drill bit recommendations

I'm building up my tool collections, much of it from the ground up as I have just moved into a house and now have room.
The time has come to purchase a good set of drill bits. My first question is this: Are the craftsman pro zirconium nitrate coated bits at least of a mid grade quality? Reason I ask is, the combo kits that Craftsman Pro has offer a lot of the bits/accessories and common drill sizes I want, and the benefit of the quick-change type system. However, I'm not going to invest into a large kit if the bits are poor quality.
Next question is, I want to get a good set of drills that will be good for general use on wood and light metals. I'd like something that will last, and I also plan to get a drill doctor to keep bits sharp. With that in mind, do I go with cobalt bits? They seem to be most highly recommended as Cobalt bits are actually an alloy in the steel and make them stronger than a standard HSS set. Would I benefit from a TiN coated Cobalt set?
What manufacturer makes quality sets of drill bits? As many others have set, TiN/Zirc/whatever coating on crap, is still a crap drill bit. I want to invest my money in quality bits.
Thanks!
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Evan Mann wrote:

A good quality TiN coated HSS set will give you the most bang for the buck. You don't need cobalt unless you are drilling some particularly hard or nasty metal.
I don't know Craftsmen drill bits, but asssuming they are like most Craftsman products, they will be passable but you can do better from a tool supply house.
Unless you are going to be drilling a -lot- of steel, some harder than mild steel, I don't see any reason to go above mid quality HSS bits unless you just want tool snob bragging rights. Particularly with a Drill Doctor in house.
Rico
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All the tin/copbalt/zirconium bits are coated- on the outside. I like Hitachi,Porter Cable and Bosch-stay away from Vermont American, Mibro(?), Columbine unless you want a selection and not good bits-in my opinion.

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For get the brand names and get drill bits that are made of High Speed Steel. Tin coating is nice but not worth a lot for wood. Just make sure that the bits are High Speed Steel. Sears, Vermont American etc are work well. IMHO
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<snip> : The time has come to purchase a good set of drill bits. <snip> I want to get a good set of drills that will be good for : general use on wood and light metals. <snip>
They're becoming hard to find, but the Black & Decker Bullet Point drill bits are one heck of a value -- you get a very good quality bit combined with the brad point for non-skid hole starting.
They're being repackaged as "DeWalt" bits now and the price tag is super-inflated accordingly. It might take some digging, but you can still find them in the B&D black and orange packages. When you do, snap them up! You won't regret having them.
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Evan Mann wrote:

Question: Do these quick change systems really hold the bits tight?
In wood it may not matter much but in metal it could be a real PITA.
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Mark

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Cannot honestly say for sure, but the quick change bits have a hexagonal shaped base that fits into a hexagonal shaped collars. Because of that, one would think the bit holders better thanm a standard circular shaft in a drill shank. But again, not sure.
I'm going to have a nice set of standard bits aside from the quick change systems. The quick change are good probably 95% of the time for what I'll do, and just make it easy. But bit sizes are limited compared to regular bits.

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Evan Mann wrote:

A good Jacobs chuck properly tightened (ie with a chuck key, not a keyless chuck) will hold a lot more torque than one of those quick change jobs. If you put enough torque on it, the hex socket will break. They're convenient, but not strong, IME.
OTOH, if you chuck a hex shanked bit directly into a Jacobs chuck it will take more torque than a round shank. I had to grind flats onto a gigantic auger used for digging bulb holes. I have a high torque drill that can tear through the hardest ground with that thing, but it was spinning around the shank something fierce. (Now it justs tries to break my wrists when it hits a rock... :)
Anyway, I think "good" and "quick change" are probably mutually exclusive concepts. Those things are gimmicky light duty stuff. I wouldn't expect a lot of performance. It really depends on what you'll be doing with them though.
I think for me, my next set of bits will be a cheap to mid-priced 100+ piece set in an indexed case, to include all the in between sizes I'm constantly doing without. What I use currently are Bosch, but when I break one, I just replace it with whatever's handy. I haven't found brand name to mean all that much with bits.
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When you really need torque, for example for large (>10mm) bits for steel you usually do not have an ordinary chuck at all but just a morse cone, so the bit is held by friction only in a true quick-change way, and that works very well.
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we have one of those (it's come in quite handy for the 5000+ bulbs we've planted... not to mention the 1300 pansys we planted last week) I hammered out the shank to have flats for getting rid of the spin out.

yup... has alot of torque. (pennsylvania clay, rocks, and tree roots to contend with in my yard) My problem is with the shank itself bending. Where did you get yours? Perhaps it's of heavier duty. (the packaging on http://cj.catalogcity.com/cc.class/cc?pcd373016&ccsyn " looks familiar)
I wouldn't mind having a backup ready when I finally get sick of trying to straighten this one.
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Philip Edward Lewis wrote:

I got mine at Lowe's I think. It's painted red. I can't offer you any good answer to the bending problem, because I've had to whack on mine many times to try to straighten the stupid thing out.
Having a high torque 7 amp drill has really helped because I don't have to push on it to get it to go, but I've bent it a time or two since getting that drill. Especially the time I wrapped a good two feet of chain link fence around it. Oops. :)
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While many here will disagree with me, my recommendation is to buy one of those $40 115 bit sets (supposedly HSS). The 115 bit set gives you all the various bits that you MIGHT use once a year but come in real handy when needed. As you use them and wear a few of the more often used ones out, replace them with good bits. Over a little time you end up with a set that matches your actual needs and usage pattern. In addition, I think you would want a good brad point set and a forstner set.
Again, just my opinion and what works for me.
Dave Hall
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I find myself using brad points most of the time on wood. I like nice neat holes in my wood.
On 10 Nov 2003 12:05:57 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@nhsd.k2.pa.us (David Hall) wrote:

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Are brad points the same as pilot points that I see sold under the Dewalt name (and others), or is that something else?
Also, how bout some brand names to avoid or try and obtain?
Thanks again.
Evan

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The HSS (High speed steel) brad point bits from Lee Valley are very nice! The sell various size sets and individual bits. The are the best bits I have for drilling wood. Save your twist points for metal. They wander too much in wood and don't make nearly as smooth a hole.
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wrote:

And - (see thread above) - they're "Made in USA"...
We use "Triumph" brand twist drills (Precision Twist Drill Co.) and re-grind the tips on a $500,000 swiss CNC grinder....
Cheers -
Rob Lee
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Evan Mann wrote:

I've found that I _greatly_ prefer different bits for metal and wood. Standard twist-drills are great for metal, but even the best, sharpest brands leave messy holes in wood. A cheap 40pc set of brad-point bits from HF are _much_ better, IMO.
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Absolutely!!
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Not always, i have drilled very clean holes in (hard) woods with old large diameter (24mm) bits which were meant for metal.
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