Best drill bit sets

Sunday, April 28, 2019
If you're anything like me, you'll find you keep breaking your drill bits and need to replace them with a new set.

So what are the best drill bit sets to choose from?

There are all kinds of drill bits and some suit various tasks better than others. For example, you're would never use a bit designed for wood when drilling into masonry, concrete or metal or even glass or porcelain. Well, if you're again like me, you may have tried and learned the hard way...

On that basis, let's consider the best bits for wood and the best bits for metal.

As always, we'd recommend that you don't cheap out with your tool purchases - if the issue is that you keep breaking bits, maybe it's because the parts are too cheap? Or maybe you just need to be a bit more gentle when drilling?

Drill bit sets for wood

When selecting the right drill bit for using with wood, it's important to understand that while soft low-carbon steel bits are inexpensive to buy, the con is that they do do not hold an 'edge' well and require frequent sharpening.

Such bits are only ideal for drilling wood; even working with hardwoods rather than softwoods can noticeably shorten their lifespan.

So with that in mind, we'd recommend that titanium drill bits are the order of the day if you intend to regularly use them, say if you are into joinery or carpentry as a hobby or profession.

So here are two great quality products:

best tool drill bit set replacement

Dewalt

You already know the brand stands for quality. Their set's titanium drill bits have a titanium coating that provides longer life when drilling.

These bits are very suitable for drilling in wood and plastic and are ideal for commercial and most home based applications. 

The set includes sizes from 1/6-inch to 1/2-inch in a plastic tough case.
  • Titanium pilot point for longer bit life
  • Starts on contact for cleaner holes
  • No spin shanks
  • Tapered web provides greater durability to reduce breaking
  • Includes sizes from 1/16-inch to 1/2-inch in a plastic tough case

Fisch FSF-364757 Imperial Brad Point Drill Bit Set

The Fisch chrome vanadium Imperial 29 piece brad point drill bit set is fantastic for normal drilling operations in soft and hardwood using cordless drills or drill press machines.

This 29 piece set is the perfect place to start when you need a quality drill set that will get the job done and give you years of service, which is what you expect when paying for quality.

This handy set includes common Imperial (Inch/fractions) sizes from 1/16” to ½” in 1/64” increments.

The drill bits have full diameter shanks on bits that are 3/8” diameter and smaller. The set sits in a quality plastic stand case that protects your drills and puts them at arm’s reach with a handy 'flip out' when it is time to get drillin'.

Here's a handy list of the specifications:

  • Chrome-vanadium steel lasts longer between sharpening
  • Less tear-out in hardwood, softwood and laminated materials which means less frustration when materials get ripped by bits.
  • Optimized outer spurs insure fast and easy cutting of the wood, scoring the outer rim of the hole before the main part of the drill begins to do its work
  • For use in soft, hard, exotic, veneered and laminated wood, as well as MDF board and even acrylic such as plexiglas!
  • Beveled cutting edge leads to clean drilling without any deviation while feeding the bit into the material which is handy when it's hard enough to get the bit centered!

Drill bit sets for metal drilling


If you are looking to drill holes in metal or stainless steel, then you need to consider using drills of a different composite from those designed for use with wood.

Drill bits composed of cobalt steel alloys are variations on high-speed steel that contain more cobalt. These kinds of bits hold their hardness at much higher temperatures - which is just what you need when grinding into metal!

Drill bits that are designed to cut through strong metals will also usually have a blunt tip, whereas a drill bit that is made for cutting through wood will have a pointed tip. So now you know the difference!

Given such drill bits are able to withstand the heat fairly well, they will endure, giving you a longer life span.

Meet the Drill Hogg for metal drilling


best-metal-drill-set-cobalt
There's a reason Drill Hog steel bits come with a lifetime guarantee for the original owner. It's because these bits are tough cobalt bastards! These bits are made from Cobalt M42 Steel (HSS) which has a melting point of 2,853 degrees Fahrenheit! Wrap your head around that Ray Bradbury!

These bits will drill through the toughest steel like truck frames, stainless steel, farm implements, spring steel, grade 8 bolts, and more! Boss Hog is very proud their product is made State Side in the USA.

  • Premium Solid Cobalt M42 Super High Speed Steel
  • 1/16" to 1/2" in 1/64th Increments (Does not Skip any Sizes)
  • High Heat Treated Hardness 68-70 HRC (Rockwell Hardness Scale)
  • 135 Degree Split Point Prevents "Walking"
  • Tri-Flat Shank Prevents "Spinning" in Chuck

Handy hint for using a drill bit:

If you are able to, place a thick piece of wood under the metal you are drilling so that your bits won’t be dulled or damaged by your work surface when the bit goes through the metal and comes into contact with the surface.

Best drill bit set for concrete drilling


Last winter I was trying to install fire guard at my place and I needed to drill the screws into the brick around the fireplace. Having no idea about such things, I foolishly used my standard drill set and ended up getting nowhere. And that's when I learned about masonry drills bits for cutting into brick and concrete!

Yep, it turns out you do need specialized drill bits to make holes in concrete. These are commonly referred to as masonry bits. They often will often be composed of a steel body and a tungsten carbide tip to ensure they are tough enough the manage the effort required to cut through concrete. It is also best practice to use these bits with a hammer or percussion drill.

So what are the best sets for concrete drilling? As usual, let's avoid cheap 10 dollar kits and focus on branded quality:

Makita!



Designed for the US market, these drills bits are ideal for drilling for medium depths of about 4 inches. Made with carbide tips that maximize carbide surface contact for longer bit life.

The special flute design clearing out debris for fast, efficient drilling. These bits are heat forged for strength and longevity with a sharp maximum impact on masonry/concrete material. Makita pride themselves that general contractors and many players in the construction industry use these tools.



Another great option for cutting concrete is yet again Dewalt's 7-Piece Premium Percussion Masonry Drill Bit Set:

drill into brick and concrete drill bit

  • Manufactured in Germany, so you know this is the real deal
  • Rock carbide tip maximizes carbide surface contact in the drill hole which results in longer bit life
  • The 'Four-flute' design assists in cleaning out debris out for quick and efficient drilling
  • Three flats on shank eliminate bit slipping in the chuck

What is high speed steel?


Known as HSS, high-speed steel is a material that can withstand incredibly high temperatures before it fails by losing its form or effectiveness. Thus, it's ideal for drilling in hard materials like metal.

What is the best bar and chain oil to use for a chainsaw?

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
what is good oil to use on my chainswa?

Just like a car or lawnmower needs its oil to be regularly changed, so does a chainsaw


What's the best to use? 

It's actually a double task for a chainsaw as both the engine oil and bar oils need to be replaced.

It's part of a good chainsaw maintenance regime.

We don't need to teach you to suck eggs on how important it is for the bar and chain to be well oiled, you just want to know what are the best oil brands out there to use.

Let's start with the best bar and chain oils


If you want to take our word for, here are three options which will serve your chainsaw well:


If you want to do things right and by the book in terms of good maintenance, you would do well to consider an oil product that has been specifically designed to be used with a chainsaw.

Choosing the best kind of oil can mean the difference in having a chain that does its job well and for a long period or a chain that is battered and bruised and refuses to cut properly.

There are a few variables to think about.

  • Will the weather conditions dictate what kind of oil is used?
  • How often will the chainsaw be used?
  • What is the temperature at which the saw will operate?
  • How environmentally conscious are you?
  • Price per gallon because let's face it, money talks. 
Do not use engine oil as it is not designed to 'stick' to a chain.

Do not use recycled motor engine oil as it is a used product which will have metal pieces in it which will likely damage the internal workings of the chainsaw's engine.

Many famous chainsaw brands (and lawnmower manufacturers too) have their own branded oil and bar products and generally speaking those products will do the job for most chainsaws, let alone the branded item.

If you want to go for a trusted brand name, then Husqvarna's Bar and Chain Oil is what you are looking for:

husqvarna bar and chain oil
Husqvarna Company is known for making the most reliable and durable products to take care of a multitude of your outdoor needs.
  • Designed for use with all Husqvarna chainsaw models
  • Premium blend of base stocks and tackifier additives, which reduces high speed throw-off
  • Extends bar, chain and sprocket life by protecting against wear
  • Optimizes cutting performance by reducing heat and friction
  • Is good for all year round use, including winter
Some players who used the product left some sweet reviews on Amazon about this oil:

"Great oil for chainsaw chain, sticks to chain very well"

"Top grade Husqvarna bar oil. I bought a new Husky450 and wanted the best for it. Good price for a top-shelf product as well. Will buy again"

"Does an excellent lubrication job without throwing oil off like some inferior brands. Well worth the price to protect your chain and your saw."

"Really does the job. Stays on the saw bar and chain a lot better than just motor oil."

So if this sounds like Husqvarna's oil is for you, check out the price on Amazon.

It's not a state, it's Oregon oil


Another popular oil is produced by Oregon.

As far as we're concerned Oregon as a brand is up there with Stihl and Husqvarna as a word that means 'quality product'.

Oregon state that their bar and chain oil is specifically compounded to provide extra high tackiness and prevent "throw off" even under adverse weather conditions.

Which is just a polite way of saying they make good oil.

Oregon also claims that their oil's high film-strength prevents wear or scuffing of chain links and bars while protecting metal parts against corrosion and rust.

They also say that it resists build-up of deposits such as pitch, sap or gum.

Here's some reviews from machinists who've bought and used Oregon oil:

"Great for keeping your bar lubed, terrible for making salad dressing."

This makes perfect sense eh? What about a more serious review:

"Saw runs perfectly with this oil. No smoking or anything. Definitely has smooth cuts in the trees I was cutting. No complaints and I'll buy this again when I run out."

"It's Oregon bar oil. Does exactly what it's supposed to. No complaints.

If there was a complaint to be made by users of this product is that it can seem thinner than other oils and this can be off-putting if you are expecting a syrupy goo. 

Whatever, it's Oregon!

Poulan Bar and Oil


The Poulan brand name is used primarily for outdoor power equipment, such as chainsaws, lawn mowers, and leaf blowers, aimed at the mid-level consumer market. Which probably means you, dear reader!

And since you are a dear reader, I'm going to let in on an industry secret. The Poulan brand is owned by Husqvarna!

Howabout that eh?

This means that you can trust the Poulan brand because Husqvarna trusted it enough to buy the whole damn company.

Here's Poulan's Bar and Chain oil offering:

poulan pro bar and oil chain
By now, you know the drill of what benefits bar and chain oil will give your chainsaw but Poulan want you to know that their product is "formulated for use by the logging industry, this oil helps prevent rust, resists high-temperatures, flows freely at low temperatures and has the ability to resist the extreme pressures bars and chains."

Which sounds like marketing really so what do actual users of the oil have to say in their reviews about its performance in their machines?

"I use this on my Stihl ms280 chainsaw and it works great. Better than Stihl bar and chain oil it seems. With the Stihl oil I would always notice the chain-smoking after a heavy cutting session. I have yet to see anything like that with this oil. This oil is also tackier and appears a little heavier than the Stihl oil."

"Just what my chainsaws needed a bit of a lube job. Easy poring and tight seal on the container. No mess. great quality."

"What can you say, it's oil, the viscosity is formulated correctly so it stays on the chain and bar and doesn't run off during operation. It does the function it was designed for."

So there you have it, Poulan's product does the job you need. Check out the price on Amazon.


Look mate, I've read all this guff, I just want some cheap oil!


Well here you go friend:

cheap bar and chain oil



Do I need a thick oil for my chainsaw?


We're talking about the viscosity of your chain oil here. Generally speaking, the thicker the oil, the better it will be at staying on the chain. A key point at play here is that weathers' temperature will have an effect on the oil.

The warmer the oil, the more fluid it will become.

Should I use a 'green' oil on my bar?


In this modern era of environmental practices, one could consider using a substitute biodegradable oil.

This is especially so if cutting near waterways or environments of special significance. We would suggest that if you use a vegetable based oil, you don't mix it with a petroleum-based oil as the mixing can cause gunk to build up.

Can you put motor oil on a chain?


You can do this and your chain will benefit somewhat from the lubrication but in the long term, it's not an ideal solution as it is not designed to be sticky.

Motor oil has not been designed to work on such a chainsaw so you could impede the efficiency of the chain in the long term.

Some keen cost savers even go as far as using used motor engine oil. Again, you will get the effect of lubrication but be warned used motor engine oil can contain fragments of metal which will damage your bar and chain over time, rendering their effectiveness low.

We suspect used motor engine oil will make your chain blunt - leading you to need to sharpen the chain more regularly.

If you do want to save money (and fair enough too!) then some woodsman like to steal their wife's pantyhose and strain the oil through them to help remove any metal parts!

If your lawn mower is thirsty, check out the best small engine oils.

Can you use Husqvarna bar oil in a Stihl chainsaw?


We saw this question asked on the net and at face value, you could think it's a silly question to ask as yes, you can use other brands with other brands - while some manufacturers may state to use only their brand with their products, this is just a sales tactic - if it's the right kind of oil for you chainsaw, you sure can use it - so it is fine to add Husqvarna oil to your Stihl saw, and vice versa. 

How to use hydrochloric acid to remove rust from metal

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
washer with rust removed with HCL


Rust never sleeps but hydrochloric acid sure can put it to bed!


Sometimes it happens because your tools get wet or rust slowly creeps along and then bam!

Rust attack!!

It's suddenly covered all your drill bits, Allen keys, and screwdrivers.

I was tidying the shed one morning and I found two things.

A massive jar of rusting drill bits and screwdriver heads and also some hydrochloric acid which I had stored for 8 years since I moved into our house and never used.

It seemed like the time had arrived.

A sample of what the screws looked like before the HCL

I placed all the bits and items in a plastic container, put on my safety glasses and added some of the hydrochloric acid to it. I then added the same amount of water.

Immediately small bubbles began to rise from the bits, the reaction was obvious.

I then placed the stuff high on a shelf in the shed so the kids couldn't get at it. I went and had a look about 6 hours later and could some pretty shiny items in the container!

screws soaking in acid hcl


Well, I then promptly forgot all about my experiment until I got home from work the next day - so everything had 24 hours to soak in the solution!

I carefully drained the solution and placed the bits and pieces on some an old cloth. 

As I did this, I was wearing long sleeves and protective eyewear. A more seasoned pro may have worn plastic gloves (and not your good chainsawing gloves!). 

I then sprayed a thick coat of CRC on the items to form a protective barrier for the short term and to dilute the acid. I don't know if this was the best move, just something that I did as I'd read acids can strip away protective layers on tools. 

So how did they come out?

Black!

screws and drill bits after hydrochloric acid bath


Many of the drill bits came out coated black, some worse than others. They were originally coated silver!

The acid also ate through this bit extender tool so the lesson is maybe don't buy cheap parts and don't leave the metal in the acid too long!




The rusty screws came out silver, so all good there - so what is this black residue?

I've done some research and there appears to be two chemical reactions at play here. The first is the HCL reacting with the rust, and the second is the HCL with the iron of the bit itself:

Fe (s) + 2 HCl (aq) ---> FeCl2 (aq) + H2 (g)

So the bubbles we see are hydrogen and the black seems to be iron chloride.

So what I should have done is not used such a strong dilution (50:50) and not left it to react for 24 hours.

My also research tells me that while I may have cleaned off all the rust, I have also potentially opened up my items to suffering a complete secondary rust action. This is because there is probably not going to be an oxide covering the metal surface (an oxide layer can prevent rust from occurring).

I suspect some of the higher quality components were a bit more impervious to the acid.

So without doing any real research, I cleaned the bits with a towel and then sprayed them with CRC!

That's definitely a short-term solution.

It sounds like what I should have done is used a different acid instead of HCL, such as phosphoric acid (found in Cocoa Cola!).

Phosphoric acid is readily available from your hardware store (or try Amazon) and is apparently a proven rust remover.

Well. kinda it seems.

It will turn the rust (iron oxide) into iron phosphate which can be a black substance that forms on the items you are removing the rust from. This then needs to be scrubbed off, often with a wire brush.

If you are looking for a more commercial rust remover then there are many products that you can try which is Rust911 is a concentrated rust remover. When mixed with water (necessary) 16 oz makes 2-gallons which you can immerse your rusty item in.

Free All Deep Penetrating Oil by Gasoila Chemicals features a rust eating agent that not only penetrates rust but helps to loosen and dissolve it away meaning it's great for helping unscrew tough nuts and screws.

free all rust remover

As a spray on, this Free All will help to free stuck threaded pipe connections, rusted machine screws, rusted bolts, rusted or frozen nuts, automotive clamps, pillow blocks, universal joints, locks and the like. Check out the price on Amazon.



Evapo-Rust Gel combines the rust removing power of Evapo-Rust with the ability to cling to vertical, rusted surfaces. Simply brush on and allow an hour for the gel to work its magic, then rinse away the rust with water. 

This gel appears to be safer than other gelled rust removers. Evapo-Rust get does not harm copper, brass, or aluminum so has a variety of applications. 

The only complaint about this product is that the gel can be tricky to apply and for that reason, many users tend to prefer Naval Jelly.

Best chainsaw for cutting firewood

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
While chainsaws used to be the sole domain of hardened lumberjacks, farmers and very keen woodsmen, chainsaws are now almost ubiquitous in the family home.

This is often due to the need to feel trees but the main reason why is to cut wood for firewood.

Given the varieties of machinery available, it's important that the user has the right chainsaw to do the job. There's no point in having a power saw that's designed to cut down California Pine all day when you simply need a reasonably powered saw to cut some limbs of a tree.

Here then is our guide to identifying the best chainsaws to use for cutting firewood. 


There are two factors to first consider. 

How proficient and experienced are you at using a chainsaw?


If you are a bit green (nothing wrong with that, we all started at the same place) then you will want a chainsaw that is not too heavy as holding and working with these units can quickly tire your arms - which reduces productivity and increases the risk chance of an accident occurring

If you are well practiced and in a fit state, then you can consider using a chainsaw with more power. 

One of the pros of using a small chainsaw is that you can be a bit more nimble and maneuver them more easily. 

What kind of tree and wood will you be cutting? 


If you are felling large trees, then you may want to consider a chainsaw which has a lot of engine strength. If the tree is hardwood, then you will want the power. 

A chainsaw that is not designed to cut large hardwood trees will find its engine is placed under a fair bit of strain - this will lead to unnecessary wear and inefficient cutting time. 

So what am I really looking for?

The way we see it, if you are cutting firewood, you can go two ways.

Buy an all-around saw

They are usually designed and built in the same way as professional saws, but have a lesser performance rating. They are not intended for use as an 'all day tool' but for part-time use, such as cutting firewood!

To that end, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher might be the chainsaw for you:


Purchase a general consumer saw 

Smaller and easy-to-use saws designed for home use by people who will use the saw every so often. If this sounds like you, we suggest an electric chainsaw like the Dewalt DCCS620B:


The real benefit other than it being lightweight is that the electric saw requires less maintenance. It's also less than half the price of your standard gas-powered equivalent. 


best chainsaw cutting firewood


The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is a robust all round saw, ideal for demanding cutting jobs where more power is required for a longer guide bar.

Equipped with a X-Torq engine with high torque over a wide RPM range. The saw's body is ergonomically designed allowing for easy handling of the saw's power.

Further features include Smart Start, Air Injection, LowVib and combined choke/stop control.

The real value though is checking in what real users of the Rancher have to say about its performance. Here's what buyers from Amazon have said in their reviews after putting cutting bar to wood:

"I'm not a professional arborist or somebody who cuts wood all the time. But I do cut down trees from family and friends and cut some for a wood burner I have in my woodshop. Ultimately as I said I would love to be able to mail my own lumber. So for a normal everyday person I just wanted a good strong chainsaw that will hopefully be one of the last ones I buy for a very long time this chainsaws absolutely excellent !! I would even recommend this to experts as well because I believe they would love it too."

"The build quality is outstanding... contrasting it w/ my cheaper Ryobi chain saw, EVERYTHING (from the housing, to the bar chain oil and gas tank lids, to the chain tensioner, the bar itself, etc.) is made and assembled with much higher quality materials and attention. After all the trees I've already dropped and broken down with this Husqvarna saw, I see myself using this saw for years (probably decades) to come"

If that sells you, check out this pricing:

We would be remiss if we didn't remind you that if you are new to using a chainsaw, you may wish to take lessons on how to correctly use a chainsaw (at the least, learn what a kick back is). You'll also do well to have safety equipment such as gloves, chaps, and eyewear.

Choosing the best ph strips for Kombucha

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
ph test strips for kombucha

Kombucha is the health drink of this generation


It seems that everywhere you look, some punter is trying to sell you Kombucha.

Look at the supermarket shelves and they are full of cider, raspberry and lime flavored Kombucha drinks.

Craft brewed or factory made, you can guarantee that each batch was tested to the correct pH level before it was canned and shipped off to the health conscious.

But at three bucks a bottle in my supermarket, many drinkers are choosing to make their own Kombucha and part of getting it to taste right, you need to test the pH level, and for the average brewer, this means using pH test strips on a sample of Kombucha to ensure the level is just right.

You test the kombucha for two reasons, one to past the taste test and the second to ensure the level is sufficient enough to prevent any nasty microbes from taking the brew. A lower pH will also give the kombucha a chance to grow its own cells - which is exactly what you want for a healthy brew.

So, what are the best pH indicator strips for testing your homemade Kombucha?

You want to use any food grade pH strips you can get your hands on. This ensures there's no chance of spoiling your batch (if you are testing directly) but even then, we'd recommend you always isolate a small sample for pH testing.

A popular pH test indicator kit made for Kombucha is the Kombucha Chemistry range:
Featuring 100 pieces, the Kombucha Chemistry strips are ready to use straight out of the box.

✅ No tricky scraps of test paper to cut to length or tear-off
✅ No finger or bench staining to worry about
✅ Just test your batch and place the used strip in the waste

If you want to know a cool trick on how to double the number of strips, simply cut one down the middle with a pair of sharp scissors and you suddenly have two strips!

Great if you intend on making many batches! But frankly, 100 strips is probably enough to last most brewers a couple of years if you are making a batch of kombucha a week!

Check out the price on Amazon:

How to use Ph strips for testing Kombucha


It’s important to test the pH level of your kombucha both at the start and end of the 1st ferment

Testing before ensures that it will be free of harmful microbes. So aim for the starting pH of your kombucha first fermentation to be 4.5 or below.

After fermentation is complete, the target pH level for your kombucha is between 2.5-3.5 - this means your brew ready to bottle or drink.

So take a small sample from your batch and place it in a clean container - such as a washed shot glass. Add you strip and note which color it changes to. Compare this color with the guide that comes with your strips to determine what the level is. The closest matching color is the approximate level.
Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top