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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:00 pm 
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I now need to start buying some drill bits, in the past for steel I always used "Dormer" jobber bits, as for wood and masonry, a right mixture, there are so many makes out there now I haven't got a clue, I would prefer quality, rather Chinese crap, any and all recommendations welcome. Thanks Nos


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:49 pm 
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Last few years I have always used Axminster own brand with no problems.

https://www.axminster.co.uk/

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:59 pm 
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I tend to use blunt ones in the main :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:55 pm 
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for wood up to 1/2" just hss bits for most things
of course your chuck may be 5/16ths /8mm so you need reduced shank like spade bits
all depends on use and driver available really

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Hilti for masonary and steel,Irwin for auger and spade.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:15 pm 
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At the risk of people hating me (again) I'll give you a list (you'd expect nothing less from me, I'm sure).

For drilling metals, which in may case can mean aluminium profile, thin steel sheet, thick extruded steel box beams (electric arc steel) and (my favourite) stainless steel I've moved completely over to using M42 HSS (also called Cobalt steel) twist drills. Forget tool steel drills or M2 HSS because they simply don't cut it with a lot of the stuff I need to drill on site. I have to say that I rarely need to drill above 10mm in diameter, though, so in my tool box are Dormer (British), Milwaukee (?) and Heller (German) cobalt steel (M42 HSS) twist drills. The Milwaukees and Hellers are relatively cheap, the Dormers are expensive. Surprisingly the two which work best on that horrible electric arc steel we get these days in RSJs and extruded steel box sections (BTW, that can have walls up to 10mm thick) are the Dormers and, almost as good, the Milwaukees. Heller stuff doesn't last as long whilst cheap tool steel drills can't even manage a single hole in the 6mm wall stuff. Always use at relatively low speed (no more than about 1000 rpm in steel) and use an appropriate lubricant on ferrous metals - oil, WD40 or better yet cutting fluid

Wood and wood composites are much more complex. I use spade bits for a lot of hole drilling. My choice is the Irwin spade bit set which can still be had for under £25 if you scout around. Unlike Bosch spade bits, which feature a threaded point, the Irwins have a plain point. This means you control the feed, not the bit - I find that the Bosch bits pull-in too fast on softwoods and can wreck hardwood. With spade bits you need to be running at 1500 to 2500rpm for best results, but they won't do deep holes (about 1in/25mm is the max for clean, straight cutting as they can wander off if they hit a knot). Plus point is that they are cheap and they can be sharpened with a simple warding file (must have safe edges, that is smooth as opposed to cutting edges, though)

For deeper holes, such as mortise lock recesses I have a few auger bits. Mine are a mixture of Bosch and Sandvik/Bahcos mainly because they seem accurate and durable. Auger bits generally start at 8mm or so and go up to circa 38mm. I also have a partial set of 1/4in hex drive auger bits from Makita (Japanes or possibly Chinese) which work well in small drill/drivers (and actually hold a reasonable edge), although I'd caution getting 1/4in hex drive bits larger than 16mm as they have a tendency to snap at the neck if overloaded. Auger bits need to be used at 500 to 1000 rpm and no faster, certainly for sizes above 12mm. I still have a brace and bit and for that my favoured drills are hand auger bits (Jennings-pattern) and centre bits by Wm. Ridgway. Mine are all pretty old and as Ridgway hasn't made drills since the mid-1990s and Clico closed their doors in 2014 there is no longer a British-made auger bit available

For general smaller hole drilling in timber I have a few cheap and chearful Silverline lips and spur (brad point) twist bits. They are dirt cheap and it doesn't matter if they don't last because I'm more likely to prang one on a nail or other inclusion that ever make one blunt. For better work, such as dowel hole drilling, I have a few HSS M2 twist drills from Star-M (Japanese), Famag (Germany) and Fisch (Austria). The Star-M drills are a unique design and can be used in a hand drill (and are my favourites), the Famag drills feature a fast spiral and eject chips cleanly but drill medium-slowly whilst the Fisch drills are slow twist ones which don't clear as well, but drill faster than the Famags. Ideally they are run at 500 to 1500rpm with a drop of oil applied in the bit guide. They tend to be expensive (£7 to £10 a pop) so must be treated with respect - in which case you'll get a long life from them

Finally for piloting and countersinking I have a small collection of Trend Snappy drill/countersinks - the ordinary steel body ones for use on site and a few TCT ones for use on the bench (they are just two fragile for site work IMHO). The steel body ones need to be sharpened from time to time and should have the M2 HSS slow twist pilot bit replaced periodically (on site every 3 or so weeks) as they clog and break readily when dull. More durable than the Disstons and have matching taper pellet and tube pellet cutters available. I/4in hex drive, too

There are a few other drill bits I use, such as Forstner bits, hole saws, SDS bits, fast drilling augers, etc but that's probably enough to be going on with :wink:

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Last edited by Job and Knock on Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:17 pm 
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It depends what you want to pay, I use Ti bits from ukdrills on ebay I get them in x10 unless its a large or odd size, There on a par with the Bosch kits I have/had

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/UKDRILLS


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:24 pm 
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UK Drills - Tried their M42 HSS long drills on the aforementioned extruded steel box beams a couple of years back - they weren't that sharp and they burned out prematurely. Granted an awkward job where we were going through 44mm of softwood followed by 6 to 10mm of electro-arc steel, but nevertheless not great performers on that.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Metal drilling, We use a lot of Guhring bits theses days, the smaller stuff at least- sub 13mm...Dormer A002 bits are very good too.
Not a fan of cobalt bits for pistol drilling, yes they hold an edge well, but a bit more suceptable to snapping if they bite/you push off line.
Even for stainless, never bother with cobalt bits. A lot of it comes down to techniqure with metal drilling.

Masonry,gos some Bosch plus5 bits recently, very good... Irwin ones are reasonable aswell.

Wood, whtever I have kicking around, Bosch self cut flat bits are great, again Irwin ones do pretyy well.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Hitch wrote:
Metal drilling, We use a lot of Guhring bits theses days, the smaller stuff at least- sub 13mm...Dormer A002 bits are very good too.
Not a fan of cobalt bits for pistol drilling, yes they hold an edge well, but a bit more suceptable to snapping if they bite/you push off line.
Even for stainless, never bother with cobalt bits. A lot of it comes down to techniqure with metal drilling

I'm curious about what you mean by "correct technique". I've ended up going over to M42 (cobalt) as opposed to M2 HSS drills on electric arc steel (typically extruded steel beam and RSJ) because I just can't get sufficient life out of the M2, or even worse it won't even make an impact on the beams I need to drill. I'm aware of needing to run the drill slower than the flat out rate used by the cowboys, I do use a centre punch wherever possible to start the drill, and I tend to use a lubricant (even if it's sometimes just a drop or two of 3-in-1). The holes I drill are often for specialist self-tapping fixings (Hilti, Spit, etc) and on 4 or 5mm pilot holes with M42s (cobalt) we were still getting as few as 30 holes before the drill bit went blunt - whilst at times M2 just wouldn't drill the stuff. What's the solution?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:54 pm 
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You mean the hot rolled sections? Occasionally get the odd bit that seems harder than others. You may notice a difference between steel grades, a bit of S235 flat will be easier than a bit of S355.
UB/UC/PFC usually 275 or 355.

Technique- speed, pressure, lubricants, pilots etc... sounds like you know what youre doing.
Once the initial sharpness has been lost I just grind them up. Not alway practical on site admittadely. Sometimes a by eye sharpened bit can do better than a new one.

You know youve got a crap bit when you hear that 'snicking' noise as it chips away rather than cutting it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:39 pm 
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I got a cheap set from Screwfix, one of these 100 piece jobbies. Wasn't very good, to be expected I suppose! I am also now in the market for a decent set.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:23 pm 
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For percussion drilling Metabo and an Austrian brand, whose name escapes me right now, are very long lasting/good value with my usage.
I have a 10mm that is precisely the same length as 90mm anchors that is into the thousands of holes!

I did try cheaper stuff, “Piranha” maybe, but those melt if you hit steel instead of giving “pull out now” feedback.

My wood bits are also Metabo, but are quite average, so they will be changed when I can’t sharpen them any more.

My spades are Stanley and are Ok.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:04 pm 
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The ones in my tool bag are milwaukee thunderbolt, pretty good bits at least for what I paid for them.
For the lathe I use Hertel or Dormer, I generally only buy the bits I need for specific jobs as I use odd lengths and diameters, they last for years, especially the carbide ones.

For general purpose workshop use I have a set from Lidl, they were cheap as chips but are actually alright quality, these are the only twist drill bits I tend to sharpen since they are not used for accurate holes.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Hitch wrote:
You mean the hot rolled sections? Occasionally get the odd bit that seems harder than others. You may notice a difference between steel grades, a bit of S235 flat will be easier than a bit of S355. UB/UC/PFC usually 275 or 355.

Well there are some hot rolled sections - normally I-, C- or L-profile beams, but the most awkward stuff I get is the heavy-walled square tube which the steel fabricators we've had sometimes refer to as "extruded", possibly because it resembles extruded aluminium. I believe that the proper terms are RHS or CHS and that it is welded along a single seam. Either way incredibly variable in hardness from piece to piece

Hitch wrote:
You know youve got a crap bit when you hear that 'snicking' noise as it chips away rather than cutting it.

That describes the UK Drills extra long bits I used perfectly.

Your comments about cobalt HSS snapping when used in a pistol drill I can but agree with, although the Milwaukees I've used were rather better in that respect than the Hellers that the firm supplied. One of those jobs I may not have to deal with for a couple of years again, though.

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