Vix bits vs. "Hinge" bits

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I've got a set of hinge bits, or centering bits, but man they are pretty crappy. The spring gets all mushed up and the bit won't go back into the shaft (or the shaft won't go back down around the bit). Has anyone else had this problem? Do the real Vix brand Vix bits work better? Or is it just something you have to learn to deal with? The ones I have are from LV, btw.
Thanks.
JP
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I find Vix bits work very well, except when wood is gummy and it plugs the flutes. I have had mine for 20+ years and a simple cleaning and a squirt of TopKote keeps them going. Nothing else I have tried works as well.... for me.
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I have the same bits, from the same place, and the same gripes. One of the guys I work with has another brand - I don't know if they are Vix brand or not - and they work consistently well.
Do not construe this as a general complaint against LV products - I have many and they are among my most used and best loved tools. But this set of hinge bits have sucked from day one.
Scott
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I also have the same bits, never had a problem with them.
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Why not send them back to Lee Valley and ask for a refund - if they get a lot back, they may try finding a better product
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You might leave your comments on them with LV. I know they don't like to stock products that don't work well. You never know what kind of response you'll get.
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I have a Craftsman set (3 sizes), screw driver bit on one end and drill bit on the other and they have always worked well and never given me a problem, They were around $14 apiece if I remember right, I've used them in a commercial shop for 4 years up till I was laid off couple months ago. I'd buy them again if I needed any CC
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CC wrote:

But are they self-centering? I have something similar that will drill a countersunk screw hole.
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Yes, they are self centering. 3 different sizes. this is the ones I bought
tool part # Craftsman Compact Drill & Driver Set Sears item# 00964332000 Mfr. model# 64332
Link to part http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00964332000P?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&sName=Drill+Bits
they have a cheaper 3 part set that looks like a cheap set to me also. CC
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CC wrote:

They don't look like self centering vix bits. Vix bits have the drill bit hidden inside a case that has a rounded base that self centers inside the hinge hole. The bit is spring loaded and when you push on the drill the bit comes out and drills the hole perfectly in the center of the hole. I have an old set of these I think from Sears, and never had a problem with them. I also have a really really old metal counter sink that has a metal point that retracts into a self centering case that you hit with a hammer. I guess that was used before some now millionaire invented the vix bit.
The Sears item #00964336000 Mfr. model #64336 http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&keyword=hinge+bit&sLevel=1&sLevel=0
or at amazon: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
What you are using is a counter sink drill bit.
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That is what these do. They have the holder, which is like a socket, The vix bit on one side of the insert and the driver on the other, You switch the insert around to use which ever side you want, The self centering spring loaded drill bit is on one side, the other side is the appropriate sized driver for the screws that you would use for that size hole, CC
I have an old set of these I think from Sears, and never

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&keyword=hinge+bit&sLevel=1&sLevel=0
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There is no Vix bit in the link that you provided.
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http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00964332000P?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&sName=Drill+Bits
That links to a counter sink and pilot bit with a driver bit that fits over the bit.
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Leon, you are right, I went back and looked again, then went out to garage to make sure I was looking at what I was posting about, The one I have is indeed a vix bit with that type holder, I couldn't find it at their web site, so I went down to the Sears store, about a mile away and all I could find there were the countersink bits for the holder. Talked to the tool guy there and he remembers them also But maybe they've quit carrying them now. That seems to be the way when you find something that works good, CC

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CC wrote:

Apparently you didn't read my whole reply CC. Sears does sell Hinge bits, or Vix bits if you want to call them that.
Here is the link again to both sears and amazon Vix bits.
The Sears item #00964336000 Mfr. model #64336 http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&keyword=hinge+bit&sLevel=1&sLevel=0
or at amazon: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
If the tool guy at Sears doesn't know about them, it is probably because he is looking for Vix bits and not Hinge bits. At any rate, the Sears computer knows about them:-)
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http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?vName=Tools&cName=Power+Tool+Accessories&keyword=hinge+bit&sLevel=1&sLevel=0
Hi Jack, I read your whole reply, yes, they carry a set of them, but the ones I had bought and are using are the one's that fit in the holder that I used for a link, I have not used the type that the link you showed goes to. So I was only familiar with the one that is no longer shown, Or, if it's available, I cannot find the link to them Thanks CC
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CC wrote:

I have an old, very old, set of vix bits that I think I got at Sears, not sure. These don't have a drill bit in them, but a flat hunk of metal with a point on it. These work great except I broke the metal "drill" bit on one of them and it is not replaceable, and doesn't come apart. The one shown at: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
has a drill bit in it, and it looks like the bit is replaceable if you break it or need to sharpen the bit. The old ones I own never gave me a problem other than the one I broke, which was my stupidity, no fault of the tool.
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Don't you really hate it when you break a good tool and there are no parts for it, or they cannot be replaced. I think I am going to be in the same shape if I break the one I have, At least it looks that way so far. CC
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I use Rocklers - they work fine. I have no idea of what the price comparison is
shelly
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On Oct 22, 12:49 am, snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

The ones I have from rockler get jammed up, the flutes get plugged up and then it can't spring back down all the way.
My workaround is to just start the hole with that bit, going in a 1/4" at most. Then I go back with a normal bit to get to the right depth. It's a lot faster than trying to hold the sleeve up and pick out the jam in between every hole at least.
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