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Drill bit storage

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Andy Chancer12/05/2022 16:32:07
14 forum posts

I am currently sorting through the disgrace of a plastic tub that contains my drillbits,yes all of them.Dozens of them.So,with that in mind,i would like something to keep these neat and tidy,and organised.I have seen tins etc that only hold one size of each drill up to a certain size ie 2,2.5,3 etc etc I have a few spares of each that ive acquired over the years so was wondering if theres any better solution to a plastic tub or an old holburn bacca tin? Any good ideas out there?

any help or advice is always appreciated.

Thor 🇳🇴12/05/2022 16:59:47
1632 forum posts
46 photos

Hi Andy,

I use boxes that can hold one size of each, something like this, I also have another that is hanging on the wall besides my mill/drill. The spare drills I have are of small diameter and are in plastic tubes or similar and go into rooms in one of the drawers. There is also racks like these, for holding boxes with drills.



Edited By Thor 🇳🇴 on 12/05/2022 17:09:30

David George 112/05/2022 17:14:24
1844 forum posts
503 photos

I use the plastic boxes which large milling cutters came in. Like a 3/4 endmill box has my collection of 1/4 drills in and up and down the scale all put in a small wooden draw cabinet.


Speedy Builder512/05/2022 18:14:57
2615 forum posts
212 photos

Do you use more than one drill of a certain size at the same time ? If not, get / make a drill stand for just one drill of each size and store the spares back in your tub. When you snap a drill , replace it from your tub. You may wish to have 2 sets of drills, nice sharp precision drills and a second set for rough old stuff. If you do a lot of brass machining, you may need a 3rd set ??


Peter Cook 612/05/2022 18:27:46
282 forum posts
80 photos

I am lucky, I have bought a few sets in boxes ( the kind that hinge up into a stand) over the years, and keep the working drills in those.

Spares and the odd ones I have acquired over time are kept in various old glasses cases. I seem to get a new case every time I or my wife get new glasses - so over the years I have built up quite a collection, and no-one wants to recycle them!

Henry Brown12/05/2022 18:53:35
552 forum posts
117 photos

I tend to keep a drill witch suits the taps I have with them. I 3D printed a stand for the standard 1 to 10mm in 0.5mm increments that I mounted on a solid lump of wood, other small odd balls are in a tin, the sizes above 10mm have to live in a plastic tote tin.21.01.01 drill holder.jpg

Mark Rand12/05/2022 19:37:22
1275 forum posts
28 photos

I've got my imperial Morse taper drills in a rack attached to the wall. Unfortunately, the rack's in the wrong place at the moment, but it'll get moved eventually.

taper drills.jpg

All the other drills are in my home made chest of draws/bench. They're in a mess and need tidying up...

drill draw.jpg

Colin Heseltine12/05/2022 20:06:34
661 forum posts
230 photos


I like that idea for your taper shank drills. I just need to sharpen lots of my taper shank drills. Waiting for a friend of mine to make the taper shank adaptors to use with his Brierley drill grinder. Will then have between 60 and 80 drills to sharpen.


PS if anyone has the dimensions for the taper shank adaptors it would be appreciated.

Emgee12/05/2022 22:01:35
2426 forum posts
290 photos


Plenty of dimensions here, Little Machine Shop.



Clive Foster12/05/2022 22:21:17
3137 forum posts
109 photos

I find drill boxes are the best answer for the straight shank drills I use. Stands either get knocked over or pick up stuff in the holes. I have full x 1/64 th and x 0.1 mm sets looked after for use on machines. For carpentry and rough work x 1/32 and x 0.5 mm sets suffice. Letter and number boxes too for machine use only.

Excel lists have to do for taper and and spares.

Concerning drill boxes does anyone make one covering the 10 mm to 13 or 13.5 mm range in 0.1 mm steps.

I have the full monty from 1/64 to 1/2" so its easy enough to get close but its irritating to have to switch to imperial for close to size over 10 mm. Need to work on my metric taper shank slection.

I shall be stealing Marks taper shank rack idea too. AHave amost all the imperial sizes in Mt2 and MT 3 to accommodate. I knew there was a reason why I kept that four screw pin hinge thingie. It's in the workshop somewhere!


larry phelan 113/05/2022 18:48:40
1181 forum posts
15 photos

All my drill bits from 10mm up are stored in short pieces of plastic conduit or waste pipe, with one end plugged with a piece of wood.. Result ? No more damaged edges on my big drills, nor marks on their tapers..

Smaller drills are stored in their own drill set boxes.

Milling cutters, the same.

Not Hi Tech, but it works !smiley

Nick Clarke 313/05/2022 20:28:35
1428 forum posts
63 photos

I agree with the concept of drill boxes. When I set up my workshop I bought sets of drills. Those that have been used and broken, lost or ground too short have been replaced by better quality items - and for those that this have not happened to are unnecessary anyway.

I also keep a plastic pot (ex Chinese takeaway) with Chuck keys, centre drills, spot drills and similar under the table of the bench drill. Also 3.2mm drills (bought cheap at the last Bristol show) as preferred initial drill.

Andy Chancer14/05/2022 07:39:26
14 forum posts

Some good replies with ideas,thank you.

Paul M14/05/2022 09:52:36
74 forum posts
4 photos

I have most of my drills up to 10mm stored in plastic test tubes with stoppers. I managed to get a good test tube stand to hold them. Also keep taps in them. Also have a good set metric and imperial up to 6mm and ½" in the standard flip up metal box. As I am a disorganised and messy worker, I find at least with drills and taps, I can always find the ones I need.

Adrian R216/05/2022 17:08:22
164 forum posts
5 photos

A related point. Why don't metric drills come in useful sets? i.e. ones that include tapping sizes for the standard fastenings - I seem to have little use for the half sizes that come in standard sets but then I am missing 3.3 and 4.2 for tapping M4 and M5. Or am I looking for the wrong thing, or doing it wrong entirely?

I do sometimes use an x.5 to drill a smaller hole then y to get the size I want, but this is two operations and if I'm going to do two operations then why don't I just get a set of reamers?

(Sorry, musing...)

Tony Pratt 116/05/2022 17:17:58
1967 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Adrian R2 on 16/05/2022 17:08:22:

A related point. Why don't metric drills come in useful sets? i.e. ones that include tapping sizes for the standard fastenings - I seem to have little use for the half sizes that come in standard sets but then I am missing 3.3 and 4.2 for tapping M4 and M5. Or am I looking for the wrong thing, or doing it wrong entirely?

They do, the tapping sizes are part of the bigger sets, obviously your most used drills will go missingwink




Edited By Tony Pratt 1 on 16/05/2022 17:18:37

Mike Poole16/05/2022 17:48:30
3344 forum posts
74 photos

Sets of drill are widely available that go in 0.1mm increments from 1mm to 10mm. When you take into account that you will probably want tapping sizes that give a different engagement for different materials, clearance holes for bolts and undersize holes for a reaming allowance a set can be a worthwhile investment. Some may never be used and others will be reground until they are too short and need replacing, some people have a policy of just replacing rather than resharpening and this is a personal choice. Mr Dormer would probably make me stand in a corner with a pointy hat for my sharpening efforts but they cut well enough and the size is near enough for Jazz.


Adrian R217/05/2022 09:10:54
164 forum posts
5 photos

Agreed, I could buy a full set and be prepared for anything, but if I buy the usual 2-10mm offering then I get wholes and only explanation is that the manufactures think that DIYers don't do tapping and like a nice big clearance around their bolts.

Tracy tools do a tapping sizes set (no mention of a storage box), but that's the only one I've found so far, otherwise it's drill and tap sets and I have enough taps already.

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