I'm looking for a set with wire sizes, letter, and fractional. There are a lot of 115pc sets a places like Northern tool and Amazon.com that I suspect are substandard. What are some good brands to look for and where should I look? I'd also like to get metric bits at some point. -- Fred
I waited until the 115 piece American made set went on sale at MSC. Figured I'd keep some local folks in business...I've been happy with it, but subsequently realized I don't know what "American made" really means. Is it domestic? North American? South American? Oh well, I really did try.
I forgot to add that I don't know exactly what kind of bits are best for general metalworking. I assume that all the bits I'd be interested in are high speed steel (hss) twist drills. I don't really understand the coatings though. Cobalt, black oxide, titanium nitride? -- Fred
They also sell sets made purely of drills by Cleveland, which is a known good brand. But I have the "Made in USA" set as well, and am quite pleased with it.
Note that the 115 bit index by Huot (who makes the indexes used in the quality sets, but not in the cheaper sets) also has a clip in it on the letter side of the index to hold the 61-80 index, and I have one stored there.
As a rough guide, using MSC's typical pricing, I consider that a
115-piece set with index should sell for not much less than a dollar a drill bit.
However, next time around, I will go for another index filled with screw-machine length split-point cobalt steel drill bits. I've got a number-size set of these which I find to be spectacularly good for most of my needs.
I bought a USA set from Traver Tool about 15 years ago, and it's without question the most useful investment in metalworking/machining/auto repair/etc. tooling I've ever made. And I ALWAYS replace any that get broken or misplaced. Came with a nice HUOT case, too. It was about $200....well worth every penny from the use it's given me over the years.
I bought mine from MSC. Number sizes in split point cobalt, made by greenfield. I also bought fractional and metric in HSS. I just got tired of rummaging around for a drill that might do the job, or modifying a design for something based on what drill I *did* have.
I've been looking at restocking my drill collection as well. I'm thinking that if I got a set of metric drills in 0.1 mm increments up to about 13 mm it would cover everything I would ever need. A drill every 4 thou of an inch ?
"ATP" wrote: (clip)the 115 pc set at Costco looks better than most $40 sets. I'll know more after I use a few. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I bought that set a few weeks ago, and used it for the first time today. I am very pleased at the way it works in mild steel, but I can't say anything about stainless or anything really tough.
1) The index which I have stops at 12.0 mm. Actually two indexes one is 1.0 mm to 6.0 mm, and the other 6.1 mm to 12 mm, IIRC.
Or -- does the larger set stop at 10.0 mm?
I'm not up to going downstairs to refresh my memory at the moment -- but I am *sure* that it doesn't go all the way to 13 mm.
2) There are times when having all possible sets is helpful. I have bought (but not yet used) some thread forming taps, which use different size starting holes than cutting taps do. And, IIRC, both 1/4-20 and 10-32 require metric sizes.
Get a good drill chart from a #80 to 1/2" with letters, numbers, fractions and metric to 0.05mm. I have two - one in color over the lathe and another on the back door in plastic.
It shows what is the drill to use and what is next larger or smaller... I often step from one into another unit system in order to take light cuts. My large set is for gross items and the various small boxes cover the quality cuts wanted. Martin