Return to the Home Repair Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Drill bit questions

Posted by jally (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 21, 11 at 4:05

Hi, I have several questions re: drill bits.

(1) Which of the following step bits is better? Can both of them drill holes for example inside a wood door, or rather just on thinner plastic & metal?

Amazon - Neiko Titanium Step Drill

Ebay - Titanium Step Drill

(2) is there an affordable, easy to use, sanding drill-bit, to which sand paper can easily be attached? I tried YouTube but no dice. I have a rubber sanding bar, but it's hard to get the sandpaper on it, and it's hard for me to sand manually.

(3) I recently bought what turned out to be a junky set of tools in a red/yellow/blue kit consisting of various screwdrivers & driver bits. But the metal thingie which is supposed to grip those bits magnetically, turns out to be barely magnetized, such that the skinnier bits don't stay put, rather fall out.
Question: What is that thingie called, and where's a good place online to find same? (or locally? Home Depot? Walmart?)
Must it be part of a set, or can it be bought singly?

Thanks!

P.S. Some background: I'm a mid-aged female & quite a newb at this. It's not as if i enjoy mens' work, but i've learned that if i don't help myself, it's hard to get anyone to help me, and even if they do, it's usually a botch job. Ditto re: handymen around here, they're spread so thin.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Based solely on price, I'd bet that both a pretty much junk. There's an old expression when it comes to tools, "buy cheap, buy twice." Step bit are designed to drill in thin metal and plastics. You can only drill an accurately sized hole in materials thinner than the distance between "steps."

As for sanding, is this what you're looking for?

They're designed for use in a drill press but you can use them in a hand drill as well.

As for screw drivers you might want to check out your local Sears store. Craftsman screw drivers are pretty decent. Are you looking for something like this?

If you're just looking for a multi-tipped screwdriver to handle a variety of chores, you might check out this one. It is NOT magnetic.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Thank you so much - are those called sanding bits, and is there any online video showing how to use those via a drill?

And would i be better off with a paddle bit, for both metal/plastic sheets and thick wood?

As for the thingie, I meant the metal thingie (what's it called?) which is gripped by the drill chuck, into which you insert either screw-driver bits or else drill bits (which are supposed to stay inside the thingie magnetically).
Mine is poorly magnetized due to it being junk.
Where do I find a non-junk thingie to replace my junk?

As for my manually operated red/blue/yellow screwdrivers, they're sorta OK, though i have yet to test the bits, since they didn't stick inside the thingie.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Step bits are almost always the wrong thing for any hole.

Buy regular twist drills for smaller holes (up to about 1/2 inch) and hole saws as needed for lager holes.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Thanks - how do I attach hole saws to my drill, and any best idea where to get same?

Also, how do paddle bits compare to hole saws?


 o
P.S. to drill bit questions

P.S. Aside from my followups re: hole saws & re: paddle bits

just wanted to explain that I want the holes for both thick wood and for plastic (as in drilling a 1 3/8" hole within a plastic bottle cap.

So if there's any one bit compatible with both purposes, that would be most useful for me.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Here's an example of many websites for drill bit types. You can also search for "how to use a drill" as well. Your local library might have books as well as big box stores on safe tool use and bit types, blade types that you use with the proper tool

Here is a link that might be useful: drill bits


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Door hardware installation kit.


http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/d6/d651b025-b715-45d5-98df-1122949a4bda_300.jpg


Magnetic bit holders

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?keyword=magnetic+bit+holder&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

"Thanks - how do I attach hole saws to my drill, and any best idea where to get same?"

An arbor goes into the chuck that the hole saw mounts on.
The arbor normally includes a twist type pilot bit in the middle and protruding further than the hole saw teeth to help stabilize the hole saw.

"Also, how do paddle bits compare to hole saws?"

They suck compared to almost anything else.

"thick wood and for plastic (as in drilling a 1 3/8" hole within a plastic bottle cap."

Define thick wood.
You can use a hole saw from both sides.
When the pilot bit breaks through the off side (or the hole saw reaches its limit, and deeper cutters are available) you switch to the other side.

Switching to the off side also gives a clean entry cut on both sides reducing tear our from breaking through.

How clean a hole do you want in the bottle cap?

How exact a size?

A chassis punch uses a smaller hole to align the sides of the punch.
You then pull the sides together with an included bolt and it punches out a hole in the material.

They are very effective in metal and softer plastics.
Not so good in rigid plastics (they tend to crack).

"1 3/8" hole" is pretty large for a bottle cap.
How big a bottle?


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

There are many, many different styles of drill bits, many have a specific purpose and some simply work better in some applications than others.

For holes 1/2" and smaller in metal or wood, ordinary twist drill bits are probably your best bet. You can use a "paddle" or "spade" bit for larger holes in wood. They're relatively cheap and work pretty well. I would suggest investing in the kind with little "spurs" on the edge of the bit, they make a cleaner entry hole.

If you want to go through plastic or metal, a hole saw is the way to go. There are two parts to a hole saw, the arbor which holes the pilot bit and the hole saw itself. You can buy them with an integral arbor or with the arbor separately. The latter will be less expensive if you buy lots of bits and offer more size options.

The item you're talking about for driving screws with a drill is called a "bit holder".

There's a gazillion of the on the market. DeWalt makes pretty decent ones.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Quote "Step bits are almost always the wrong thing for any hole."

That is not true.. when used for their intended purpose Unibits do a fantastic job, however their intended purpose is quite limited.

Unibits are intended to only be used on sheet metal or light guage steel no more than 1/8" thick. Primarily electricians use them to drill holes for conduit or or cable locks in sheet metal electrical enclosures or sheet metal workers use them on light guage sheet metal. They are a specialty tool that would generally not be of much use to the typical homeowner.

Spade bits are fine for drilling holes in framing lumber or in applications where a rough finish would be tolerated.

Hole saws generally are not practicle unless the intended hole will be 1" diameter or greater.

To make precision holes the preferred bit is the "Forstener Bit" but quality forstener bits are a bit pricy.

Photobucket


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

"Unibits are intended to only be used on sheet metal or light guage steel no more than 1/8" thick. Primarily electricians use them to drill holes for conduit or or Unibits are intended to only be used on sheet metal or light guage steel no more than 1/8" thick. Primarily electricians use them to drill holes for conduit or or cable locks in sheet metal electrical enclosures or sheet metal workers use them on light guage sheet metal. They are a specialty tool that would generally not be of much use to the typical homeowner."

All the guys I work with use Greenlee chassis punches for sheet metal.
Drill a small hole with a twist drill, mount the punch and anvil pieces, tighten to make a perfect hole with not burs or tearing.

"Spade bits are fine for drilling holes in framing lumber or in applications where a rough finish would be tolerated."

Slower than a self feeding auger bit, and really ragged holes.
My 'go to' bits for wiring and smaller pipe runs are 18 inch and 24 inch ships auger bits in a slow 1/2 inch drill.
You can go through a wall top plate with an oblong hole through the drywall at a shallow angle that then goes through the plate.

"Hole saws generally are not practicle unless the intended hole will be 1" diameter or greater."

There are hole saws smaller than one inch, but not by much.
Hole saws are good when the material is less than twice the hole saw depth in thickness and you want clean entry holes.
Working from both sides eliminates the often massive tear-out when a hole saw breaks though a face from the 'inside.'

For large holes in thicker material a 'hole hawg' drill with multi spur bits (larger Forstner bits with teeth on the cutting rim) gets the job.
It can go through just about any wood and make holes large enough for pipes up to about 5 inches.
It will have tear out on the far side though, often pretty badly unless you back off the feed pressure just before breaking through and slow the cut down.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Jally, what are you trying to do with these things? What are you trying to sand? FYI: I'm another (ahem) mature female finding my way around the hardware aisles.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Plus one on Brickeye's thoughts on drill bits


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

I have a half dozen sets of greenlee punches around here, and yes, they make nice clean holes with no burrs,,but they are slow and require multiple steps. When one only needs a quick hole that will be filled with a fitting the unibits are the way to go.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

"When one only needs a quick hole that will be filled with a fitting the unibits are the way to go."
Which I suppose is why the tradesmen call then "speed bits".
The edge-toothed Bormax bits give the clean cut and minimal opposite-end tearout of a traditional Forsner bit, with the speed of the hole-hawg, but they don't have a lead screw. And they are $$
Casey

Here is a link that might be useful: Bormax, the best


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

OK, thanks so much, handymac, Brickeyee, Mike, lazypup, etc. etc.
Some of you were especially thorough, and i appreciate the info!

I hope this response will answer in more or less a nutshell the above followups:

This type of bottle cap (Mott's screw on cap)
Purpose: "primitive" homemade filter to filter scaly water.

I already fashioned the below primitive filter.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Now all i'd want is instead of my less-convenient homemade-bike-hose rubberband i'm currently using, instead:
i'd drape the depicted coffee filter over the mouth, then screw on the saw-holed Mott's type of bottle cap.

So i assume for that, either:
hole saw or:
unibit or:
sander
(Ebay? Amazon?)

could work well, while spade bits are debatable judging by feedback.

I'm also considering sawing 3 similar holes inside the screw-on lid of Blizzard-Brand Ice Melt, as a PRE-FILTER vs. slimy water from primitive rain barrel, in case i should ever need same.

As for holes in wood, and for more details of how I decided to borrow my BIL's ancient hole-saw rig for that purpose, see:
my other thread - collapsed closet rods
where i plan on soon posting a further update including pics plus captions, to replace 1000 words.

And, btw, i may wind up borrowing the ancient hole-saws for the bottle caps too, since they're already available.

FINALLY - a followup question on bits:

Does 2" or 3" bit holder make much difference? (or larger?
And is Dewalt's the strongestly magnified & reliable vs. Milwaukee or others?


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

A hole saw is probably your best bet for the plastic bottle lid. Just go very slowly.

I've used a variety of bit holders over the years and I don't know that one brand was significantly better than the others. Just stay away from the cheapest, no-name ones. If you want the belt and suspenders route, they do make bit holders with a collet to secure the bit. But they're harder to find and the added bulk at the end of the holder make it hard to get into tight places.

You may find you need a variety of lengths but 3" is a good place to start. I have one that's 12" long but I don't use it very often.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

I made an adapter that allows 1/2 inch drive socket extensions to mount in a drill while mounting a hole saw on the other piece (1/2 in drive socket welded onto the hex shaft of a mandrel).

It has come in handy a number of times when holes through multiple joists on tight spacing have been needed for plumbing lines, AC lines, and even larger electric lines.

You can just stack up extensions for the reach you need.

It is a LOW RPM setup though, but larger hole saws do not need a lot of speed anyway.


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

"A hole saw is probably your best bet for the plastic bottle lid. Just go very slowly".

Make sure you have the cap secured by clamping it or whatever it takes as the hole saw is going to want to skip off initially. Once the pilot bit goes through and the hole saw connects, it's going to grab fast unless you go extremely slow feeding it with light pressure using both hands to control it. You are going to need a varaible speed drill. Best if your bil can help you to be safe. If your hand is holding the cap, good chance you're going to get bit!


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

brickeyee, i assume you were responding to mike's comment ;-)

Mike and sierraeast, thanks so much for your info - just what i needed answered.

Regarding getting bit, i realize that after having just drilled for the first time yesterday, on the hardest thing possible - 4 holes into a slippery/shiny strong metal closet rod (see my other post for the pics).

I switched the Porter Cable drill to the LOW SPEED setting. Then first used an awl (as well as hammering a thick, 3" nail, and yet another nail, interspersed between drilling)

...yet with all my care - still broke the skinniest bit as well as the 5th & 6th bits, out of the 13-bit cheap set.

To anchor the bottle caps, i'd probably screw them onto the respective bottles, plus add water inside them to weigh them down.

Then attempt using my BIL's hole saws in my Porter Cable at low speed. Does that make sense?


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Actually filling the bottle with water for weight and stability and screwing on the cap is an excellent idea. It might be a good idea to have someone hold the bottle for you. They should probably wear work gloves to protect their hands a well.

When drilling into metal you should use a center punch to make a little dimple so the bit doesn't wander. Of course, hitting a hollow closet rod hard enough to dimple the surface without deforming the road might be a challenge... :-)


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Or the bottle could be placed between heavy rocks.

The closet rod holes were already drilled yesterday. I explained via captions in pics in my other thread re: collapsed closet.

Thanks again!


 o
RE: Drill bit questions

Update: I finally borrowed the hole saw drill again, and here's pics of the result. I'm definitely finding the screw-on cap easier to connect than the black bike-hose rubberband on the lime-scale filter.

As for the large pre-filter, what i'm wondering - whether the depicted nylon screening fabric would be durable enough as a pre-filter of very slimy water from open rain barrel.

Added notes: Though i gave it my best shot, the holes are rough & assymetrically positioned, but hey, they're filling the purpose. The medium-blue lid is what originally came with the Morton ice-melt, and i'm keeping it as a spare.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Home Repair Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here