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Are all pocket hole drill bits the same?

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  • Are all pocket hole drill bits the same?

    I'm going to get rid of my Kreg system because it's always annoying me a bit, and have a PC 560 coming from Menards ($140 sale right now). "Everyone" says the drill bit with the PC is not very good, because it doesn't have a great wood-cutting grind. Since all pocket screws are the same across systems, I think the drill bits should be also?

  • #2
    My kreg jig is fine for my purposes ----- but the bit needs sharpening.

    Signs of this:
    - doesn't drill as fast as it used to
    - jig wants to creep if I don't tighten it down enough

    I'm told that kreg bits wear out pretty quick.

    A friend of mine has the PC --- and says that the bit doesn't wear out as fast, due to the full-length metal support of the jig.
    He knows more than I do - but I don't know the specifics of that claim.

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    • #3
      My question was whether the bits are interchangeable between brands. I know how to tell if a bit is dull.

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      • #4
        I think they might be. I've had a cheap HF one, a Sommerfeld one and now my Kreg K3. I have no idea which bit came with which one but I can grab whichever bit is handy and it seems to fit and work just fine.
        Chr's
        __________
        An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
        A moral man does it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Carlos View Post
          I'm going to get rid of my Kreg system because it's always annoying me a bit
          Just out of curiosity, which Kreg system do you have and what annoys you about it?
          Chr's
          __________
          An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
          A moral man does it.

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          • #6
            I have the Kreg jig and have used it extensively over the years. I have two bits and never use one of them. The only thing I added was to put 220 sandpaper on the bottom with contact cement. This keeps it from moving when I clamp down.

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            • #7
              I have 2 flat bottom and 1 recessed bottom for either type of screw. I bought the recessed bottom in case I wanted to use a regular screw when I was overseas. I have had a Kreg since 1996 "I think" and have the original bit. I have used it on a dozen projects that used 50 to 60 screws each. I had two Kreg pocket hole jig sets at one time, one for use in Japan and one for use here in the States. After moving back, I gave one set to my son in law.

              My original flat bottom is not that dull.

              I ordered the extra set of bits way before the Chinese import items began to infiltrate Amazon and other retail outlets, so I don't know if they are equal today or not. I have not had a problem with the bits from Kreg or who ever made the other bits.

              Hank Lee

              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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              • #8
                They are not that easy to sharpen. I have used a small tapered stone in a dremel grinder to touch up the inside cutting edge. I also knocked off the two sharp outside corners on the flutes, that about stopped the jig from walking as bad..... but it didnít cut as aggressive with the sharp corners removed. Overall I think removing the corners was a worthwhile modification.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by twistsol View Post

                  Just out of curiosity, which Kreg system do you have and what annoys you about it?
                  I have the K3 Master System. I dislike the fiddly setup, and the clamp seems to change adjustment at random/get loose. Also having to mess with the bit collar for every wood change.

                  Keep in mind that I'm super picky about things that are finicky to use and will just replace them. Others may find it just fine. I look forward to the automation of the PC.

                  I will never sharpen bits, so I'm just going to buy something that cuts well and call it done. Sounds like indeed they are all the same. I might keep the Kreg bit when I sell off the Kreg jig. One common comment I've seen is that the Kreg bit has those "wings" (sorry, don't know the term) that eat at the outside of the hole. The other wood bits I have with that feature are my favorites.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Carlos View Post
                    I have the K3 Master System. I dislike the fiddly setup, and the clamp seems to change adjustment at random/get loose. Also having to mess with the bit collar for every wood change.
                    I can't argue with any of those points. I don't change from 3/4 very often so those aren't issues for me. I've wrenched down the clamp adjustment so tight I doubt I could change it now if I had to. Let us know how the Proter cable system work for you.
                    Chr's
                    __________
                    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
                    A moral man does it.

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                    • #11
                      Fair enough. I mill my hardwoods to "whatever works," because I work mostly with exotics that often have issues. So I never target any thickness, I just stop "fixing" the wood when it looks good. I like ending up with around 7/8" pieces when I can, or often 13/16. And I tend to involve varying thicknesses in the same project. Finally, and most importantly, I'm super lazy about having to change machines as I work, and totally disorganized as far as progression. I'll work on the sides for project A, then bottom of probject B, some random crap, then some project A again...

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