View Full Version : Drill sets

10-18-2001, 11:37 PM
I recieved a sale ad from Harbour Frieght selling a 115 pc. Titanium HS drill set for $40.00. Can someone out there tell me if that is a good deal or am I just buying off shore junk. Some of the stuff I see from China is not even usable. I get the feeling some of you don't like HF. I have never delt with them, But I need a set of number & letter drills so I just want to know what you guys think. Thanks for your input.

C. Tate
10-19-2001, 07:46 AM

IMO stay away from Harbour Freight. The cheapest of the cheap is what they carry. I have never seen anything in one of those places I would sell to the scrap dealer let alone put in my shop. I took a quick look at MSC and they have a made in U.S. set with all sizes for $145. They have an import for $40 also. Most all of the import cutting tools I have used out of MSC have been good quality, not the best, but certainly adequate for the home shop.

I fully understand budget restrictions and if all you can do is the $40 import right now then go for it. Having a cheap drill is better than no drill at all.

Try auctions at plant closings and ebay. I bought 0-6, tenth read, ratchet stop Mitutoyo mics in wood case with standards for $250 on ebay. They were hardly used.

Good Luck

10-19-2001, 08:11 AM
A $40 drill set is...a $40 drill set. Personally, I strongly suspect you'd basically be wasting your money.

Watch out for MSC's bargain items, too. I think that MSC's low-priced stuff sometimes falls into the "junk" category, so you need to watch out there; of course, MSC also sells medium and premium quality.

I've found that Travers Tool Co. seems to sell only "usable" quality stuff. Their selection is not as large as MSC's, but I think even their low-priced stuff is good enough not to be a waste of money. They don't seem to carry the bargain junk level. (Usual diescalimers all around....)

10-19-2001, 09:17 AM
I bought my made in USA 115 set from J&L on sale for less than $100.

10-19-2001, 09:50 PM
Thanks guys, I kind of thought they would be junk. I'm in no rush. Have lots of the inch size drills so woll get a USA set one day.

10-19-2001, 10:46 PM
Bad drill bits abound. A good indicator is a low priced tool TiN coated (usually just carbon steel coated to keep it sharp for 5 seconds)

I bought a set of "Norseman" 135* Split points in (I forget the exact alloy)M7 or M42 Moly Tool Steel. Best drills I have ever bought! They are made in St. Paul, MN and it even came with a Hout index. I paid about $200 (US)- worth every dollar. They make Taps & dies in the same alloy - they are far better than my Osborn Blue Wizards and a whole lot lower price.


10-19-2001, 11:04 PM
$90 bucks plus seems to be the magic number! I have a set of Hertel bits (115 in number)good quality and have only replaced a few due to my screw ups! Similar prices give similar quality.
P.S. you get what you pay for, but I have a wonderful quick change tool post and holders for $90 (piston type, watch the static! )from Harbor Freight. They just fit my 12"x36' Craftsman/Atlas and do the job well at that power level and use. Watch what you buy and you'll do ok. They are great for one time use stuff..short project, etc.

Ben Shank
10-26-2001, 10:23 PM
I wouldn't buy a set of drills myself. I buy what I need as I go, from the local tool supplier who has top quaility bits. There are some sizes that I have never used in the many years of I have been drilling holes. I get a price break by buying them in the package lots {usually 6 in the smaller sizes). The same thing with taps and dies, what I need. I think it's a waste to tie up money in tooling you don't use.

10-26-2001, 11:14 PM
I purchased a set of these for drilling in wood and other general 'round the house' work and they are fine for that. Otherwise they are complete crap.

I agree with the earlier poster that said they purchase what they need when they need it, and get a much higher quality bit in the process.

James Kilroy

10-27-2001, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the great input everyone.
I certainly should know better and I could not agree more. buy only what you need and I only need half a dozen to pick up the small machine screw taping sizes. Sure do like this chat line!

10-28-2001, 08:50 AM
Hmmm...I like the drill sets, and I find that over time I use nearly all the drills. A while ago, just to check on that, I started putting any drill I used back in the index point down. After a year or so, I found that nearly all the drills were point down. I'd used them, for something. The letter-size drills were the least used, but the number- and fractional-size had seen widespread use. Obviously though, other people have different drill-use patterns than I do.

I will agree that there is little or no point in buying a set of reamers. I can't imagine ever using a 23/64" reamer for anything, for instance. If that obscure day ever comes, I can buy one. In the meantime, I have some common fractional sizes, maybe a dozen in all, and that seems to be plenty.

10-29-2001, 12:29 AM

I agree with SGW, if you can afford it a premium 115 Pcs. set is a good thing in the long run. I would not buy special bits or reamers unless I require them for a project.
I only buy reamers as I need them...unless, there ia a fire sale at "Tim The Tool Dude's Cool Stuff Emporium". Hell, I even bought solid carbide taper reamers for $5 that are non-standard ex-aerospace - because, well...they were $5 !!! Keep me away from surplus and discontinued bins...