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What's with the quality of drill bits nowadays…or lack of?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FoxSpeed, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. FoxSpeed
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 385

    FoxSpeed
    Member
    from NorCal

    I am getting really pissed at the quality of drill bits I have purchased recently. I have purchased them from sears, (craftsman), kobalt, dewalt, irwin, and a few other commonly found brands.

    Now, I have been using a drill press for many years, I don't abuse them, get them overheated or other means to wreck them prematurly.

    The work I am getting out of them is 30-50 percent of prior older, (better steel) ones?

    I am getting fustrated having to sharpen the Bast**** so often.

    Anyone with a hook to some quality bits???
     
  2. Are you using any cutting oil? HRP
     
  3. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 804

    metlmunchr
    Member

    Most everything you've listed is coming out of China and won't be much better than Harbor Freight drills regardless of what they may cost.

    Probably the best drills on the market today in a standard jobber length drill at a somewhat reasonable price are the ones made by Precision Twist Drill. 135* split point drills cost just a bit more than the standard 118* ones, but they cut more freely and have a heavy duty web design that makes them stronger and less likely to break if they snag something.

    The biggest problem with most of the Chinese drills isn't poor quality steel or bad heat treating, although you will run into one here and there that's about dead soft. But the main problem is that most of them look like they might've been ground by a blind man rubbing them on a river rock. Angles are often wrong, and a lot of them aren't ground on center. So, they rub rather than cutting, or with too much relief the edge is gone in no time because there's no support behind the area doing the cutting to give it strength or pull the heat away from the edge. The off-center ones wobble as they cut and tend to cut oversize.

    I own a machine shop and have a pretty sophisticated German made drill grinder in the shop. For the most part, you can grind one of the Chinese drills on that grinder and it'll cut as good as a domestic drill and hold up about 80% as long as the domestic drill. I often do that when I've got a bunch of holes to put in hot rolled steel that may have hard spots that'll yank the end off an $8 drill just as fast as one that cost a buck or less.
     
  4. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    I bought a Drill Doctor to keep all of my old bits sharp. It's paid for itself twice over.
     

  5. low51fan
    Joined: Nov 17, 2013
    Posts: 69

    low51fan
    Member

    good post I have had the same issues and questions. thanks for the input
     
  6. Sad to see that you guys have the same problems as we do down here. It used to be if we bought name brand USA tools/parts/anything we paid heavily, but it was good gear. Now it all comes from the same sewage farm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  7. Like wise,I have a old friend that can make a dull bit as sharp as a razor blade,on the other hand I just make them duller,the drill doctor was made for people like me.

    I am fortunate to have a gallon bucket full of drill bits my granddad used when he worked at the local foundry,,some of them are probably 80 years old and the drill doctor keeps them sharp. HRP
     
  8. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,510

    jazz1
    Member

    My friend was using Bad Dog bits for drilling stainless and he said they were great, stayed sharp and none have dulled to date.
    I dont own any yet,,still using Napa's which are a quality product

    https://baddogtools.com/Bad-Dog-Drill-Bits.html
     
  9. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Nice! Having a Drill Doctor is like having a snow plow up here....you quickly find out how many "friends" you suddenly have. lol
     
  10. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,655

    gatz
    Member

    Might try MSC Supply for good/better/best........your choice

    mscdirect.com
     
  11. kendall66
    Joined: Apr 3, 2011
    Posts: 96

    kendall66
    Member
    from iowa

    X2 on the Precision Twist Drills. about the best out there.
     
  12. Kume
    Joined: Jan 23, 2010
    Posts: 920

    Kume
    Member

    which model drill doctor are y'all using ?
     

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  13. Sutton tools drill bits are just about all I use. Australian made, cut like a razor, keep their edge and are reasonably priced. Don't know if this helps you as I don't know if they're available where you live, just thought I'd give props to one of the few companies that are still manufacturing in Australia.
     
  14. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    I bought the 750X, but it's overkill. I don't have many 3/4" twist drill bits.
     
  15. Kume
    Joined: Jan 23, 2010
    Posts: 920

    Kume
    Member

    So do you think the 360X would be more than adequate for the likes of me trying to drill numerous holes in Model T frame rails and such like. I think the 360X does up to 1/2 inch and are only a about $250nz
     
  16. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    I am lucky my grandfather was a tool and die guy at allison aircraft and when he passed I inherited his T&D stuff , and have a load of Triumphs , Ford tool ( not related to FoMoCo) , and other brands , and several of them are resharpened nubins , I was taught how to grind a bit in High school to the magical 59 1/2 degrees , and have a nice little B&d grinder with a tool stone on it just for sharpening them . I need a drill doctor though . I tried my freinds , thing is handy ..
     
  17. RPM
    Joined: Feb 5, 2005
    Posts: 204

    RPM
    Member

    Try buying a few cobalt drill bits, that is all we use in the shop. They hold a good sharp edge for a long time. Cutting oil also helps. Motor oil is not cutting oil, there is a big big difference.
     
  18. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Yes. The 360 sharpens to 118 degree angle, which is fine for mild steel. If you plan to drill stainless steel or other alloys much, you might want to look at their other models that offer both 118 and 135 degree settings.
     
  19. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

    I started buying bits at swapmeets. If they break, I'm not out a lot. I remember 20 years ago, you'd get a cheap bit and IT would drill all day. Times are getting bad for the DIY guys.
     
  20. Used to work as tool and die maker . Buy yourself good quality bits from a machinest supply . Learn to sharpen your bits or at least buy a drill dr. (not my choice but will work) . buy a mac. hand book it will teach you a lot like drill ang., speed and feed rate . Use cutting oil or coolant . Some of my bits are 40 years + old and still will cut ss or what ever . Just one idea .
     
  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

    Funny you mentioned that. I'm taking a basic machine course with my welding course and I've learned a lot about using the proper bit, etc. in metal work. Pressing the trigger and pushing with all your might is NOT the proper way. But, the new bits do seem prone to break easier.
     
  22. Maakes me glad I tossed all my old dull bits in a bucket instead of scrapping them. Time to start sharpening.

    Charlie Stephens
     
  23. chinarus
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 504

    chinarus
    Member
    from Georgia

    Northern has a cheap set that lasts pretty well if u are careful
    Comes with extra sets of small bits like 1/8 and 3/32 that get used more and always break or get used more
    Less than $20 I think
    I have also had good luck with the HF step drills which are dirt cheap on sale
     
  24. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    270dodge
    Member
    from Ohio

    Since this a technical post I feel like getting technical. In 1963 I took a job to an old school German machinist. He came to the USA just before WW1 and had to be about 80 or so. I brought him some crude drawings in lead pencil on an A+P grocery sack. He looked it over and I pointed out that a critical part had to be a specific diameter and that I had a "drill bit " that was perfect. I produced the "drill bit" wrapped in a shop rag which he looked at and asked "where is the drill bit? I only see a twist drill". I answered "there it is in your hand". He then went into a dissertation about drills and bits and such that seemed to last for an hour. I'm sure that it was more like 2 minutes. It seems that the twist drill that I brought is to be chucked into a drill motor which is to be plugged into a wall outlet or can be used in a drill press or used in a lathe.
    A drill bit is another critter altogether .
    I know that it's minutia.
     
  25. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    "Made in China"
    Many so-called "American" tool companies now outsource their manufacturing. Next time you go to Home Depot or Lowes or whatever and look at where it's made. 10 to 1, China.
     
  26. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,289

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D I`ve got a set of Sears bits that are about 40 years old.Used to touch them up from time to time with a Drill Dr(R),until some sorry pile of stinking,steaming doggy doo kicked in the door of my storage trailer/work shop and cleaned out about 2 grand worth of tools.The Drill Doctor(R) did a great job of keeping the drills sharp.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  27. hellcat666
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 267

    hellcat666
    Member

    Those twister XL bits seem to be unstoppable
     
  28. never tried "precision" ,but I swear by norseman bits from fastenall
     
  29. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 742

    270dodge
    Member
    from Ohio

    I have never seen "bits" from fasten all. They do have drills.
     

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