Best drill bits for the $$?

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Tomato John

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 8, 2017
654
56
Spokane Washington
I’m tired of using crappy drill bits that can’t do the job. Am willing to spend a little more for quality but don’t really know jack about bits. Went down the rabbit hole on amazon and was blown away by the cost of high end bits. Am a big proponent of US made tools and would really like to find something made here but wouldn’t rule out something overseas if the quality was good. Am looking for recommendations on a nice complete set from Cabers in the know. thanks!
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
3,018
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
I am happy with the big Harbor Freight cobalt set-
Be sure to use their perennial 20% off coupon. To stick with US made bits haunt yard sales, flea markets and auctions and sharpen the good bits you find. I'm really happy with the job my Drill Doctor does, BUT be sure to understand the instructions, follow them to the letter and don't force the tool. Taking super light cuts can take a while but even an abused bit can be brought back.
 
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A.S.BOLTNUT

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 12, 2016
3,442
Corning Ca.
Haven't bought a new bit since I learned how to sharpen one on my bench grinder , try it you'll be glad you did .
 
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
12,001
Central Arizona
First bone up on the types of drills for your needs and then look for the best deals. https://www.grainger.com/know-how/industry/metalworking/kh-which-drill-bit-does-the-job

I personally suggest staying away from Dewalt. Years ago the best I found at a reasonable price was Vermont American, but what was good yesterday is junk today with most things these days. A 30 piece drill index of HSS will cost half what the same index is for the Cobalt. I've given all the pretty shinny titanium coated drill bits found at Home Depot and Lowes a two thumbs down no matter what brand.

We do a lot of cast iron and medium steel drilling at work so HSS and an occasional buzz with a Drill Doctor is used for most of our needs.
 

Tomato John

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 8, 2017
654
56
Spokane Washington
It seems like every product has its reviews which claim that it performs well as well as the reviews that state that it is pure crap. I have a hard time trusting any online review. I won’t be drilling umpteen jillion holes through stainless steel, but I would like to have something that performs the way it is suppose to. Can’t stand when things live up to their claims. And buying things twice really makes me crazy.
 

eeapo

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 2, 2015
145
If your drilling metal consider Cobalt, I bought a set of 12 at Fastenal a couple of years ago no problem at all.
If your drilling wood, I’ve used DeWalt from Home Depot for many years now and have no problem with them.
Like mentioned above get you a Drill Doctor learn how to use it and you’ll never buy another bit again unless break it.
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
12,001
Central Arizona
If your drilling wood, I’ve used DeWalt from Home Depot for many years now and have no problem with them.
I've cut the heads off of nails and drilled holes in wood with the nail. Works better than a Dewalt drill where the drill screws itself into the wood but doesn't drill a hole.

These POS are junk and I actually thru them in the garbage. Good thing the boss didn't see me. lmao

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abe lugo

I live for the CABE
Sep 6, 2010
1,603
Los Angeles,CA
Try Triumph drill bits. Find a nos set on eBay. I had a hand me down set that lasted a long time and was Made in the USA.
 
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kunzog

I live for the CABE
May 22, 2006
1,465
Low Country South Carolina
oldbike.homestead.com
seems like every time I need a good drill bit, I have to buy a new one. Are any tools made in America anymore? I have a ton of old drill bits that were my dad's but dont know how to sharpen
 
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FSH

Finally riding a big boys bike
Aug 27, 2018
445
Corona
seems like every time I need a good drill bit, I have to buy a new one. Are any tools made in America anymore? I have a ton of old drill bits that were my dad's but dont know how to sharpen
I have been a machinist for 30 years this year! I learned how to sharpen lathe and drill bits when I was 18yo. It is a good art to learn, and pays for itself with time and money shortly after investing in the equipment. I think there are some good resources out there. However, from what I have seen many people do not pivot, or split the point of the drill bit. You also should get a drill gauge, and keep the bit cool. Good luck!
 
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bikesnbuses

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Oct 10, 2006
4,179
49
Southern Rhode Island
I myself got SUPER lucky at an estate sale last year..I bought one of the BIG plastic nut/bolt organizers full of tons of NEW hardware AND..3 drawers full of 70s? "made in USA" steel drill bits..mostly small ones..about 100-125 of them..for $50 for the cabinet with parts!
I know how crappy the "new" bits are..I worked at Home Depot for 8 years in tool rental..junky..junky..junky stuff..
 
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morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,666
York, United States
Prices are always cheap because most younger people dont use tools anymore.
Too many high schools promote college or you're a failure. And don't forget sitting on your azz all day playing computer games or on the smart phone instead of building a train layout (learning about carpentry/electricity), building model kits, working with their "old man" repairing the faucet leak, or fixing/repairing their bike. One bright spot are the younger set here on CABE who actually know how to use tools.

In the future, electricians, plumbers, car mechanics, machinests, etc., may just rule the world!!!:cool:
 

DonChristie

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Nov 4, 2009
3,689
Waxhaw, N. Carolina
www.facebook.com
I was a machinist awhile ago and what prolongs the life ot cutting tools is the feeds and speeds you use. Cutting aluminum or wood it does not really matter too much, but cutting various steels it matters. Basically, slow the rpm down and use some kind of cutting/tapping oil. Also, as stated, learn how to sharpen your tools and when drilling, drill a pilot (smaller hole) first, then your final diameter.
 

Tomato John

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 8, 2017
654
56
Spokane Washington
Too many high schools promote college or you're a failure. And don't forget sitting on your azz all day playing computer games or on the smart phone instead of building a train layout (learning about carpentry/electricity), building model kits, working with their "old man" repairing the faucet leak, or fixing/repairing their bike. One bright spot are the younger set here on CABE who actually know how to use tools.

In the future, electricians, plumbers, car mechanics, machinests, etc., may just rule the world!!!:cool:
I thought they already did.....
 

Barto

I live for the CABE
Mar 13, 2015
1,876
Somers, United States
Yesterday I was working on My Hot Rod, I have a really nice set of Snap on Tools including a nice 30 piece drill set... I knew I was going to be using several 3/16 Clecos so I bought some cheap bits "MIBRO," I think I paid 9 bucks for a 16 bit set...just in case.

Not talking reliability as I only used them once...the MIBRO out preformed the Snap on - WHAT!!! I have lots more work to do and will used these drill bits exclusively on this project and will report back with I get some time on them



1159888
 
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Mark Johnston

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 16, 2017
512
Phoenix
Chicago Latrobe cobalt drills are by far the best general purpose drills. Machinist for 33 years. Anything from Harbor Freight is junk unless you’re drilling wood.
 
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MarkKBike

I live for the CABE
Apr 17, 2017
1,042
Chicago Suburbs
I have picked up complete old sets made in Aerica at garage sales.Prices are always cheap because most younger people dont use tools anymore. I would avoid Harbor Freight.
Honestly the best drill bits I have ever picked up have come from dirty estate sales out of older homes that have basements or garages full of tools.

Nothing I have ever purchased at hardware stores comes close, but maybe that's because I refuse to pay ultra high prices. There is a huge qaulity difference, and if you go on the last day, you can usually grab whats left for just a few dollars. It's amazing how crappy stuff like this gets made today, its designed to fail with soft metals, so you have to quickly go through a whole pack.
 
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