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Drill Bit 101


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Old 12-06-2011, 02:01 AM   #1
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Drill bits are probably the most common and most misapplied tools in the garage/shop. Not all drill bits are created equal and therefore are not created for all jobs.

Bits not available at home stores can be purchased at McMaster-Carr.

Following is some information on drill bits by composition:

Carbon Steel:
these are usually sold at home stores cheaply, they usually have a black oxide coating and are good for wood, plastics, and soft metals like aluminum. they are not strong and do not keep a sharp edge for long when used in metals.

High Speed Steel (HSS)

Uncoated: these are usually sold at home stores and have a shiny metallic appearance these are good for wood, plastics, and metals from aluminum - cold rolled steel (CRS). (They can be used in chrome molly (4140) and tool steels in their annealed state but unless you have the equipment, don't even bother). They keep an edge much better than a carbon steel bit and also can be used with faster feeds.

Black Oxide: these are usually sold at home stores and have a black appearance. Use is the same as above.

Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN): these are usually sold at home stores and have a gold appearance. Price is more than uncoated HSS. These are best used in metals, higher spindle speed and feed rates can be used for faster drilling. The coating allows the metal chips (shavings) to evacuate quicker and allows for less metal to metal wear (heat/abrasion), thus a sharp edge is kept longer.

Titanium Carbonitride Coating (TiCN): these are NOT sold at home stores and have a dark bluish purple - blue grey appearance. Price is more than uncoated HSS. These are best used in metals from aluminum - stainless steel. They can be used in 414x series CrMo steel and tool steels in their annealed state at greatly reduced feeds and speeds. higher spindle speed and feed rates can be used for faster drilling in appropriate metals. The coating allows the metal chips (shavings) to evacuate quicker and allows for less metal to metal wear (heat/abrasion), thus a sharp edge is kept longer.

High Speed Cobalt (Cobalt, HSC)

Uncoated: these are usually sold at home stores and have a shiny metallic appearance these are good for metals from aluminum - Stainless Steel. (They can be used in chrome molly (4140) and tool steels in their annealed state but unless you have the equipment, don't even bother). These bits are much stronger than HSS and have superior cutting edges. They also can be used with faster feeds.

Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN): these are NOT sold at home stores and have a gold appearance. Price is much more than uncoated HSS. These are best used in metals from aluminum - stainless steel. They can be used in 414x series CrMo steel and tool steels in their annealed state at greatly reduced feeds and speeds. higher spindle speed and feed rates can be used for faster drilling in appropriate metals. The coating allows the metal chips (shavings) to evacuate quicker and allows for less metal to metal wear (heat/abrasion), thus a sharp edge is kept longer.

Solid Carbide:

price: 2-5x the price of uncoated HSS

NOTE: These bits are extremely hard and can drill some of the hardest metals known to man, they are also VERY brittle. These bits should ONLY be used in a very sturdy drill press with a very sturdy vise or a vertical mill such as a bridgeport. Any off axis movement, sudden shocks, or even dropping will snap these bits.

Uncoated: these are NOT sold at home stores and have a dull metallic appearance. These are good for all hard metals up through hardened tool steels such as D2 and CPM15V. Best used at slow spindle and feed speeds with constant even pressure.

Titanium Nitride Coating (TiN): these are NOT sold at home stores and have a gold appearance. These are good for all hard metals up through hardened tool steels such as D2 and CPM15V. Best used at slow spindle and feed speeds with constant even pressure. The coating allows the metal chips (shavings) to evacuate quicker and allows for less metal to metal wear (heat/abrasion), thus a sharp edge is kept longer.

Titanium Carbonitride Coating (TiCN): these are NOT sold at home stores and have a dark bluish purple - blue grey appearance. These are good for all hard metals up through hardened tool steels such as D2 and CPM15V. Best used at slow spindle and feed speeds with constant even pressure. The coating allows the metal chips (shavings) to evacuate quicker and allows for less metal to metal wear (heat/abrasion), thus a sharp edge is kept longer.

_____________________________________________
Dan

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:35 AM   #2
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Nice info.

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