SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Recommendation for small drill bits ?

1684 views
25 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Recommendation for small drill bits ?
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:09 PM

I'm tired of suffering with lousy drill bits. What are recommendations for the best small size drill bits available, price not an issue?

 

Bill

  • Member since
    December, 2013
  • From: Orlando Florida
Posted by route62 on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:31 PM

This is what I have on my bench:

http://drillbitsunlimited.com/100-pc-DRILL-Bit-Set-10-pcs-each-size-010-012-0135-016-020-0225-029-036-037-045-P2081518.aspx

These bits go from a fraction of of mm in diameter on up.  They Chuck into a Dremel or pin vise.  They will drill plastic, soft metals, wood, and more.  The smaller bits are fragile so you have to go slow, lite pressure and do not let the bit flex.  The bit sets give you multiples of each size as you will break a few.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:02 PM

Thanks! I've seen this type before but forgot where.

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 10:36 PM

I ditto route's post, but they can be found on EBay for a third of that price 

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:34 AM

 

I'm tired of suffering with lousy drill bits. What are recommendations for the best small size drill bits available, price not an issue?

 

Bill

 

[/quote]

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 12:58 AM

GMorrison

I'm tired of suffering with lousy drill bits. What are recommendations for the best small size drill bits available, price not an issue?

 

Bill

 

GMorrison

Bill -

'Puter had a heart ambush in first reply, pls excuse.

For very small holes I use what are called "finger drills," perfect for such as drilling parts for flying wires on bi-planes, or running wires in models. Got them in R/R section of my local HS.

Prominent nurled aluminum grip, easy to control, overall length 2", actual drill surface length 1/2." Have lasted a very long time, good quality. I have 8, #'s are 66-68-70-72-74-76-78-80. That selection takes care of nearly all of my hobby drill needs. A very wide selection is available, above and below those numbers. If you haven't tried them it's well worth a look.

Patrick   

I'm tired of suffering with lousy drill bits. What are recommendations for the best small size drill bits available, price not an issue?

 

Bill

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:01 AM

Oh that was a great LHS. John Eaton and I kind of gave it a good last run. 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:17 AM

Thank you very much Pat.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, October 05, 2017 11:46 AM

I got a whole mess of them for free. They belonged to my grandfather.

  • Member since
    September, 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Thursday, October 05, 2017 2:14 PM

What is your issue with the drill bits you currently are using?

 

You can buy individual wire gauge drill bits from many of the name brand drill bit manufacturers but that costs a lot more than the sets you find in most hobby shops, with individual HSS bits running $2-3 each for the small sizes we generally use for models. You can get them in more exotic materials but the price jumps, I've seen Cobolt drill bits as small as #80 at around $5-6 for the one drill bit. 

 

I bought individual Irwin brand bits #43-60 at the local ACE Hardware and it cost me about $50 (I just bought a few at a time $2-3 each). Irwin does make bits all the way down to #80 but I have a couple of those 61-80 sets you find at most hobby shops for $10.

I later found a #1-60 HSS drill set at Harbor freight that only cost $19.00 and included a case / organizer. I see Amazon has an Irwin #1-60 drill set for $62 which is a much better deal than I got buying them one at a time.

  • Member since
    September, 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Thursday, October 05, 2017 2:26 PM

If you are serious about price not being an issue Gyros sells Amaerican made drill bits, and they have a 115 piece Cobolt drill bit set that gives you everything from #60 through Z and 1/16 to 1/2" in 1/64 steps for $500...

 

They have more reasonably priced smaller sets using HSS including some #61-80 sets for $20-30.

http://www.gyrostools.com/Drill-Bits---Wire-Gauge-Wire-Gauge-Drill-Bit-Sets---High-Speed-Steel/c19_78/index.html

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:47 AM

Aaronw

If you are serious about price not being an issue Gyros sells Amaerican made drill bits, and they have a 115 piece Cobolt drill bit set that gives you everything from #60 through Z and 1/16 to 1/2" in 1/64 steps for $500...

 

They have more reasonably priced smaller sets using HSS including some #61-80 sets for $20-30.

http://www.gyrostools.com/Drill-Bits---Wire-Gauge-Wire-Gauge-Drill-Bit-Sets---High-Speed-Steel/c19_78/index.html

 

You can order them from Home Depot on line and have them sent to a store near you with free Delivery.  I just replaced 7 bits in my Huot set With these US made High speed steel bits which are stronger than carbon steel. 

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a day.

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • From: Lincoln, NE
Posted by F-4 Phixer on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:11 AM
Picked up my set like those shown here at Harbor Freight. Not very expensive either.

Steve S.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:12 AM

For #61 to #80, I use this miniature drill bit set from Hout.

Warning: the link in the previous sentence is to an Amazon page where you can order the drill "index" (box) only. It does not include the drill bits. Thanks to Ernie (Plasticjunkie) for calling this to our attention.

Hout is a leader in HSS (high speed steel) commerical drill bits. Knock wood, I've yet to break one (of course, now having said that I'm doomed). I was going to recommend buying mini drill bits only at a commercial supply vendor such as MSC, but as you can see they popped up on Amazon when I googled Hout miniature drill bit set.

I'm sure you already know this, Bill, but just in case a good-quality pin vise can really help guard against mini drill bit breakage. Get those tiny bits rotating off-center and it's a break looking for a place to happen.

A question for Route and Nathan and anyone else with experience:

I've seen that carbide mini drill bit set posted here many times. Miniature drill bits are fragile and carbide is brittle. Why do these things work? If you try these, Bill, please let me know how it goes for you. I becoming interested in them.

So Nathan, you're an expert with tools. Why do these little drill bits works in carbide?

-Greg

  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • From: Lincoln, NE
Posted by F-4 Phixer on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:14 AM
Should have mentioned those shown by Route 62 posting. Ooooooooops !

Steve S.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:03 PM

Bill ;

Over the years I have stayed with the little bit set in the plastic dome . One I have is pushing thirty years old .Sure I've broken some , as has everyone else .

 Now there are others out there . One set has hexagonal handles and are about an inch and a quarter long from the handle .I have another set that I got as a gift . Bits three inches long and one is so small I have to brace it in the middle to start drilling .

 Hole size ? I don't know , my cat could tell Though .It is the same size as one of her whiskers ( Vibrasae ? ) T.B.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:16 PM

Greg

For #61 to #80, I use this miniature drill bit set from Hout.

Hout is a leader in HSS (high speed steel) commerical drill bits. Knock wood, I've yet to break one (of course, now having said that I'm doomed). I was going to recommend buying mini drill bits only at a commercial supply vendor such as MSC, but as you can see they popped up on Amazon when I googled Hout miniature drill bit set.

 

 

Greg

From Amazon you only get the metal box and NO drill bits. I placed an order and re read the description and reviews and promptly canceled it. Thought it was too good to be true since Huot sets are expensive.

I have the same Huot set as you and is well over 30 years old. I just replaced 7 bits that have broken thru the years with ones from Gyros that I got thru Home Depot on line. They are made in the USA and are very sharp. I just used the #80 bit to drill out a plastic pitot tube on my Val and it worked the same as the Huot bits. I attempted to drill the part with the set I got on ebay from China and the #80 bit didn't even dent the plastic! 

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a day.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:33 PM

plasticjunkie

 

 
Greg

For #61 to #80, I use this miniature drill bit set from Hout.

Hout is a leader in HSS (high speed steel) commerical drill bits. Knock wood, I've yet to break one (of course, now having said that I'm doomed). I was going to recommend buying mini drill bits only at a commercial supply vendor such as MSC, but as you can see they popped up on Amazon when I googled Hout miniature drill bit set.

 

 

 

 

Greg

From Amazon you only get the metal box and NO drill bits. I placed an order and re read the description and reviews and promptly canceled it. Thought it was too good to be true since Huot sets are expensive.

I have the same Huot set as you and is well over 30 years old. I just replaced 7 bits that have broken thru the years with ones from Gyros that I got thru Home Depot on line. They are made in the USA and are very sharp. I just used the #80 bit to drill out a plastic pitot tube on my Val and it worked the same as the Huot bits. I attempted to drill the part with the set I got on ebay from China and the #80 bit didn't even dent the plastic! 

 

I'm very sorry about the innacurate link (to Amazon re the Hout bit set which is really just the case). I wanted to show the case and the Amazon link was the first one that came up in Google.

At my place, we buy stuff like this from commercial tool suppliers, and that's where I got my mini-Hout set some 30 years ago. I really should have known better than to link to Amazon, though I do believe the commercial suppliers like MSC also sell just the boxes.

My bad and thanks to Ernie for the warning.

My dedication to the bits themselves remain, however. 

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 4:46 PM

Greg
 
plasticjunkie

 

 
Greg

For #61 to #80, I use this miniature drill bit set from Hout.

Hout is a leader in HSS (high speed steel) commerical drill bits. Knock wood, I've yet to break one (of course, now having said that I'm doomed). I was going to recommend buying mini drill bits only at a commercial supply vendor such as MSC, but as you can see they popped up on Amazon when I googled Hout miniature drill bit set.

 

 

 

 

Greg

From Amazon you only get the metal box and NO drill bits. I placed an order and re read the description and reviews and promptly canceled it. Thought it was too good to be true since Huot sets are expensive.

I have the same Huot set as you and is well over 30 years old. I just replaced 7 bits that have broken thru the years with ones from Gyros that I got thru Home Depot on line. They are made in the USA and are very sharp. I just used the #80 bit to drill out a plastic pitot tube on my Val and it worked the same as the Huot bits. I attempted to drill the part with the set I got on ebay from China and the #80 bit didn't even dent the plastic! 

 

 

 

I'm very sorry about the innacurate link (to Amazon re the Hout bit set which is really just the case). I wanted to show the case and the Amazon link was the first one that came up in Google.

At my place, we buy stuff like this from commercial tool suppliers, and that's where I got my mini-Hout set some 30 years ago. I really should have known better than to link to Amazon, though I do believe the commercial suppliers like MSC also sell just the boxes.

My bad and thanks to Ernie for the warning.

My dedication to the bits themselves remain, however. 

 

Not a problem Greg. I fell for it too but caught it in time. What made me go back and re read the description was the price. I think I paid close to $12 about 30+ years ago for mine and made be suspicious.

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a day.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:12 PM

This is going from bad to worse. I always thought Hout manufactured the HSS drill bits. Apparently they just make the storage cases.

So now even I'm wondering what drill bits are inside my Hout drill index. The tool supply place they were likely bought from is no longer.

Geez, this is embarrassing. I really hope nobody else ordered from that link.

-Greg

  • Member since
    September, 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Thursday, December 14, 2017 12:25 AM

Greg

 

A question for Route and Nathan and anyone else with experience:

I've seen that carbide mini drill bit set posted here many times. Miniature drill bits are fragile and carbide is brittle. Why do these things work? If you try these, Bill, please let me know how it goes for you. I becoming interested in them.

So Nathan, you're an expert with tools. Why do these little drill bits works in carbide?

 

 

Not either of the above, but I'm learning about these things from my recent dabbling with machining.

 

For the stuff most of us work with (wood, plastic, aluminum, brass), High Speed Steel should be fine, in fact carbon steel should be quite adequate unless using a Dremel, and even them most likely only an advantage if drilling steel. 

The primary advantage High Speed Steel has over carbon steel is being able to take high heat from drilling without losing its temper. High Speed Steel will retain its hardness even when starting to turn dark red from the heat, while carbon steel would begin to soften at that point.

There is some potential of getting to that point with a dremel in hard material, but none of us are going to get there with a pin vise... at least not without a few thermos' full of coffee. Smile

 

Cobalt and Carbide are overkill for most of us and really intended for production work. High Speed Steel tooling is generally considered well suited to use with mini-lathes and mills. Carbide doesn't even start to provide an advantage until you are getting into larger (1/2 ton +) lathes and mills cutting steel and more exotic (and harder) materials.   

High Speed Steel will stay sharp longer than Carbon Steel, and Cobalt will stay sharp longer than High Speed Steel which is an advantage, but where a HSS drill set will typically only cost 10-20% more than a Carbon steel set, Cobalt will often cost 2-3x as much.

  • Member since
    September, 2015
  • From: The Redwood Empire
Posted by Aaronw on Thursday, December 14, 2017 12:31 AM

Greg

This is going from bad to worse. I always thought Hout manufactured the HSS drill bits. Apparently they just make the storage cases.

So now even I'm wondering what drill bits are inside my Hout drill index. The tool supply place they were likely bought from is no longer.

Geez, this is embarrassing. I really hope nobody else ordered from that link.

 

 

Don't feel bad, I know that wasn't what you meant to post, but I didn't know you could buy the those metal drill index boxes empty. That might actually prove handy for me.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, December 14, 2017 10:28 AM

Aaron, that is a very good overview on drill bit types, and if I were grading you, you'd get an A+. Thank you for taking the time.

That said, I'm also interestested in hearing from anyone who can explain why those tiny carbide bits don't snap off everytime.

And thanks for accepting my mea culpa on the drill bit box too. 

-Greg

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Friday, December 15, 2017 1:50 PM

Greg

That said, I'm also interestested in hearing from anyone who can explain why those tiny carbide bits don't snap off everytime. 

 

I have used a few of the sets mentioned here.

One set is the one that comes in an oval, dome shaped bit holder.

Another is the set that comes in in the flat dispenser type holder (blue plastic).

Be careful when buying the second one as some are carbon steel and some are High speed steel.

Both of the sets I have are high speed steel and are sizes #61 (.039") to #80 (.0135").

I have purchased replacements for bits that I have broken from MicroMark that are high speed steel and come in packs of 6. These seem to be a pretty good quality.

The Carbide set was 10 pieces and has only 5 sizes from .8mm (.0315") to 1.0mm (.0395"). I suppose there are other carbide sets out there with different sizes.

In use, the High speed steel sets are "jobbers length" and range from .780" in length, to 1.575" long. Because of the very small diameters, they tend to be kinda flexible, but brittle enough to snap if bent too much. I try to chuck the bit in a pin vice so that just the tip of the bit shows through the material I'm drilling, keeping the exposed part of the bit as short as possible and still allow me to see what I'm doing.

The carbide bits are specialty bits, I think, designed for drilling printed circuit boards and such, so the need for length is not great. The "twist" part on mine is only about .275" long. The rest of the bit, the shank portion, is .125" in diameter and about 1.050" long, allowing for a good grip in the chuck. There is a plastic ring pressed onto the shank, apparently used when installing the bit in CNC drilling equipment to control the depth and keep them uniform.

The result is, that to me, the carbide bits, even though more brittle than the high speed bits, seem to be a little more resistant to breaking because of the shorter length of the twist, the tendency to run in the larger diameters and the hardness of the carbide. Regardless of the bit you choose, a light touch and a tecnique that keeps the bit from bending is the key for these tiny things. If you have a model makers drill press, that helps a lot if you are drilling a lot of holes at a 90 degree angle to the work. I have noticed that the ground finish on the carbide tips and flutes are significantly smoother than most of the high speed bits in the micro-number range I've seen, although I've drilled wood, plastic, copper, brass (photo etch and mini bar) and even stainless steel photo etch with both carbide and high speed bits. I've broken a few, heck I've even broken 1/2" diameter cobalt bits doing construction work and steel fabricating. 

I did buy a set that came in a steel, mini drill bit holder that looks like full size holders, but I found I had a bit of difficulty getting the bit I wanted out of the thing. I found I like the plastic dome one the best, kept on the bench and the flat plastic dispenser holder second, kept in my carry tool box and one on the bench. The carbides usually come in a type specific holder or individually in little plastic tubes with a cap on them. In the end, many of mine wind up loose on the bench or in my carry tool box, requiring a digital caliper to find out what size it is as none of these little bitty things have the size on them.

Hope all this helps. None of these sets are really expensive, so, in my case, I've tried them all. Find out what works best for your hands and go with it.

 

EJ

Completed - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, December 15, 2017 2:57 PM

EJ, thank you for sharing your experiences regarding the drill bits. It is appreciated.

-Greg

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS

FREE NEWSLETTER