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Cliff

Drill bits

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I find myself incredibly dissatisfied with drill bits. I bought a Woodcraft set about 4 years ago. I break one every time I use one. Makes sense, it was $50 for probably 200+ bits. I've bought Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee bits - brad point, twist, impact. And I have a set of porter cable forstners. 

Honestly, I don't think I'd recommend any of them. 

Ideally, I'm looking for something similar to Famag or Festool bits. Neither makes imperial bits from what I can find.  

Anyone have recommendations? 

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I have a set of bread point bits that I got from Rockler called Shop Basics and I have been pleased with them.  Smallest one in the set is 1/8 s o Don't really know if they would have a tendency to break at the smaller sizes.

My twist bit feet is a real old Craftsman from when they were making quality stuff.  I broke the 1/16 bit numerous times in that set but I think you could do that in any quality set it is so thin.  I ended up buying a whole handful of that size just because they broke so easily. 

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I'm a big fan of the Lee Valley brad point bits (the nicer ones, not the utility ones, although those work too). They're much better than cheap bits that I had previously.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/power-tool-accessories/drill-bits/42247-hss-lipped-imperial-brad-point-drills

I've got the set of 7 from 1/8" to 1/2", along with the full set of sizes below 1/4". It takes me about 1/3 the amount of time to use the 3/8" bit with my dowel jig compared to the cheap brad point bit it came with.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, SawDustB said:

I'm a big fan of the Lee Valley brad point bits (the nicer ones, not the utility ones, although those work too). They're much better than cheap bits that I had previously.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/power-tool-accessories/drill-bits/42247-hss-lipped-imperial-brad-point-drills

I've got the set of 7 from 1/8" to 1/2", along with the full set of sizes below 1/4". It takes me about 1/3 the amount of time to use the 3/8" bit with my dowel jig compared to the cheap brad point bit it came with.

 

 

Those look great. 

Lee Valley has been annoying lately. Always out of stock on everything. for about 5 months now.

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1 hour ago, Cliff said:

Those look great. 

Lee Valley has been annoying lately. Always out of stock on everything. for about 5 months now.

Hmm, not my experience. Out of about $2000 worth of stuff (all small stuff) I've bought there in the last couple of months there were just one or to things items back ordered.

As for drill bits, there seems to be a relationship between cost & quality. Technique has a lot to do with it as well.

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6 hours ago, Cliff said:

Those look great. 

Lee Valley has been annoying lately. Always out of stock on everything. for about 5 months now.

They are.  I love those darned things.  They are not inexpensive and you may want to look into why you are breaking bits.  I have run a Lowe's set of Hitachi's for over a decade.  Been sharpened dozens of times.  These are not high end bits but, decent.  I do break bits and can generally tell when it is going to happen just enough too late to prevent it :D.  This will happen if I am fatigued and fail to drive the bit true.  An 1/8" bit that is 1" into some hardwood going 1500 RPM gets pretty pissed off if I tilt the drill motor a few degrees because I should have stopped 10 minutes ago :wacko:.

P.s.  I have gotten several Lee Valley shipments without issue.  Do the items state "out of stock" when you are buying them?

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Hmmm. I just ordered a set on Monday and got the shipping confirmation from UPS this morning.

Not really, just kidding. But I did order a medium shoulder plane and some small cutters for my router plane from them last week and they arrived yesterday.

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1 hour ago, gee-dub said:

They are.  I love those darned things.  They are not inexpensive and you may want to look into why you are breaking bits.  I have run a Lowe's set of Hitachi's for over a decade.  Been sharpened dozens of times.  These are not high end bits but, decent.  I do break bits and can generally tell when it is going to happen just enough too late to prevent it :D.  This will happen if I am fatigued and fail to drive the bit true.  An 1/8" bit that is 1" into some hardwood going 1500 RPM gets pretty pissed off if I tilt the drill motor a few degrees because I should have stopped 10 minutes ago :wacko:.

P.s.  I have gotten several Lee Valley shipments without issue.  Do the items state "out of stock" when you are buying them?

I've definitely broken bits from sheer incompetence. These most recent ones are from a 200+ piece set I got from woodcraft for $50 4 years ago. They are pretty bad. 

They are on backorder. The chisels were out of stock the entire month of January and most of February. Anything with pmv steel seems to be often on backorder. 

I'm kinda bouncing around from thing to thing to buy randomly. So sometimes I go there to put a smoothing plane in my cart and it's on backorder for a month. By the time it comes back in stock I've wasted all my money on something else. 

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Ha! I spaced on the fact you mentioned that bit set. I had one too. Pretty poor stuff for our purposes eh?  I finally gave away what I had left.  The inexpensive twist bits have served me well for wood. I have a cobalt set that I use for metals. Everyone has their favorite but, the Lee Valley lipped bits for Bradpoint use have become my favorite.

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I get every 2 years or so the brand name box 1/16 to 1/2 on sale. I do this if one or two bits have broken. I save the old incomplete sets. And now it is starting to pay off. I needed an odd size from my current set that was broken. So I gathered up my old sets and there was the replacement. The replacement now lives with the most current set.

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I have mostly inexpensive bits, but can't recall breaking anything larger than 1/8". Those small sizes, I purchase in bulk packs and consider them disposable.

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I was going to suggest McMaster Carr, too.  That's where I'd look for "quality", but I'm in the drill bits are consumable camp, so I usually buy a set from the hardware store that looks decent.  

As far as techniques, I have learned the hard way to always peck drill.  Also a drill guide is simple to use and cheap.

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Out of nowhere a new 5 billion piece Bosch set arrived in the mail from Home Depot. I guess I ordered it when I broke some bits the other day. In addition, I ended up getting the forstners from Lee Valley as my Porter Cable ones are dulling and I wanted a better brand. 

If these Bosch ones don't do well for me I'll order the brad point ones from LV too. Thanks for the recommendations all.

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