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Old 09-04-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Brad Point Drill Bit Set - Recommendation?

3 years ago I bought the following brad point drill bit set:

Steelex
Part# D1034
25 bits in 1/64 increments from 1/8 to 1/2 inch.

I can't remember who I bought it from, but I bought it when I bought a bunch of other scroll saw materials. I just got around to using some of the bits a month ago and was very disappointed. I thought I'd pass my findings on to you, as I suspect that there are many of you out there that have purchased the same set.

My criteria for judging whether or not the bit was functioning properly was that the point should touch down exactly in one spot as it makes contact with the work.

To check this, I clamped a board down on my drill press table and then lowered the bit down until it just barely made contact with a piece of scrap wood.

13 of the tips worked just fine. They touched down in one small spot.

The other 12 didn't work fine at all. They all made a small circle indicating that the tip was wobbling around. This obviously defeats the whole purpose of a brad point drill bit! One of the little circles on a larger bit had a diameter of 1/8 inch! In each case where I got a circle, I loosened the chuck up and carefully retightened it. This never helped.

So this is a warning to all of you out there that might be thinking of buying this set. Don't.

They are made in China. I guess I don't know if this is a sign of poor quality anymore or not. I found this set on Amazon for $19.63. Maybe a cheap price like this is linked to the quality one gets.

AND NOW COMES MY QUESTION

I like the set just fine in terms of the range and 1/64 inch increments. Can anyone out there recommend a set to me that is like this set but is also of excellent quality?

Thanks for any advice offered.

Dan C.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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Dan

I picked up a set of these from Woodcraft and so far they have been fine. http://www.woodcraft.com/Catalog/Pro...2-c0acfefbfbe0
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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Default Brad points

I made the same mistake with a 25 bit set. They were trash! Some one on this site mentioned Lee Valley. I went there and bought the 12 bit set (5/64" to 1/4") for about 40 + bucks (twice what I paid for the first set) and they are worth every penny and with no run out. My 1/8" bit in the cheap set had .047 run out. The Lee Valley bits are lipped type brad points and if you have a pattern glued to your piece it cuts the paper much better as well as the wood at the circumference. Like the old hand brace type drill bits. Jim L
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:28 AM   #4
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Neat topic. Most of my holes are 1/16", and I have never found a source of brad points with sizes less than 1/8". Any sources for the smaller sizes?

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Old 09-05-2010, 01:45 AM   #5
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Lee Valley sells sets as well as individual bits. 5/64 " is the smallest brad point. Link is HSS Lipped Brad-Point Drills - Lee Valley Tools.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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I also have bought the set by 64ths from the green Griz store, orange metal case. I would say the metal box is of better quality than the bits. Run out on the tip was my major complaint as well. I ended up replacing what I could of the bad ones with what I could find locally in high quaility bits. I could not find local the bits in 64ths, so thanks for the info on the other places to purchase them in a quality lip bit! I think I can still use the culled ones for my hand drills at least. -SkipTooth
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
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Thanks to those who have replied so far. Hopefully a few others will respond. It would be nice to get a fairly well-rounded picture of what the choices are out there for top quality brad point bits.

evilbadger - Thanks for pointing me to the Woodcraft set. I really don't want to pay for multiples however. (Their set has 5-10 of each kind) What I want is one really good bit in each size.

Skip Tooth - I went to the Grizzly site and found the orange metal box set you bought. Just over to the right of that picture is a gray metal box of bits that I suspect are the ones I have. Evidently, they are both of the same poor quality.

I strongly suspect that any bit that costs less than $1 is going to be of poor quality.

JimL, Tom J - Thanks much for pointing me to Lee Valley. Based on your experiences with their bits and from what I see on their web site, these are the bits I will probably go with. Their 12 piece, 5/64" to 1/4" set looks like what I need. At $45, this averages to $3.75 a bit. This seems like a reasonable price to pay for excellent quality.

I'll wait a week or so however, and see what other recommendations come in. (Actually, I'm going to be gone a week, so my contact with the Forum will be spotty.)

Thanks again to those who have responded!

Dan C.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:35 PM   #8
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Dan, I have found that most large group drill bit sets are very expensive, if you want good quality. So, you get what you pay for, is my old saying. I don't use a lot of different sizes, so I just buy them one at a time. Hope you get something that will fit your needs. ---- Perk
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:53 PM   #9
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Dan - Can't tell what drills to buy, but can tell you not to buy the "Hitachi 6-Piece High Speed Steel Brad Point Drill Bit Set", model #728128.0, sold at Lowe's. Of course, for $9.97 I didn't expect much when I picked them up. The point runs out pretty bad and the drills rip through the cut. Spend a little more money and get better a better quality set!
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:41 PM   #10
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Tom J. Thanks for the link.

If anyone else has a source, please share.
Terry
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