Drill bits

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Forum topic by jimmy J posted 11-07-2012 07:10 PM 3216 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimmy J

229 posts in 2619 days

11-07-2012 07:10 PM

Sexy topic:
I am in need of a new set of general woodworking drill bits.

Wondering if the jocks have a preference on brand or set size

16 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3472 days

#1 posted 11-07-2012 07:42 PM

I am honestly NOT happy with my Ryobi Speed Load set right now. I broke one of the small bits, and replacements aren’t available.

HOWEVER, aside from breaking a small diameter bit (drilling into metal no less) and not having replacements available, I DO like the set. The Speed Load feature makes changing bit sizes fast, and simple. The set size is pretty convenient. However quick change bit sets do sacrifice accuracy for convenience.

In all honesty, IMHO I like a nice big bit selection, and am particularly fond of brad point / pilot point bit sets as they do a good job of reducing / eliminating bit walking. I have found the DeWalt DW1969 29 piece pilot point set, and the Steelex Plus D2305 25 piece brad point bit set is working well for me. The DeWalt gets pretty much rave reviews from everybody that has them, the Steelex is a mixed bag. I have had good results from mine, and honestly, the negative reviews I see on Amazon seem to me to be for a totally different bit set. I can’t say if they changed the set, or if I just got lucky. If I had to do it over again, I would grab the DeWalt (I had a set, it got stolen…)

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View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2527 days

#2 posted 11-07-2012 08:17 PM

For general woodworking, I find brad points and Forstners to be the most useful. My advice is to spend a few (sometimes more than a few) bucks to get decent bits, as they will last longer and cut more cleanly.

-- John, BC, Canada

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5155 posts in 2592 days

#3 posted 11-07-2012 08:19 PM

I like HSS bradpoints for most of my work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3888 days

#4 posted 11-07-2012 08:41 PM

For wood I use standard drills but I grind them to a brad point myself.
The point isn’t as long as a commercial brad point and the spurs
aren’t as long but the holes are just as clean. It’s tricky to do
on drills smaller than 1/4” bit I’ve ground them as small as 1/8”.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2442 days

#5 posted 11-07-2012 11:42 PM

I have so many bits my cabinet I built for just drill bits and such is way to small….. I have the machinist bits, regular, brad points, forster,snappys,hinge,auger, you name it I got it. That all being said…....... Look at the Woodcraft big boxed set. I know from time to time they have these big bit sets sometimes in regular and also in brad point. What I like about them is if you break one no sweat cause there are usually 4-5 more left and they are reasonably priced. They when you can buy yourself a nice HOLT drill bit set for the really precise work you may encounter. I will usually take a nail set and make a small dent where I want the center to be even on wood… Of course if drilling into metal I will use a center punch. check these out and I know they used to have a brad point set as well….. If your liking these but wish to have brad point I may have several kits a the shop pm me if interested…..

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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jimmy J

229 posts in 2619 days

#6 posted 11-08-2012 02:08 AM

thanks guys

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266 posts in 2487 days

#7 posted 11-08-2012 02:56 AM

I have a set like Gsheperd’s, and it’s great for getting a huge variety and not having to worry as much about those smaller bits, especially the ones that go less than 1/16”. A word of caution though: always make sure the box is locked before you pick it up… it seems stupid, but I’ve done it twice, and sorted them without one of those hole gauges.

Brad points are great for accuracy, though. Get a set of those, even if they are just the basics, 1/8”-1/2” by 1/8ths is good enough for most tasks.

For boring, get a set of forstner bits and spade bits. The spades come in handy for drilling in questionable stock, or if you need a quick hole and saving wear on your forstner bits.

As for brands, I personally don’t even come close to being loyal to one. The HSS drill set mentioned only cost me $20 on sale, and even if the brand isn’t recognized they are great value. When it comes to your finer bits, such as forstners, you probably want to go with more expensive ones.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 11-08-2012 12:08 PM

I’ve owned a Drill Doctor 250 for ~12-years and I am still using a 29-bit Craftsman Automatic Drill Index (1950-60s?) I got from my father ~40yr ago. Sure, I’ve replaced the occasional broken smaller bits, but I cannot say enough about using a freshly sharpened bit… even if they are standard HSS points. Sharp is good…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MrRon's profile


5277 posts in 3484 days

#9 posted 11-08-2012 09:40 PM

I have had good luck with Harbor Freight brad points and forstner bits. Some times, you may have to enlarge a hole made with a brad point bit. Then you have to use the jobber drill bits for that. I buy cheap sets of drill bits and stock up on the most used sizes with better quality bits. The HF bits are good enough for most woodworking, but if you do much metalworking, better quality bits are needed.

View zzzzdoc's profile


550 posts in 3244 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 10:38 PM

Not to hijack too much, but how about a good metalworking drill bit set? Or a good Speed Load set that is better than the Ryobi one?

-- Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2429 days

#11 posted 11-09-2012 05:05 AM

One “size” does not fit all here. You need some brad points, some Fortsners and some regular twist drills at a minimum to do good work in cross-grain, shallow flat-botom holes and end grain.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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7380 posts in 3608 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 06:23 AM

I had some Ryobi and was/am disappointed with them.

MonteCristo is correct with the one size does not fit ; brad point, Forstners, and twist drills are all useful in woodworking. I use my brad point bits the most since they are much easier to locate on the center mark than a twist drill.

My brad point bits are Irwin (very old set) and the sizes are marked as inch but they do not really measure out to inch dimensions and I assume they might be closest metric equivalent.

I have a set of Forstner bits I bought a Costco and I am very happy with them!

Mike is correct about a sharp bit, you will burn wood, possibly damage you project, and open yourself up to possible injury using a dull bit!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View LeChuck's profile


424 posts in 3303 days

#13 posted 11-09-2012 03:22 PM

Home Depot and Lowes sell a set of Dewalt brad point bits that seem very good and are very well priced at about $15. Lowes sells a couple sets of Porter Cable forstner bits that are also very well priced. I’ve been happy with those.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

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8539 posts in 2817 days

#14 posted 11-09-2012 03:27 PM

Machine grade cobalt bits are great for metal working.

Ebay has some good deals on them, but you should
check around to get an idea of the composition of the bit
compared to price.

Feeds and speeds, slow with a steady pressure and a lubricant
will cut through metal.


View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2442 days

#15 posted 11-09-2012 07:51 PM

I have several sets of the Dewalt ones and they are not bad at all…... Good Call on those…. The killer for any drill bit is HEAT…. More problems are created by just going to darn fast and not taking the time to clean out the shavings.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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