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Drill bit sets

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Steve Crow22/05/2017 19:29:44
170 forum posts
39 photos

After years of buying drills when I need them, I've decided to bite the bullet and get a 1 to 6mm drill set.

As anyone got any advice on what to go for?

Tracy Tools are £30, Presto £45 and Dormer £90. About a fiver less for TIN versions of the latter two (why is that?).

Are Presto still made in Sheffield or is it branded Chinese imports?

What I would really like is the above set in stub length but I suppose that's too much to ask.

I'd rather not buy at all than buy rubbish.



SillyOldDuffer22/05/2017 20:07:22
5127 forum posts
1073 photos

Posted by Steve Crow on 22/05/2017 19:29:44:


Are Presto still made in Sheffield or is it branded Chinese imports?


Dunno. I've an idea they are made in Mexico but can't find the reference.

It's increasingly hard to tell where anything comes from. Presto have been through many changes of ownership. In 2006 the brand was purchased from Kennametal by Suncraft International. Suncraft International are Chinese, which implies that Presto are Chinese made. Or maybe not! These days most corporates are international entities. Who owns them, where they are registered, where they pay tax, and where they actually make stuff are all liable to change. If it's not too risky and they can make more profit by moving, they do.

All the Presto drills I've had have been good.


Brian Sweeting22/05/2017 20:08:53
400 forum posts
1 photos

Trust Tracy Tools, I've not had any problems with their stuff.

But, if you do they will sort it out.

No affiliation, just a local firm.

Chris Evans 622/05/2017 20:33:16
1564 forum posts

I bought a set of Presto taps thinking the quality was Presto of old but they turned out to be carbon steel not HSS.

On the drills topic I have a set 1mm to 5.9 and another 6mm to 10 both sets by 0.1mm increments so most needs covered. They are from MSC and bought when on their offer sheet for very reasonable money. One is Interstate brand not sure of the other.

Phil Stevenson22/05/2017 20:34:30
75 forum posts
13 photos

As chance would have it, I asked a guy on one of the club stands at the Doncaster Show this very question a few days ago. His models were absolutely outstanding so I am tending to believe he knows what he's talking about. He recommend these. German, expensive, extremely good - apparently.

Will Bells22/05/2017 21:03:39
152 forum posts
7 photos

Hi Steve

My vote goes to the Dormer 4 facet TiN set.

I bought a set a few years back ..... choking back the tears for parting with a wedge of tenners.

But I have to say they are great - accurate and have lasted brilliantly. I've used the hell out of them and they are still in good nick, but here's the thing, because they were expensive, I think I look after them.

I had gone through quite a few sets of cheaper ones before these (and one from Presto)

Cheers - Will

Jon22/05/2017 21:23:24
989 forum posts
46 photos

That's what I bought about 17 yrs ago on offer along with the 6 to 10 x 0.1mm increments. I just replace and try out as and when necessary what I can get hold of.
No more faffing around for a certain size all at hand 1 -10mm in 0.1mm.

Hertel good all round drills last hell of a lot longer than Presto last 10 yrs unless the split point steam tempered DIN 1412C.
Guhring hit and miss unless pay for the better quality same with Titex and Dormer A110, A002 pants.

Still got limited supply of Titex A1222 pre 1994, awesome.

Robin Graham22/05/2017 21:34:40
646 forum posts
147 photos

I have a 1-6x0.1mm Sherwood (Cromwell tools) set (currently about 51 quid) and a 6-10x0.1mm Presto set and they are both perfectly OK, not rubbish at all - they cut as well and true as my Dormers.I'm a part-timer though, so can't comment on how well they hold up over time.


Neil Wyatt22/05/2017 21:39:21
17070 forum posts
690 photos
76 articles

By a cheap set and replace the ones that wear out with good quality drills as and when.

Hacksaw22/05/2017 21:58:27
425 forum posts
173 photos

I bought a cheap set in Lidls, all snapped like carrots angry. However , their metric taps set  and drills to suit were much better , but i've lost them all sad

Edited By Hacksaw on 22/05/2017 21:59:09

Jon22/05/2017 22:10:38
989 forum posts
46 photos

Been there done it Neil its dearer to buy individually than as a set and end up replacing every one in no time.
I have made mistakes trying stuff out, now extremely weiry of cheapies especially unbranded. In fact would go further than that and avoid the lower quality branded from Presto, Titex, Guhring, Hertel and Dormer.

Some are like butter 3 holes 6mm deep in 6082 had it whilst quality ones still going turned 600 holes for pence more.

Good to know Robin I pass within 1/4 of a mile of a Cromwell most mornings. Thing that turns me off is price of their carbide milling cutters ie £40 odd each against shopping around for quality branded £18 to £25. Drills will try.

JohnF22/05/2017 22:14:14
919 forum posts
114 photos

Hi Steve, see my post of a few days ago, see the link here for Hertel drill sets on offer from MSC, John



Edited By JohnF on 22/05/2017 22:16:24

Chris Evans 623/05/2017 07:43:13
1564 forum posts

Jon's mention of Guhring reminds me of the set I bought, I had to grind nearly every one of them to get them to cut. In use I am a bit fussy with my drills and keep the posh sets for size holes only on the mill or lathe and have a box of quality used stuff for general rough drilling. I would never consider using a drill from my good set in a pistol drill.

Steve Crow23/05/2017 18:24:04
170 forum posts
39 photos

That Hertel set on the MSC flyer seem a real bargain - which makes me wary. Has any one else any experience with these? They also do a TIN set for the same price.

I've been buying Osborn HSSCo8 cobalt stub drills from CNCpoorboy on Ebay. They come in 0.1mm increments all the way up from 1mm. I've been drilling dozens of 1mm holes through 5mm gauge plate and it stays sharp. I've followed Tubal Cain's advice and got a set of stub drills in all his recommended tapping sizes to use exclusively for tapping. In fact, because you can only buy the bits in 5's or 3's I've got a few sets, one of which I've modified for brass.

Stuart Bridger23/05/2017 18:30:52
387 forum posts
23 photos

I have the two Hertel sets in 0.1 mm increments up to 10mm from MSC and they are very good

Nigel McBurney 123/05/2017 18:59:58
640 forum posts
3 photos

Bought a set of Presto drills 6 to 10 mm in .1 steps a couple of years ago,they have proved to be ok,they only get occasional use,for rougher work I have an old set of mixed drills mainly dormer 40 years old 1mm to 13 in .5 steps,Before I bought the Presto drills I bought a 1 to 6 mm set in .1 steps on special price offer from Tracy tools several years ago,they were dead sharp and drill accurate holes,some time later i bought the larger set from them 6 to 10 .1 steps again at low price at ME exhibition, the steel was ok it was just the sharpening ,varying angles and points off centre,could not be bothered to send them back,too much hassle, they get used for brass with backed off rake and correctly sharpened,they heard all about it at the next exhibition . The problem with judging quality is the limited use they get in model engineers hands , The real test comes when they work all day every day just with regular sharpening, the last time i was involved in real engineering some thirty years ago,Titex and Guhring drills were used on the cmc machines , since then I worked by myself but mainly on one offs so have not had problems with drills that were new or some that are 50 years old. I think some of the problems nowadays are due to misuse,particularly wrong speeds and cutting fluid. Also never use good drill bits in hand held portable drills,keep some old ones for this use.

JohnF23/05/2017 19:46:36
919 forum posts
114 photos

Steve Crow, I also have 2 sets up to 10mm both excellent and used extensively -- no connection to MSC other than a satisfied customer and yes they are a bargain IMHO

Incidentally so are the Lyndon metric coarse tap SETS not quite so on the single taps, they are all HSS ground thread, cut well and are to H6 general purpose tolerance. Again i have been using them for some time particularly small sizes.


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