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Old 04-03-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
Jul 2010
Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 107
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I'm having a lot of trouble drilling my 13/16" holes with the Harbor Freight step bits on my 3 keggles. I'm only getting a couple of holes before the bits give out at the last 2 steps. I'm using a drill press at low speeds (500 - 1500 rpm) and oiling and gone through 2 bits already. I'm going very slow and making sure I don't overheat the bit or ss. I keep reading about people that don't have any trouble, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong. This is very frustrating. These bits are titanium nitride coated. I am thinking about trying a Rock River or Lenox step bit that is steam oxide coated but they are $50 to $100+.

I would appreciate any suggestions.


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Old 04-03-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
Toecutter's Avatar
Jul 2010
Riverside, ca
Posts: 588
Liked 16 Times on 10 Posts

happens to me too. Best bet is to use a heavy drill motor, slow steady pace, lots of oil. Stainless steel will work harden quickly from the heat generated during drilling. drilling too fast will make it worse
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
duckdogs's Avatar
Feb 2012
Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 163
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Originally Posted by dmcmillen View Post
This is very frustrating. These bits are titanium nitride coated. I am thinking about trying a Rock River or Lenox step bit that is steam oxide coated but they are $50 to $100+.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Buy a Quality set you will not regret it....

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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jimmayhugh's Avatar
Feb 2011
Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 820
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I pulled the trigger on some greenlee punches, and don't regret it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:42 AM   #5
Registered User
Aug 2010
West Coast, MI
Posts: 2,670
Liked 245 Times on 177 Posts

This is the one I used. I drill a pilot hole and with a hand drill I use lots of pressure and oil at slow speed... never a problem.
http://compare.ebay.com/like/310325860563?_lwgsi=y<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&va r=sbar
13/16" is the step below 7/8" and I clean the hole from the inside using the same drill. Go slow and if the bit catches release the trigger and make sure the drill is straight and clean up the burr. It is easier than what I make it sound.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:14 AM   #6
SpikeBrewing's Avatar
Jul 2011
Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 951
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Get a Cobalt step drill. The Harbor Freight step drills are useless on stainless.

Or if you want the best.... http://www.amazon.com/Greenlee-730BB.../dp/B002NQWZWU

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
Apr 2011
., Connecticut
Posts: 1,497
Liked 44 Times on 42 Posts

drilling speed for stainless should be around 200rpm. you are going several times too fast and just burning up your bits.

you can also try keeping the area and cutting tool cool with cutting fluid, or just a simple trickle of water from the garden hose. WD40 or light oil works if nothing better is around. i normally just use water and can cut several dozen holes with the same bit.

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #8
Apr 2011
Linden, New Jersey
Posts: 180
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I've used a cheap harbor fright step bit on my keggle and didn't have any issues.

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Old 04-04-2012, 01:21 AM   #9
Feb 2005
Hubbardston, MA
Posts: 272
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Home cheapo hole saw. 8 holes and counting. No Complaints if it breaks on the next cut.

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Old 04-04-2012, 01:43 AM   #10
Oct 2011
Greeneville, TN
Posts: 246
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

go slower, and you'll be golden! the $10 bits at harbor freight are all you need to drill the 5-10 holes you've gotta do. why the heck would anybody spend $50-$100 on a drill bit to do a one time job? hmmm..i think i'll go buy a backhoe to plant a my daisies..

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