I need a new step bit

DGWVI

Active member
Looking for recommendations for a new step drill bit. Prefer metric, starting at 3mm
 

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
Whichever one you end up getting try and find one with a good bevel on the tip. The Dewalt (not metric) one I currently use, though strong and long lasting, has a weak initial bevel. That's my only complaint with it. This makes it harder to set it into the center punched mark I make. It still works great, it's just harder to align.
 

DGWVI

Active member
Whichever one you end up getting try and find one with a good bevel on the tip. The Dewalt (not metric) one I currently use, though strong and long lasting, has a weak initial bevel. That's my only complaint with it. This makes it harder to set it into the center punched mark I make. It still works great, it's just harder to align.
The ones I've been using keep their point, but its the flutes that are dulling. I haven't had an issue with these and the marks I make with my center punch
 

bergera

Member
I have and use the Irwin ones. Yes they are more expensive but they last long. Even with the non brand name ones I make sure to drill a pilot hole. And if the enclosure is not finished I will use some sort of lubricant. That and go slow, otherwise i tend to gild the aluminum to the bit.
 

DGWVI

Active member
I have and use the Irwin ones. Yes they are more expensive but they last long. Even with the non brand name ones I make sure to drill a pilot hole. And if the enclosure is not finished I will use some sort of lubricant. That and go slow, otherwise i tend to gild the aluminum to the bit.
Their #1 Unibit looks perfect for pedals, may pick one up today
 

Chuck D. Bones

Well-known member
I get my step drill bits at Harbor Freight and drill a pilot hole the size of the smallest step. I use regular HF drill bits for the in-between sizes. I used a drill press, drill vise, wood shims to protect the finish and I take it slow.
 

DGWVI

Active member
I get my step drill bits at Harbor Freight and drill a pilot hole the size of the smallest step. I use regular HF drill bits for the in-between sizes. I used a drill press, drill vise, wood shims to protect the finish and I take it slow.
Using the Harbor Freight bit right now. It's gone through six enclosures no problem. I will be ordering one of those Irwin Unibits, though. Also started drilling a 3/32" pilot hole today, and it certainly makes bringing the holes up to size a lot easier as far as alignment goes, especially with my shit nerves and hand spasms
 

Joben Magooch

New member
Their #1 Unibit looks perfect for pedals, may pick one up today
Yep, #1 Unibit is my favorite. It's certainly a little more spendy but it's lasted a very long time for me and always given great results. I used to use the cheap Harbor Freight ones a lot and they're not bad, but always dulled up a lot quicker and just didn't leave as nice of holes IMO. For me it's paid for itself.
 

DGWVI

Active member
Haven't broken in my Unibit yet, waiting to start my huge pedal project. Still using the Harbor Freight bit I got at the beginning of the month, and it's still working just fine.
 

HamishR

Active member
I don't know the brand of mine - it's just what the local electronics store had. But it's lasted probably 100 boxes and still going strong. A few observations - the enclosures from Tayda are a lot harder on my drill bit than genuine Hammonds, even though both are made in Taiwan. The other thing I do is use a screwdriver (the tool, not the pedal) to scrape off the swarf from the edges of the bit as I go otherwise it makes for a long drill time and messy holes. Always drill a guide hole!

Don't be afraid of spending $$ on good tools. It will repay you!
 

tdukes

Active member
I drill a 3/32" right through the 125B Drill Template and 125B Top Jack Drill Template
with a hand drill. Then I use a Irwin Unibit on my drill press. I am using 5/16" for pots (give a little wiggle room) 3/8" for in/out 1/4" for the toggle switches, 5/16" for the lumberg power jacks, and 15/32" for the 3PDT footswitch.

I have been using 5/16" for the LED bezels from Tayda, but for the Mesmerizer I bought a predilled enclosure and it just had a 11/64" for the LED to press against. I liked that so I am trying it with 5/32 for the LEDs for the Duo Phase enclosure in progress.

My bit is starting to have swarf that is harder to remove. I have done about 40 enclosures. Is it time to replace?

How many 1590XX projects will there be before a 1590XX Drill Template is for sale? Although I may start getting the Tayda pre-drilled enclosures when available. That pretty nice for just an extra dollar. (They list the colors on Tayda, but the pictures all appear unfinished. Weird huh?)
 

ridgedchips

New member
When I first started drill enclosures earlier this year, I got a set from Neiko on Amazon with 4 step bits and an automatic center punch. Both the bits and the punch function and have held up quite well being used with a mediocre old corded drill. IMO the thin aluminum walls of a pedal enclosure are light duty enough that they probably won't immediately chew up even super cheap bits.
 
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