countersink drill/bits

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  1. #1
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    Default countersink drill/bits

    Hi all.

    Wondering where to buy QUALITY countersink bits with drill bit and also/especially replacement drill bits. Not smart ones or anything like that, unless the depth stop is adjustable but prefer without. Numbers #6, #8 and #10 maybe. Getting really sick of the Home Hardware stuff breaking every 5 seconds and they only stock in a pack of 4 and don't stock replacement drill bits. Simply ridiculous and maddening the waste. I don't really want to modify drill bits either.

    Cheers, Su.

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    Are you drilling wood? would a step drill bit like this work, it is usually for sheet metal.

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    Default Re: countersink drill/bits



    Total Tools sell this set for about $20, easily replace drill bits as they are common sizes.

    They are Snappy brand.
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    Ended up buying one of these. Whatchya think? Says drill bit can be replaced with any standard drill bit. Does it not have a flat side?

    Bordo Carbide 8G Hardwood 10G Softwood 3 32” Drill Countersink Tool | eBay

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    Nice SBD. I must have double posted this thread accidentally. I only just saw this one. Just bought Bordo Carbide 8G Hardwood 10G Softwood 3 32” Drill Countersink Tool | eBay

    Perhaps join the two threads moderators, if that's possible??

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    Maybe it won't break so easily if it doesn't have a flat side and can spin! Might not drill so well then though. ha ha. Hopefully better than your previous versions.

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    Quality...ah yes, such elusive concept. Considering a countersink drill bit is made of two cutting parts, the drill and the cutter for the countersink, and since you will invariably break the drill bit and replace it with another of hum quality, it all comes down to just the holding tool.
    Considering the overwhelming majority of the cutting tools sold in Australia are made in china, I think that quality is just a misnomer. After all if you can buy 10 drill bits for the price of one good drill bit, you are probably better off with 10 cheap ones, unless you are drilling metal day in day out.
    Yes, the throw away society and all that. I am surprised to find there is actually a company called "Quality cutting tools P/L" what do you know? May be there is a market for quality after all if that is what they sell.
    If I wanted to buy quality cutting tools I would try ebay germany, however a quick look at it found it is swamped with drill bits from hong kong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    Nice SBD. I must have double posted this thread accidentally. I only just saw this one. Just bought Bordo Carbide 8G Hardwood 10G Softwood 3 32€ Drill Countersink Tool | eBay

    Perhaps join the two threads moderators, if that's possible??
    Hi Su, had some issues, should be fine now.

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    fwiw, I have 2 drills. one with a dedicated countersink bit and the other with the drill bit. my counter sink bits have lasted years, decades actually.

    countersink.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Quality...ah yes, such elusive concept. Considering a countersink drill bit is made of two cutting parts, the drill and the cutter for the countersink, and since you will invariably break the drill bit and replace it with another of hum quality, it all comes down to just the holding tool.
    Considering the overwhelming majority of the cutting tools sold in Australia are made in china, I think that quality is just a misnomer. After all if you can buy 10 drill bits for the price of one good drill bit, you are probably better off with 10 cheap ones, unless you are drilling metal day in day out.
    Yes, the throw away society and all that. I am surprised to find there is actually a company called "Quality cutting tools P/L" what do you know? May be there is a market for quality after all if that is what they sell.
    If I wanted to buy quality cutting tools I would try ebay germany, however a quick look at it found it is swamped with drill bits from hong kong.
    Yeah. I would be fine with 10 replacement drill bits for the cheapo I have been using but can't seem to get any that fit. Not made to any standard size. Very frustrating. Throwing away a set of countersinks before they are used up, just because the drill bit broke, is a bit criminal in my book. Only reason I got the new one I did is it stated the replacement bits are standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforthis View Post
    fwiw, I have 2 drills. one with a dedicated countersink bit and the other with the drill bit. my counter sink bits have lasted years, decades actually.
    It's just too much work when doing a deck. The next deck will have more than 4000 screws so 1 drill to countersink, 1 drill to pilot hole and screw gun to sink screws is 12000 actions. 8000 seems a lot less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OBBob View Post
    Maybe it won't break so easily if it doesn't have a flat side and can spin! Might not drill so well then though. ha ha. Hopefully better than your previous versions.
    Haven't got it yet but I'm assuming it would have a flat edge. Can't see how it works without one. Then again, I'm not a tool afficianado. Hoping it's not a regretful purchase.

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    Regretting to buy tools??? No such thing!!!!!

    Hum I posted two links to ebay DE but seem to have disappeared.

    This is made in the UK
    SNAPPY Bohrer und verstellbare Senker Satz HSS Neu | eBay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I am surprised to find there is actually a company called "Quality cutting tools P/L" what do you know?

    I would try ebay germany, however a quick look at it found it is swamped with drill bits from hong kong.
    Companies / products calling themselves "Quality" something has been going on for years and usually means the "quality" of their goods are no better than anyone elses, in fact they are generally junk just like the rest of the rubbish tools available in AUS.

    All this quality wording means nowadays is someone had a bright idea if they print quality on their good buyers will perceive them to be quality - WRONG, I have found it to be quite the opposite, so whenever I see a product that says quality, I will have a quick read, then 99.99% of the time put it back.
    Unless the tool is made in Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden or Japan, and depending on the product Italy and US then the quality will be very dubious.

    Currently China does not product quality hand tools or consumables, one day in the future possibly (long into the future) but today they flood the market with disposable inferior junk which hurts the decent manufacturers as they cannot compete on price.

    My mate recently did a trip to Germany to see his family, he was all excited and had intentions of going to the German hardware stores to get lots of quality German made hand tools, upon return I asked what he bought, his reply was nothing, he said he was really disappointed as they had the same crap we have on our shelves here and it was all made in China, how times have changed.

    Snappy 25PC 1/4" Hex Counter Sink, Drill & Bit Set

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    I'd be a bit worried about a tool brand called Snappy

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    Currently China does not product quality hand tools or consumables, one day in the future possibly (long into the future) but today they flood the market with disposable inferior junk which hurts the decent manufacturers as they cannot compete on price.
    I think it is a sweeping statement which I disagree with entirely, even given that I was shipped some rubbish rechargeable batteries from China recently. People often use the word quality to describe durability, precision and immaculate finishes. However, that is not what it really means, both in term of its definition as well as in practical terms. Quality products and services are goods/services that meet or exceed their specifications. It is not an absolute measure but a relative one. The very much related term quality assurance is a methodology of assuring conformance to specifications. While people often espouse quality as some kind of highest possible standards, the reality is that the majority of us have some inherent specification of what we need given the resources we want to expend to achieve it. A lot of goods made in China achieve people's objectives and that is why they are continuously being made and purchased. I often buy tools/goods from Aldi because I think the products they sells meets their specifications and they also meet my expectations and as we all know, they are a German company who buys exclusively Chinese made tools.

    Also almost all the PC's and monitors nowadays are made in China and are continuing to perform either at home or in business. They are also of acceptable quality.


    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    My mate recently did a trip to Germany to see his family, he was all excited and had intentions of going to the German hardware stores to get lots of quality German made hand tools, upon return I asked what he bought, his reply was nothing, he said he was really disappointed as they had the same crap we have on our shelves here and it was all made in China, how times have changed.
    Apparently Germany isn't the place to get tools of the highest standards nowadays. Japan still is though, just that you can't search it with English on Google. But if you're willing to make a trip to Japan, you can still find a good range of the highest standard cutters, tools as well as "quality" Kobe beef

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonething View Post

    Also almost all the PC's and monitors nowadays are made in China and are continuing to perform either at home or in business. They are also of acceptable quality.
    Not disputing the fact that most PC's and monitors etc are made in China, this is an entirely different product segment to hand tools or consumables, and one which is purely about profit margins, (exploiting cheap labour, real-estate, running and shipping costs) components such as motherboards, hard drives etc are 99.9% created in clean rooms and produced by robots, therefore these could be made anywhere as the human influence on the product is irrelevant.

    Look at some of the most highly finished sought after products available such as Apple and you can see where it's made makes no difference, still doesn't get past the exploitation these companies take to produce the products there, or how companies such as Apple ship their profits offshore to minimise paying tax, it's all about profit and share price to these types of companies.

    Apple factories accused of exploiting Chinese workers | Technology | The Observer

    Apple pays $193m tax in Australia on $27b revenue as Federal Government vows to capture lost taxes - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    I understand Aldi sells exclusively Chinese made tools, this has nothing to do with them being a German company, it is purely about getting the consumer in for the cheap tool, then getting them to purchase other goods while in the store, it's no different to what any big company does.

    I can't say Aldi would be the first choice of your average Tradie to purchase their tools of the trade from, sure they might be ok for you average grocery shopper to pick up a quick set of screwdrivers to throw in the kitchen draw while grabbing some apples but that's about all.

    I have always been one who likes to buy a quality product, interpret this as durability, precision and immaculate finishes, makes no difference, but this is what distinguishes one manufacturers products from another, If the manufacturer spends the extra money and time to produce a product which is durable, precise and is impeccably finished, chances are the product is of good quality, products which are produced with flawed finishes, break or blunt easily and run out of true are simply not worth buying or producing in my opinion, as these inevitably end up in landfill with our throwaway society.

    I still have my Dad's hand planers, hammers, drill bits and numerous other tools which still work perfectly today, this was after they were used for more than 40 years by him, and have been passed onto me, I can pass these onto my kids and they will still be performing well if looked after for another 40 years.

    I appreciate the effort taken to make a product or produce that immaculate finish and precision and I don't mind paying for that because I know I won't be throwing it out in 6 months time when it's not fit for its intended use anymore.

    With all the advanced in technology and manufacturing process, there's no excuse for producing crap with short lifespan, this comes down to being trained to expect it will only last for set period of time, then simply purchase another one at a cheap price not thinking about the resources that went into making the product and the replacement one or the by product of all this waste.

    All that cheap manufacturing has side effects such as below, which we don't worry about here because it doesent affect us, but in fact it does, because the rubbish that is produced ends up dumped in our landfill sites, such as the millions of fake ebay batteries purchased and then realise they don't work as hoped so end up in the bin.

    When I build something, my clients don't work under the perception that what I am making will only last 6 months, then start to fall apart and require new bolts or nails, or the timber will simply rot out and require replacing every year, it's the same thing.

    Sorry if the above may sound strange to you, but I take the extra effort my clients expect because I take pride in what I produce and have a real passion for producing a quality product and hate to see resources wasted and just thrown away when there's no need for it.


    The green and yellow zones in the left-hand column, showing official Chinese government classifications, are for "good" or "OK" air—while those same readings would be in the danger zone by U.S. or European standards. When you're living in China, it's impossible not to adjust your standards either to ignore how dire the circumstances are, so you can get on with life, or to think that any day when you can see across the street is "pretty good."

    The scale for all countries stops at 250 (micrograms per cubic meter). Everyone who has spent time in Beijing or other bad-air cities knows what it is like with readings of 500 or above. Even Shanghai had a 600+ "airpocalypse" this past winter. No one now alive has experienced anything comparable in North America or Europe, except in the middle of a forest fire or a volcanic eruption.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I'd be a bit worried about a tool brand called Snappy
    I know, sounds a bit funny, sort of like Snap-on tools, not the sorts or names yo uwould image a tool company would use.
    But these snappy countersinks are very good, the ones I have are made in USA, and really have stood the test of time, easy to sharpen, and work very well.

    These Bosch bits are also very nice, made in Germany and perform flawlessly.

    http://www.bosch-pt.com.au/au/en/pro...rill-bits.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    I understand Aldi sells exclusively Chinese made tools, this has nothing to do with them being a German company, it is purely about getting the consumer in for the cheap tool, then getting them to purchase other goods while in the store, it's no different to what any big company does.

    I can't say Aldi would be the first choice of your average Tradie to purchase their tools of the trade from, sure they might be ok for you average grocery shopper to pick up a quick set of screwdrivers to throw in the kitchen draw while grabbing some apples but that's about all.
    There can be quality products at every price point. For example, it doesn't have to be a luxurious world cruise to be a quality holiday. It can be an inexpensive but well thought out and planned camping trip. It is not the same kind of quality holdiay. But quality none the less.

    I use Aldi as an example for providing quality tool at a price point for home handymen. As a German company they understand quality assurance (as explained on the url before) and understand how to manage their suppliers and contractors to produce goods that meet or exceed specification. This is a quality company, providing quality products. I have never mentioned some of the rubbish that you can buy from bunnings as quality tools. Nevertheless I don't think one should tar all Chinese made tools with the same brush, despite no doubt that they produce a lot of junk.

    I have no doubt these Aldi or similarly made tools are probably not up to the quality demanded by tradie's. But then I don't think it is right to say that only the quality demanded by tradies is the universal standards that all tools should be judged on. For example, The quality and precision demanded by dentists and surgeons is several levels higher than what a trades man uses. But we cannot all demand the same drills and saws that a surgeon uses.

    Make no mistakes, I love tools used by professionals. When I started buying power tools in the late 70's and early 80's. The only tools available were the professionals ones and they cost me more in dollars terms than what the cheapies cost now. A makita drill cost me over 400 dollars in 82 which in today's term must be over 1000 dollars. There were no power tools made outside of Europe, the US and Japan. George W Bush decided to allow China into the WTO and the rest is history. We were into a period of low inflation because of what China was able to provide us. Now I have a variety of choices and I incline to want to use my money differently than I did thirty years ago.

    China has a lot of problems including what you have highlighted and I do agree we should be more careful with what we use. Buy cheap and throw it away mentality is also not one that I subscribe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Regretting to buy tools??? No such thing!!!!!

    Hum I posted two links to ebay DE but seem to have disappeared.

    This is made in the UK
    SNAPPY Bohrer und verstellbare Senker Satz HSS Neu | eBay
    He he, better brush up on my German to read that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    He he, better brush up on my German to read that one.
    Or you could use google translator, mayby Marc can tell us how good a job it does

    https://translate.google.com/transla...c54&edit-text=

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonething View Post
    Nevertheless I don't think one should tar all Chinese made tools with the same brush, despite no doubt that they produce a lot of junk.

    .
    One of my mates is an importer of hand tools, he also runs some small outlets in Sydney that attract a lot of tradies as he sells the tools at half the price you buy them for at the Green Monster, such as Estwing, Stabila, Marshalltown and most of the other "high end" stuff you can buy in AUS, these are not copies but originals.

    I have been buying from him for years, he knows the difference between the rubbish and quality products and stocks the quality stuff specfically to attract the tradies and DIY guys who appreciate the quality, but he also stocks rubbish to attract others who dont know or care about the difference, he said recently it was getting harder to source quality tools as the AUS market is being flooded by cheap rubbish from China (his words not mine).

    I while ago we were looking at his products, I picked up someting that looked interesting, he immediately said, no no put that back, you don't want that, I looked at him perplexed and said why, he responded it's no good it's from China, everything from China is no good.

    I responded, but your from China, I don't think your no good, he started laughing and said yes your right, Chinese people are good, but the products are all rubbish, then he said come over here I have some new German stuff you would be interested in, I still laugh at this, we always have a chuckle about that day when we meet up for lunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    ... he also runs some small outlets in Sydney that attract a lot of tradies
    whereabouts clue

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    whereabouts clue
    It's a secret "Tradie only Knowledge"

    You will find him at Paddy's markets Haymarket - Thursday, Homebush - Sunday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    It's a secret "Tradie only Knowledge"

    You will find him at Paddy's markets Haymarket - Thursday, Homebush - Sunday.
    When I worked in the city, I used to go to a similar outlet at Paddy's Haymarket. I got some good stuff there and probably the same operation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    When I worked in the city, I used to go to a similar outlet at Paddy's Haymarket. I got some good stuff there and probably the same operation.
    Probably, there is two tool outlets there, one sells rubbish, my mate sells the good stuff (and not so good stuff for those who want that)

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    I think I remember a second one, not sure, but the one I went to did sell a mix of good and bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    I appreciate the effort taken to make a product or produce that immaculate finish and precision and I don't mind paying for that because I know I won't be throwing it out in 6 months time when it's not fit for its intended use anymore.

    With all the advanced in technology and manufacturing process, there's no excuse for producing crap with short lifespan, this comes down to being trained to expect it will only last for set period of time, then simply purchase another one at a cheap price not thinking about the resources that went into making the product and the replacement one or the by product of all this waste.
    This is exactly what makes me so mad. We as a society are conditioned to accept products that don't last. The useless countersink drill bits that I have been buying from Home Hardware (our main local hardware store) have virtually no lifespan whatsoever. Sold in packs of 4 sizes, broke two within a couple of hours. One of them, I had just turned around to pick up my drill and the bit was broken! Not the first pack either. This is the fourth pack (returned two of the packs for a swap over) and have only done two decks so far. I had one old countersink drill bit sitting in my drill box and it did most of those two decks so I would have gotten nowhere without that one. On top of that, to not offer replacement bits is just criminal.

    Looking forward to the new one being delivered.

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    Su, your exactly the type of customer these retaliers hate, they don't want you to bring it back, they just want you to buy another one, or even better, buy the next version up the tool chain that cost's more, this way they get two sales from you.

    So many times I have seen that scenario happen at the major hardwares, Joe DIYer speaking to the tool guy, saying I bought this one and it didn't last, OH that's strange, is usually the response, well how about you buy this one it's better quality and should last longer, OH OK thanks for your help, BANG double sale.

    Imagine this mentality in the building world, build a deck, have it collapse in 2 months, and the client come back and say, it'didn't last can you build me a better one, I will pay you more for it.

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    Default Re: countersink drill/bits

    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post

    Imagine this mentality in the building world, build a deck, have it collapse in 2 months, and the client come back and say, it'didn't last can you build me a better one, I will pay you more for it.
    I think you're on to something Metrix ... let us know how you get on with the new business strategy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    Hi all.

    Wondering where to buy QUALITY countersink bits with drill bit and also/especially replacement drill bits. Not smart ones or anything like that, unless the depth stop is adjustable but prefer without. Numbers #6, #8 and #10 maybe. Getting really sick of the Home Hardware stuff breaking every 5 seconds and they only stock in a pack of 4 and don't stock replacement drill bits. Simply ridiculous and maddening the waste. I don't really want to modify drill bits either.

    Cheers, Su.
    Su,

    Have you thought about the ones below, or you don't want ones with depth stoppers.

    Bordo 1/8" Cobalt Drill with TCT Countersink #2202-1/8 | Just Tools Australia | Tool Specialist in Power & Cordless Tools, Hand & Air Tools

    https://www.cuttingedgesaws.com.au/s...ing-depth-stop

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    Metrix, I did buy a Bordo with a selection of depth stops (3). It just turned up in the mail yesterday so I'll check it out tomorrow on some off cuts. I'm particularly hoping that the depth stop doesn't make marks on the decking.

    I've got some retaining wall posts to set up and concrete before I get stuck into the third deck (subframe almost ready). Deck is a 10x6m job. Customer bought cheap decking and none of it's longer than 3.3, so lots of joins. Looking forward to that one (not).

    Oh and the drill bit is round, no flat side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Su, your exactly the type of customer these retaliers hate, they don't want you to bring it back, they just want you to buy another one, or even better, buy the next version up the tool chain that cost's more, this way they get two sales from you.

    So many times I have seen that scenario happen at the major hardwares, Joe DIYer speaking to the tool guy, saying I bought this one and it didn't last, OH that's strange, is usually the response, well how about you buy this one it's better quality and should last longer, OH OK thanks for your help, BANG double sale.

    Imagine this mentality in the building world, build a deck, have it collapse in 2 months, and the client come back and say, it'didn't last can you build me a better one, I will pay you more for it.
    Yeah, I hear it every now and then. "Oh really, that's strange". Yeah right.

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    How big is the countersink on that Su ? Its says to suit a 12G screw so it might be pretty large ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    Metrix, I did buy a Bordo with a selection of depth stops (3). It just turned up in the mail yesterday so I'll check it out tomorrow on some off cuts. I'm particularly hoping that the depth stop doesn't make marks on the decking.

    I've got some retaining wall posts to set up and concrete before I get stuck into the third deck (subframe almost ready). Deck is a 10x6m job. Customer bought cheap decking and none of it's longer than 3.3, so lots of joins. Looking forward to that one (not).

    Oh and the drill bit is round, no flat side.
    I think you might find the depth stoppers will leave a mark, if they don't spin independantly of the countersink.

    Bordo do make some similar to smartbits but better quality, with a freespinning collar.

    2203_1_9616.jpg
    10G Deck Bit with adjustable countersink

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    Metrix, I did buy a Bordo with a selection of depth stops (3). It just turned up in the mail yesterday so I'll check it out tomorrow on some off cuts. I'm particularly hoping that the depth stop doesn't make marks on the decking.

    I've got some retaining wall posts to set up and concrete before I get stuck into the third deck (subframe almost ready). Deck is a 10x6m job. Customer bought cheap decking and none of it's longer than 3.3, so lots of joins. Looking forward to that one (not).

    Oh and the drill bit is round, no flat side.
    I think you might find the depth stoppers will leave a mark, if they don't spin independantly of the countersink.

    Bordo do make some C/S similar to smartbits with a freespinning collar so no damage to the timber, I will define "quality" for this tool as not just the durability, precision or immaculate finish, but this one actually has metal on it a not just plastic like smart bit , also the macsim version has lots of metal on it too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    10G Deck Bit with adjustable countersink

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    One of my mates is an importer of hand tools, he also runs some small outlets in Sydney that attract a lot of tradies as he sells the tools at half the price you buy them for at the Green Monster, such as Estwing, Stabila, Marshalltown and most of the other "high end" stuff you can buy in AUS, these are not copies but originals.

    I have been buying from him for years, he knows the difference between the rubbish and quality products and stocks the quality stuff specfically to attract the tradies and DIY guys who appreciate the quality, but he also stocks rubbish to attract others who dont know or care about the difference, he said recently it was getting harder to source quality tools as the AUS market is being flooded by cheap rubbish from China (his words not mine).

    I while ago we were looking at his products, I picked up someting that looked interesting, he immediately said, no no put that back, you don't want that, I looked at him perplexed and said why, he responded it's no good it's from China, everything from China is no good.

    I responded, but your from China, I don't think your no good, he started laughing and said yes your right, Chinese people are good, but the products are all rubbish, then he said come over here I have some new German stuff you would be interested in, I still laugh at this, we always have a chuckle about that day when we meet up for lunch.
    Well you better tell me where is this shop that sells good quality stuff. They are getting scarce.

    As far as "no good" stuff from China, the facts are a bit different.
    China manufacturing system produces 3 different quality. The rubbish, the so and so, and the top quality. As an importer you have the choice. Australian importers have competed for decades based on price and not quality so import the bottom of the bird cage.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
    Max Planck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well you better tell me where is this shop that sells good quality stuff. They are getting scarce.

    As far as "no good" stuff from China, the facts are a bit different.
    China manufacturing system produces 3 different quality. The rubbish, the so and so, and the top quality. As an importer you have the choice. Australian importers have competed for decades based on price and not quality so import the bottom of the bird cage.
    I don't think its as simple as buying the right quality level.
    I would believe my tool importer mate, as he is Chinese, has been importing from China for years and sells to the AUS market, I think he has a fairly good idea of how the system works.

    Text in Red is interesting.

    Here is some intersting reading from Kimberly Palmer, who wroter a book on the quality problems with Chinese imported goods in the US.

    Explaining China's Quality Control Problems

    A new book goes behind the scenes of manufacturers and importers.

    In his new book, Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game, Paul Midler attempts to explain why some Chinese-made products suffer from poor quality. Part of the problem, he says, is rooted in miscommunication and misunderstandings between American companies and the Chinese manufacturers they are buying from. I recently E-mailed with Midler, a businessman who has worked with American and Chinese businesses, about his experiences. Excerpts:

    What do you think Americans would find most surprising about the factories you worked with in China?
    I show how Chinese manufacturers and American importing companies are often in conflict. Many people presume that there is a great deal of cooperation involved between the companies that make our products and those bringing them into the country. What consumers don’t understand is the related struggle. Chinese supplies want to save money by reducing specifications, and American companies are trying to fight for higher levels of quality at reasonable prices. The customer may always be right, but quality failures often are the result of a relationship imbalance and asymmetrical information. Manufacturing companies that produce a substandard product often know what the problem is with their product, but they don’t provide much of a hint to their customers. This means that importing companies have to guess at where corners may have been cut. It’s a dangerous situation for all of us to be in, actually.


    Why has China become such a huge exporter of factory-made goods? Do you think it still will be in 10 years?
    Towards the beginning, I point out how easy it is to get anything manufactured in China. You can actually get something made faster in North America, and you can get it made cheaper in other developing economies. China wins because it offers a level of convenience that other markets cannot provide.
    Manufacturers in China will say to an importer, “all we need is your sample,” and the factory will work out the details. For this kind of convenience, importers are actually willing to pay a little bit more, and this has been a less talked about contributing factor to rising prices out of China. There will be problems in the production process related to quality, but the convenience factor is still there anyway. For these reasons and more, I think China will continue to be a place where our consumer goods are made.


    “Poorly Made in China” might seem like a harsh title to some. Are the products coming out of Chinese factories really so poorly made?
    I don’t think it’s harsh. First, we have had many instances of failing products out of China, and you have to remember something important here. For every single instance of a widely publicized product recall, you have probably hundreds of quality problems that do not get broader media attention, though they probably should. My book is not about the quality recalls that were made public, but of my own struggle to produce quality goods out of China. Anyone who had seen what I had could have predicted the quality problems that we’ve had out of China.


    Anyway, while some might find the book harsh, others are describing it as enlightening and funny. It could be considered farce. So many of the situations that I described in the book are comically improbable. Many have asked me after reading the book, “How could you work in such conditions?” One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was to describe the carnival-like environment in which so many of our consumer products are manufactured.
    As far as “poorly made” goes, maybe the title is a suggestion about other things, as well. You know, we all rushed headlong into China without long discussions about the linguistic and cultural gaps that exist – and they are real. Should we have been surprised at what happened when we took our production orders to an economy that is different than our own, where controls are lacking, where business ethics are in short supply? Without a doubt, certain decisions related to China were “poorly made.”


    Do you avoid buying Chinese-made goods because of quality issues, and do you recommend others do the same? What types of products are especially alarming/dangerous? Any categories that are "safe"?
    I described a personal struggle I had with made-in-China products. As a manufacturing professional, I became aware of how factories would make unilateral changes to products without informing their customers. This sort of behavior introduces an unquantifiable amount of risk, and, yes, I grew increasingly worried about the products that I used that were “made in China.”
    I don’t know which specific products are safe, but I have certain criteria that I worry about more than others
    . One suggestion that I’ve made is that importers pay more attention to heavy products, since they are less likely to be sent off to a testing laboratory. A teddy bear fits into an express delivery pouch and doesn’t cost much to send, whereas the shipping cost on building materials can be exorbitant. It was no surprise to me that we had a sudden problem with drywall from China. It’s too expensive to ship to a laboratory.


    Another area of concern would be anything to do with chemicals, specifically because related problems are hard to detect. You can’t spot a quality problem having to do with a chemical substance just by looking at it. This makes inspection tough. When it comes to third-party testing, you have to tell the laboratory what to look for. You can’t submit a product for testing and ask the lab to “be sure that there’s no bad stuff inside.” Everyone now knows to check for melamine in Chinese milk products, but before the case got widespread press coverage, no one was thinking “melamine.” So long as there are manufacturers who are trying to game the system by circumventing testing systems, consumers will have to be concerned about products coming from China.


    Some say that China is going through what Japan went through in the 1950s. Or quality problems in China today are sometimes compared with quality problems Americans suffered in the 19th century. What do you say to these sorts of claims?


    I’m not so sure about the analogy with Japan in the 1950s. In China, you have specifications reductions that result in what I call “quality fade,” but then you also have some rather willful game playing where quality is manipulated in such a way so as to fool laboratory equipment and inspection. The melamine scandal in China’s dairy industry is a case in point, though it affected the Chinese more than it affected the rest of the world. You have large number of industry insiders who were adding a chemical ingredient in order to circumvent testing controls. You have in China quite literally thousands of foreign inspectors running around China in a bid to preempt disaster. This phenomenon did not exist in Japan at any point in its development.


    Now, some have argued that what China is going through is nothing more than growing pains. Every developing economy must first make junk before it produces a quality product. I have no problem with this presumption, except the point should have been made when U.S. politicians were debating in the 1990s whether to swing wider the doors of trade with China. At the time, business leaders were claiming that families would save $300 per year through outsourcing to China. No one ever suggested that there was going to be any sort of trade off, that sending manufacturing orders to China would be the equivalent of jumping back to the 19th century to a time that predated consumer product safety.
    My book is in part a way of assessing the past ten or fifteen years. How have we done in sending most of our manufacturing orders to China? Was it such a good idea after all? What have we gained, and what have we lost?

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    Or this, companies are now establishing offices in China specifically to try and guarantee the quality of a product being imported.
    Read the stuff in Red quite interesting.

    Why Quality Control is So Vital

    For many reasons, Chinese manufactures can ‘screw up’ orders. The reasons might astound you:
    - Maybe it’s the first time they actually made this product. Why not? They advertised it and you gave them an order!

    - Or perhaps they have someone else's rejected stock lying around and they want to palm this off to you. Something more common than many imagine.

    - We’ve even seen factories make a product and they didn’t know what it was used for. Sounds silly right? We actually know of a soap factory which made bottles of hand soap, yet none of the pump tops worked! No one in the factory thought it mattered because you could just unscrew the top to get the soap out.

    - Quite often factories will purposely manipulate the product quality in order to save material costs and improve their own margin. That is, they substitute cheaper materials, or put in small quantities of materials to save them money – at YOUR expense. Factories are very motivated to cheapen their product quality over time.

    This is why dealing with manufacturers in a developing country can cause no end of problems. And for all these reasons and so many more quality control is an absolutely essential part of the process if you’re importing from China.

    There are a few important rules to consider when buying from China:


    1. Never trust a factory’s “in house” quality control.
    2. While it may seem counter-productive for factories to cut corners to save a little money when it costs so much more to fix the problems – if they think they can get away with it, they will certainly try. The factory must be aware you will audit them regularly and will follow up with any problems. They must know you have some presence there to check up on them.
    3. Once you approve a sample as being acceptable quality, you need to hold the factory accountable to this production quality.
    4. The more face time you or your representatives spend in the factory – the better quality you’ll end up with.
    5. Do not ever ship before you approve it! It doesn’t matter how “good” your relationship with the factory is. It doesn’t matter if you’ve shipped the same thing before. It doesn’t matter how big your order is or how many other future orders rely on this shipment. If you’ve got product in your home country (and you’ve already paid for it) it’s too late to be finding out about problems now.



    Quality control is not a one time event. It's an ongoing process which starts the moment you choose a supplier. Quality control is not there to fix problems, but to alert you to potential problems. The earlier you find the problems the quicker you can take corrective action. If you find problems with your goods after they have left China - it's too late.


    What are Easy Imex’s Quality Control Services?

    All goods exported by EASY IMEX will go through a basic Quality Control inspection before they are exported. We have different levels of quality control depending on our member’s requirements and the products involved. Easy Imex offers several levels of service.
    IMPORTANT!
    For orders over $30,000 USD Easy Imex will carry out “Level 1” Quality Control FREE of charge.
    For orders less than $30,000 USD, there’s a surcharge of $250 USD per day spent inspecting a factory.
    For orders over $50,000 we carry out “Level 2” Quality Control FREE of charge.
    Easy Imex Level 1 – Free for orders over $30,000

    Level 1 – We send a qualified inspector to your factory for the entire day. They will perform a thorough examination which will result in a comprehensive report (please contact us for a sample report).

    Here’s how things generally work. You pay an initial 30% deposit and the manufacturer will produce your goods. Once the goods are completed EASY IMEX will send a qualified inspector to the factory to assess the goods. Once they pass inspection you will pay the supplier the remaining 70%. If there are any problems they will be fixed before the rest of your payment is made.

    What Does It Cost: This is FREE for orders over $30,000. Otherwise it costs $250 USD per man day.
    Easy Imex Level 2 - Free for orders over $50,000

    Level 2 – You will have an inspection early in the production run, then a second pre-shipment inspection after production. This early production inspection allows you to detect potential problems quickly.

    What Does It Cost: This is FREE for orders over $50,000 USD. For orders over $30,000 but less than $50,000 it costs an additional $250 USD. For orders less than $30,000 it costs $398 USD.
    .
    Senior Staff Inspection - $350 any time during your order

    You will have a senior staff member inspect the factory for you. Please contact us for more details.

    What Does It Cost:$350 per day.
    EASY IMEX works in conjunction with a network of technical engineers and laboratories who can take care of almost any product testing or quality control request you have.
    Using Approved Samples as the Quality Benchmark

    One of the best ways to set your quality standards, is to have a production sample sent from the factory to you. This means production quality must equal the approved samples you have received from the factory.

    Once you approve the quality of this sample, this is written into your contract and Easy Imex will make it clear to the factory they are accountable to this standard.

    The quality control team can compare and test the actual production batch with your approved sample.

    Usually we have samples sent to our Shanghai office first - before sending them onto you. One of the big problems in China is getting a product sample which is actually from a genuine production run - not a one time, hand crafted sample. Or worse a product simply bought elsewhere!

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    4K Club Member ringtail's Avatar
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    I like the macsim one. They work really well apart from the usual snapping drill bits

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    The first Macsim I tried to use, when I pulled it out of the packet the grub screw wasnt in, and if fell on the floor never to be seen again, so I never got to use it

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    Bwahahahahahaha. Must have been made on a Monday or Friday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail View Post
    How big is the countersink on that Su ? Its says to suit a 12G screw so it might be pretty large ?
    It's for 8G hardwood and 10G softwood. Never heard that before but I'm using trim head screws and have been using a 10G a fair bit (due to everything else being broken and no time to leave site) and it works fine. Just don't countersink very far. In fact it was working better than the 8G which left more raised timber fibres.

    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    I think you might find the depth stoppers will leave a mark, if they don't spin independantly of the countersink.

    Bordo do make some similar to smartbits but better quality, with a freespinning collar.


    10G Deck Bit with adjustable countersink
    Yeah, it's not independent. It is removable tho. I didn't get a chance to try it out yesterday and may not today either as busy setting up a crazy amount of retaining wall posts. Also a deck subframe (bearers/stirrups) today that was added to the job yesterday afternoon. Got to pour concrete this afternoon.

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    Had a go with the countersink. Chucked the depth stop almost immediately (spew). Not because it marked the decking but because it clogged the countersink cutters almost straight away. Now I see why they make them with a ring far away from the cutting part. other than that works fine so long as you tighten the drill bit really well. It did come off at the start and I had to fiddle to get it back out of a piece of decking. Tightened it and not happened again. Wish the bit was slightly larger for the pilot hole.

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    Just been using the countersink bit yesterday and am much happier with it's performance over the cheap rubbish from Home Hardware. No bit breaking as of yet, even tho it's a smaller diameter. Also much cleaner cutting. Nice one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    The first Macsim I tried to use, when I pulled it out of the packet the grub screw wasnt in, and if fell on the floor never to be seen again, so I never got to use it


    I tried the Macsim one too - the grub screw didn't clamp the drill bit sufficiently and was therefore unusable.

    I bought the Carb-i-tool one instead ($50+ !) and it worked perfectly first time.

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