Is it just me or do drill bits suck now?
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  1. #1
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    Default Is it just me or do drill bits suck now?

    Per the title, is it just me or do most drills just seem to suck now?

    I've been having one hell of a time trying to find twist drills these days that don't have a fantastic tendency to lobe like mad and it's driving ME mad..

    It doesn't seem to matter brand or place of manufacture, almost every twist drill I've had my hands on lately doesn't want to make a round hole with acceptable finish. It's not my machines or drill chucks; they're good to go and I run the drills straight from a collet in my Tree 2uvr 90% of the time. I've been drilling holes for a proper minute now and I don't think my technique sucks THAT bad and I don't ever remember having so much trouble.

    The only thing that strikes me as being the culprit is today's uber aggressive grinds. You find them even on super cheap drills and I'm beginning to suspect that without a bit of center web rubbing,
    you have serious lack of stabilization for the bit. The old drills used to have plain webs, now almost none do no matter the price.

    The only drills I'm remotely satisfied with these days are U.S. made stub length drills. IS IT JUST ME?

    Edit: Mostly drilling mild steel and try to stick to 135 points...

    Travis

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    On a lathe I always have to use a stubby center drill (both ends are pointed). Otherwise I get the wobble and the hole is screwed.
    Cobalt stub length bits made in USA are what I use. I save a full length set for longer holes.

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    rons:

    In most lathes these days starting with a center is pretty much a given due to wear. I understand that but not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the fact I can't seem to get most drills to run well despite damn near all effort...

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    Stub drills are great if you can use them. What size are we talking? I rarely have trouble with number drills, but as you go larger chatter and weirdness can happen. Best I've found is not to baby it, just motor on in.

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    Drill through a hardened bushing against the work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by travis.taylor View Post
    rons:

    In most lathes these days starting with a center is pretty much a given due to wear. I understand that but not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is the fact I can't seem to get most drills to run well despite damn near all effort...
    Neither can I. Pecking is my style. The walls don't look nice and shinny unless I do something later. And on my drill press I get a
    triangle shape if there is vibration or the piece is not clamped well.

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    Have you tried not to peck and an increased feed rate?

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    The lobing happens when trying to start holes with longer drills especially. If you can use a screw machine length to start the holes and then switch to the longer drill, that helps. You can also use a spotting drill to spot as close as you can get to the drill diameter, then put the drill to work; or alternatively use one of the grinds that start cutting instantly at a pinpoint like a Spiropoint or a modified split point.

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    I've known people who sharpened brand new drills because they weren't happy with the factory sharpening. Is this mostly when they are new or after they've been sharpened ? And what are you using to sharpen them ?

    Personally, I am a big fan of the parabolic flute drills and that's all I'd buy after my first package, have you given them a try ?

    I also almost always use a center drill for a starter, do you do this or just plunge in full boogie ?

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    a drill that is too sharp is bad, especially when hand feeding.

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    When I am deep drilling from the tailstock in my lathe, I do tend to get a bit of wobble no matter what brand or type of drill I am using. This is nothing new however so I can't contribute it to modern crappy drills. I often will run a cut off blade holder flipped around backwards up against the drill just where it enters the bore. I just touch it enough to stop the wobble. Otherwise you are going to drill an oversized hole of course. You may need to adjust your position in the X axis to stay on a flute or just let it catch the next flute as you progress. I have had pretty good results from Guhring bits personally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JS View Post
    Have you tried not to peck and an increased feed rate?
    I will try next time not to be a pecker. But on holes past 1/2" I withdraw bits to brush off chips and squirt new oil on the bit and hole.

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    If I have the room, I usually use a 45 deg spotter, do the math and spot just deep enough that the full diameter of the finish bit starts on the angle. This almost always produces a very round hole.

    If you need perfection, you can always use a reamer, or the best bet is a jig bore cutter.

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    Seeing as to I wasn’t around all that long ago most of my experience is with newer drills. And I have a terrible time with them. I am practically never happy with the finish as drilled. I’ve tried lots of different speeds and feeds and not much works.

    I mostly just gave up on drills giving a nice hole finish.

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    maybe you're buying 'drill bits'.... as in 'brace and bit'...
    a woodworking tool. when i was a young tradesman in the late
    1980', if you mentioned "drill bit " among old school machinists, you would get a fucking stare and glare that could
    kill. there ain't no drill bits in a metal shop.

    btw, there is no difference that i can tell among usa drills
    produced in 1970 and 2020 . what i can't see is a fucking
    thing , because my old man eyesight sucks. there you have it.

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    what i can't see is a fucking
    thing , because my old man eyesight sucks. there you have it.
    I too have joined "Team Optivisor".

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnmgcarbide View Post
    maybe you're buying 'drill bits'.... as in 'brace and bit'...
    a woodworking tool. when i was a young tradesman in the late
    1980', if you mentioned "drill bit " among old school machinists, you would get a fucking stare and glare that could
    kill. there ain't no drill bits in a metal shop.

    btw, there is no difference that i can tell among usa drills
    produced in 1970 and 2020 . what i can't see is a fucking
    thing , because my old man eyesight sucks. there you have it.
    Mine is getting there too, I feel your pain.

    My close focus is getting pretty bad. Luckily? I am nearsighted and wear glasses, so up close I can just take them off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    When I am deep drilling from the tailstock in my lathe, I do tend to get a bit of wobble no matter what brand or type of drill I am using. This is nothing new however so I can't contribute it to modern crappy drills. I often will run a cut off blade holder flipped around backwards up against the drill just where it enters the bore. I just touch it enough to stop the wobble. Otherwise you are going to drill an oversized hole of course. You may need to adjust your position in the X axis to stay on a flute or just let it catch the next flute as you progress. I have had pretty good results from Guhring bits personally.
    Have you checked your tailstock for alignment to the spindle? That is a common symptom of a problem.

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    If it's critical, I use a spotting drill (or center drill) held as if it were a boring bar, mounted on the carriage, adjusted so it cuts slightly oversize. This yields a perfectly centered starting dimple or hole. I generally drill with screw-length drill bit held in the tailstock. This on an elderly Clausing 5914.

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    So I'm sitting here drilling some "10mm" holles in 1/2" a36 right now on the Tree. I've taken a bit of extra time
    to test my hypothesis in regards to having a plain web vs one of several other more aggressive grinds.
    Out of four drills, the one unmarked drill with a plain grind and webb drilled with the best finish and about 1.5thou over though definitely required more pressure on the quill. The rest of the drills were marked US, had various forms of thinned webs, and did much much more poorly in regards to finish, roundness, and size. I'm talking 6+ thou over and a horrible helix-ish marring left in the hole. To add insult to injury, the plain web drill happened to be clearly the most used and dull drill of the bunch. None of the drills used have been resharpened.

    My next drill index will hands down be a "mechanics" length set with an unthinned web. I'm done with expensive drills that seem to do their best to lobe and drill oversize...


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