I'm tired of cheap drill bits that go dull with only a few uses.

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Forum topic by ohtimberwolf posted 12-12-2019 09:52 PM 1135 views 2 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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965 posts in 2961 days

12-12-2019 09:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: good drill bits

Can someone advise me? Does HD or Lowe’s or Menards have any good metal square shank bits that they sell?

I don’t want to morgage my house to pay for them but I would like to have some decent bits to use; my arm gets tired trying to push a drill bit through 3/32” metal. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

18 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5522 posts in 2917 days

#1 posted 12-12-2019 10:02 PM

Do a google search using “good hss drill bits” and read a few of the write ups.

Or just look here,

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View LesB's profile


2318 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 12-12-2019 11:17 PM

I think you are looking for drill bits with Cobalt in them. Search cobalt drill bits for manufacturers….I know Dewalt makes some. High speed steel is the most common and replaced carbon steel bits. I see those titanium coated bits and they may work fine for a while but if you sharpen them the titanium gets ground off. There are some with pilot tips that may help but again if you sharpen them the tip gets ground off.

I use a bit sharpener to keep mine sharp. Drill Doctor is a popular one but there are bit holders you can use to sharpen the bits on your bench grinder that are less expensive. I have both and favor the Drill Dr. I have lots of bits so about once a year I just lay they all out and sharpen the ones that need it. Learn about the proper angle for various bits. Trying to cut through steel with the wrong cutting angle can slow things down. Here is an article on angles….

If I’m drilling holes larger than say 3/8” in metal I usually pre-drill the hole with a smaller bit because the points on large bits are not very good at getting the hole going.

-- Les B, Oregon

View builtinbkyn's profile


3000 posts in 1549 days

#3 posted 12-12-2019 11:26 PM

This is a decent set I picked up for drilling metals. The bits have a starter point which helps the bit bite the surface of the metal. Not too expensive for the number of bits and each size can be purchased separately should you need to replace.

Edit: I want to add, stepper bits are a good option for metals as they are stout and allow for increasing the hole size without the need to change the bit. They obviously have limitations as to the thickness of the material that can be drilled.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Knockonit's profile


640 posts in 810 days

#4 posted 12-12-2019 11:29 PM

Have to agree big box store bits are horrible. i finally started going ot a bolt and nut joint here in town, and the bits are a 100 % better, but the boys just don’t seem to understand letting the bit cut, instead of standing on drill and frying the bit, they just don’t get it.

oh well. happy holidays
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3099 posts in 4046 days

#5 posted 12-12-2019 11:35 PM

I’ve got some cobalt bits. They do work well, especially if you’ve got to drill harder stuff like steel, stainless, etc. The only drawback is they are very brittle. Small diameter ones break easily.

Softer, high speed steel ones will dull. Cobalt ones will often chip.

My solution is use high speed steel ones and sharpen. I got a drill sharpener after collecting a box of dull bits. Now I just touch it up between uses.

Titanium coated ones are pretty but aren’t anything special. Maybe a sales ploy?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View therealSteveN's profile


4655 posts in 1182 days

#6 posted 12-13-2019 06:03 AM

Most of that is just cheap bits. If it came from a Borg, in a plastic pack, or especially HF, you are getting some ChiTaiwanese junk. Poor metal, combined with cheap grinds, and you will not have a very long lasting bit, nor one you can resharpen worth a skunk.

For made in the USA I like Montana brand

For import, and what I use most are Fisch

Goes back to that ya get what ya pay for.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Woodknack's profile


13019 posts in 2988 days

#7 posted 12-13-2019 07:52 AM

I ordered a couple sets of US made Drillco bits to replace the china sets I’ve been using and they are like night and day. The US bits come sharper and stay sharp longer. I’ve also bought US made Viking bits, haven’t used them as much but my initial impression is they are also very high quality.

You might find this interesting too.

-- Rick M,

View jbmaine's profile


91 posts in 78 days

#8 posted 12-13-2019 09:42 AM

I was in the metal working trade for 40+ years. We almost always used Guhring or Chicago Latrobe brand 135 degree split point drills. As for coatings, the yellow ( gold) coating is titanium nitrite. It doesn’t make the drill any “harder”, but what it does do is make the drill body more ” slippery” , it provides lubricity, especially in the flutes, so the chips flow up the drill and out of the hole easier, causing less friction. Less friction means less heat, which is what dulls the drill point.

View PeteStaehling's profile (online now)


102 posts in 1728 days

#9 posted 12-13-2019 11:30 AM

Best solution… Order bits somewhere else rather than buy from big box stores. Read up on the types, decide what type suits your need.. Buy the sizes you use most in bulk from an industrial suppler. Use them properly (proper feed rate, proper lubrication, etc.).

View GrantA's profile


2133 posts in 2016 days

#10 posted 12-13-2019 11:36 AM

Find a local welding /industrial supply house, one that sells steel. They’ll have quality us made bits like champion or drillco.

View SMP's profile


1598 posts in 514 days

#11 posted 12-13-2019 12:38 PM

Are you using cutting oil? Or dry?

View natgas's profile


38 posts in 1597 days

#12 posted 12-13-2019 12:44 PM

I have purchased several sets of HSS bits from Amazon and they are crap! NOt one has lasted anytime at all so I am going to be looking at some much better quality bits and hopefully they won’t put me in the poor house (whoops, already there!)

-- Randy

View GrantA's profile


2133 posts in 2016 days

#13 posted 12-13-2019 01:26 PM

You’ll only be in the poor house if you keep buying the same cheap tool over and over

View ohtimberwolf's profile


965 posts in 2961 days

#14 posted 12-13-2019 02:08 PM

thanks guys, lots to look at and checkk out here! SMP, I don’t use lube on thinner metal.


-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View jacww's profile


50 posts in 1616 days

#15 posted 12-13-2019 02:20 PM

I have a few W. L. Fuller drill bits that I really like. They aren’t cheap but they seem to be great bits.

They are made by a fourth generation family owned company in Rhode Island.


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