for.
    To help you hand sharpen a bit, get a small, say 3/8ths or 1/2in wood dowel. What you want to do is rotate it on the stone and start by making sure the “cut” get progressively deeper as you go. Another way to view it is if you look down at a bit, if the cutting edge is lower than the outer radius, that bit will never make a hole without hurting the bit;). The hard part is keeping the cutting edge and mild taper in line. You have to roll the bit in your fingers while increasing slight pressure on the stone and also raise up at the same time.
    Another thing, the “pointier” you make the bit, the quicker it will dull. Not an issue doing sheet metal and actually makes a better hole.
    As mentioned before, a punch should be used to start a hole. I always start with an auto punch, then a regular center punch and just one strike to broaden it.
    Now here’s the fun part about drilling holes, and I’ve had many a discussion with people about…some use a lubricant, my thoughts on using say WD40, etc defeats the cut. The idea is to keep the bit cool. I used soluable oil mixed with water. The mix kinda adheres to the cut and the water does the cooling. If you try straight water it boils off, the oil eliminates that.
    Why did I type this sermon? Well I have only one set of good bits and a drawer full of cheap HF, Post Tool, etc bits. The cheap ones are for the drill press where I can keep a proper pressure and constant coolant on the bit. The good ones I use in a hand drill because it’s tougher to drill and apply coolant/ fluid while drilling by hand.

    Hey, no one paid for my words, just free advice!

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