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drill bits...

1461 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  chandler48
i am looking at a few sets of drill bits to fill an old cast iron drill holder base i found. it holds a 29 drill set (1/16" - 1/2" in 1/64th steps) ... a pretty common offering.

ok, so i see many of these sets... some as low as $20 and some up to close to $300. all these proclaim TiN drills, but not much more. sort of wondering how anyone else decides on this wide range of pricing... quality? i do see NAS 907 Type C referenced (certified for aerospace industry) for the higher priced sets.

i just don't want to fall into the "higher price must mean better quality" way of thinking for no good reason.
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To some extent, you get what you pay for. If you go to an industrial supplier, that sells a range of bit types, you can figure that they all have more-or-less the same mark up, and are paying for better steel, better grinding and better heat treat. And is the TiN coating thick enough to give the bit longer life, or just thick enough to give it some color and be able to slap "TiN coated" on the label ?

But it depends on what you are drilling too. Wood or aluminum, it really doesn't matter what kind of drill bit you use. Steel will wear a bit more readily (but you can re-sharpen the bigger bits).
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If i were considering a new set i'd be taking a serious look at this high speed steel Irwin set from ACE Hardware. Taken care of by using them correctly they will last most DIY'ers a lifetime.


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thanks... but there is plenty of ad-speak around... i was looking for a bit more science.
To some extent, you get what you pay for....
great points... i just wish more of this information was published in the listings... i sort of get the feeling that the good brand names feel that they will get enough word-of-mouth promotion. i do look for some hallmarks like NAS (National Aerospace Standard) ratings, but just what these mean and the levels they meet are seldom stated.
If looking for science, research why a few drops of cutting oil / fluid makes bits last longer when drilling steel. There's plenty of people stating theirs is the best.
here's some interesting information...

think i'm going to go with a short set of split point drills. at least that'll be something a bit (pun intended) different for me.
Being interested in research try sharpening one to 135° split point and report back. I'd like to learn how to do something other than what i do now.


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If looking for science, research why a few drops of cutting oil / fluid makes bits last longer when drilling steel. There's plenty of people stating theirs is the best.

The big reason is to keep the bit cool. I keep all my antifreeze and use ti for drilling fluid. It cools the bit better and there is lubrication to help the bit release the metal turning.
To some extent, you get what you pay for.
In particular regard to drill bits, I would go even a step farther and say "to a large extent you get what you pay for". If usage is minimal, just very general use around the house, and your primary objective is to fill that old index, you can get a matching set at HF. And they're not necessarily that bad, not what you want if you're going to drill more than a hole or two in a piece of angle iron, but I picked up a set one day, use them just for light duty, and they work. Going up from there you have Ace, maybe your local auto parts store, maybe a big box, and then you jump up to Grainger, Zoro, Fastenall, McMaster Carr, or other industrial house, and at each level the prices go up. I typically buy from the latter, but, again, nothing wrong with lesser priced ones for lighter use. And drills of course come in a variety of sizes, so if you happen to end up buying online the size that you're probably looking for are typically referred to as "jobber".
But if you want brand names tested, Project Farm to the rescue. Spoiler alert - Dewalt probably best value (good bits, low price), Bosch probably best bit (highest price).


Don’t buy drill bits at Harbor Freight unless you only drill really soft wood. Then don’t lean on it or the bit will bend.
the Cleveland Twist Drill Co. was founded in 1876, but i have no idea when this base was made. decided on a split point TiN set (Viking). this will probably stay by the mill...


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Check out these TTP HARD cobalt drill bits, higher price point but great reviews
TTP HARD drill bits and cutting paste in action
@BK2010 it's a 2 year old thread and the video was not helpful at all.
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