View Full Version : Drill sets

07-14-2001, 11:20 AM
Looking to buy 115 pc. drill bit set for general purpose work. Any suggestions as to make and style. I see the imports are a lot cheaper but haven't done to well with imported cutters. I get MSC and Travers books. They list a bunch of them but would like some input from you guys. Thanks, Todd

Ron LaDow
07-14-2001, 01:57 PM
Pretty much 'get what you pay for'. I got one of the import sets a couple of years ago. The index is printed with an ink that comes off the first time you get oil on it. I measure 'em anyway, but that only points out that the diameters don't match the standards.
I wouldn't buy an import set again, but I'll use these until they're gone.

07-14-2001, 02:52 PM
I agree with Ron. I'd get good ones. If you wait for one of the MSC or Travers sale flyers, you can get made-in-USA drill sets for fairly resonable money.

At some point you may also want to think about getting a screw machine set. I got one of the fractional 135 degree split point screw machine drill sets a while ago, and I love 'em. But get the jobber set first. You can get by with just those.

[This message has been edited by SGW (edited 07-14-2001).]

07-14-2001, 09:22 PM
Ditto on the made in USA stuff. It'll cost you about 1-1/2 times more, but well worth it. I got a 115 set of imports once, they cut great in wood, but wouldn't even start in metal. They were pure crap. Paid the extra for a USA set and they work great.

07-14-2001, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the input, that's pretty much what I figured. Seems to be quite a difference in price between "made in USA" and the big names, like Chicago Latrobe and Cleveland Twist Drill. Are the "made in USA" sets any good or just a step above the imports? Don't see why the "made in USA" sets don't name the manufacturer.

07-15-2001, 10:54 AM
I expect the "made in USA" sets are okay. They may be Precision Twist Drill, Hansen, or Union Butterfield, any of which are high quality. Or they may be something else, equally good. There is no magic about Cleveland Twist Drill or Chicago Latrobe, except they seem to be MSC's featured manufacturers.

If in doubt, buy a couple of individual "made in USA" drills and try them out.

07-15-2001, 12:35 PM
I've had really good luck with the Hertel 115-pc set that J&L sells - lists for $145 but seems to be on sale pretty often for around $90.

Try www.jlindustrial.com (http://www.jlindustrial.com) - the sets don't seem to be on sale this month but maybe next month.

07-15-2001, 11:55 PM
My experience with drill sets has been that the magic number is about $90 U.S. for a 115 piece set. I have had a Hertel set at work for five years and I do tool steel, Al., plastics. I have had no trouble with it and only replaced two drills due to my own clumsiness. Some of the cheaper sets drill only as well as the hammer you hit them with!

John Olson
07-25-2001, 03:24 AM
The way that we do it is to buy USA made bits in single pacs i.e. fractional set then get a numbered set then a letter set or however. we have found that we get better value by purchaseing this way than by getting the large sets. Most of the tooling catalog companies send out sale flyers and you can get some good deals this way.


John Olson
07-25-2001, 03:33 AM
The "made in USA" bits are usally made and sold to and for the tool supply companies as there bulk products and most are made by companies that are jobbers to the larger companys.

08-21-2001, 04:38 AM
My "Made in the USA" set is made by Norseman out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They are a "high moly alloy" 135* splitpoint. They go through 304 stainless like you would not believe. Mine comes in a Hout 115Pc box and was $395 (Canadian - about $200 US). I like their taps and dies as well - cut better than my Osborne Warrior & Blue Wizards.

Stay away from "bargain" imports or at least sample one first.

08-22-2001, 01:15 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SGW:
At some point you may also want to think about getting a screw machine set. I got one of the fractional 135 degree split point screw machine drill sets a while ago, and I love 'em. But get the jobber set first. You can get by with just those.

I've seen the reference to jobber length and screw machine, but what is the difference?

[This message has been edited by willjordan (edited 08-22-2001).]

08-22-2001, 07:41 PM
Screw machine drills are shorter and therefore stiffer, with somewhat less tendency to wander especially if you get split point drills.

Jobber length drills are what you see all over the place.

There are also "taper length" drills that are somewhat longer than jobber length, which can be handy sometimes. I'd buy those one at a time on an as-needed basis, if the need ever arises.

Get yourself a copy of the MSC catalog (it's free; see www.mscdirect.com) (http://www.mscdirect.com)) for illustrations of all of these, and more. They have 146 pages of just drills. Like the rest of the catalog, it's mind-boggling.

09-24-2001, 10:56 PM
One other aspect - the US drillsets tend to
come in US boxes and they are much better than the Chinese boxes. It pays to check the
box the set comes in as well, some of the
Chinese boxes literally can't be opened and the drill holders don't fan well. Longevity is a problem. Steve

09-24-2001, 11:12 PM
I bought the 115 pc. "Made in USA" set on sale from MSC about 9 years ago, and I've been pretty happy with them. They're a little softer blank; i.e. you can mark them with the drill chuck jaws if you really yard down on it. By the same token, if you spin them, you can really waste the shank. My shop buys cobalt-split point drills and the difference is like night and day, exp. on tougher materials.

Yeah, and I liked the box, too. The nice Huot one. That's work about 20 bucks alone....


10-09-2001, 12:09 PM
T-Slot, you can get the 115 piece set from
KBC TOOLS & MACHINERY 1-800-668- 5615.
They also have a website www.KBCTOOLS.com (http://www.KBCTOOLS.com)
I've used this company for years and have found them very reliable. Orders are usually filled the the same day. Have a look at their site.