Paper drill bits are an expensive consumable item and there are several ways you can extend the life of your drill bits so they don't break or wear out too fast. We sell a complete range of drill bits and paper drilling accessories like silicon sprays, waxing paper and drill sharpening kits.
Standard paper drill bits are made of a hardened worked steel and supplied sharpened, lubricated and ready to use. They do not have any sort of coating on them, so after intensive use they will heat up fast.
The two biggest problems with drilling are the build up of heat through friction when drilling, and paper or material getting jammed up inside the hollow drill bit. Both these problems can lead to the drill bit cracking or shattering through pressure or heat. Constant heating and cooling of the drill bit will also weaken the metal over time.
The biggest part of the solution is simple, make sure you are using waxing paper regularly. Waxing paper is a heavily greased paper that you lay over the top of any material you are drilling and each pass with the drill ensures a clean lubricated start to drilling the stack of paper. Used every time, this will extend the life of your drill bit by up to 70% and is the biggest single improvement you can make to save money on drill bits.
The next level of improvement is to invest in Tungsten coated drill bits. Here the standard steel drill bits have been coated in incredibly hard tungsten, giving a very durable coating that is more resistant to heat and shatter problems. Drill faster and expect a much longer lifespan from Tungsten coated drill bits.
Another type of drill bit sometimes used are Teflon-coated bits. Like your saucepan or baking tray, this Teflon coating provides an incredibly slippery and non-stick drilling head that massively reduces friction (and thus heat) problems found when drilling laminated materials or when you simply can't find any other way to keep friction and heat down when drilling. We stock various sizes of teflon coated drill bits at Presco, please enquire about your desired model.
If a standard drill bit gets too hot it can also start to burn the material you are drilling, sticking to surfaces and even leaving unsightly black marks and circles on your work. This will eventually lead the drill bit becoming weakened by the temperature fluctuations. Once the metal is weakened the drill bit is then prone to shatter or crack and become unusable or even dangerous.
A drill sharpening head can be used to sharpen any standard drill bit from 3 to 14mm drilling diameters. This can be done many times on any drill bit until the drilling depth eventually becomes too short or uneven. You cannot sharpen Teflon or Tungsten coated drill bits as these are pre-coated and sharpening would just spoil this coating without properly sharpening the bit.
Materials being drilled also have an effect on how your drill bits will perform and their lifespan. If you are drilling laminated sheets or plastic coated materials expect higher temperatures and unpredictability. In some cases when drilling through plastic the extra heat can even cause laminate to melt a little and leave residue on the drill bit or material.
If you smell burning plastic or paper when drilling it is best to stop, evaluate what you are doing and whether the depth of material being drilled is too deep. Use waxing paper and silicon spray to keep the drill bit lubricated and performing well and sharpen regularly for sharp, precise performance each time.
So, there are a few ways to help, and remember that the first simple change you can make is to use waxing paper every time you drill. This will instantly help to prevent the common build ups of friction and heat with drill bits when drilling, even with new and recently sharpened bits.