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All Titanium Drill Bits not equal

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  • All Titanium Drill Bits not equal

    I am not a scientist or engineer but I most certainly discovered that there can be a huge difference in drill bits by brand.

    I have a Grizzly G0462 lathe and it does not have a hand wheel on the left end, but it is threaded for one. I ordered the hand wheel and discovered another anomaly - the hand wheel does not have a hole through the center line through which to use a rod to tap out MT (morse taper) shafts when they are stuck.

    So I decided to drill out a hole by mounting the wheel's shaft in a chuck and drilling from the tail stock. I got my Ti HF bits to use and it kept wanted to skate (the bit was new.). I tried a different bit, same thing. I figured I needed a cobalt counter sink bit to get the hole stared, but could not get one within the needed time, so I decided to check HD and Lowes. Lowes had DeWalt PILOT POINT titaniums, both in sets and individually. I bought a single 1/4" Dewalt pilot point to bore a hole through the hand wheel shaft, about 2 1/2 inches. It did not skate and bored though the soft steel like it was butter. Of course I used cutting oil and it was smooth drilling all the way. I would drill in 1/4" to 3/8", pull out, and add drop of oil and drill another 1/4 to 3/8".

    I have never had normal titanium bits drill that easily. When I finished, I cleaned the the Dewalt pilot point and it looked clean and hardly used.

    Anyone else familiar with the differences in Titanium plating on different brands? I was shocked in the differences. It could have been the pilot point itself, but it seemed from my observation and feel that it was a much higher quality bit than the HF Titanium.
    Hank Lee

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

  • #2
    The pilot point bits have a tip like a center drill, that's why they skate less. May also be why they drill better, you are essentially drilling a small hole and then enlarging it.

    It would be interesting to try a test with non-pilot drill bits, drill a pilot bit size hole first, then enlarge it. It might give similar results.

    In metalworking we typically do drill a smaller starting hole, then drill in stages to near the required diameter, then either drill just a little larger to get final diameter or ream to final diameter.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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    • #3
      I discovered those DeWalt pilot points years ago, and they are now my go-to bit for almost everything. The only exception is a set of wood-only brad points (the ones that have an outer cutting point too), because they do a cleaner job in some types of wood. I don't think it's the titanium that makes a difference, but I don't know for sure. My impression is that the specific shape is why they work so well and almost never move. I do generally use an automatic punch too in some materials.

      My best friend runs a company division that puts together and installs traffic controls, road cameras, roadside control boxes, and the like. He also agrees those are the best and safest bits for his crew.

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      • #4
        I just realized that the bits in my main kit are easily five years old and still doing well. I've replaced one or two individuals that got broken (1/8") or melted by abusing them into stainless. I'm TERRIBLE at handling stainless.

        Another tip for metals--Tap Magic fluid. It's amazing for drilling and tapping. Note that there's one for aluminum and one for everything else. I've stopped ruining bits once I found this.

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        • #5
          I have never owned a brad point drill bit that would survive drilling in ferrous metals. The ones I have are a flat faced drill with a small sharp point. Tap Magic is the answer when drilling in metal.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Carlos View Post
            I just realized that the bits in my main kit are easily five years old and still doing well. I've replaced one or two individuals that got broken (1/8") or melted by abusing them into stainless. I'm TERRIBLE at handling stainless.

            Another tip for metals--Tap Magic fluid. It's amazing for drilling and tapping. Note that there's one for aluminum and one for everything else. I've stopped ruining bits once I found this.
            Some one suggested Tap Magic about a year ago and I bought a 16 oz bottle. I used it too. It DOES work.

            I didn't go into detail in the original post but I was very surprised at the skating for the normal bits. The bits flexed as though they were cheap spring steel. I backed the tail stock out and turned the lathe off. I shook the tail stock and it did not budge. I tried shaking the chuck and it did not budge. I grabbed the bit and gave it some good tugs and it did not budge. The way it flexed made it look like it was loose. Both the 7/32 and the 1/4 flexed about 1/16 off of center. But the DeWalt pilot point went straight in!

            My technique was the same on all three bits - pull up to touch the wheel (eyeballing), barely turn the wheel and advance forward a minuscule amount. The first two skated; the Dewalt - straight and true.

            Hank Lee

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

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            • #7
              Yeah, I think it's all about how they are cut (anti skate) and the base material of the bit (flex).

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              • #8
                What's the best way to figure out what bits are quality-made?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rochon View Post
                  What's the best way to figure out what bits are quality-made?
                  At my age and experience, it changes every 10 years or so. I stay away from the cheaper bits - both in stores and online stores. Generally the price reflects the quality but not always. Harbor Freight has some cheap ones but they also have some tough bits. In the case of this thread, the focus is on the Pilot Points on DeWalts. Pilot Points do for metal (and wood) what brad points do for wood - keeps it centered. Again, in general, brad points and pilot points are not absolutely necessary, but in some cases they ARE needed.

                  Cobalt bits are much more expensive but last longer. In some cases, carbide tipped bits work well and are expensive too. Cobalt is more for metal while carbide are for concrete or for wood, and the write up will tell you which that bit is made for.

                  Again, price plus reviews will tell, (plus forums like this.)

                  I have learned from this thread that the Dewalt Pilot Points are well worth having.
                  Hank Lee

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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rochon View Post
                    What's the best way to figure out what bits are quality-made?
                    They come in a yellow box that says DeWalt on them. Seriously I haven't used a more reliable bit, and I've tried a lot, even more expensive ones.

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                    • #11
                      Here is the link on Amazon:
                      https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW1361...s%2C159&sr=8-2
                      Hank Lee

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        https://www.regalcuttingtools.com/le...uld-i-be-using

                        If drilling hard materials and you want to limit skating, use a 135 drill bit instead of the standard 118 drill twist bits most commonly sold.
                        The 135 has steeper angle and will skate less and is usually preferred for hardened steel and stainless steel.
                        I have a set of 135 drill bits for drilling harder metals.
                        THe down side is you can't sharpen them on the cheaper drill doctors which are meant for 118 bits.
                        The higher end drill doctors have a 135 setting.
                        Click image for larger version  Name:	Effienct%20Drilling.png?itok=5bZSPGoL.png Views:	0 Size:	151.9 KB ID:	837393
                        Loring in Katy, TX USA
                        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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                        • #13
                          Loring,
                          Thanks for that refresher. Your post made me do a bit of checking - I have two of the HF 115 piece Drill Bit sets: 1 Titanium coated and 1 Cobalt. I used the titanium set which is 118; I should have used the cobalt set which is 135.

                          It also made me think about grinding all of the the Ti set 1/8" and larger to 135. I have the Drill Doctor 750 and it will grind to 135.
                          Hank Lee

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by leehljp View Post
                            Loring,
                            Thanks for that refresher. Your post made me do a bit of checking - I have two of the HF 115 piece Drill Bit sets: 1 Titanium coated and 1 Cobalt. I used the titanium set which is 118; I should have used the cobalt set which is 135.

                            It also made me think about grinding all of the the Ti set 1/8" and larger to 135. I have the Drill Doctor 750 and it will grind to 135.
                            it's going to take a lot of grinding to turn larger bits from 118 to 135. Hard on your abrasives,
                            The drill doctors are more intended for touchups rather than conversions or new pointing.
                            Why not just use the 135s for hard materials and the 118s for soft materials?
                            Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-18-2019, 01:55 PM.
                            Loring in Katy, TX USA
                            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why not just use the 135s for hard materials and the 118s for soft materials?
                              I was thinking that very thing. I did change a few bits a few year ago to 135 just to try it out. Worked fine, BUT not good for a whole set. I'll just use the cobalt 135 set in the future.

                              I think I did the change to 135 for drilling pen blanks where the entry point was critical. I just forgot that. Thanks for the suggestion.
                              Hank Lee

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

                              Comment

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