(A quick note on rating... I gave it a 4* because, -1 for imperial and -1 for price, however, I initially rated it 6 out of 5.)
I've had a very brief exchange of ideas with other members about reviews (both here and LJ) over the past few years and kept it to myself. Many takes were with the impression that the product should go through a thorough evaluation before they are prepared to endorse it.
That is a very fair evaluation and I believe is a sentiment shared by many, as I assume can be seen from the limited reviews across various Internet Forums.
My concern is that by the time a product is thoroughly evaluated, any review just slips into the backburner or replaced by some other product... in which case, if you follow that philosopy, you'd never buy anything unless under an emergency.
I personally look forward to reviews if only to be made aware of products and unless the rating is abysmal or a no-go, thorough testing is not my primary preference and I expect to perform due diligence myself before the purchase, or wear the consequences quietly…. Caveat emptor!
The above preamble leads me into my discovery of these Viking Norseman Vortex Point Step Drill Bits that I saw on a Izzy Swann video. The one I saw presented about 8 different styles of drill bits, however, this is the closest I could find,
(7:49 into video).
I have large metal girders running through the workshop ceiling with some sort of metal encrusted substrata above that,
I have quite a few bits of timber used for suspension and I have had a few of them divebomb my head to the point that I insist on screwing them to the girders,
Initially, I struggled drilling the holes through the girders using HSS bits... then gave myself a boost with cobalt bits, but with these new suckers, I didn't have time to blink before the swarf started to hit my eyes.
Now as I have alluded to, I haven’t used them extensively, however, the few times I used them in steel, they cut much quicker than even my cobalt bits with no pre-drilling/punching.
... and only with a tiny punched locator indent for prep, there was no temptation to wander. I was expecting to crank up these clamps knuckle tight before drilling, but forgot and was surprised how easily it went through the washer. The long taper perfected centering, without the need to step up through a few gauges.
Not one to waste precious hardwoods for a demo that yazall can see on YouTube, I convinced myself to slap the 1/2" bit into the '$tool and plunged a hole in a piece of scrap pine... the entry point, and the exit point (unsupported),
The exit looked better than the entry, though a rub of fingers broke off the swarf cleanly on the entry point.
I haven’t tried timings and heat measurements, however, on visual feedback, they outperformed any other equivalent sized bits I had in the workshop… with maybe the exception of these special Jap drill bits (20mm) through timber
though the exit (unsupported) had a slight tearout... attributed to my bad execution. These (Jap bits) seem very similar to the OWL drill bits that have been bandied around recently... probably off the same production line with different badges.
The main down side to the Vikings, other than price, is that the deep V point is not conducive to non through holes, especially for dowel use.
Ok, there is another bummer. The sizes are embossed on the top black plastic plate in a font that even Kal El (or his cousin Kara - aka Cryptonian Supergirl) and his/her x-ray eyes would have trouble reading. Even with Duckvision, you need to get closeup,
Have managed a workaround... though I should have tried that white etching before a few vinos.
Is the cost justified… how much is your time left on this earth worth. If you often drill metal and don't own a set of cobalt, definitely. If you don't, drop a hint to family for Christmas.
When I can fake the job with imperial bits I now use them exclusively in my drill press and cordlesses.
Prior to these, I used to use my imperial DeWalt bullet points,
... anyone after a cheap set?
If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD