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Hawk312

Drill Bits - #60-80

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Just wondering what you guys are using for drill bits. I am having some very bad experiences with bits either snapping with first use, or just not "cutting" into the plastic and taking forever to drill, for example, plug wire holes. I have tried a couple of those blue rectangular containers with the clear slider from Ebay, which seem to vary from set to set, and the metal tin sets as well. The best I have had so far was the X-acto set in the circular container with clear top, but they are a little expensive.

Thanks~

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I’ve bought those sets in the slider box at Hobby Lobby. I have a battery power drill and regularly break the popular sizes. I’m also looking for a source where I can buy those sizes in bulk.

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Buy in bulk...where else, eBay!  I probably have four or five sets of 61-80 bits, the same ones were missing from all of the sets.  eBay, decide which ones you need, buy 'em ten in a pack, buy 'em from one vendor and usually get a discount.  I think I bought seven packs (70 bits) for $35, delivered to my door.  I probably won't have to buy any more drill bits, period.

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22 minutes ago, Hawk312 said:

Just wondering what you guys are using for drill bits. I am having some very bad experiences with bits either snapping with first use, or just not "cutting" into the plastic and taking forever to drill, for example, plug wire holes. I have tried a couple of those blue rectangular containers with the clear slider from Ebay, which seem to vary from set to set, and the metal tin sets as well. The best I have had so far was the X-acto set in the circular container with clear top, but they are a little expensive.

Thanks~

I have been using the drill bits in the circular container with great results. As for they being the X-Acto brand I can't really tell as their name doesn't appear anywhere on the container and this leads me to believe they are not X-Acto products. Non the less they have preformed perfectly in my mind. A few suggestions on the breakage  issues you mentioned. I have fond that if I mark the spot I want to drill first does help. Think of it like a punch in metal work or even wood work. I use a #11 blade to gently start a small indentation where I want to drill. Next when putting the drill bit into the handle set it in to where just the groves of the drill bit are exposed. The "starting hole" gives the edge of a very fine bit something to get a hold off. By mounting the drill bit deep into the handle you're giving the bit more support. I also use very little pressure and let the bit do the work. They are very thin and delicate and I have found they will break easily if I apply much pressure. The set I'm using has sizes from #61 thru #80 and was purchased at a local hobby shop.

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Too, the drill bits bought in bulk are more likely to be industrial items and should last a bit longer than the hobby items that were in the original set.  With the smaller bits, it's usually the side thrust when using them in a pin vise that does them in.

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Try these guys. I use the really tiny bits like .30mm.  Keep in mind that the carbide bits cut extremely well (to include fingers) but are very brittle.  You have to be very careful not to snap them with any lateral pressure. 

https://merchant.auctivacommerce.com/s25472/Product3.aspx?ProductId=4302731&SID=25472

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51 minutes ago, espo said:

I use a #11 blade to gently start a small indentation where I want to drill...

Once I figured out that trick, it stopped me from breaking so many of the smallest bits.  I use a small T-handle pin to make a "pilot hole," and that gives the tiny drill bit a head start. Some of those bits from #75-80 will break if you even look at them funny.

I've had one of the "round" bit holders for years. I think it was originally X-Acto, but it has been populated by off-brand bits for years now.  I had one of the "blue slider thing" sets, took out the bits and put them in the round holder, just because it's handy and doesn't take up much room.

As for sources, I'll buy the #60-80 bit sets anywhere I can find them.  A vendor at a local flea market had some a while back. I think I bought 3 sets from him, which should last a while.  

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5 hours ago, El Roberto said:

Try these guys. I use the really tiny bits like .30mm.  Keep in mind that the carbide bits cut extremely well (to include fingers) but are very brittle.  You have to be very careful not to snap them with any lateral pressure. 

https://merchant.auctivacommerce.com/s25472/Product3.aspx?ProductId=4302731&SID=25472

These are often referred to as circuit board drills and the best but good ones  can be quite expensive.

 https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Holemaking/Drilling-Drill-Bits/Circuit-Board-Drill-Bits/?rd=k&pcrid=396779935646&navid=12106101&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2Yv4a2rHh8Gt-qrVxBceOeqUDfPDFoSBhmYFWam4gq5K2ulcm_k2hEaAjtmEALw_wcB&mkwid=sSSWb1ooT|dc&cid=ppc-google-Returning+-+Holemaking+-+Product+-+PPC+-+Exact_sSSWb1ooT_circuit+board+drill+bits_e_396779935646_c_S#navid=12106101+4294955908

That is because they are very sharp and to be so means they are made from carbide steel.  This also means that they are brittle.  They will generally not tolerate the side deflection you can get with a pin vice.  I have several sets that I use in my mill when I need very precise and very small holes.  I only buy them as I need them.  

For more routine things I use a better grade of bit but not cobalt or carbide.  https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Holemaking/Drilling-Drill-Bits/Circuit-Board-Drill-Bits/?rd=k&pcrid=396779935646&navid=12106101&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2Yv4a2rHh8Gt-qrVxBceOeqUDfPDFoSBhmYFWam4gq5K2ulcm_k2hEaAjtmEALw_wcB&mkwid=sSSWb1ooT|dc&cid=ppc-google-Returning+-+Holemaking+-+Product+-+PPC+-+Exact_sSSWb1ooT_circuit+board+drill+bits_e_396779935646_c_S#navid=12106101+4294955908

Regardless, I don't buy the cheap "hobby shop" drill bits.  They are mass produced to be inexpensive, so the quality control standards are not high.  If you want stuff that has a higher level of quality control, you have to pay for it.  Also, I would suggest that if you want good bits you go to a good industrial supply house like MSC above.  My other "go to" store is McMaster-Carr. https://www.mcmaster.com/drill-bits

One caution about using either of these houses.  Watch out for shipping.  They ship everything over night express.  That is great if you need it right now, but cost of shipping can easily exceed the cost of the item especially if you only need one or two items.  Just make sure order enough. 

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Guys, try Micromark as another source. I never use the smaller bits in a power tool- only with a pin vise. The one I use has a 4 jaw chuck and a sliding collar for tightening. This was part of my dad's watchmaking tools so probably dates to the 40's. Some of my drill bits date back that far too- maybe better quality back then?

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Most likely better quality back then.  I only used one particular bit (forget the size) in a Moto-Tool to drill holes in vacuum forming molds.  I did go through a fair number of that size bit, and did buy them by the pack.

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5 hours ago, Pete J. said:

These are often referred to as circuit board drills and the best but good ones  can be quite expensive.

 https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Holemaking/Drilling-Drill-Bits/Circuit-Board-Drill-Bits/?rd=k&pcrid=396779935646&navid=12106101&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2Yv4a2rHh8Gt-qrVxBceOeqUDfPDFoSBhmYFWam4gq5K2ulcm_k2hEaAjtmEALw_wcB&mkwid=sSSWb1ooT|dc&cid=ppc-google-Returning+-+Holemaking+-+Product+-+PPC+-+Exact_sSSWb1ooT_circuit+board+drill+bits_e_396779935646_c_S#navid=12106101+4294955908

That is because they are very sharp and to be so means they are made from carbide steel.  This also means that they are brittle.  They will generally not tolerate the side deflection you can get with a pin vice.  I have several sets that I use in my mill when I need very precise and very small holes.  I only buy them as I need them.  

For more routine things I use a better grade of bit but not cobalt or carbide.  https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn/Holemaking/Drilling-Drill-Bits/Circuit-Board-Drill-Bits/?rd=k&pcrid=396779935646&navid=12106101&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtZH7BRDzARIsAGjbK2Yv4a2rHh8Gt-qrVxBceOeqUDfPDFoSBhmYFWam4gq5K2ulcm_k2hEaAjtmEALw_wcB&mkwid=sSSWb1ooT|dc&cid=ppc-google-Returning+-+Holemaking+-+Product+-+PPC+-+Exact_sSSWb1ooT_circuit+board+drill+bits_e_396779935646_c_S#navid=12106101+4294955908

Regardless, I don't buy the cheap "hobby shop" drill bits.  They are mass produced to be inexpensive, so the quality control standards are not high.  If you want stuff that has a higher level of quality control, you have to pay for it.  Also, I would suggest that if you want good bits you go to a good industrial supply house like MSC above.  My other "go to" store is McMaster-Carr. https://www.mcmaster.com/drill-bits

One caution about using either of these houses.  Watch out for shipping.  They ship everything over night express.  That is great if you need it right now, but cost of shipping can easily exceed the cost of the item especially if you only need one or two items.  Just make sure order enough. 

Yes there is a definite learning curve with the tiny carbide bits, but after  little practice I very seldom break one (usually when I try to rush the hole). 

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Try Drill Bits Unlimited.  Large assortment of small drill bits on 1/8" shank.  They are extremely brittle but are sharp as sharp can be.  You can buy them it packs or if you have favorite sizes you can get multiples of them.  I like #70 and #72 for pins and plug wires.  Get 5 of each and they come in a nice package.  They are not expensive.

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You might also want to try candle wax as a lube for the drill bit.... It'll make the drill last longer and keep it from breaking.... Wash your parts in soap and warm water before you paint!!!....

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I have gone through many, many drill bits over the years. I have the X-Acto round drill index with the clear plastic cover. Even when new, the bits of various sizes have varying degrees of quality- some prone to breaking, or not cutting that well.

I have replaced some of them with no-name bits, mostly with poorer quality still. I have had good luck with Walter brand bits in standard replacement sizes- available online, or well-stocked hobby shops that sell model trains. They cut well, stay sharp, and don't seem as prone to breakage as other brands. I believe part of it to be related to heat treating. They are available in packs sorted by size, 2 or more per pack.

 

Edited by gman

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Drill bits break? Might be a matter of the kind of metal they are made out of and how well sharpened they were out of the gate. I kid you not, swear on a set of Bibles, I've been using the same set of #61-80 bits since I snagged 'em from my machinist father sometime in the late 1980s, in both my motor tool and in my pin vice. A few seem a little duller than the rest by now and the only broken one in the bunch is the #79 where I dropped whatever I was using to drill on the floor.

15888613_70sdrills.jpg.98e80e965985669d1916dd890fbf4752.jpg

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Tungsten Carbide used for circuit board drilling is very hard and brittle and as mentioned in an earlier post do not stand up to any side deflection. Carbon steel drills are a bit more durable. With very small drills it is imperative to make a small indent mark as a start, especially on a curved surface to stop drill wandering or deflection. A sewing needle in a pin vice can be used as a fine centre market for this purpose. Mounting a drill as far back as possible in a pin vice or chuck will lessen the chance of deflection, the main cause of drill breakages.

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6CE72E9D-E375-400D-A09C-E30876235E78.jpeg.01a2d317b3aab549fe9262218026510f.jpeg
 

I use this battery power drill. I runs on two C cells I replace every few years. It is eXacto branded and I have it 25 years or more. I haven’t seen another or anything like it since. Closest is the new Tamiya drill you must assemble. 

I just ordered some bits on EBay last night. As Charlie said, the important ones to me are 70 and 72 for straight pins and engine wiring. Seller is Dragonsupply and bits were $5.78 per 10 in a small tube, postpaid. Seller is listed as California. It did say country of origin of the product was China, so let’s see where the package actually comes from. I ordered 1 Pack of each size. Within an hour I got the “Shipped” notice, so we will see! Don’t go flooding this vendor with orders just yet. I will add my experience to this thread.

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I have a set of Zonas and I broke a few.  I'm heavy handed.   SO I bought a cheap no name set that Looked LIke Zonas.   They aren't.  Under magnification, some don't even have point; they are very random grinds.   So once I fugured that out, I check them before I use them.  I can grind at least a crude point to them.  I got what I paid for.   Will check the new Harbor Freight in town and see what they have sometime.  I'm trying to avoid going in the first time, because it can be addictive to buy new crappy tools for some reason.  lol

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On 9/20/2020 at 8:51 AM, Deuces ll said:

Here's the pin vise set I use.... These are the best money can buy...

IMG_20200831_141106.jpg

Those look really nice! I bought a cheap set of chinese(?) ones from my local hobby shop. Only one holds the bit straight and they are all poorly threaded and hard to tighten.

35C9EE1D-D003-4FF0-AAC5-5DA893BDB9A9.jpeg

Edited by NOBLNG

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The ones I have in that red pouch have a ground shank so they fit in a R-8 collet for a Bridgeport milling machine....

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