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Old 04-20-2017, 11:30 AM   #1
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Good HSS drill bit set?


Hi;
I have been frustrated working with big box store "hss" drill bits. Last time, I purchased a set of Milwaukee "black oxide" bits, but they are losing their sharpness too quickly, and I'm not drilling anything really tough - mostly EMT, fence posts (I think both are galvanized steel), plastics, wood, and yesterday I ruined a 1/4" black-oxide bit drilling through asbestos siding.

So I would like to buy a good set of HSS drills, or perhaps cobalt or molybdenum, but I've read that HSS is actually better for general purpose use.
I use these bits in a 1/2" variable speed hand drill.

Additionally, I need some drill bits for masonry, including brick, but I'm not looking for a whole set of those.

Thanks for your help

FW

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:52 AM   #2
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


I agree most big box store drills are garbage. Cheap steel, they get away with selling them because most people only use them for occasionally drilling soft lumber.

You might want to try a industrial supply house, maybe someone local, or a Fastenal, or even MSC. Buy HSS made in USA. Cobalt drills are slightly harder and will stay sharper longer providing you don't chip or break them. Cobalt HSS is more brittle.

Regarding drilling asbestos, need to use carbide masonry drills. Diamond will also work but more expensive

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Old 04-20-2017, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


"Walters" brand is my go to drillbit for HSS.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


I'm afraid the prices from the vendors suggested are too high for my budget, considering I am not a pro, or doing production work.
Have any of you guys ever bought anything from Drill Hog USA on Ebay?
They have a 29 pc Molybdenum M7 set (1/16 to 1/2") for $63+ and a 21 pc for $60.

Would molybdenum be appropriate for a general use drill bit on a hand-held drill, or just go with a HSS?
I am really trying to keep from having to spend $100 or more. $60 is more in my ball park, so long as I am buying a set that I can use for most uses (not masonry or asbestos, etc of course).
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Drill bit sets have the problem that you use the common sizes much more than the rest. If you select half a dozen of the most used sizes and buy 20 of each then THAT set will last much longer.

I have for years done sharpening of knives and often people make the same complaint, the knives get dull way too fast. My first question is, do you have and use a steel? Yes, better metal will last longer but being able to restore an edge makes for a happy owner. In your case there are various drill bit sharpeners and with those and some practice 90% of your bits will last for decades. I break a few, I chip a few, and I drill through the wood into the concrete from time to time. Then I replace those bits. I think at present I have about 20 1/8th inch bits and almost as many ". It just eliminates the frustration.

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Old 04-20-2017, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Bud9051;
I like that idea, but I would like to start off with a decent set, then buy additional drills of the most common sizes. I don't do all that much drilling, but when I do, I am always having trouble with that cheap Milwaukee set. I also need some of the tap drill sizes, mainly between 6-32 and 1/4-20.
If sharpening is going to be an option, there are several things I need to think about:
1) Buy drills that sharpen well (ie; not the titanium coated ones)
2) Buy either a good sharpening machine, or a bench grinder (I think a bench grinder would serve me better, but it would certainly require me to learn how to sharpen a drill bit by hand). That said, I have read that the split bits cannot be sharpened in some of the machines.

After all of that, I have probably spent a whole lot more for sharpening tools than I would if I buy a "lifetime supply" of bits. Some of the bits I see for sale offer a "lifetime warranty". Exactly what does that mean in terms of a drill bit? Can I get a new one for the cost of shipping whenever one breaks or wears out? Seems shipping would cost more than a new bit (assuming no shipping charges for the new ones).

There was a good tool store local to me, but I am afraid that all such local businesses have gone away, thanks to the big-box stores.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


"Seems shipping would cost more than a new bit (assuming no shipping charges for the new ones)."
You are not supposed to question their advertising, just buy and learn afterwards that shipping will cost more than the drill replacement. As for which ones, I'm afraid I haven't been very fussy and just about anything has met my drilling needs.

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Old 04-21-2017, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


I'm wondering if drilling technique might be part of the problem here.

The drill bits dulling quickly and not holding an edge could be a sign of bits that have been overheated/softened.

Do you ever check temperature of your bit while drilling ?

In harder materials, do you drill pilot holes ?

In thicker materials (regardless of hardness) do you pull the drill bit back occasionally to help clear cuttings ?

Do you use a cutting oil or drill lubricant when drilling metals ?

Asbestos siding and other materials (such as drywall), are abrasive and are rough on drill bits. So even though we might think of them as soft, they can dull bits rather quickly. I tend to use sacrificial drills bits for them, not my good ones.

Do you change the rpm of the bit based on bit size and hardness of material ?
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Try locating a local machine shop supply to possibly buy bits individually when you screw one up from the set, especially the smaller bits and sharpen the larger more expensive bits.

Forget about all the Titanium and that sales pitch BS and buy HSS ( high speed steel ) bits for general use. A good HSS set is all you need.

As mentioned, use cutting fluid when drilling steel. Just a drop a second is much better than none and incorrect RPM is what screws up a large majority of larger bits. But for your 6-32 and 1/4" drilling for tapping most home owner equipment won't run fast enough to be concerned with RPM.

Tip - If there isn't a specific reason for 1/4"-20 consider 1/4"-28. It has advantages I won't go into in this post.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:18 PM   #10
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Now I'm not exactly sure what an "HSS" drill bit is. Would the molybdenum be considered an HSS bit, or is that a different animal?
To answer some of the questions being asked:

Cutting fluid/oil: I have to admit that most of the time I forget to use it.

Pilot holes: Yes. I always drill pilot holes.

Temperature: I have never checked the temperature of a bit. What method should I use? I have both a thermocouple and a non-contact IR thermometer.

1/4-20 vs 1/4-28: I have both 1/4/-20 and 1/4-28 taps. I don't have many fine-thread bolts though. Might be time to buy some.

I am going to look around for a local machine shop supply where I can get single bits at a reasonable price.

Is sharpening a drill bit very difficult? Is it something I could do if I had a bench grinder, or would it be better to purchase a drill bit sharpening machine?

Thanks for your help guys;

FW
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:03 PM   #11
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Nothing that fancy, I just touch the tip of the bit with a finger. If I have pain/jerk away, it's getting too warm for my liking. Time to cool it down, or change it.

If you think it is really hot, touch the bit about 1/2 way down,then 3/4, before touching the tip.

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Old 04-21-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Ultrarunner2017 QUOTE:
Some of the bits I see for sale offer a "lifetime warranty". Exactly what does that mean in terms of a drill bit?

************************************************** ********
Taken from the old adage " a warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on " needs to go one step further and read " the warranty on these bits isn't worth the toilet paper it's written on ". You will be considered to have done something wrong every time. Never fails.

NAPA has a set of 13 HSS bits by Balkamp for $36.72 that will be useful in most of the smaller size needs for home owner / DIY 'ers. Then hopefully as funds become available a 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2" could be purchased individually as needed.

NAPA also has a 29 pc set by Balkamp but out of your price range at the moment.

With good instruction most anyone can learn to sharpen bits using a bench grinder. The problem with learning that on the internet is that there just isn't much there worth watching. I can't get something else clicked on quick enough when I see a fellow using the side of the grinding stone to sharpen a bit. PITIFUL!!!
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Ultrarunner2017 QUOTE:
Some of the bits I see for sale offer a "lifetime warranty". Exactly what does that mean in terms of a drill bit?

************************************************** ********

NAPA has a set of 13 HSS bits by Balkamp for $36.72 that will be useful in most of the smaller size needs for home owner / DIY 'ers. Then hopefully as funds become available a 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2" could be purchased individually as needed.

NAPA also has a 29 pc set by Balkamp but out of your price range at the moment.

With good instruction most anyone can learn to sharpen bits using a bench grinder. The problem with learning that on the internet is that there just isn't much there worth watching. I can't get something else clicked on quick enough when I see a fellow using the side of the grinding stone to sharpen a bit. PITIFUL!!!
I found the drill bits on NAPA. I guess the "heavy duty" are a better choice than the standard? So many different sets with such a wide price range. I guess if I had limited my search, I wouldn't be looking at those cobalt sets for $275.
I only had a quick look on the site. I saw a 12pc set of masonry bits for $26.49 that also caught my interest. I need to drill some small holes for wire clamps on the outside of my house. But I really need only one or two sizes for that job.

Just curious; what advantage/disadvantages do the molybdenum have over HSS? They are more expensive, but not by much. I didn't see any on NAPA (on the 2 pages I looked at), just curious.
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Old 04-22-2017, 05:59 PM   #14
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


this should help

http://www.liquisearch.com/drill_bit...tics/materials

regarding the masonry drills, packs of Tapcons screws often contain the needed pilot drill
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:21 PM   #15
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Re: Good HSS drill bit set?


To provide a reference, this is the drill bit set I currently own, and which I have been wanting to replace.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee...2801/100670139

Despite the great advertising on the HD site, nowhere does it say what type of steel these bits are of. Are they HSS? If so, I assume that it is not a high quality steel.

I am basing my search for a new set on these, so I may be somewhat biased against HSS, if that is what these are. Of course I do understand that there is good HSS and bad HSS, just as with any other material. So I will clear my head of what I now think about HSS and probably find that a good HSS bit will be all that I need.

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