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I need a new step bit

DGWVI

Well-known 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

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.
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

Well-known 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

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.
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

Well-known 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

Well-known 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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