Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?

 
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
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Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Ive used dewalt titanium, hitachi black gold, and milwaukee cobalt. The hitachi beat the other 2 out but still went dull after a while. I was using the drill doctor to keep the points sharp but soon noticed that I was only able to get about 2 holes drilled before they needed resharpening. I generally drill into 1/8" to 1/4" plate. Actually anything from 1/8" or less I am not having any problems with its just above that where things get to be a pain. Is there anything else out there you may know of that will last longer and will pierce the steel faster or do I just have to keep doing what Im doing? (I do generally drill a pilot hole before I go bigger cuz it seems the smaller bits drill much easier through 1/4" plate)
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


How big of a hole are you drilling? Step drills work well to open up holes.

I felt the dewalt titaniums were better than the hitachi bits but thats just my opinion.

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


A good quality bit should last longer than that, but I don't know what you are drilling into, how thick, what alloy etc.

The proper speed drill will help immensely; RPM based upon bit size.

You don't say what step sizes you are using. You may have to start with a smaller bit.

Also no offense intended, but drill bit sharpening is a skill and could be part of your issue.

Obviously one has to retire bits for resharpening before they get overheated and the tempering changes. No offense intended again; I've burnt more than my share of drill bits.

A good quality cutting oil higher in sulfur should help a lot; regular oils are not the same thing. If you are not using some go buy some.

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Old 03-09-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


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Originally Posted by RobertCDF View Post
How big of a hole are you drilling? Step drills work well to open up holes.

I felt the dewalt titaniums were better than the hitachi bits but thats just my opinion.
It was a pretty close match between the hitachis and dewalt, I think it was just that my dewalt titaniums were a bit older. I was thinking of using my step bit to open the holes but into 1/4" thick plate I didnt want to burn those out too for what they cost.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #5
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


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Originally Posted by Willy is View Post
A good quality bit should last longer than that, but I don't know what you are drilling into, how thick, what alloy etc.

The proper speed drill will help immensely; RPM based upon bit size.

You don't say what step sizes you are using. You may have to start with a smaller bit.

Also no offense intended, but drill bit sharpening is a skill and could be part of your issue.

Obviously one has to retire bits for resharpening before they get overheated and the tempering changes. No offense intended again; I've burnt more than my share of drill bits.

A good quality cutting oil higher in sulfur should help a lot; regular oils are not the same thing. If you are not using some go buy some.

best,
Willy
Generally its just regular hot rolled mild steel. 1/4" is the thickest I go for base plates on railings and the hole size is around 3/8". I always put cutting oil on the bits and rotate them, usually 1 hole per bit then I switch to the next one. I think the the drill doctor does a good job sharpening bits when using them on wood they are just like new, I just dont think it can get them to that point where they are like new for drilling into the steel. I have since found a supplier that ships me 1/8" plates with all the holes already punched out, but using the 1/4" plate and drilling them myself is still a regular occurance - depending on the customer and the overall railing design.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


what about the black high speed steel bits you can get.. oxidized or whatever.. ive never had luck with the gold titanium bits, the ones i own i only gets used on wood
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


1) You might consider getting some reading glasses/ magnifiers so you can assess the final sharpened product. A miniscule amout of rake or a flat spot makes a lot of difference.

2) Think of where you buy your drill bits. Home depot? No industrial supply would probably carry that quality; it's homeowner. Even serious construction people aren't in the same caliber as industrial producers. My guess is that the bits at the lumber yards don't compare.

Think about what a cheap homeowner drill bit looks like; lots of colors and flash, with no quality beneath it.
The titanium drill bits are the same packaging. What matters is what is beneath the flashy coating, IMHO.

3) Proper drill bit, proper cutting oil, proper RPM & feed speed and it should all work w/ mild steel

4) When you can swing it get a punch and your life will get easier. : )

I would set my railings without base plates. I would essentially have the post extend into the concrete that I removed with a carbide bit and would crete into place. Very tidy, very strong. No broken lags, anchors or rust from mounting plates.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


When I was more into working with metal and not wood I was drilling a lot of Stainless. I don't know how hard your steel is but a good "Made in America" bit will always work better than some garbage Import. It's a huge difference. Order from McMaster Carr or Grainger or whatever supply house is near you. Don't be scared to spend some money on a good bit. It'll pay back.

Also make it a Cobalt bit. Much better than regular HSS or TiN coated. Your drill speed is critical, as is a little oil. Heat is the enemy. Slow and easy will always get you there.

You're on the right path with the step drilling.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


I also use the titanium Dewalt bits. They work pretty well.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


I run cobalt drill bits with a 135-degree tip, up to 1/2" diameter, in my drill press through 1/4" and 3/8" mild steel plate pretty routinely without troubles. No pilot hole, but I do use a center punch and a couple of drops of cutting oil with medium speed and normal pressure.
The bits I have are Bosch, but I'm not sure it matters too much since I dress them in the Drill Dr. every so often to keep them hungry.
It takes a little more effort doing it with a portable 1/2" drill, but I still use the same basic routine, just at a lower speed. Itís sometimes faster to make a pilot hole when you need something bigger than 5/16" or so with a portable drill.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Worth every penny: http://www.norsemandrill.com/Ultra_Dex_Facep144.html

They aren't that expensive, either. I think I paid about $80-$90 for a set. Great bits.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


I got a set of bits from Mac Tools, they were pricey but the best thing is if I break one they give me a replacement for free!
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


The best I've found are Izar bits from Spain.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:03 PM   #14
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Like some have said it's the brand you are using. You can't expect a $40 drill set to last long.

I read an article from a guy about these cheap drill bits. He visited a place that made them and he see that only the common sizes were being made out of the better quality steel. All the others in the set were being dipped in a colorant to make them look like the better steel bits. The guy he asked said they only make the common size ones from the good steel as the other sizes don't get used.

Go and spend $100+ on a set and you will see a massive difference in quality and life.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:17 PM   #15
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


http://www.partsmaster.us/SitePages/...1&Details=true

Cryobits from Partsmaster. I sold cutting tools for many years and these cut like "butta"... Little pricey but you get what you pay for. I'm not positive, but I'd bet they'd send you a couple of 1/4" jobbers length free...
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #16
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Almost any bit set that comes in the steel box that flips open is a good set.

Check out MSC

http://www1.mscdirect.com/eCommerce/...2drill+bit+set
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #17
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


I bought a set of Hilti Cobalts for metal drilling but the best bang for the buck is to go to a fastening store and buy a bulk pack of black oxide bits, you get a big pack of em for 15 bucks....I think mine are Triton from Brafasco.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:20 AM   #18
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


I have a black oxide index that I bought from the Snap On truck that I am very pleased with, and I always use drilling lubricant when drilling through metal.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:35 AM   #19
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Partsmaster Cryobits are cryo-treated and will cut more holes and break less than other bits. You can take a standard maintenance bit from Partsmaster, the Cryobit and drill thru the shoulder of a grade 8 bolt...no center punch, no trouble. 135 degree split point. 12 month warranty. They are actually on special right now. Hit me in the inbox and I'll hook you up. Angie.Stark@Partsmaster.com
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:47 AM   #20
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Re: Best Drill Bits For Drilling Into Steel?


Oil and speed. You don't oil or go to quick you will heat the bit and kill it. I got some bits from Coastal tool that were some of the best I have used.

Select-a-bit 2nd and 3rd down

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