View Full Version : Where to get replacement drill bits?

03-09-2006, 04:37 PM

My drill set is missing some of the smaller
twist drill bits like #51, #43, #44,
etc.and I want to replace them with cobalt
drill replacements. Unfortunately it seems
that the large tool houses like Enco or
Ebay sell them in 12 piece quantities.
Anyone recommend a place where I can
purchase individual drill bits at a
reasonable price? Amazon seems to use a
company called VME (Victor Machinery
Exchange) and one called Precision Twist
Drill Co. Does anyone have any opinion
on the quality of their products?

Pat Young

03-09-2006, 04:42 PM
Not familiar with VME, but Precision Twist Drill makes fine products. I can't say there aren't others that are better, but PTD's are certainly good enough for me.

For those smaller drills, I'd consider just going ahead and getting pkgs of 12. They're not hard to break.

[This message has been edited by lynnl (edited 03-09-2006).]

03-09-2006, 04:56 PM
Have you chekced Mcmaster-carr? I'm sure they carry your size and they have regular cobalt steel as well as coated cobalt steel and several normal varities of coated M2 HSS bits. Don't know how their price suits you, but i've found them to be fairl decent. Not always a great bargain, but then some of the stuff is alot cheaper then buying through say home depot.

03-09-2006, 05:54 PM
Enco has various name brand bits, so does MSC, I would check the above for prices then goto Ebay.

The tame Wolf !

03-09-2006, 05:59 PM
I maybe wrong but I think www.KBCtools.com (http://www.KBCtools.com) sells drill bits in singles.

03-09-2006, 06:19 PM
macmaster-carr i just orderd a bunch of small screwmachine drills to fill out my index. they sell the smallest one at a time.

03-09-2006, 06:44 PM

Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

03-09-2006, 07:03 PM
Small Parts www.smallparts.com (http://www.smallparts.com) sells singles, and I think Travers www.travers.com (http://www.travers.com) does too.

Al Messer
03-09-2006, 08:45 PM
Coles' Power Models also sells singles in Numbered size drill bits.

03-09-2006, 10:41 PM
Precision is one of the only large producers of drill bits still in the country. They also make the Triumph brand.
Very good drills

J Tiers
03-10-2006, 12:36 AM
Victor is fine, I do quite a bit with them. They often have USA and import, your choice

But PTD is indeed USA, and while not maybe the highest quality (think hardware store sets as their low end) are fine.

Unless you are using cobalt drills in their "zone", which is drilling stuff where heat is an issue, use regular HSS.

Cobalt is more brittle, and isn't "just a higher quality drill". It is a drill for a particular purpose. It is no better, and may be worse, for other things than what it is best for. Particularly for small drills, I'd say. You almost surely won't go fast enough to heat them, but fragility is an issue.

03-10-2006, 06:17 AM
Hi Pat,

All of the online suppliers sell drill bits in onesies.

Try MSC http://www.mscdirect.com , J&L Industrial Supply http://www.jlindustrial.com , Reid Tool Supply http://www.reidtool.com , and McMaster-Carr http://www.mcmaster.com

I buy all my stuff from McMaster-Carr. Great folks to deal with. Been around for 105 years.


[This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 03-10-2006).]

03-10-2006, 07:41 AM
If you broke or lost one, what makes you think it won't happen again?

Packaged drill bits are oftem cheaper than single, and by the time you add shipping costs plus the time spent trying to find one, you will probably be better off buying a pack.

This is a good way to start building an inventory so when you braek a NO. 52 drill on Saturday night, you can still finish the project.

BTW, J T is correct on the cobalt issue. Get good quality HSS for general shop work.

03-10-2006, 02:47 PM
For what it's worth
I bought a set of Chinese bits marked HSS, number drills, fractional drills and alphabetical drills. It was a good price but now I look at it I'll have to sharpen every one of them. That'll keep me busy for a while but the #60 will requre a light touch and a microscope


03-10-2006, 04:51 PM

lol...oh how i miss the drill drawer!

Most used/lost drill in my collection, #7


Ron LaDow
03-10-2006, 04:57 PM
I bought one of the 'universal' sets from Enco or KBC several years ago. Per Kf, they all needing sharpening, but the real problem is that practically none of them were anywhere close to the proper diameter. They were certainly cheap and worth every penny.

Ron LaDow
03-10-2006, 04:58 PM
Oops; needs additional info
This was one of the letter/number/fraction sets that sold for $19.95 or some such foolishness.
I've since bought another set (say $120 or so) and they are just fine.

03-11-2006, 06:36 PM
Ron LaDow
I miked a few of the drills and found them 1 to 3 thous small except for one which was dead on. Maybe the Chinese are smarter than we think and allowed for the fact that most drills make a bit oversized hole--or maybe they figured on using a 1/4" drill then a 1/4" reamer

03-11-2006, 06:47 PM

No they (China) make twist drills smaller so they use less metal, and can ship more sets per ton to US http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

03-11-2006, 06:51 PM
I have a local mom and pop hardware/industrial store that sells the individual bits and may I add, they are high quality made in the USA drill bits. Too bad they are in storage, im curious to know who makes them, cant remember.

03-11-2006, 08:54 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by snowman:
[BMost used/lost drill in my collection, #7
I hear you on that one. I make 1/4-20 NC holes the most frequently.
I agree with QUALITY even for the extra price. I have had El Cheapo drill sets for $20-$40. The can't hold an edge with any kind of heat, and they sharpen terribly.
When I was forced into machining for a paycheck, I was given a 3 piece Huot drill drawer set, with at least 8-12 drills per slot. 1/2" down to 64th's, all letter, and number 1 - 80. The were all PTD, Triumph, Dormer, UnionB, National, Guhring. Most M2 HSS but with several M42 CoBalt. It was a terrific gift since I had bought several pieces of machinery from a retiring machinist.
What a difference in cutting stamina, and hole quality compared to the cheapies. I would venture to say many of the number drills are at least 20 years old and have been resharpened down at leat 1/2 from their original screw or jobber lengths. If I am doing serious production drilling and a bit starts to show sign of hole deformation, I open the drawer and put another one of the same size in the chuck. I resharpen all drills about once a month and put them back. It's nice to have at least a few of each size.
I recently had a big job involving drilling 1" diam. X 1" deep holes in stainless and then tapping 1/4-20 X 1" deep. I bought a Dormer CoBalt 1/2 " X/64th set. They lasted longer drilling stainless than the HSS bits. I only had cobalt for the first 1/2" of step drilling to get to the 31/32 before reaming the 1" hole. I used my PTD Thunderbits for holes 33/64 to 31/32. The 31/32 bit drilled 24, 1" deep holes in stainless with strong coolant before needing to be sharpened.
So my point, go with quality!

03-12-2006, 09:37 AM
Why not buy a couple complete sets so when you break the next one, you don't have to run to the store, or order online?
Or maybe order a pack of ten of each of the ones you break/use the most?
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.

daryl bane
03-12-2006, 11:25 AM
I would like somebody to sell the complete set(good US stuff) without the metal box. I would buy 3 or 4 sets and put them in my drill drawers.