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  • Looking for Good Drill Bits

    Back in 2006, I bought a set of drill bits from Horror Fright Tools. They were good for wood, and stuff up to mild steel. When I tried annealed tool steel, or bed rail, they would dull or snap. I replaced them as needed with bits from Acme Industrial surplus. Sometimes, I got great stuff, sometimes, I got junk.

    What I'm looking for is good quality Cobalt. I'm not looking to spend a year's pay on a set, but I am ready to lay down, perhaps, a hundred fifty or so.

    Choices:


    Irwin - Ace Hardware
    Dewalt - Lowes
    Precision - MSC
    Dormer - MSC
    Triumph - MSC
    Hertel - MSC
    Chicago-Latrobe - MSC
    Precision Twist Drill - MSC
    Cleveland - MSC

    I am really grateful for the Drill Doctor 750, and the Oregon chain sharpener 30846A with a Dremel diamond wheel. However, drill-sharpen-drill-sharpen gets old. That's why I'm looking for Cobalt. An upcoming assignment is to drill new bolt holes in a motorcycle sprocket. HARD stuff. Yes, I still make stuff out of bed rail.

  • #2
    Get some solid carbide drills for hard steel, they will just laugh at case hardened steel.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have some of all of the bottom three on your list.

      They are all good, and mostly they have a decent grind to start with, but I have pulled a drill out of the box that didn't have any back rake. Sharp and strong, but just wouldn't cut. LOL. After throwing them on the grinder they drill fantastic.

      That being said, I also have a couple of the 115 piece sets of Harbor Freight Cobalt drills. The wire sizes don't hold up all that well, but anything big enough I can see it to sharpen it does fine with an occasional trip back over to the bench grinder. I can sharpen them on the belt grinder too if I have to.

      Wire sizes don't seem to hold up really well from any brand though. If I have to do a lot of smaller size drilling like a long series of holes on the CNC I'll buy carbide drills in those sizes from Precise Bits or one of the other carbide drill manufacturers. FYI: I almost never use carbide drills for hand drilling or drilling in the lathe or the drill press. Well, not the smaller sizes. I do have a few key larger size carbide drills that'll drill manually with. They have very little flex and they will break to easily from flexing or improper federate. They are very strong, but also very brittle.
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just got some Rocky Mountain Twist drills made in Montana,been using them seem good ,these ones were HSS,but I think they make cobalt as well.

        Naici are good as well

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi,

          They all go dull. Ain't no drill ever going to stay sharp.

          That said, I like Dormer for commercial use. They are a bit more expensive, but with CNC speeds and feeds control they are worth it for moving the most metal when need to make real money.
          Cleveland used to very good, but they've slipped a bit IMO.
          Precision Twist is as good as the best Chinese drills from my experience.
          Hertel is now merely OK, the cobalt ones are too brittle I think. I quit buying them because they chip to easily when pushed. But a decent enough "value" for ordinary work.
          Triumph matches well against Chinese brands. Actually had one so soft it untwisted like a right proper Chinese version.
          Chicago-Latrobe should do us all a favor and die. I've not been impressed by anything they've made for 15 years.
          Irwin and Dewalt, all Chinese all the time I believe. Not bad for HSM use though. I've got a small HSS set of Irwins for home use. Pretty decent for that. But not for commercial shop floors.

          YMMV.
          If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

          Comment


          • #6
            I honestly think people shop at harbor freight for the same reasons
            that they visit the casino. They love to gamble with their money
            in hopes of a deal. But 90% of the time, the house wins.
            It is the addiction of the chance of getting something for nothing
            that is too strong to resist, with the casino and with harbor freight.
            Get help.

            -Doozer
            DZER

            Comment


            • #7
              Precision twist is part of Dormer nowadays and thus part of Sandvik. Maybe more of their budget brand..

              Dormer and Guhring are common pro choices around here. OSG also, pretty expensive. YG-1 has got positive comments about decent price/quality.

              IIRC some models sold by mcmaster-carr are actually OSG but their weird habit is not to tell what they actually sell..
              Last edited by MattiJ; 11-29-2018, 05:16 PM.
              Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi,

                Never bought any Guhring drills. OSG has been very good for drills. The taps have been iffy sometimes. Sometimes they last near forever and sometimes you get one hole tapped and they break. YG-1 makes some of the best powdered metal HSS roughers I've ever beat the snot out of. I've been impressed by their solid carbide drills too. Very tough stuff worth the money.
                If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Norseman and Viking drills are high quality. Both are made at the same address in St. Paul, MN
                  Kodiak cutting tools makes high quality drills in the US.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've been very happy with my Norseman cobalt drills, they range up to about $150 for a set.
                    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
                      Hi,


                      Triumph matches well against Chinese brands. Actually had one so soft it untwisted like a right proper Chinese version.

                      YMMV.
                      (guffaw) Never seen that! Would almost pay money to see.

                      Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
                      Hi,

                      Irwin and Dewalt, all Chinese all the time I believe. Not bad for HSM use though. I've got a small HSS set of Irwins for home use. Pretty decent for that. But not for commercial shop floors.

                      YMMV.
                      Dewalt has flatted shanks, now, just like Triumph. Not impressed with Irwin. Oddly, when I was doing Google searches on best cobalt bits, Dewalt and Irwin floated near the top. Really? Hmmmn. Maybe the Trump supporters were right, all the "surveys" are cooked: just pay 'em, and they'll say whatever you want.

                      Hmmm. You're right. McMaster-Carr doesn't tell you the brand.

                      This isn't going to be easy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If your drilling bed rails you need carbide.
                        A cheap alternative, believe it or not, is a masonary bit sharpened like a conventional bit. But they will work just fine right out of the box for bed rails

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ahidley View Post
                          If your drilling bed rails you need carbide.
                          A cheap alternative, believe it or not, is a masonary bit sharpened like a conventional bit. But they will work just fine right out of the box for bed rails
                          Yep, Bed frames are the same crap as rebar and steel fence posts. Garbage in garbage out...

                          I've had good luck with all of these
                          Hertel
                          Precision
                          Triumph
                          Viking
                          Norseman
                          Chicago-Latrobe
                          Cleveland

                          Comes from buying what ever is on sale
                          Mike
                          Central Ohio, USA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ahidley View Post
                            If your drilling bed rails you need carbide.
                            A cheap alternative, believe it or not, is a masonary bit sharpened like a conventional bit. But they will work just fine right out of the box for bed rails
                            I heard that! I'll have to try it. And they are not expensive! Got the green wheel for sharpening.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just put on my flame suit.
                              A drill dr is exceptional for sharpening carbide drills because it utilizes a diamond wheel. That is 100 times better than the green wheels

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