Viking Norseman Vortex Point Step Drill Bits

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Boys and Girls,

(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

24 Comments

Duck

Could you fill the hard to read sizes w white paint?  Looks like the numbers are recessed.  Paint and wipe off excess?

Petey

Thought about it Petey... however, the print is so small I'd have to bring it to such a focal length that I can discern the black etching.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Nice write up buddy!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Very interesting - I was not aware of these.

Thanks for the write up!
Aside from the redundant name, these look like a universal set of the old step drill favored by electricians. Pretty darn impressive (and also yourself for drilling steel overhead).

I agree w/you about the review conundrum. Hate to write one unless I've become fully familiar which usually means a few years of use and no longer available. Can say that this neat tool I own, a "screwdriver", is well worth the price versus using a coin or other body part.
Those are really interesting Duckie....I suppose I will have to get a set of those now!!!  Damnit!!!

Mike


 SplinterGroup 
.....
Hate to write one unless I've become fully familiar which usually means a few years of use and no longer available.... 

I remember writing a review about some hollow shafted mini chucks from Lee Valley... by the time I got off my RRRs to write it, they were no longer stocked.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

I bought one when they first showed up, perfect for my #60 and up micro drills!

 SplinterGroup
 commented 1 day ago
I bought one when they first showed up, perfect for my #60 and up micro drills!

Sorry Splinter, but you guys are weird... #60 means BS to me, and here (in downtown Churchill) is more like a "Ford truck" without a diff.

Go metric and embrace the world.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

In the drill bit world, there are fractional, metric, number, and letter sizes. Like the Jamaican proctologist and sage, Pokemon, ya gotta catch them all!
In the real world, #60 is just bragging in the showers... 

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

You real-worlders brag in the showers? 🙄
Public baths....

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Wow...the Viking Norseman were really nice but EXPENSIVE.  I still would like to have them.
That's why I posted this B_eye... if people search the WEB by price range, most would never come across these.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Interesting review to say the least LBD
Some additional comments.
Izzy Swan ... now he is a big boy that's for sure, or his side kick is a little girl.
He could possibly use his fist as a chuck!
Now
some constructive comments:-
1. Where do you get em?
Not at Trade tools, Total Tools or Sydney Tools.
2.  You mentioned to price but failed to make full disclosure , apart from indicating the pain the largest bit boring a hole in your hip pocket wallet would inflict.
3. You could use a a Simpson PT 27 to avoid falling swarf.
No doubt you have  one hidden away in your Melb Branch of Blackwoods! 
Not recommended on Possums BTW!
4. I guess JFK used one on his boat during his Navy days
5. Electricians step drill,  yep they would almost do the job, but beware in metal they are only recommended for enlarging orifices thinner or equal to the step section thickness.
6.  Other plastics and wood go for it Chip and Dale.
7. I have a 100mm beast for switchboards however don't be scaring  it to death with H or I beams.
Gutters, Colourbond and other thin (1 to 1.2 mm) sheet goods it similar to Viking Blood Eagling for them.

Regards Rob

Oh almost forgot.
Maybe you could sent them to me so I could do a "sparkies" review on them.
 I have a few extra holes in Arthurs ride in Amarok needed. 
Postage and packing could be carried.
Otherwise as expected a well presented Review, with just a few whiskers needed fixing

Regards Rob

Click on the link above... (could have pasted it here, but I wan't to inflict the agony of having to read from the start, to you.

Actually it was yesterday when I was shopping for Nitto air couplers I noticed a similar set in Sydney Tools (Traralgon) shop.  Spoke with the salesman who said they just got them in.  With the ones I got from Yankeeland at $199.99(USD...$303.84AUS) they just didn't look the quality. Now I'm no techo, and judging by the fact that I (many others) consider Taylor Toollworks retail reasonably priced has me a tad more complacement about the murderous shipping cost.

 You could use a a Simpson PT 27 to avoid falling swarf. 

I could also close my eyes, but I keep missing the rungs while climbing the ladder.... tried a few times only to suffer that injury most pubescent boys inflict on themselves at the most vulnerable time in their lives, while trying to walk along the top of those 50mm tubular fences... and slip,

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Amazon has a similar set for about $178.
ST 0 QLD 
also ...you could always join the church choir

Regards Rob