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  #1  
Old 07-28-2019, 4:19 PM
markgrubb markgrubb is offline
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Default Drill Bits

Want to buy new drill bits for general shop use in a wide variety of materials: Aluminum, Steel, Fiberglass, Cardin Wood. Fractional numbered and metric. I work on a lot of composite German aircraft.

Understand “Getting what one pays for”.

Why do most bits not drill truly round holes? Any that do or does one need to ream holes to make them round?

Any input on Harbor Freight nitride bits for general shop use?

Thanks, mark
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2019, 5:03 PM
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What it comes down to is you get what you pay for. Buy cheap = inferior product. Yes, it does happen that once in a while the planets line up, the tide is high and the moon is at the precise degree location and your cheap product was spectacular. You can't count on it. If you demand precision, don't go for the blue light special.
Having said all that, generally available drills aren't sharpened correctly from the factory from the get-go. If a drill doesn't cut a round hole, the point is not centered, one lip or cutting edge will be longer than the other.
Harbor Freight doesn't scream quality but if you're bargain shopping, that's what they're there for.
Nitride or any coating on a drill for general use is a gimmick and is a waste of the extra cents it cost over a bright or black oxide finish.
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Old 07-28-2019, 6:26 PM
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What brand is quality? Most holes appear tri-lobed.
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Old 07-28-2019, 6:38 PM
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DO NOT buy HF drill bits.
there junk.

I use the Dewalt cobalt drills a lot.
the common drills I use the most, I buy 10 at a time from Mcmaster Carr

and no drill bits don't make a perfect hole.
I use reamers.
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Old 07-28-2019, 6:48 PM
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HF are not good

For thin materials, the step style sheet metal bit is better than a twist bit as it does not tear out the material
The HF ones are great for $14/2. Good step bits are $45& up

If you want a round hole- use a mill

If you want a decent hole- a pillar drill/ drill press

It all depends on the specs of the work.

Milwaukee and dewalt make good bits

Hard bits are too fragile to use in non hard material. I’ve broken too many cobalt bits when I really did not need to be using a great bit.
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Old 07-28-2019, 6:51 PM
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The sheet metal / step bit
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Old 07-28-2019, 6:54 PM
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And the expensive version

https://www.mcmaster.com/metal-drills
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Old 07-28-2019, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
I work on a lot of composite German aircraft.
You build or repair aircraft, yet you need advice on what general purpose drill bits to buy? Color me intrigued.

Generally, you can't expect to get precision holes with a drill. So just forget about that. Reaming a hole might get you what you want, or better yet, boring the hole.

What exactly are you trying to do?
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Old 07-28-2019, 9:22 PM
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Uhhh, drill better holes?

Was curious as to what I might learn or if I had missed any evolution in drill bits. So far, nada.
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Old 07-28-2019, 9:56 PM
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What HB said. Get yourself a proper drill index from McMaster. Airplanes and fractional bits...? Say what? Browntool.com is a good place for proper tools. Watch out for the imported stuff though.


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  #11  
Old 07-28-2019, 10:01 PM
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Also, check the drill and operator. Bomb sighting and drill guides also make better holes.


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  #12  
Old 07-28-2019, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Uhhh, drill better holes?
Better holes come from a more rigid setup.
Round holes come from boring, reaming and honing.

Holes made with 2 flute drill bits don't come out round because the 2 flute design is not self centering.
A 2 flute drill bit wanders around as it cuts.
You need more than 2 flutes to get a round hole.
3 or more flutes dramatically reduce the ability of the bit to wander within the hole that is being drilled.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:19 PM
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Agree that McMaster rocks, especially the aviation section. Always the best stuff but somewhat expensive. Brown tool, not so much in my experience.

Reread original post. General shop use as well as aircraft. German aircraft are almost all metric fasteners. If not metric, then fractional. No numbered sizing.

Let me rephrase my Simple question:

What brands and sources do you prefer for quality drill bits sets at decent prices?
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Let me rephrase my Simple question:

What brands and sources do you prefer for quality drill bits sets at decent prices?
Stick with USA made tools like Triumph, Chicago Latraobe, L&I, Greenfield etc...
Different materials will require different geometry tools.
You will NOT find one drill bit that works well in all of those materials.

Get a GOOD drill bit sharpener and you will not need to buy very many more drill bits as you can re-sharpen good quality bits over and over until they are too short for your use.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:27 PM
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AR15: Thanks for the cogent explanation! Truly appreciated.

What brand and source do you prefer for general use?

Thanks Again!
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:29 PM
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Who makes a “Good” bit sharpener?
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2019, 10:32 PM
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My 118 degree HSS bits are Chicago Latrobe.
My 135 degree colbalt bits are Precision Twist Drill and Triumph.
My sharpener is a Darex M5 and I have the necessary parts to go all the way up to 1" diameter twist drills.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:57 PM
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Thanks AR15. Much appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2019, 7:19 AM
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mcmaster Carr is a good source for individual bits
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2019, 7:14 PM
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I work on aircraft as well. Cobalt and carbide are the best bits you can find. Also have you ever used a drill bushing? It wont completely take the triangle out, but it helps! What we do especially for interference fit holes is ream to final size. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2019, 8:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Who makes a “Good” bit sharpener?
My pedestal grinder is a Delta. I run a white stone on it and do all my drill bits freehand. Carbide tools are done on another grinder with a green stone. Once you understand the principles and geometry of a drill bit, you can sharpen anything.

If you're serious about your work, you MUST learn to sharpen freehand. Sharpening jigs that you can buy for less than four figures are gimmicky little tinker-toys. They will bring you nothing but sadness. They're tedious to use, and limiting in their utility.

It will be hard to learn without a sensei, but I'm sure you can find something on Youtube. A wonderful resource is "Handbook for Drillers" published by the Cleveland Twist Drill Company in the early part of the twentieth century. I just googled it and found the ninth edition online. I have the eleventh sitting here on my bookshelf. Read the book, learn, watch some videos.

Once you think you understand, practice your newfound knowledge on a 3/16 to 5/16 high-speed drill. That's an easy size to start with. Then drill some holes and see what happens.

No relief, and the drill won't cut. Too much, and the edge will chip. If you're cutting brass, too much relief will "feed" the bit into the work. Once you have all that down, then you can worry about cutting speed and feed rate. Drilling holes really IS a science.
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Old 07-30-2019, 9:21 PM
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Thanks for the sage advice. My current “sharpening device” is an old-school Austrian named Harald. All done freehand. Awesome results. He is a suboptimal teacher, though. I will learn....
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
My pedestal grinder is a Delta. I run a white stone on it and do all my drill bits freehand.

If you're serious about your work, you MUST learn to sharpen freehand. Sharpening jigs that you can buy for less than four figures are gimmicky little tinker-toys.
I'm serious about my work, but I also see the value in repeatability that you get with a real sharpener.
I can sharpen a drill bit by hand when needed, but my $1000+ Darex (all steel, not plastic crap!) does is so much better and faster than I can do it by hand.
I use that sharpener almost daily because I am spoiled by how nice it is to use sharp drill bits.
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2019, 6:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Round holes come from boring, reaming and honing.
Honing will make an already round hole more precise for custom fits.
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Old 08-01-2019, 8:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Stick with USA made tools like Triumph, Chicago Latraobe, L&I, Greenfield etc...
Different materials will require different geometry tools.
You will NOT find one drill bit that works well in all of those materials.

Get a GOOD drill bit sharpener and you will not need to buy very many more drill bits as you can re-sharpen good quality bits over and over until they are too short for your use.
What do you recommend for sharpening bits?
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markgrubb View Post
Who makes a “Good” bit sharpener?
Drill Doctor by Darex. I've had one for many years, as a mechanic I needed sharp bits for general use. They aren't terribly expensive.
I use HSS bits, they work and are easy to resharpen. I buy them from the local industrial supply as needed, no Chinese bits.
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Old 08-02-2019, 9:45 AM
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I don't recommend the Drill Dr. Thing is a plastic pile of crap. If you can't afford a real darex or justify the cost. Learn how to sharpen off a snag grinder or just toss the drill in the trash and buy new. If you don't know what a snag grinder is just throw your bits in the trash and buy new
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Old 08-02-2019, 9:59 AM
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I thought the 9mm was for drilling round holes.
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Old 08-02-2019, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
What do you recommend for sharpening bits?
Look for a used Darex M3 or M5.
They have not made them in probably 20 years, but they still pop up for $300 to $500.

Avoid any of the consumer grade (plastic) sharpeners like the Drill Doctor.
They are a joke compared to a real shop grade tool.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:56 PM
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cobalt is the way to go
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baih777 View Post
DO NOT buy HF drill bits.
there junk.

I use the Dewalt cobalt drills a lot.
the common drills I use the most, I buy 10 at a time from Mcmaster Carr

and no drill bits don't make a perfect hole.
I use reamers.

THIS!


In some situations brad points help but that's not for metal.
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Old 08-17-2019, 1:24 PM
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I was told that Cle Line are good bits

You can find them in many Home Depot stores- easier than a specialty shop
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Old 08-17-2019, 1:28 PM
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Home Depot prices can be fairly competitive on this line

https://www.homedepot.com/s/cle%2520...suggest&NCNI-5

135 degree index
https://www.homedepot.com/p/CLE-LINE...1129/300046839

In stock at my local depot
https://www.homedepot.com/p/CLE-LINE...8131/206378184

https://www.homedepot.com/p/CLE-LINE...8131/206378184

Cle-line uses a variety of steel for their bits

Many sets look the same but the material can widely vary.
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Old 08-17-2019, 2:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
I was told that Cle Line are good bits
Cle-Line appears to be Cleveland Twist Drill but I can't find if it's USA or imported.
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Old 08-18-2019, 8:39 AM
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I agree with AR15's recommendations. In my experience you can't buy good drills from a box store. Roundness of a hole is a matter of tolerance. You can drill a very round hole with a properly sharpened drill bit. If you drill a pilot hole the size of the drills web, you reduce the out of roundness because the larger drill will follow the path of the hole. The out of round condition is a percentage of the drill diameter, so the pilot hole reduces it due to the small diameter. Of course if your machine is stout like a mill, you don't need the pilot hole unless your drill bit has long flutes. I use mostly jobber-length HSS bits. Be wary of drills advertised as cobalt. There are great cobalt bits, but there's a trend to sell cobalt-coated bits. Good ones are cobalt steel all the way through. BTW, I do use a Drill Doctor. It can work good for you if you're careful with your technique. They're not foolproof. My work hasn't justified the cost of a Darex. I use the Drill Doctor on drills 1/4" and up. Smaller than that I get 10-packs and toss them when they're dull.
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