--- In STMFC@..., Denny Anspach <danspach@m...> wrote:
I would second Andy Carlson's good comments about Hansen Drills.
Pretty fine. Ditto Tony's excellent advice about avoiding carbon
steel drills (whose half life is commonly less than one project).
However, the situation is not always in our favor inasmuch as
seemingly most serious industrial suppliers of good drills will sell
drills to you only in sets of #61-80. In this regard, although you
can start out with a fine set, but pretty soon because of inevitable
breakage and dulling of commonly used bits, replacements are
required. In this regard, I commonly fall back on Walthers and Masco
at the LHS.
Now, I would be embarrassed to learn that these are indeed made of
carbon steel, and in addition are made by eye and by hand in a remote
village in Elbonia; but so far I have found them to be accurate and
they seem to wear well.
Of the larger numbered drills (#1-60), with a few exceptions
(breakage :-[ ), I am using the very same set of fine alloy ("high
speed steel") drills that I purchased 45 years ago. The secret is
keeping them sharp, and in this regard I have had the entire group
re-sharpened probably at least three times. Resharpening a whole
group is economical, while sharpening only a few is not (the expense
is in the setting-up, the procedure of which is the same in either
instance). The average cost of sharpening is often quoted to about
15% of the cost of a new premium drill.
Denny S. Anspach, MD
Hi, One industrial supplier who does sell individual drills is
Production Tool Supply of Detroit, Mich. <www.pts-tools.com>
PTS has drills down to #97 (.0059"). In sizes down to #80 they have
four levels of drills. They are: Precision Twist Drill, Morse Cutting
Tools, US Made (generic manufacturer) and Imports. The last time I
bought small drills I bought Precision Brand #80's(the most expensive
of the four @$1.85/drill). I was amazed at the difference in
quality over what I'd bought before. They are excellent! They are
sharp but not brittle. For at least the very small sizes I heartly
recomend the Precision Brand and PTS as a source of good individual
One other comment about drilling. I have two #61 to #80 drill sets.
One is for plastic while the other is for metal. The ones used only in
plastic stay sharp almost indefinitely. When I break or lose sharpness
of one of the drills in the metal set I replace it with the equivalent
size from the plastic set and put the new drill in the plastic set. At
least this way I always have sharp drills for plastic. Regards, Don