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What You Need To Know: Drill Bits And Taps

You likely haven’t thought much about your drill bits and taps, but this quick tutorial will help you save time and money

When it comes time to buy a new drill bit, I think most farriers either stop by the local hardware store or just add what they need onto their supply order. Having grown up in family that worked in machining and manufacturing, I gained awareness that there are differences in drill bits and taps beyond their sizes.

The purpose of this article is to show you that there are many options out there, and if you weren’t aware of that, there is a good chance you’re using the wrong ones now. With a good quality drill bit, you should count its lifespan in years, as opposed to weeks or months. I believe this should be true for all but the heaviest users in our industry.

Drill Bit 101

Our common bit sizes are5/16, 17/64 and 23/64 inch, as well as 4.5 mm and #17. Beyond that, there are so many other things to look at, and we tend to ignore them all. We also commonly use a jobber length and/or a step drill configuration. All of the drill bits we use are considered twist drill bits as the fluting on these twists.

Drill bits come in a variety of point angles, and they make a huge difference in ease with which they drill into certain materials.

When working with softer materials such as aluminum, you will benefit from a sharper point angle such as 90 to 120 degrees, while mild steel will drill much more efficiently something in the range…

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