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Let's Talk Twist Drills: What's Good For A Drill Press? Login/Join 
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted
Now that finally I've a drill press, I'm looking to acquire a good set of twist drills to use only on the drill press and only for drilling metal.

Here's an amusing and instructional video to which a family member pointed me on this subject:



I definitely don't want Chinesium drills. Tired of a few careful uses and they're dull--even when you go "top drawer" at the hardware or big box store.

Walter SST+ look pretty good, but very few retailers. And, for some reason, some of them appear to be price-gouging: Listing the set I'd want for over $250, when the MSRP is $110 Plus, some commenters on Amazon suggest they're more inclined to shatter because of their carbide content?

Another brand he mentions, Norseman, seems to be pretty good. My favourite local tool store carries Champion. Their Brute Platinum Twister-XL5 set appears to review well.

Plan is to acquire a good set of twist drills and have them on-hand for the next time I need them.

So: Recommendations, anybody? (Preferably based on personal experience.)




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16883 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Age Quod Agis
Picture of ArtieS
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The good ones that I have are Cleveland Twist Drill, that I got from my dad, and he was a machinist back in the late '40s and early '50s. I believe I also have some Chicago-Latrobe drills.

A



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Posts: 10502 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Run Silent
Run Deep

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I have found that metal drilling eats bits no matter what the quality. If you drill a lot of metal, you gonna need more bits.

So I have found McMaster bits to be a good compromise between life and cost.

And they offer some very unique sizes that often help with using rivets or similar. Rivnuts needs precise holes to work properly, often off-sizes.

Edit: I stock several of the more common sizes in quantities.


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Posts: 5856 | Location: South East, Pa | Registered: July 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'll be following this as I recently purchased a small drill press and am interested in buying a good set of drills.
I also want to find a good and easy way of clamping my work to the table.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 4964 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by ridewv:
I also want to find a good and easy way of clamping my work to the table.

I have a pair of these for clamping metal bits: Strong hand Tools PTTD634 Drill Press Clamp with Crank Handle. At $22/ea. they were affordable and they where there at the store, so... *shrug*

For wood bits I may wish to avoid marring I bought this Kreg KBC3 Automaxx Clamp Vise That plate will go on the side of my bench so the clamp can be used to aid the face vise for longer pieces. It slides out of the t-track in that piece and works in the t-track in my DP table.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16883 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Look for one of the quality USA brands when they go on sale and check on eBay.
If you don't already have one, get a good bench grinder to sharpen them and also learn the proper technique. Also have a good dressing tool for the wheel. A drill doctor works pretty well too.
Once you start on the tool habit there seems to be no end, one leads to the next.
 
Posts: 5581 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use Dewalt cobalt bits for metal. The larger ones have a stepped point that helps with precise hole alignment. No idea if they’re Chineseium or Taiwaniseum. Don’t forget cutting fluid no matter what you get.
 
Posts: 587 | Location: NE Indiana  | Registered: January 20, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks ensigmatic, just ordered a pair of strongman clamps.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 4964 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Norseman USA

These are stubby bits but are more rigid than jobber length bits. They resist chipping and Bending much better. Rarely do I need the additional length when drilling metals. For those times I'll use the cheaper home depot sets.

Resist all urges to chuck your DP bits in the the hand drill.


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Posts: 1426 | Location: Near Austin, TX | Registered: December 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No matter the bit, for drilling metal the rpms and feed speed, plus cutting oil, are what matter the most. If it's smoking, it's toast.
 
Norseman, Viking, and Champion are all good twist drills, but there are other good ones out there too.



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Posts: 9159 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

In the end I called the manufacturer of the drills I wanted and found a lot more distributors/retailers than their site listed carried their products--including Grainger.

What sold me on the Walter Surface Technologies SST+ Drill Bits, besides the comments in the video I posted, above, was this torture test:



No lube, sometimes applied too much force, sometimes too fast a speed. You don't really even hear the drills complain about the abuse until he goes up to a 9/64" drill drilling a hardened impact socket. The bit that was used on all but one of the tests went through that impact socket again in the hand drill test.

quote:
Originally posted by shiftyvtec:
Resist all urges to chuck your DP bits in the the hand drill.

I will. These drills will be for only DP use--if for no other reason than they're a bit more brittle because of the cobalt.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16883 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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Guhring is ranked among the best in machining. You'll pay for that quality. Its one thing to have a drill dex full of all the common sizes but, the better brands of industrial drill bits can be bought in packages of 10 or 12 bits. Sometimes you can find on Ebay or machine shop closing auctions, hords of high quality tooling new in packages quite cheap. I used to own some of the most ecpensive tooling one could buy. I never strayed away from a single piece were it new or a package of new. When its price was cheap. Keep this in mind as you may hunt drills beyond a dex. Also, get a wall chart for drills. Fractional, Number and Letter drills are used for different hole diameters, prior to reaming if you need a precision hole, prior to tapping for cutting or forming threads. You can never have enough quality bits. Learn to block along side your work piece, not just clamp as a spinning work piece can cause serious injury.
 
Posts: 15551 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use American made black oxide bits. I have seen a drill bit get stuck and twist into a rod. Home depot crap of course.
Also get the twist link belts and put one on to reduce vibration.
As far.as machines look on craigslist and get old deltas, buffalo's and Walker- turners.
I also want to get a drill doctor to sharpen my drills.



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Posts: 3387 | Location: Sparta, NJ USA | Registered: August 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by David Lee:
...Number and Letter drills are used for different hole diameters, prior to reaming if you need a precision hole, prior to tapping for cutting or forming threads.

I've so far found so little need for tapping that I'll probably buy number and letter drills as I need them. In fact: The first holes I ever tapped in my life were just this last summer, in fabricating my DIY flag pole.

Then again: Now that I've busted my tapping cherry Smile, and have a DP with which I can drill clean, accurate holes, square to the surface, perhaps I'll do it more often?

quote:
Originally posted by David Lee:
Learn to block along side your work piece, not just clamp as a spinning work piece can cause serious injury.

That's a good safety tip! Thanks for the hint. I've had that happen with hand drills. Luckily avoided serious injury, so far.

quote:
Originally posted by Captain Morgan:
Also get the twist link belts and put one on to reduce vibration.

Vibration is very low on my DP. I did the "nickel test" right after assembling it. Not only did the nickel stay upright and motionless, but I couldn't see it so much as vibrate.

Placing my hand on the table, the machine running is just barely detectable.

quote:
Originally posted by Captain Morgan:
As far.as machines look on craigslist and get old deltas, buffalo's and Walker- turners.

I tried for about a month to find a DP on CL and FB Marketplace. Nothing turned up. Finally gave up when Jet did a 15% off sale on or about Black Friday.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16883 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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You can learn to sharpen the split points pretty good. I used to do them by hand on a good grinding wheel dressed to square edge. The small split points I dont know how to sharpen.
 
Posts: 15551 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sharpening?

https://www.drilldoctor.com/

A hundred bucks (or less) well-spent.




God bless America. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Down with King Ralph.
 
Posts: 9542 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Been married 46 years and the best Christmas gift my wife ever gave me was a Drill Doctor. Every time I have to drill a hole I walk in the house and give her a big kiss and thank her. Use a bit and then touch it up before returning it to the index box.



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confronted with reality
 
Posts: 802 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: November 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Which model of Drill Doctor are you guys using? I've been tempted, but have been skeptical that they can really get a nice edge. Perhaps they've improved over the years and I should look again.
 
Posts: 8167 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by MNSIG:
Which model of Drill Doctor are you guys using?


There's an XPK on my bench.




God bless America. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Down with King Ralph.
 
Posts: 9542 | Location: Hokie Nation! | Registered: July 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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Hmmm... I'll do some research. Might be maybe I'll snag a Drill Doctor. I like the idea of rescuing edged tools. I hate throwing stuff away that can be repaired/restored to be perfectly usable.

quote:
Originally posted by vthoky:
quote:
Originally posted by MNSIG:
Which model of Drill Doctor are you guys using?

There's an XPK on my bench.

I see on their site 350X, XP, 500X and 750X. I think I'd want at least the 500X, for both 118° and 135° point angles. The 750X might be more than I will need or use. Then again: For the additional $35 or so, it might be worth it.

ETA: Read a bunch of reviews on Youtube, Amazon, other web forums. Mixed reviews, but mostly positive. I get the impression that most people who've had less than satisfactory results failed to read or failed to understand the directions? Bottom line appears to be that if you have the skills to do it freehand you can get better results. For those w/o those skills the DD can do an adequate job.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ensigmatic,




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16883 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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