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  1. #1
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    In your opinion, which company produces the best HSS drill bits, screw and jobber length? Best is defined as most accurate diameter, best centered points, and least runout.

    Sizes: let's say 1/4" and down.

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    I was introduced to Nachi a few weeks ago. I am becoming a believer. Look at the drill and you can tell there is quality. Sucks that they are jap, but what isn't anymore.

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    Dormer. Swedish, German, Italian.

    http://www.dormertools.com/



    [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 08-11-2004).]

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    I get super results even with Chinese drill bits using an Erickson 300 series collet chuck on 1/4" and smaller bits, if you need to drill small holes the collet chuck works so much better. The bit can be grabbed by the margins, eliminates center drilling most of the time.
    And the least runnout!
    Don

    [This message has been edited by donie (edited 08-11-2004).]

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    Best for what. That's an open question. Best usable for a small shop are PTD in my aarea. They're carried as a mid-priced line at the local faster supply house. Been using them for thirty years.

    "Best" depends a lot on what you're using them for. A lot of guys swear by TiN coated but I've never seen much advantage except in certain production settings. As soon as you sharpen them their advantage goes away. Some guys buy the pricy cobalt M42 HSS drills paying a premium price for tough heat resiustant drills. They use them for general home shop applications where an M2 HSS drill costing half as much kasts nearly as long and is less likely to edge chip on breakthrough in manual drilling.

    If you like US made stuff get Union or Cleveland twist drill sets. I hear most of thest US drills are made in Eastern Europe these days.

    The "best" drill is the one suited for the job and "best" is likely not to be the same for all instances.

    For home shop use I suggest the mid priced drill sets. Some of the cheapo Asian sets are improving in quality. It probably won't be long before they start chomping the heels of the major US brands.

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    My favorite brand is the one I find in the drawer that is sharp enough to do the job.

    I have quite a few Precision brand and Greenfield jobber drills. The Greenfields give me thousands of 1/8" and 1/4" holes in 1/4" thick A36. I think I buy those from McMaster-Carr.

    Les

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    I have some C/L that I bought in Korea in 1971. They are still going strong. I also bought a letter set that was made in Japan. They were not the same quality. The corners tend to wear faster. I will not buy any made in China. I had a new drill at work. As soon as it touched the workpiece, it split down the center for 1". I had never had that happen before. I looked at the shank and noticied where it was made.

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    Forrest wrote: "A lot of guys swear by TiN coated but I've never seen much advantage except in certain production settings. As soon as you sharpen them their advantage goes away. "

    This is contrary to my thoughts on coated drills. The cutting edge is inside the flute, grinding only removes the non- cutting end of the drill. The coated flute remains, unless web thinning is done.

    Am I wrong?

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    Doug asks......"Am I wrong?"

    According to cutting tool makers that would be wrong. They typically state that even though regrinding takes away the wear resistant advantage of the coating, the coating still aids chip flow in the flutes. Sounds like a marketing angle to me, but they do admit the coating advantage at the cutting edge is lost when sharpening.

    I've found even the so called "good" brands of normal twist drills are poorly sharpened and seldom sharpened on center. You can take a typical chinese drill and touch up the point on a good drill grinder and it will drill a hole with a slicker finish and closer size control than the typical US brand with a factory grind costing 5x as much. I read an article in one of the trade mags a couple years back that stated most large users of standard twist drills today send new drills to grinding before the first use, simply because they've found such a large percentage of them are incorrectly ground that its just easier to grind them all than to pick out the good ones.

    One of the most amazing drills I've ever seen for performance and longevity is a high penetration drill made in the UK by Union Butterfield. TiN coated HSS, and about $100 for an 11/16 model. They claimed it would drill to H7 tolerance in mild steel. I drilled 2000+ holes thru 1.5" thick HR 1020 with one of them, and it managed to stay within H7 for almost 1500 holes. I didn't need the H7 for the job, but needed its claimed high penetration rate. 8 seconds thru an inch and a half of hot rolled impressed the hell out of me. Since that job the same drill has drilled probably another thousand holes thru various materials to make starting points for internal milling ops instead of plunging with an end mill, and it has yet to be reground. Probably the cheapest expensive drill I've ever bought.

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    titex, and guhring....bob

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    forget about brands . there's so many styles
    available . i like parabolic flutes for most
    holes. regular 118' drills ,too.
    there're parabolic and hd parabolic . ptd,
    guhring, bendix , whatever.
    Chinese , czech , polish tools are not
    created equal . the crap from enco /harbor freight ain't the same as what you get from
    rutland/ pts/ msc / -the stuff's graded
    and/or sorted.
    lately , the worst of the worst jism
    comes from india. STAY AWAY!
    used to be , you'd get a chinky drill,
    the end clearance might be ground backwards!
    not any more . chinese stuff gets better and
    better . want to rant about buying u.s....
    not in this thread. unless you've got wood
    for some $300.00 cleveland index . the
    thing to remember is that a drill is a
    roughing tool (not to be confused with a
    DRILL BIT...a woodworker's tool, goes with
    a brace-... as in Brace + Bit ) . you can't
    expect miracles from a roughing tool.

    also , learn to sharpen your drills.
    forget those cornball drillgrinders , jigs,
    whatever.... unless you're practiced,
    don't try to use a bench wheel-they're too
    aggressive.....start out on a stationary belt
    sander. think about what your purpose in
    grinding the thing is ...put a new drill up
    to the belt turned off- try to approx the
    contour. use a dedicated
    approach - pinch the flutes close to
    the tip with your left
    hand (make an "OK") and lower the shank
    with your right ...touch the end to the belt,
    start horizintal, then pretend you've the
    world's smallest fishing rod + you've just
    caught the world's smallest striped bass +
    want to set the hook..............
    count while you cut.... get a rhythm
    grind for 2 secs , flip,grind flip...pinch
    the same spot on the flutes when you flip.
    the less you grind with each pass, the more
    passes , the more accurate your results.

    also, those 135' split point drills are
    swell , but to regrind them , you have to
    grind the web too. twice as much effort /skill
    to fix them up;


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    Guhring parabolic flute high
    cobalt drills.

    Work great.

    JIm

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    Hello,
    If I got it cheap like all of my drill bits thats my favorite one! The last place I worked for was one of the most wasteful I've ever seen. I was back in the steel room one day and the steel guy asked me, (knowing I was a packrat), if I was interested in any "dull drill bits". If not he was going to toss them in the dumpster! I said maybe, but I'd have to look. He had 2 five gal. buckets about 2/3 full of every thing from 1/16" up to 1 1/2", and about a quarter of them were morse taper shanks! About that time one of the owners walked by, (I've gotten deals like this before from this company), I asked him if he would take $20 bucks for them two buckets? Sure load them up! (he was thrilled and had something else to brag to his buddies on how he got a $20 from some sucker) I took them home, borrowed a drill sharener from a buddy and after sorting out all of the junk/broken/welded bits,(about a hand full) I spent about a hour sharpening two nice 1/16-1/2" "sets" of drill bits! It didn't even make a dent in the pile!
    Some of these bits have only been used once and once they got dull they tossed them in a bucket until they had enough to take them some place to get them sharpened, but when they got some pricing on getting them sharpened, the boss just had a fit! He didn't have a problem buying new tooling, that was ok, but to spend good money to just get some bits sharpened? No way! Now some of these larger bits had been "sharpened" by somebody in the shop using a angle grinder of all things, (yes I've seen them do it!), but most where used just once or twice. I figure a drill bit is like a pencil. When it gets dull sharpen it!
    I might be wrong but thats how I do it in my home shop and its how I plan to do it in my shop when I go out on my own. Following my previous boss's theroies on tool management and tool sharpening wont be happening!

    Thanks
    Richard Jensen

    [This message has been edited by meco3hp (edited 08-11-2004).]

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    Been in and around this business for a long time, and the myth is still strong as ever that drills can be ground offhand with results equal to a good drill grinder. If thats the case, then a side grinder could take the place of a surface grinder as long as you hold it right and move it correctly. To begin with, a "good drill grinder" doesn't come from Sears as an attachment for a bench grinder, and they don't sell for $79.95. I'd wager there's not one man in a thousand who can maintain the center of a hand ground drill within .005 of true center on any consistent basis without using at least a pocket comparator. If the center's not on center, the rest don't really matter much. A good grinder will put the center on center and make the geometry right every time, and do it in a quarter of the time required for offhand grinding. It'll also let you put a 90* "crankshaft point" on a deep hole drill, or vary the relief for working on different materials. I've hand ground a lot of drills that cut just fine, but I've never had any desire to go back to hand grinding since I got a decent drill grinder. If there's anyone around who can hand grind and equal its speed and results, I haven't met him.

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    metlmunchr,
    Your right. I have a Uncle thats got a sharpening business and he swears up and down he can hand sharpen a drill bit and get it right every time. But he ain't touching any of my bits! I'll take my saws and knives to him but not any machine tooling! I know a drill bit isn't the most acurate thing to make a hole with but if they're sharpened right, they cut better, straighter, and faster. A hand sharpened drill bit, done on a bench grinder might be ok on a quick piece of wood (which is my uncles area of expertise), but in a machine shop it just won't do it!

    Thanks
    Richard Jensen

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    Quote:
    "Been in and around this business for a long time, and the myth is still strong as ever that drills can be ground offhand with results equal to a good drill grinder. If thats the case, then a side grinder could take the place of a surface grinder as long as you hold it right and move it correctly. "

    I disagree. I haven't done that many but on 3/16" and above I can do better than a lot of "factory" sharpening jobs. By hand. It is a skill but is not that super hard to learn. Getting the two flutes at the same angle is harder than proper centering. A 10X magnifier helps a lot.

    Smaller ones get to be a real challenge.

    Paul A.

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    can't grind a tool accurately offhand? i
    disagree. maybe you guys don't have the
    technique down .i've known many an oldschool
    machinist who can grind drills better than
    new . i grind angles, reliefs ,thinwebs,
    bullnoses on endmills, neutral rakes on
    brass drills , 3,4 flute core drills
    (1.25"-2.0" dia) . i'd rather spend $800.00
    on a more useful addition to my shop
    ( dro comes to mind) than some pink elephant-
    sitting -in -the corner-drill grinder.
    a tool and cutter grinder would be nicer,
    but that's even more hassle, more $$$ .
    the proof is in the puddin'- even chips,
    dead-on diameters. practice,practice,practice.

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    We only buy Guhring HSS.
    regards,Mark.

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    You guys who can sharpen drills by hand equal to factory grinds probably don't need to use micrometers when turning either, do you? You can turn to .005"+/- or better by eye, right?

    Sorry, but I can't help being sarcastic when people tell me how accurately they can sharpen drills by hand.

    I've got an SP2500 Darex unit, an SRD, a surface grinder with drill grinding fixture and two tool & cutter grinders. Any of those will beat ANY hand grinder in the world. In spite of this equipment we still have to be very careful in sharpening drills accurately. In short, it ain't so easy that it can be done by hand to any degree of accuracy.


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    I spent years hand sharpening twist drills when I worked on aircraft. Split point 135° drills. I got pretty good at it. Can't have a drill walking across the work when you're making a skin. Scraps the entire work. I can sharpen as well as a machine.


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