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Drill bit quality – How to tell what’s good 0047


In taking up the matter of Augers and Bits, it will be understood that all articles of this class are included, such as Car Bits, Hand Augers, Boring Machine Augers, etc., etc. Taking up the matter from the beginning, the first item to be considered is

AS TO QUALITY OF STEEL —In many of the common, cheap bits the steel used is common open hearth stock, costing about 21 cents per lb. The leading makers of first-class bits (except in two instances noted further on) use a special grade of American steel made for this purpose, which is presumably the best for the work intended. The two exceptions referred to are the D. M. & K. Arrow brand and the Job T. Pugh brand. These makers claim to use nothing but the best English cast steel They certainly make very good bits, but as to whether the English cast steel is any better for this purpose than the special American steel, is a question.

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AS TO TEMPER —Some of the cheap makes of Bits are not tempered at all; others are tempered by the handful. All first-class bits are tempered singly, just as any other edge tool is— or should be— and we sell no bits but that are tempered in this way.

FORGED BITS —Nearly all makes of Auger Bits are twisted; the exceptions are the Ford, Lewis and Irwin bits. It is claimed that a forged bit is much stronger than a twisted one.

Leaving now these points, we take up the question of the practical working qualities of different styles of Bits, considering first the question

AS TO EASE IN BORING —For shallow boring in clean, dry woods there is nothing that excels the Russell Jennings' style of bit. The Ford bit, which has the same style of lip, is equally good for this class of work. For hard and green woods the double lip style (Fig. 3298) if well made and tempered, answers very well. For deep boring in soft, hard or green woods nothing, in our judgment, equals the Ford bit.

AS TO CLEARANCE —In shallow holes almost any ordinary style of Bit will clear itself. For deep boring the Ford bit is superior. The twist is so constructed as to carry the chip to the center and back without coming in contact with side of hole, thus preventing friction with the chip and wood, and giving perfect clearance.

AS TO SMOOTH BORING — The Forstner bit, Fig. 3324 ( which is not an auger bit), will bore a smoother, cleaner hole than any other bit made. For smoothness of boring, next to this come any of the better class of bits with the Jenning's style of lip and spur.

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AS TO STRENGTH —The Irwin bit is doubtless the strongest and stiffest auger bit made, after this in point of strength comes the Ford bit, which we believe excels the Irwin in all other points save this. Then the Ship Auger style. For general use any of the better qualities are strong enough.

AS TO STRAIGHT BORING —The only style of bit that will bore an absolutely straight hole is one having no screw point to follow the grain, or seams in the wood. This style is represented by the No-Screw Ship Auger, Fig. 3305. In screw point bits the nearest to this are the Ford and Lewis bits. In these bits the single cut is protected by a solid heel that serves as a guide, thus securing a practically straight hole.

AS TO BORING IN END WOOD —Boring in end wood is rather mean work at the best. For light work the Forstner Bit is good. For all sorts of work the Ford Bit is better than any other we know of. For machine work the Drill Head Machine Bit ( Fig. 3347) is all right.

ANGLES AND REBORING —There are three styles of bits that can be used for boring at angles ; the Cook. Forstner and the Gas Fitter's Auger. For medium and light work the Forstner is the best. The Gas Fitter's Auger is intended for rough work. For Reboring, that is, enlarging a hole that is already bored, the Forstner or Cook Bit may be used.

AS TO SPEED —The fastest boring tools are the Trenail Auger and the No-Screw Ship Bit. The first named is but little used. The No-Screw Ship Auger or Bit can be made to cut fast or slow as desired, by changing the angle of the cutting edge. In hard wood this bit will bore a smooth hole, but it is not suitable for soft wood. The Russell Jennings and the Ford bits are as speedy as any of the regular types of bit.

AS TO DURABILITY —The most durable and the longest lived style of bit is the Ship Auger, either no screw or with screw. After this comes the double lipped style (Fig. 3298). If the front spurs are broken off, this leaves the side lips and the bit can still be used.

TO SUM UP —A great deal is expected of Boring Bits. To-day the material worked upon may be clear white pine, butternut, white wood, or some other kind that is easy and nice to bore. Tomorrow —white or red oak, birch, cherry, walnut, or some other kind that is not so easy or so nice. The next day— green oak, hemlock, bass wood, cedar, soft, spongy mahogany, or some other kind, that is not at all easy or nice.

In order to have Bits that were absolutely the best suited to all the varying requirements of different kinds of work, the mechanic would find it necessary to carry a tool chest full of bits alone. This would not be expedient, and the expense, we fear, would be somewhat burdensome. What a nice thing it would be if some one could only invent or design a bit that would bore as easily as the Jennings or the Ford, as smooth as the Forstner, as straight as the No-Screw Ship Auger or Drill Head, as fast as the Trenail, bore at an angle like the Cook, Forstner, or Gas Fitter's auger, clear itself in all kinds of wood like the Ford, and that was as strong and stiff as the No-Screw Ship Auger or Ford.

That's ideal, but impossible, and the next best thing for a mechanic is to have the style of bit that comes as near covering all of these requirements as is possible for him to obtain. We think that perhaps the Ford Bit is the most useful all-around tool, but as all bits we sell are first-class, our customers would hardly make a mistake in ordering any kind shown, unless indeed, the work is special, in which case the choice must be made by the user with whatever help he may have obtained from experience —or what has been written here.


RUSSELL' JENNINGS. The Jennings' Auger Bit was patented by Russell Jennings in the year 1855. Every genuine Russell Jennings' Auger or Bit is stamped with the full name, " RUSSELL JENNINGS" on the shank. The excellent qualities of the Russell Jennings' Bit are too well known to need any comment. Nearly all manufacturers of Augers and Bits make this pattern of bit. All of them, we believe, claim to make just as good Bits as those made by the Russell Jennings Co., but, in our judgment, such is not the case, and we believe that the genuine Russell Jennings' Bit is superior to any other bit of this style. They are considerably higher in price than others, but there are plenty of mechanics who are willing to pay the difference.

JENNINGS' PATTERN.
The Jennings' Pattern Bit is an imitation of the Russell Jennings'. Since the expiration of the Jennings' patents, nearly all manufacturers of Augers and Bits make Jennings' Pattern bits, so that there are at least fifteen makers, and we do not know of a single concern making these that (Ices not claim to make just as good hits as the Russell Jenning. We can best explain our position in regard to this matter by printing the following correspondence :

DOUGLAS, Ark., Sept. 19th.
Detroit, Mich.
Dear Sirs:— * * * Our hardware dealer asks $5.60 for a set of Russell Jennings' bits. He has what he calls Jennings' pattern bits, which he offers at .$4.00 a set, and he claims they are made of the finest steel, tempered by a
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Drill bit quality - How to tell what's good