Colt "5 Star" Twinland brad point bits,

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I have seen these bits being demo'd in a video and was pretty impressed. The video shows how these bits continue to drill very nice clean holes well past the competitors ability. Looked a bit too good to be true.
My lovely and dear wife bought me a set of Colt Twinland brad point bits for Fathers day and while I appreciated the effort and thought, these bits were not the "5 Star" bits that Colt manufactures. So, she and I took the bits back to Woodcraft tonight and made an exchange for one 3/8" "5" Star bit. Comparing the bits in the store I can say that the 5 Star bit reminded me of the Kreg pocket hole bits as far as quality is concerned.
Anyway I put the bit in my new DP and tried it out. To see if the bit indeed would cut as cleanly as the video indicated I elevated a piece of 3/4" thick Ipe and a piece of Oak 3/4" above the DP table so that the pieces of wood would not be supported as the bit exited the bottom of the wood. You know, you normally back the wood up so that there will be no tear out when the bit exits.
On both pieces of wood there was no burning, there was no chip build up in the flutes and the exit holes were as clean as the entry holes, with no back up board. Absolutely no tear out on the bottom exit sides on any of the holes
Pretty darn clean cutting bits they are.
If you decide to try'em out for your self, they are kinda expensive. IIRC a 7 piece set in a wooden box is around $80. the single 3/8" bit was about $14. BE SURE to get the "5Star" Twinland Colt Bits.
You can see the video through Infinitytools, http://www.infinitytools.com/prodinfo.asp?number 1-170
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Sigh.
Yeah, if it looks too good, it probably is. Just tonight I was at the resurrected woodturning club meeting which is held at Woodcraft.
I saw those on the display, and they looked a bit rough, but at $15, I thought what the heck.
Then I found the recently restocked wood scrap bin where I found all manner of exotics that I could use for knife scales. So I bought wood instead of bits.
It was working on me though... I might have gone back over after mulling it a bit more.
Thanks for the good (and timely!) report.
Robert
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Sigh.
Yeah, if it looks too good, it probably is. Just tonight I was at the resurrected woodturning club meeting which is held at Woodcraft.
I saw those on the display, and they looked a bit rough, but at $15, I thought what the heck.
OK NOW PAY ATTENTION! I said the 5 STAR TWINLAND COLT brad point bits. NOT the set of Colt twinland brad point bits on sale for $15. ;~) The cheaper set does look kinda rough, the 5 Star are precision milled out of HSS and are Silver with no paint.
A boxed set of the 5 Star will set you back about $80. Woodcraft does not stock the sets, only the individual 5 Star bits.
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Leon wrote:

A couple of years back, I bought this set of 7 bits from Lee Valley:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?sid=&pageB352&category=1%2c180%2c42240
(for about 2/3 of todya's price IIRC) and have used 'em a /lot/, mostly in UHMWPE and Baltic Birch. They're a bit pricey, but they /still/ produce cleaner holes than any other brad points I've ever used.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Leon wrote:

If you start out with a Freud carbide forstner set, then use the 5Star bits to fill in the blanks, it's not so much of a hit.
The Freud set contains 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 1, and 1-3/8(35mm).
Lew
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I have a set of German forstner bits that I have had for 20+ years. Mine start at 1/4 and go in 1/8" increments through 2" IIRC. The 1-3/8" bit has been used to probably drill 500-600 holes for Euro Hinges in all types of woods including a good number of MDF doors. That bit finally became dull and I replaced it a few years ago.
The 5 Star bit put the German set to shame.
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Leon wrote:

Were the German bits carbide?
Lew
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No, HSS
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Hmmm, interesting protocol you're using to be able to make a definitive comparison with 20+ years of testing on one side and, what?, two days on the other. ;)
R
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wrote:

Hmmm, interesting protocol you're using to be able to make a definitive comparison with 20+ years of testing on one side and, what?, two days on the other. ;)
Because the German forstner set has about 20 bits naturally I have not used all sizes and I'd say some not at all. So those few still cut pretty good but still not as good as the 5 star.
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http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?sid=&pageB352&category=1%2c180%2c42240
I have about 4 sets of brad points, one is a German set that I have had for 20 plus years and are starting to not do so good. They all produce prett clean holes but with the 5 Star bit you can use a hand drill and drill through a board wit no backer board and the exit hole is as clean as the entry hole. I have seen a bit that will do that. The 5 Stars will cut you if you are not careful with the point and flutes.
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"Leon" wrote:

Had a customer/friend back in Cleveland that had a machine shop.
Sharpened his drill bits by eyeball and a very talented set of hands.
No sharpening guides needed.
Handed him a 1/2 drill one day and told him it was going to be mostly for wood.
A few deft motions of the hands and bingo, a standard metal cutting twist drill was now a brad point drill.
It was the first time I had ever seen one, much less know what it was called.
Drilled a lot of holes with that little puppy.
Lew
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Wow, he was talented.
These 5 Star bits that I am raving about have a point that looks like a miniature twist bit, you can actually see 2 hollow ground flutes on the point. The outer spur cutting edges are at a pretty steep angle, I suspect 25 degrees. Apparently you can drill a hole at a 25 degree angle with a hand drill and have no tear out on the exiting side. The point cuts the center out therefore does not push the wood fibers out, which normally causes tear out.
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"Leon" wrote:

Typical of somebody with a German heritage in a machine shop, but definitely not atypical of the talent pool in Cleveland at that point in time.
Back then, Major Big 3 installations, major off road equipment manufacturers, major machine tool manufacturers, major steel installations back then.
All these industries required outside machine shop services.
A good tool and die guy could work as much as they wanted.
70-80 hrs/wk was common.
Translation: $100K/yr, and that was over 30 years ago.

I'm clueless.
All I can remember was the center tip was ground much the same as a flat spade bit, same as my Freud carbide forstners which BTW, cut clean holes.
Lew
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Yeah, most brad point bits that I have looked at have the similar center point, these 5 star bits however certainly have some precision hollow grinding done on 2 sides of the 4 sided point.
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: A couple of years back, I bought this set of 7 bits from Lee Valley:
: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?sid=&pageB352&category=1%2c180%2c42240
: (for about 2/3 of todya's price IIRC) and have used 'em a /lot/, mostly : in UHMWPE and Baltic Birch. They're a bit pricey, but they /still/ : produce cleaner holes than any other brad points I've ever used.
Those are terrific -- I have them also. Another brand I have loved using is Fisch -- German brad point bits sold by Woodcraft. Truly amazingly clean holes in wood, plywood, and laminated wood. They're no longer carried, apparently, but they're available on Amazon and Woodworker's Hardware.
The difference between a standard wood bit and the Fisch or the Lee Valley is like going froma hole saw to a Forstner bit.
    -- Andy Barss
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: A couple of years back, I bought this set of 7 bits from Lee Valley:
: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?sid=&pageB352&category=1%2c180%2c42240
: (for about 2/3 of todya's price IIRC) and have used 'em a /lot/, mostly : in UHMWPE and Baltic Birch. They're a bit pricey, but they /still/ : produce cleaner holes than any other brad points I've ever used.
I'm incorrect -- the Lee Valley ones I use are:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pB247&cat=1,180,42240
If the carbide-tipped ones you recommended are as good, time for more drill bit buying!
    -- Andy Barss
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Andrew Barss wrote:

Well, if I were in your shoes I think I'd take a look at those Leon likes so well - there may be an opportunity to get really good bits for noticeably less...
I like LV, but I /do/ have a Scottish background. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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:> :> If the carbide-tipped ones you recommended are as good, time :> for more drill bit buying! : Well, if I were in your shoes I think I'd take a look at those Leon : likes so well - there may be an opportunity to get really good bits for : noticeably less...
I'm actually not sure I need the production-style bits, as the LV carbide ones are advertised as. I'm just a hobbyest.
: I like LV, but I /do/ have a Scottish background. :)
I'm half-Canadian, sort of. }:-}
    -- Andy Barss
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I bought this "box o' brad point bits" from Woodcraft when they were on sale for like $29.99. http://www.woodcraft.com/product.aspx?ProductID=148082&FamilyID=20268
170 different sized brad points bits. Pretty handy to have around. I can vouch that they do drill holes and only about one in 10 (so far) have so much run out you can fan yourself with them.

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