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Drill bit sharpening

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Forum topic by RyRat posted 138 days ago 686 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RyRat

22 posts in 141 days


138 days ago

I have a Dewalt drill bit set, this one to be exact.

Are they worth sharpening, or should I just buy better bits as needed?

-- If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. -Mitch Hedberg


18 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3720 posts in 2288 days


#1 posted 138 days ago

RyRat—I have a cheaper set than that and sharpen them every so often as needed (I have a Drill Doctor). I bought these bits about 30 years ago on sale at an Ace Hardware store.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1207 posts in 1062 days


#2 posted 138 days ago

The Pilot Point bits were a “gimmick” type bit that Black & Decker came up with to market to the home owner. They were meant to replace having separate sets for metal and wood with the “pilot point” to allow better accuracy of the bit placement. A good concept, but it fails when the bit dulls, as no conventional method of sharpening the bits will work. You cant use bit sharpeners because they grind the “pilot” off and they are next to impossible to sharpen on a standard grinding wheel.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

250 posts in 910 days


#3 posted 137 days ago

“My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said, ‘no, but I want a regular banana later, so yeah.’” I have no advice on the bits, but I love Mitch Hedberg!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#4 posted 137 days ago

If you can grind them by hand yourself it would be worth a try I suppose. Generally, If a bit doesn’t say HSS ~ High Speed Steel ~ it isn’t worth much, IMO.

Gerry – Does your Drill Doctor sharpen that style?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3720 posts in 2288 days


#5 posted 137 days ago

Topa—Nice catch … no. I didn’t notice the ‘pilot point’ description in the link.

My DD sharpens only 118 degrees. The bit set I mentioned is HSS.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#6 posted 137 days ago

I was a bit skeptical, but I picked up a set of Titanium drills at Costco one time because Costco normally only handles quality products. They were not HSS Titanium coated. They were garbage and they went back. I never buy Titanium unless it says HSS also.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RyRat's profile

RyRat

22 posts in 141 days


#7 posted 137 days ago

Thanks everyone. I think I’ll just upgrade as needed. These bits cut like butter when new, but seem to wear out quick. I was also drilling a lot of metal with a few of the smaller ones, pretty sure that had something to do with it..

SupperCubber – Nice.

-- If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. -Mitch Hedberg

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1057 posts in 1072 days


#8 posted 137 days ago

topa,I know exactly the Costco bits you are talking about,real waste of money,I’m not even sure Titanium coated bits necessarily last longer than regular bits.

-- Ken from Ontario

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3720 posts in 2288 days


#9 posted 137 days ago

Actually, I don’t get the point of coating drill bits with titanium … must be some kind of marketing ploy?

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1207 posts in 1062 days


#10 posted 137 days ago

Gerry, the titanium just gives the bits less resistance when drilling. Less resistance means less heat so the bits should last longer. It really only works if the bits and coating are of good quality to begin with.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1419 posts in 986 days


#11 posted 137 days ago

Drill bits are consumables. Buy new ones.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#12 posted 137 days ago

I remember getting some kind of bit for drilling stainless steel years ago, but I do not remember what it was. Our purchasing agent got them and sent them to the job. They didn’t work very well, but lasted longer than the regular bits. Probably T coated?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1057 posts in 1072 days


#13 posted 137 days ago

Maybe Cobalt bits?they are great for drilling stainless steel but break with the slightes side pressure.

-- Ken from Ontario

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

904 posts in 650 days


#14 posted 137 days ago

I buy nothing but cobalt bits, since I drill metal often, including stainless, hardened steel, etc. But as distrbd says, they are somewhat brittle. I have even broken bits that weren’t much less than 1/2” diameter. I have a few TiN coated bits, but have never been impressed with them.

By the way, there is a way to drill stainless even with ordinary HSS bits. This tip was passed on to me 30 years ago or so, when cobalt bits weren’t easy to find. I was told to use canned milk as a lubricant. Well, it really does work. I surmise that it’s the water that cools, while the butterfat lubricates. But if you keep an opened can of it around, it soon stinks. So I thought to try “miscible” (water soluble) oil, aka dormant spray for your apple trees. Mixed with water, it both cools and lubes, and really does work. What kills HSS in stainless is that the bits get super hot, and then they’re toast (so to speak). You have to add the mix often, as the water soon boils away. I keep a little spray bottle handy for this.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#15 posted 137 days ago

runswithscissors, Now you tell me! I retired last week ;-) Doubt if I ever have to drill SS again. Usually, I told the metal installer it was their responsibility to do all the drilling and cutting.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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