Author Topic: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit  (Read 8024 times)

shelivesthedream

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Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« on: March 22, 2016, 03:07:52 PM »
I've been using an electric drill to screw something together and the screws have absolutely trashed two screwdriver drill bits! They are cross head screws and the drill bit seems to get slightly unstuck from the screw head and run round before I stop it, but instead of the drill bit eroding the screw (as I am used to with hand screwdrivers), the screw is intact and the pointy-outy sides of the drill bit are completely worn away so there is not enough to grip a screw. I didn't realise what was happening at first, but I think it takes about six screws to destroy a drill bit.

1. Why the fuck?
2. Obviously I now need to buy new drill bits... What can I buy so that this does not happen again?

onlykelsey

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 03:10:49 PM »
You probably have steel bits. Cobalt are a step up in durability (and price) without getting too brittle. I think they cost ~2x as much, but I've had mine since they were my mom's in the late 1990s and they seem fine.  I mean, I don't run a construction business, but they do get used.

PMG

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 03:40:24 PM »
This can be user caused.  Make sure that you are holding the drill in line with the screw.  Even a small tilt is enough to cause the bit to jump from the screw. Take a slow and steady approach to screwing the screw in as well, you'll be able to see and feel what you are doing better. Faster speeds tends to cause movement and damage until a person is more experienced.

Mr. Green

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 03:49:09 PM »
I have this issue when I'm not using good quality drill bits and/or the drill bit I'm using doesn't completely match the screw head pattern and depth.

robartsd

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 04:16:42 PM »
This is a reason Torx style screw heads are growing in popularity in construction - they don't tend to kick the bit out causing damage to the head and/or bit. If you're using a variable speed drill, you might try going a little slower.

bobechs

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 05:54:55 PM »
1. You should get driver bits that match the style and size of the screws you are driving.  There are several kinds of cross-shaped screw styles and several sizes, even of the common phillips screw head. 

2. You should predrill holes in material which experience shows you your selection of screw, bit and technique will result in camming the bit out of the screw slot.  Just blazing away until either the screw or bit are buggered is not good enough.

3. If you refuse 1. and 2. then lean good and hard into your driving. Like, with your full weight.  Overhead, or at awkward angles, this is physically impossible: go to 1. and 2.

4. Buggering the screw head in preference to the driver is not a form of success.

GuitarStv

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 06:07:07 PM »
This can be user caused.  Make sure that you are holding the drill in line with the screw.  Even a small tilt is enough to cause the bit to jump from the screw. Take a slow and steady approach to screwing the screw in as well, you'll be able to see and feel what you are doing better. Faster speeds tends to cause movement and damage until a person is more experienced.

+1


I stripped a whole lot of bits when learning to use powered screwdrivers.  There's definitely a feel that you have to get for doing this.  In addition to the good advice given above, you need to learn to apply a reasonable level of pressure to the screw being driven to prevent it from slipping.

paddedhat

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 07:07:00 PM »
First, your terminology has created a "bit" of confusion in this thread, as you are discussing "Tips" not "bits" Bits are used to drill holes, tips are for driving fasteners.

Now on to a few issues that you are facing. First, an electric drill is about the worst thing to use to do the job. It has no ability to limit torque, so if you were not stripping tips, and chewing up the "Phillips head" screws you are using, you would probably be just snapping the heads off the screws. Screw guns look like electric drills, but they have a magnetic tip holder, not a chuck to hold the bit, and they have a clutch that spins free, once the fastener is inserted to a specific depth. Next, slotted screws are too shitty to even speak of here, and they should never be used, if you can avoid them. Phillips heads are marginally better, but as you found out, they still suck. Heading toward the "doesn't suck" end of the spectrum would be "Robertson head" or square drive screws, these have a small square recess that can be driven well, and are a big step up. Canadians seem to be pretty fond of these things, but us yanks are a bit too thick when it comes to upgrading to things that make sense, so we still suffer with slots and phillips, mostly. As mentioned on this thread, the Mac daddy, dog's balls, king of screwing is the Torxs screw. These have a star shaped recess, and once you try them, you will wonder if enlightenment is just around the corner, since your whole world just got a "bit" better. Good luck, and may you screw in peace.

Primm

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2016, 11:41:24 PM »
This can be user caused.  Make sure that you are holding the drill in line with the screw.  Even a small tilt is enough to cause the bit to jump from the screw. Take a slow and steady approach to screwing the screw in as well, you'll be able to see and feel what you are doing better. Faster speeds tends to cause movement and damage until a person is more experienced.

+1


I stripped a whole lot of bits when learning to use powered screwdrivers.  There's definitely a feel that you have to get for doing this.  In addition to the good advice given above, you need to learn to apply a reasonable level of pressure to the screw being driven to prevent it from slipping.

+2

I've done this a lot while learning as well. There's a fine line between "just enough screwing" and "oops, too far!"

shelivesthedream

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 02:33:17 AM »
So my to-do list is:

1. Make absolutely sure that the new drill bit is exactly the right size for the screws.
2. Take extra time to make sure that the drill is held at the right angle.
3. Try applying a bit more pressure.

I was drilling pilot holes and applying some pressure anyway. I'm just trying to bash together a planter for our balcony, so although it doesn't have to be super neat I probably wasn't being *that* careful. I've not had the opportunity to do a lot of woodwork so it just freaked me out a bit! Glad to know I'm not the only person in the world who has ever done it, and that it's a correctable mistake!

Well Respected Man

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 06:53:50 AM »
I have one where the tip is destroying my drill. I bought an impact driver/drill combo, with the swappable transmission/head part, and used the regular double-ended tip. Now the tip is stuck in the chuck, which is supposed to just pull to remove the tip. The chuck won't move at all. RTFM, and it says to use tips with a groove to hold it in place. Good thing I bought the relatively cheap one, and can replace the head when I next need it.
 

Fishindude

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2016, 08:35:55 AM »
Mostly operator error.
Slow down, use your variable speed trigger, and push straight and hard on the screw.
And make sure you are using a driver that precisely fits the screw.  There are several sizes of Phillips tip drivers.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2016, 08:42:31 AM »
Good luck, and may you screw in peace.

+1

PaddedHat, I always learn something from your posts. Thank you.

Cadman

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2016, 08:48:01 AM »
One of the best tool investments I ever made was picking up one of those little (palm sized) Bosch impact drivers (<$100). It'll drive in just about any screw regardless of tip design without ever stripping it, and you can finesse the head to the exact depth you want with the variable 'speed' trigger. It's small enough and light enough to go where drills wont, and will accept drill bits and sockets that have the integral 1/4" hex drive. From planters and cabinets to steel roofing to rough construction it does it all without complaint.

A drill really isn't the right tool for the job, even if it has a slip clutch. And eventually one of those screws will break off during install which can be 'fun'.

Xlar

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2016, 01:03:19 PM »
One of the things that I have found with Phillips screws is they are often not the standard #2 size. I bought a set of bits and I try each one to find the one that fits the best. The set that I got is: www.amazon.com/TEKTON-2841-Everybit-Ratchet-Screwdriver/dp/B008HYVG6I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1458932486&sr=8-2&keywords=screw+bit+set and I've been very happy with it.

Willbrewer

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2016, 06:09:22 PM »
Check out Robertson style screws and bits. The square drive works really well, without the stripping-out problem of Phillips screws and bits.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2016, 01:36:34 AM »
I don't know why, because it looked right, but the former drill bit must have been completely the wrong size. I bought an assorted pack and tried a few out and hit on one that was just perfect and have had zero problems since. Thanks all y'all!

lthenderson

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Re: Wtf? Screws destroying my drill bit
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2016, 01:25:37 PM »
One of the best tool investments I ever made was picking up one of those little (palm sized) Bosch impact drivers (<$100). It'll drive in just about any screw regardless of tip design without ever stripping it, and you can finesse the head to the exact depth you want with the variable 'speed' trigger. It's small enough and light enough to go where drills wont, and will accept drill bits and sockets that have the integral 1/4" hex drive. From planters and cabinets to steel roofing to rough construction it does it all without complaint.

+1 I have a Dewalt version and it is my go to for any screwing. Like others said, I stick with torx across the board these days except when doing decorative type woodworking stuff with visible screw heads. You can also buy bits for your drill with a sleeve that can be set to a specific depth. It helps hold your screw in place while you are starting it and when it reaches the desired depth, it pushed against the material you are screwing into and pushes your bit out of the head of the screw. This allows you to go full boar and achieve perfect depth every time. I use it for drywall, decking and other projects where I'm putting in a lot of screws.