Drill bits

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Forum topic by Garbanzolasvegas posted 01-19-2015 01:38 AM 1435 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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356 posts in 1194 days

01-19-2015 01:38 AM

Now that I am getting more serious and precise with my work and I have a new drill press I am wondering about Lumberjocks opinions about drill bits and other sundry item to-wit. I have always used a Power Hand drill with my work in a bench vise.

I really like Brad Points for wood and Point bits for metalI guess is what you call them.

Is there any way to sharpen Brad Points…

It seems when one buys a Drill bit collection it seems you always seem to use 2- 3 or four sizes

I hate spade bites but use them once in a while. I plans to get some Fosters one day

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

20 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1453 days

#1 posted 01-19-2015 01:47 AM

I have a set of cheap ryobi forstners that have held up well. That’s always an option till you get money for a better set.

Forstner bits for big holes, brad point for smaller than 1/4”, regular buts for pilot holes because I don’t have brad points small enough for #8 pilot holes.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 01-19-2015 02:45 AM

Forstners are the drill of choice for large holes.
Brad points are best for small holes. I have brad points up to 1”.
You can make your own brad point bits by re-grinding regular drill bts. If you do grind your own, you have a superior bit because regular bits are made of better steel than most brad points.
Also, once you learn to grind your own you also gain the skill to sharpen them.

The better spade bits are okay, but you have to look for the ones with spurs on the outer edge. they cut a little cleaner.

Be careful with spade or auger bits with a feed screw center point in a drill press. They have to be reversed to back out of a hole and most drill presses have no reverse gear.

I have some Irwin Speed Bore Max bits which have three flutes and cut pretty clean holes, but I had to grind the threads off the feed screw so it’s just a point now.

View Tennessee's profile


2861 posts in 2481 days

#3 posted 01-19-2015 03:02 AM

I use brad points up to 1/2 inch. Sometimes, I will use a standard drill bit on wood but only to do a ream, not go through. Forstner bits are what I use above 1/2”. I do have one spade bit, especially modified to fit the washers I use on the neck bolts on my guitars. It is a ground down 5/8” Only spade bit I’ve used in maybe three years?

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Garbanzolasvegas's profile


356 posts in 1194 days

#4 posted 01-19-2015 03:12 AM

Do any of you have anything to share about that Drill bit doctor for sharpening Bits

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

View Tim's profile


3783 posts in 1928 days

#5 posted 01-19-2015 01:38 PM

Michael, have any links or anything for how to regrind a bit into a brad point?

View Garbanzolasvegas's profile


356 posts in 1194 days

#6 posted 01-19-2015 02:28 PM

Having hard time choicing a set of fosters on amazon. Frued seems to be a good bet.

-- If you don't Play, you can't win

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2077 days

#7 posted 01-19-2015 02:50 PM

The best brad point bits on the planet are here:,180,42240,42247&p=42247

Bring money, but they’re top quality. Sharp enough to actually cut you…

View waho6o9's profile


8165 posts in 2544 days

#8 posted 01-19-2015 03:15 PM

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1303 days

#9 posted 01-19-2015 07:26 PM

My drill doctor will not sharpen a bradpoint. For larger brad points I touch them up with an auger file. For smaller ones I grind them and sharpen to a split point. Or toss them. Fuller makes nice bradpoints. I have a Chinese forstner set that I like and use a lot. 50 bucks when I bought them. Decent tolerance and cheap.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View jacquesr's profile


342 posts in 1390 days

#10 posted 01-19-2015 07:38 PM

Colt bits are also available at lee valley for slightly cheaper

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3210 days

#11 posted 01-19-2015 11:34 PM

There are drill bits I own that have never been used for over 20 years. I recommend buying only the bits you will use and buy other sizes as needed. Basically I would go with basic sets of Forstener bits, brad point and HSS drill bits, but only in increments of 1/16”. Those odd sizes like 15/64” hardly ever see the inside of a drill chuck. Of the several hundred drill bits I own, I probably use 10 different sizes on a regular basis; others on occasion and still others, never.

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3210 days

#12 posted 01-19-2015 11:34 PM

Duplicate post

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2041 days

#13 posted 01-20-2015 01:29 AM

it is possible to grind brad points on a grinder fitted with a cut off wheel. spade bits can also be done on a standard grinder being careful to leave the spurs on the outside. forstners can be sharpened with a good file or carefully on a grinder too. the secret to the Colts is the “nicks” in the cutting edge. these do not line up and break the chip up. The purpose of the spurs is to cut or score the grain while it is supported and can be cut cleanly and then the main edge comes along and clears out the remainder of the hole.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2938 days

#14 posted 01-20-2015 03:50 PM
Here is a link to a post about making brad points from regular HSS bits.

I have done this, then modified it with a Dremel tool and a cutoff disk to get the spurs on the outside edge.

View Joel_B's profile


341 posts in 1348 days

#15 posted 01-20-2015 07:33 PM

W.L. Fuller makes great bits

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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