Step Drill

My wife bought me an early x-mas gift -- a set of 3 step drill bits. The problem is, I'm really not sure why I'd need them. I guess I don't fully understand their benefits. Can you fill me in??
TIA
-m
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Mike Pio wrote:

Step drills are good for drilling sheet metal, tubing, etc. where you need to go through successively larger drill bit sizes to get a hole of a given size. Basically it saves you from having to change the drill bit half a dozen times to get one hole drilled. As for wood working, I'm not sure what you'd use it for.
-AD
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in his tool "Bucket"... My son gave me one when I was doing the sheet metal work for my shop... worked like a charm...
Never even though of using it to drill holes in wood
Bob Griffiths
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Yes, what Adam said. They give very clean holes, better than twist drills, in sheetmetal. Handy things to have, even if you don't use them often.

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If you are ever going to build steps you need them.
-j

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For one think - wood screws.
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Bob S.

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diameter for the threaded portion of the screw, one for the unthreaded shank, and one for the head.
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Must be different than the step drills I'm used to. The one's I've used have steps that are much too shallow (maybe 1/8" - 3/16" per step) to be of any use for pre-drilling screw holes. I just use a combination drill bit/countersink for that sort of thing. Anyone have a link to a step drill specifically for wood screws?
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Adam Diehl wrote:

Drill bit like those supplied with the Kreg pocket hole jig are also referred to as step drill bits.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Yeah, I thought the OP meant a Unibit-style step drill, but maybe he did mean a wood screw combo bit, or maybe even a step drill for making pocket holes?
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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wrote:

I don't have any step drill bits, but I'd consider a set a nice gift. These speed up the process of drilling a tap hole, another size for the screw shank, and a countersink all with a single drilling. For projects that need lots of screws, all the better.
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I have some Unibits, and they are wonderful for drilling holes in sheet metal. You can incrementally work up to the hole size you want, and they create a perfectly circular hole -- multi-flute bits create almost an oval hole.
No idea where they would be good for wood.
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wrote:

I always thought of them as gimmicky. Then the one time I halfway had a use for one I priced it out and found out they're not in the gimmick aisle. I did a workaround.
The Teutels on American Chopper (Brawl in the Family) use them a lot, so they must not be as gimmicky as I thought.
- - LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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No gimmick. They work great.

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On 12/13/2004 3:38 PM Mike Pio wrote:

If you're tired of twist drills grabbing thin sheet metal bits out of your hand, then you'll want to use a step drill. Cut nice round holes through thin metal like a hot skewer going through butter brickle ice cream.
Mmmmm. Butter brickle ice cream.
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Mike "Rocket J Squirrel" Elliott
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They're handy for sheet metal work or other thin stock. I can't see much use for them in woodworking though.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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