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"What's wiv" drill bits these days?


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"What's wiv" drill bits these days? OK, I suspect it's mostly me! I have been know to try to hand-drill (hardened?) steel. But I have genuinely been struggling a LOT lately with blunt twist drills - And correspondingly misplaced holes in lighter materials too. :p

Some drill bits from the local DIY emporium are quite useless. Visually, some even fail to come to an (off-centre!) point now! Anyone know of a QUALITY manufacturer / supplier of drills? :D

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HAd the same thing recently - 2 drill bits from B&Q which went blunt after drilling half a dozen holes through some very light aluminium plate. Course you cant take em back 'cos they have been used' grrrr

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Buy drill bits from a reputable engineer's supplier. (I was about to have a good rant! here but I've desisted!!). High street retailers sell drill bits that will cut a few holes in softwood that are suitable for DIY work - their drills are therefore "fit for purpose"! They are in business for cheap products at a good profit. That is all.

You wanted a source:

Tracy Tools in Devon - they sell redundant stock from engineering companies at sensible prices. Buy drills in sets for the best deals. They supply Model Engineers, Motor restorers etc. A set of 1/16" to 1/2 by 64ths is only £16. or 1mm to 13mm by 0.1 is the same price.

Tracy Tools :: Devon, UK

While I'm promoting them (!!) have a look at their "always in stock" sets of drills, taps and dies.

(I suppose I had better add a disclaimer here! I have been a satisfied customer for nearly 30 years but have no connection otherwise.:D)

Edited by Bizibilder
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Yes Dormer HSS drills are my prefered choice, though there are are a few other quality brands about. Look for HSS (high speed steel) rather than carbon steel which are useless.

If you want to drill holes accurately, try a small pilot drill first over the cetre point or to be really sure use a CENTRE drill, they come in set sizes and have drill point at each end. If drilling into Aluminium, use some parrafin to ease the drilling opperation. Hope this helps.


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Thanks for the tips! :D

If you want to drill holes accurately, try a small pilot drill first over the centre point or to be really sure use a CENTRE drill...
Yes, I'm a "good lad" re. use of centre punch and pilot holes. <G> However, I do think the idea of a centre drill is a splendid one. I do have a tendancy to lean a bit hard on smaller drill bits... but recently, snapping a 5mm bit, suggested a re-think was due! :p

Quite a science (art?) this drilling business...

Drill bit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edited by Macavity
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I've always used Presto(?), or similar, HSS drill bits from a local trade ironmongers.

Carbon steel ones are carp and I hate the uber coated HSS ones, cause they can't be resharpened on a bench grinder. A good quality HSS drill bit can last for a long time, unless it breaks. I've got a 5mm one which is loking like a stub, so often have I resharpened it.


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So using a drill plus bit as a multi purpose screwdriver/hammer/hole maker is not the form then?

Must go and dig out the notes I made during those years of hell as an apprentice at BAe Dynamics... I'm sure it said "If in doubt hit it. If that doesn't work, hit it harder".


Edit: can't believe the filter filtered that word I put instead of slashes first time round. "Come" with a u and no e. How odd.

Edited by pete_gamby
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I am an engineer by day, i run a small department in a company who designs and makes bespoke electro and mechanical items. We get our drills from

MSC/JL Industrial Supply Co.

And yes, get a centre drill to do the first 3mm or so.

If you are blunting drills you could be running the drill too fast which will soften the tip, however if they are chipping then you could be going too slow.

If you want to drill really hard steel then you should try a cobalt aka HSSE aka HSSCo drill bit. Much harder than a normal HSS bit.

Also get some cutting fluid, it will enable you to run faster without over heating so much.

I could go on......and on.......

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TiN done properly on a decent base material works a treat... on the cheap kits you buy it just makes people think their getting a good deal....oh look lots of gold shinny things for a fiver....

Edited by Psychobilly
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