Harbor Freight Drills Down on Drill Bits

All drill bits are not created equal—there are many different types of bits and a variety of materials used to make them. In some cases, the same drill bit can be used on different materials, but is it necessarily the best choice? It’s important to know a bit about bits to optimize the results of your respective task or project …

 

Twist Bits
These are some of the most common bits to find in the handyman’s toolbox. Used with either a hand or electric drill, the front edges cut the material and the spirals remove the debris along the length of the bit. However, there is a lot of variation with these bits. HSS (High Speed Steel) bits are generally characterized by their black color but more expensive and durable ones may contain cobalt or titanium coating (identified by the gold color). Titanium increases the hardness of the bit and facilitates a lubricating quality which is effective when drilling metals but has little impact on other materials.

Harbor Freight has several Twist Bit sets from which to choose, including the Titanium Drill Bit Set 29 Pc. These titanium drill bits run cooler, drill smoother and last up to three times longer than standard drill bits. The bits range in size from 1/16 in. to ½ in. in 64ths.

Harbor Freight also carries the 115 Pc Cobalt Drill Bit Set. These cobalt drill bits retain their hardness up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit making them ideal for drilling cast iron, heat-treated steel, stainless steel and other hard materials. With 135 degree tips, the cobalt drill bits not only last longer but also cut faster than standard high speed steel bits.

 

Brad Point Bits (a.k.a. wood or dowel bits)
These bits are best used on wood (some plastics) and are characterized by a small point at the tip of the bit. Spurs on either side cut clean, straight holes. They’re ideal for drilling holes for dowels, which is why they’re also called dowel bits. These drill bits are a staple for wood workers.

Harbor Freight offers the Brad Point Wood Drill Bit Set 7 Pc with 3/8 inch cutdown shanks. These outstanding bits resist skating and feature extra sharp flutes designed to smooth hole sides while ejecting chips faster to prevent overheating your drill. For projects utilizing either hard or soft woods, this set of brad point bits gets the job done quickly and accurately.

 

Auger Drill Bits
These bits are designed to cut large, deep and accurate flat-bottomed holes. The spiraling shaft comes to a fine, threaded point while the single spur cuts and defines the hole’s edge. The threaded center bites into the wood, pulling the bit into the timber. This pulling action makes it unsuitable for use in power drills.

Harbor Freight has several sets of auger drill bits available, starting with the Auger Bit Set 7 Pc. These 7-1/2 in. long auger bits make fast, clean holes in both soft and hard woods. The bits are made of heat-treated alloy steel that resists damage from nails. Other features include quick-change 3/8 in. dia. hex shanks and a ¼ in. bit with a ¼ in. hex shank.

Other Harbor Freight auger bits set include the 18 in. Ship Auger Bit Set 3 Pc and Stubby Auger Bit Set 6 Pc.

 

Wood Spade Bits (a.k.a. Paddle Bits, Flat Wood Bits)
The pointed tip centers the hole as the paddle-shaped blade bores large, wide holes. Sizes are clearly marked on the face of each bit. These larger bits require a fairly powerful drill and lend themselves to drilling fairly large flat-bottomed holes with a center point—works especially well when the head of a screw or bolt needs to be recessed in the lumber. The bits can cause a lot of splintering as they breakthrough the work piece but a sacrificial backing board will reduce this. These bits are not recommended for enlarging an existing hole.

Harbor Freight offers a variety of wood spade bit sets, including the Steel Spade Drill Bit Set 13 Pc. The extended spurs effortlessly cut crisp, clean holes in thick stock. Each bit is forged and heat-treated to withstand rigorous use. The ¼ inch quick-change shank works with drills and impact drivers.

Other Harbor Freight offerings include the Steel Spade Bit Set 6 Pc, Steel Large Diameter Spade Bit Set 4 Pc, and the Steel Stubby Spade Bit Set 3 Pc.

 

Masonry Bits
As the name implies, these drill bits are designed to be used on masonry material, including brick, block, stone, quarry tiles and concrete. The cutting tip is often made of tungsten carbide bonded to a spiral steel shaft. Generally, masonry bits are used in a hand drill but can also be used in a hand brace or hammer action power drill (though cheaper bits can shatter due to the action). Long masonry bits can be used for drilling through masonry walls.

Harbor Freight provides several masonry bit options, including the Masonry Drill Bit Set 5 Pc featuring M2 high-speed steel shanks and C2 carbide tips with 6% cobalt. The 8 in. SDS Masonry Bit Set 6 Pc features a superior hardening process and an enhanced flute design that helps the bits run cooler.

 

Tile and Glass Bits
The tips of these bits are designed to penetrate tile or glass, then enlarge the hole as the bit penetrates the material. The tips are usually made with tungsten carbide. The bits can be used in a hand drill but are best used with a variable speed power drill on a slow speed. Lubricants should be used to keep the tip cool when drilling.

Harbor Freight offers the Carbide Tip Glass and Tile Cutting Drill Bit Set 6 Pc featuring C-3 tungsten carbide tips and a steel shaft for drilling glass, ceramics, plastics and Formica tiles. The wide base angle provides precise, stable drilling.

 

Countersink Bits
Using a power or hand drill, these bits penetrate material and form a conical recess to accommodate the heads of countersunk screws. Countersink bits are generally designed for use on softer materials.

Harbor Freight carries the Carbon Steel Tapered Drill Bit and Countersink Set, 22 Pc. The bits are made from heat-treated steel and designed with a unique single-twist design to remove material more efficiently, resulting in cleaner holes. The set includes seven drills, seven countersinks, seven stop-collars and an individually organized wooden storage box for easy transport and organization.

 

Forstner Bits
These bits are used to form holes with flat bottoms, such as with kitchen cupboard hinges. It’s best to use a power drill with a drill stand for optimal accuracy.

Harbor Freight offers two Forstner bit sets, the 1/4 in. – 1 in. Forstner Drill Bit Set With 3/8 in. Shanks 7 Pc featuring high carbon steel construction and 3/8 in. reinforced shanks, and the 1/4 in. – 2-1/8 in. Forstner Drill Bit Set With 3/8 in. Shanks 16 Pc which includes more bits and a wood carrying case for storage.

 

That’s just the basics when it comes to drill bits. There are many other types of specialized drill bits as well, such as screwdriver bits, plug cutters and nut drivers.

For the full selection of drills bits and accessories, visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store or the Harbor Freight website.

 

 

Source Material:
DIY – different drill bits
DIY data

Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light

magnetic light

This Rotating Magnet LED Work Light stays put on metal surfaces via a powerful magnetic base and provides 180 lumens, making it ideal for automotive repairs, shop work and hobbies. It’s also a great emergency back-up light.

Other features include an easy on/off switch and a 360-degree swivel head that enables you to direct the beam exactly where you want it. The work light is powered by three AA batteries providing between 3 to 6 hours of run time—batteries are included.

Customers really love this work light:

Handy light to have around. Bright and easy to use in tight and difficult places. – COS Mac, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Great little light with magnet bottom and rotating head puts the light just where you need it. – Don, Bewood, NC

I use the magnetic rotating light to work on farm machinery in tight places, within the engine area, under the vehicle, and in buildings that have no lighting. This light puts out a lot of light. – Rocking Double B Ranch, Russellville, MO

I got this to help provide a small spotlight when working under the hood. It is great for that. It also helps when checking the air pressure in the dark … – Dave, Antioch, CA

Great value for this product, lots of light and the magnet holds good when I clean our pellet stove. Very good quality, will purchase more. – Lil SKI, Plattsburgh New York

Pick up one or more of the Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

Rotating Magnetic LED Work Light
item#62955

10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit

band saw 3band saw 2

The 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit is ideal for cutting tubing, pipes, re-bar, wood, metal and plastic. The band saw cuts at no-load speeds between 0 to 420 FPM and only weighs 16 lbs. for easy handling and less fatigue.

Features include a needle-bearing-mounted spindle and three wheel-bearing blade guides for even, accurate cuts. The band saw also features a 5 in. x 5 in. deep cut capacity, superior ergonomic design and balance for accurate cuts, storage case and 14 TPI blade.

Customer reviews have been extremely favorable:

Great buy. I don’t see how they make a profit selling it soooo cheap … – Sal, Greensboro, NC

I have used this saw several times with no issues. Runs very smooth, cuts very clean. I bought the bi metal blades with it and made several cuts in steel with no problem. This is the tool I use now instead of the chop saw. Excellent product for the price. – Don, Kankakee, IL

Used this Saw to cut 1/4″ tubing and it cuts through it like butter. Use this saw a lot. I have used the Milwaukee Band Saw and this Band Saw cuts the same. – Mac, El Paso, TX

Great price … this unit operates just like my $320 that was stolen. – Land of promise chessies, Chesapeake, VA

The Harbor Freight 62800 band saw not only performed any task I gave it, but saved me money over the more expensive competitors saws … Saw was smooth cutting and had plenty of power to cut the 1/8 thick steel bars. I would indeed recommend this to anyone. – Nearpar, Port Huron, MI

I have cut 2″x2″ 3/16″ wall tubing, 1/4″ plate, clamped three pieces of 1/8″ plate together, and 1.25″ solid round bar. It cut through all of them like butter! Very easy to control while cutting. Feels solid. I did buy a 24 tpi blade for all of my metal cutting. My first time using a band saw and I have found it easy to operate. Speed controls have handled all of my needs. – MHWSA, Wichita Falls, TX

You can pick up the 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit
item#62800

10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit

band saw 3band saw 1band saw 2

The 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit is designed to cut tubing, pipes, re-bar, wood, metal and plastic. The band saw cuts at no-load speeds between 0 to 420 FPM and only weighs 16 lbs. for easy handling and less fatigue.

Features include a needle-bearing-mounted spindle and three wheel-bearing blade guides for even, accurate cuts. The band saw also features a 5 in. x 5 in. deep cut capacity, superior ergonomic design and balance for accurate cuts, storage case and 14 TPI blade.

Here’s what customers are saying about this must-have power tool:

The Harbor Freight 62800 band saw not only performed any task I gave it, but saved me money over the more expensive competitors’ saws … Saw was smooth cutting and had plenty of power to cut the 1/8 thick steel bars. I would indeed recommend this to anyone. – Nearpar, Port Huron, MI

I have cut 2″x2″ 3/16″ wall tubing, 1/4″ plate, clamped three pieces of 1/8″ plate together, and 1.25″ solid round bar. It cut through all of them like butter! Very easy to control while cutting. Feels solid … My first time using a band saw and I have found it easy to operate. Speed controls have handled all of my needs. – MHSAW, Wichita Falls, TX

This saw has a nice blade change feature that the older model did not have and that is you do not have to remove the cover, just turn the blade tension lever and change the blade. The drive and tension wheels both have a softer rubber on them. I have 2 of the older saws and both are going strong. The only reason I bought the new model was because I gave my son one. This new model has a lot of power, cut 2″ heavy wall pipe,1/2×3 steel and 3/8x4x4 angle iron with no problem. This is another great buy. – Royknpp, Carmel, NY

You can pick up the 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit at your local Harbor Freight store.

10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit
item#62800

 

4 in. x 36 in. Belt/6 in. Disc Sander

combo sanderHarbor Freight’s 4 in. x 36 in. Belt/6 in. Disc Sander is a must-have power tool for your garage or shop. The adjustable belt sands inside and outside curves with ease and accuracy for smooth finishes.

Additional features including a powerful ¾ HP motor, reinforced steel motor housing, cast aluminum table that tilts up to 60° for use with belt or disc and a miter gauge for sanding angles on workpieces.

Check out these customer reviews:

We have given it to front and center place of honor on our workbench. I just can’t believe I didn’t get one sooner. Thank you Harbor Freight. Planter, Santa Barbara

I am installing lots of molding around the house. I have used the sander to fine tune the joints. My finished work looks great. – LTHARLEY, Anaheim, CA

Took it out of the box and spent about 15 minutes putting it together, turned it on, adjusted the belt and away we went. I love it. Works great. – Eddie, Sylvania, OH

The product is very useful for many jobs. It’s easy to use and keep clean. – Lance, Georgia

Pick up the 4 in. x 36 in. Belt/6 in. Disc Sander at your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

4 in. x 36 in. Belt/6 in. Disc Sander
item#97181

90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder

90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder

The 90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder from Harbor Freight Tools provides the functionality of a MIG welder without the hassle of gas. This Flux Core Arc Welder (FCAW) is specifically designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, eliminating any need for gas and regulators normal MIG welders require. With a variable speed wire control and thermal overload protection, this flux wire welder is easy to use with mild, low alloy steel. It’s not suitable for aluminum or stainless steel.

Here’s what customers are saying about this welder:

Love this welder for thin sheet metal work and welding up to 3/32″ thick steel. Works great right out of the box. Have tried several name brand wires with it and the one that works best is actually Harbor Freight-branded wire. I have the least amount of spatter, and slag with their wire. – BryWilder, Continental, OH

Very easy setup, makes very nice welds. I’ve used it off and on for about a week with no issues. Great product for the money. Fantastic buy. – Jimmy, Dothan, AL

I’ve used this machine to repair several mower decks, repair a garden cart, & convert an old workmate style bench into a welding table… What I really like is it runs off 120 volt which makes it portable … – Tallahasse Handyman, Tallahasse, FL

Pick the 90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder as well as welding accessories from your local Harbor Freight Tools store.

90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder
item#61849

What a Wonderful Weld

90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored WelderThe 90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder from Harbor Freight Tools provides the functionality of a MIG welder without the hassle of gas. This Flux Core Arc Welder (FCAW) is specifically designed to use self-shielding flux-cored welding wire, eliminating any need for gas and regulators normal MIG welders require. With a variable speed wire control and thermal overload protection, this flux wire welder is easy to use.

This welder is designed to be used with mild, low alloy steel. It’s not suitable for aluminum or stainless steel.

Check out what customers are saying about this welder:

This is the perfect welder for making pipe racks and fixing any weld leaks on sprinkler piping. For the money you cannot beat this product. It is also 110v so it can be used anywhere. – Jamie, Gadsen, AL

I’ve been welding for 17 years now. That being said, this welder is absolutely perfect for everyday use at home. Even if you’ve never welded before, watch a two-minute video on YouTube on the basics and you’re set! Minimal weld spatter and slag. Good solid welds. Even on thin steel. I recommend this welder. – Marc G., San Antonio, TX

I have had this thing for a year now and let me just say it has paid for itself by 10 fold. Kicking myself in the butt for not buying it sooner. I have fixed my bush hog, other tractor parts, a shelter frame, etc., etc. Buy it, you won’t be disappointed. Also I had never welded before. – Hoot, Ayden, NC

Visit your local Harbor Freight Tools store to pick up the 90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder as well as all welding accessories.

90 Amp-AC, 120 Volt, Flux Cored Welder
item#61849

Portable Band Saw for Heavy-Duty Cutting Applications

band saw 2band saw 1band saw 3

This amazing variable speed, portable band saw goes with you to the worksite to cut tubing, pipes, rebar, wood, metal and plastic! The band saw cuts at no-load speeds between 0 to 420 FPM and only weighs 16 lbs. for easy handling. Features include a needle-bearing-mounted spindle and three wheel-bearing blade guides for even, accurate cuts. Additional features include:

  • Powerful 10 amp motor
  • 5 in. x 5 in. deep cut capacity
  • Superior ergonomics and balance for accurate cuts and less fatigue
  • Storage Case and (1) 14 TPI Blade

Check out what customers are saying about this indispensable power tool:

This is a great improvement over the previous model. Runs smoother, cuts straight and deep. Easy to change bands. Quiet for a portable band saw. – Fury, FL

Took out of the box, dropped the blade in and started cutting. Made 10 cuts through cast iron. Worked perfectly, cut like butter. VERY PLEASED, a big plus to my Harbor Freight tool line up … Recommended. – CJN, Port Huron, MI

I have used Milwaukee and Rockwell portable band saws over the years and this saw is on par with them in performance and quality…  – Fab. Red, Ionia, MI

Love the band saw. I have to admit I had my doubts but they were wrong. I have cut so many things with this saw: angle iron, aluminum,3/4″ rod, wood, copper, and I have nothing but good to say about the power and accuracy. I don’t usually write reviews but this product deserves it. – Clarky, Buffalo, NY

You can pick up the versatile and reliable 10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit at your local Harbor Freight store!

10 Amp Deep Cut Variable Speed Band Saw Kit
item#62800

How To Cut Metal Bolts With Your Angle Grinder

angle grinder product artLet’s say you’re in the middle of a project and a bolt you’re working with is too long, stopping you dead in your tracks. You could make a run to the local big box store (and then the next one), hoping they’ve got the right size. You could hacksaw it (you weren’t doing anything else for the rest of the afternoon, were you?). Or, if you’ve got an Angle Grinder with a metal cutoff wheel, you can make quick work of it. An angle grinder is the best tool in the arsenal for trimming bolts. Here’s how.

1. Mark the Cut Line

Measure and mark the length of the bolt with a Sharpie.

mark bolt with sharpie

 2. Add Nuts

Screw a couple of nuts onto the bolt all the way to the head (or base). This will make it easier to clamp the bolt to the work table as well as lining up the threads again after you cut it.

nuts and vice

3. Cut the Bolt With the Angle Grinder

Turn on the angle grinder and approach the bolt at a flat angle. Cut right through the bolt.

cutting bolt

4. Deburr Bolt

Clean and smooth the cut end of the bolt with a bench grinder or an abrasive pad.

deburr bolt with bench grinder

5. Try the Thread

Unscrew the nut to the top of the thread until it offers resistance, then use a wrench to back it completely off the bolt. This will reform the thread and leave you with a working bolt.

wrench the nut

6. Moving On

You can now resume with your project!

clean cut bolt

SAFETY!

Remember to always wear Safety Glasses when using your angle grinder, taking note where the guard is to catch the flying sparks. Also remove anything flammable or easily ignited such as dirty rags.

chicago electric grinder in action

When it comes to cutting, grinding or polishing, you won’t find a more versatile power tool than the angle grinder. They’re indispensable for jobs that can’t be done any other way, and heaven-sent for the jobs that otherwise could only be described as excruciating ordeals. 

For a great deal on a powerful angle grinder, we recommend the Chicago Electric 4-1/2″ 4.5 Amp Heavy Duty model from Harbor Freight. It has a powerful ball-bearing motor that can tackle the hardest metal cutting, shaping and slag removal jobs, and the price is VERY doable. They also make a great pneumatic model. You can also find great deals on extra metal cutoff wheels and wire brush wheels for a plethora of automotive and shop projects.

 

Belt/Disc Sander Tips – The SOP Checklist For All Your Belt/Disc Sanding Projects

belt disk sander 1

Last week I talked about How To Turn Your Garage Into The Ultimate DIY Workshop and as part of the arsenal, I recommended a belt sander. This time, I’m going to add the stationary belt/disc sander, and if you do a lot of projects with wood and metal, you’ll immediately get why. Whether you’re making razor-sharp miters, shaping precise  contours on a model, making knives as a hobby, sharpening lawn mower blades, smoothing down welds or putting a silky smooth finish on a project, a belt/disc sander can be your best friend in the workshop.

This time, though, I’d like to talk about some guidelines

belt disk sander 2

Safety Tips

1. As with most all power tools, always wear safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles while operating the belt/disc sander.

2. Always be on guard when switching on this tool. A sanding disc or belt cuts quickly and aggressively. Failure to anticipate that may result in the loss of skin or digits.

3. Check yourself for loose clothing, jewelry, hair or other things dangling loosely from your person, and secure them  so they are NOT caught in the machine.

4. Sanding on wood or plastic will cause heat buildup due to the friction and may cause the product to burn.

5. A power-driven sander can do some serious damage to the skin. Avoid any contact with the belt and disc when powered up.

6. A filtered face mask is always recommended when working with these sanders.

7. Check the integrity of the sanding belt tracking as well as the integrity of the disc. Any ripped belts or discs should be replaced immediately.

8. Contrary to other the operation of other power tools, do NOT wear gloves while operating the sander, as they can get pulled in by the belt or disc.

9. Let the machine to get to full speed before feeding it material. Also, be aware that it takes time for the disc or belt to stop moving. You just can’t stop it on a dime.

operating belt disk sander

When Operating the Belt/Disc Sander

1. Always approach the belt/disc sander with safety on the brain!

2. Make sure the gap between the sander’s table and the spinning disc or belt is as small as possible.

3. Make sure the distance between your fingers and the spinning disc or belt is no closer than 3”.

4. Absolutely do not sand pieces that are too small to be safely supported.

5. Always hold the piece securely when sanding.

6. Use the backstop, fence, table or other supports as you’re sanding.

7. Always hold the piece on the downward rotation side of the disc when sanding.

8. Avoid putting your hands in awkward positions. A sudden slip could cause a hand to move into the spinning belt or disc.

9. Do not sand with the work piece unsupported. Support the work piece with the backstop or table.

10. Clear scrap pieces and other objects from the table, backstop and belt before turning on the sander.

11. Don’t push hard on the sanding media. Both the belt and disc perform best and safest when they’re allowed to remove material at the rate for which they were designed.

12. Never adjust the belt while the sander is on.

13.Turn the machine off and unplug it before installing or removing belts or discs, or when making adjustments.

14. Never leave the machine when it’s running or before it comes to a complete stop.

15. Shut the sander off, clean it off and clear the work area before leaving. If there are rugrats about, unplug it, too.

Central-Machinery Belt/Disc Sanders

belt disk sander art

Harbor Freight Tools offers an excellent 4″ x 36″ Belt/Disc Sander (#97181) for most (small-to-medium) home projects with a cast aluminum table tilts to 60°.

9 x 6 belt disc sander

Or, if you anticipate larger projects– or want the flexibility for them– we also offer the 9″ x 6″ Combination Belt and Disc Sander #61750 with a 45 ° tilt.

Both of these are great buys as well as great additions to your workshop.