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PC Drill bits

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Hank Fletcher

New Member
That looks like a pretty sweet deal, easily comparable to the better deals on ebay. What kind of drill press do you have, by the way? I'm in the market for one.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
I got one of those $40 drill presses from Big Lots (close out store). Label says, 'ShopSource 8" Drill Press'. Probably considered slow for PCBs, but works fine and definately quieter then either a dremel or regular drill. Very sturdy and vibration free. Big Lots use to get these a lot before I started using toner transfer, but didn't do many boards. It took almost a year before they got some after deciding I really needed one, but not $200 worth. I'm happy with it, wish I had gotten it sooner. Got at least a couple thousand holes off one bit so far. I'd be lucky to get through one 36 LED board on a single bit with the dremel.
 

Hank Fletcher

New Member
I'd be lucky to get through one 36 LED board on a single bit with the dremel.
That's food for thought. I was just looking at a bench drill press earlier today - no problems getting the bit lined up in the chuck then? Trying to get a 1/16" bit in my Dad's old goliath properly is near impossible. I guess the 1/8" shaft of the PCB bits keeps them well-centred?
 

Sceadwian

Banned
I worry when I have to turn my dremel up to the full 30,000 RPM, every time I swear the damn things gonna take off.
 

evandude

New Member
That's a pretty good deal, but I don't know how useful it would be to have 50 of that size. My two most common sizes are #71 and 1mm (about #60). The #71 is good for small component leads (most resistors and capacitors, TO92 transistor legs, LEDs, etc) and the 1mm is good for most larger stuff (TO220 power transistor legs, pretty much any IC socket legs, 0.1" square pin headers, etc). I bought a box of 50 of the #71's, but it was worthwhile because they really are fragile. I've managed to break probably 10 of them in a couple years, but since getting a real proper dremel drill press setup, it's always my own mistakes that break them lately, not the drill's fault. I pretty much never break any of the larger bits, such as the 1mm. Those #66's you linked are right about in the middle of my two favorite sizes - they'd probably be a bit large for the smaller stuff that you may want to squeeze close together, and a bit small for the larger stuff - plus, they'd probably be a lot less fragile than the #71's - not a bad size to have around but I don't think I'd want nearly that many of them...
My $0.02...
 

3v0

Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
HarveyH42 said:
I got one of those $40 drill presses from Big Lots (close out store). ...

I too use a table top drill press with carbide bits from Electronic Goldmine. Mine was about $40 from Harbor Freight on sale. They have two, one is better built then the other.

The nice thing about the press is that it can be used to drill other then PCBs.

I have had the same experiace regarding Evandude and carbide bits.
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
For those in the UK try here :

**broken link removed**

I've got 3 packs here and although its a bit hit or miss what sizes you get there are some damn usefull bits in there and you get 50 of them for £18 :D
 

TekNoir

New Member
I purchase all of my PCB drill bits from this store.

https://stores.ebay.com/ONE-PASSircuit-Store

Exact same drill bits; originally manufactured by the same company, Megatool. Both Electronics Goldmine and One-Pass are selling resharps. One-Pass is 10$ to 20$ (U.S.) cheaper on boxes of fifty. I like the choice of purchasing multiple sizes in one box. Fifty of the same size isn't worth it to me, but having five each of my ten most used sizes certainly makes a difference.
 

TekNoir

New Member
I never could catch any of the better drill presses from Harbor Freight on sale, so I wound up purchasing this one from Jameco.

https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/s...storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&productId=26702

I made the purchase when the price was about ten dollars cheaper ($50 U.S.) and it works pretty good. My Dremmel press (220-01, purchased for 45$ from Amazon.com) had too much movement and though I broke less with the Dremmel press than when hand-drilling, I wound up breaking more than I deemed necessary and could (nearly) always attribute it to the slight play in the mounting.
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
I've got to agree with the play in the Dremmel press statement - you have to keep a firm hand on it or you shatter bits left right and center.

I'll be working on a 3 axis drilling machine this summer for doing my drilling - my eyesight isn't what it used to be and I'd rather be soldering one board while the others are being drilled.
 

HiTech

Well-Known Member
I too have the benchtop drill press from Harborfreight Tools as shown below. I had some good luck come my way since I got to use a 20% off coupon on an already sale item, bringing the cost down to $35. The clerk was kind enough to let me peruse through a few boxes of them so I'd be assured I was getting one with limited runout and decent fit & finish. It works great for the electronics shop. Bigger jobs are better left for my floor model drill press.
BTW, you can also buy mini-bits from HF and here are the links to them: https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=91682

https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=34640

https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44924

For PCB work they will last a long time. For chassis drilling, I use much higher quality ones made in America. I also use a small chuck inserted into the large chuck on the press. Even though the press' chuck jaws can close fully on those tiny number bits, using an auxilliary chuck allows me to keep a "standard" sized bit for component leads and simply remove that aux. chuck and insert a larger bit into the stock chuck for quick work.

3636-44506.gif
3637-Y-PIN.jpg
 

evandude

New Member
picbits said:
I've got to agree with the play in the Dremmel press statement - you have to keep a firm hand on it or you shatter bits left right and center.

It depends very much on what model they're producing at the time. Dremel has gone through a lot of different variations in the last couple years, with one or two decent ones, and a lot of terrible ones. I happen to have one of the better ones (with a rack and pinion mechanism), and it's excellent, I NEVER break bits due to the drill press - however, I did previously have one of the crappier ones (with a weird pin-and-groove lever mechanism) that would usually break one or more bits per board due to the slop, so you REALLY need to make sure you're getting a good model if you buy one. I've talked quite a bit about this in past threads, for anyone who cares to read further.

In any case, the PZ541 vertical drill stand from minicrafttools is a sure bet, it's solid metal, very minimalistic, uses a rack-and-pinion mechanism, has screws to take up the slop, and it holds a dremel just fine. It's rather expensive for what it is, but using a dremel as opposed to a low-speed drill press really makes it worthwhile...
 
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