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Posted on How do you identify good steel from bad in tools like drill bits

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389 posts in 2024 days

#1 posted 12-19-2012 01:25 AM

Yes, I have seen jigs for use with bench grinders, both commercial and homemade on the net. And have read in other forums where people say they do it freehand. I figure alot depends on what you work with and how sharp you really need it. As for twist bits, I’m not overly concerned with those, cause it turns out the only half-way complete set I have I have identified as a set that still is in production, though it may be made better than what you can buy now. It’s a set of Craftsman High Speed Steel with black oxide finish coating in a red plastic box. They still sell what looks like that identical set. This week it is even on sale super cheap. A couple of the small bits are missing, I’ve either broken them or they got loose in among they mystery twist bits. One of the things I bought from Sears was a set of Carbide bits. I did a lot of research and unfortunately couldn’t find a good affordable quality set of Carbide bits to buy. Even the Bosch and Dewalt come from China, so I figured the Craftsman on sale were probably on par, and they had good reviews. I don’t need to drill steel often, but when I do it’s a frigging bear with them HSS black oxide bits. Especially as dull as they are. I probably bought those myself just to have a full set for around the house stuff. I doubt I inherited that set. For wood, I’m going to get a set of brad point bits. Very likely from Harbor Freight as again it looks like I’m stuck with Chinese manufacture, and the HF set is super cheap, and has really good reviews. I’ll check it out and see. Main reason I’m getting those is so I will have a separate set for wood and won’t be messing up my carbide bits for when I need them. The HF set $12.99 for a 29 piece set in a nice steel case. If nothing else, it a good set to learn how to sharpen those kind of bits, lol, won’t cry too hard when I mess them up and have to replace them.

I’m a big believer in buying sets of tools so you have all possible sizes when you need them. Others argue just buy top end quality when you need it. Well, I don’t want to have to freaking run to the store every time I go for my drill, and I figure If I find I wear a particular size out badly, than I’ll replace it with top end. That way, on those rare occasions I still get jobs done, but end up with the high end tools I really need over time. I’m sure the 1/4” will probably be the first size I need to buy a really good bit for, but I may never use the 7/32”

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