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Quality Brad Point Bits

Quality Brad Point BitsI'm amazed how many brad point bits seem to be standard drill bits ground with a brad point. Leonard Lee uses the labels "utility" and "spurred" to classify two types of brad point bits. Quality brad point bits have curved edge outlining spurs that you cannot get by grinding a standard drill bit. The curved wedge shape has a knife edge that scores the perimeter of the hole before any material is removed. While utility bit designs can minimize grain tearing, curved scoring spurs eliminate it completely (viewed from another angle, with highlighted edges).

Bits with curved edge outlining spurs have unrelieved lands* (the outer face of the spiral), or widening margins, near the tip of the bit. The unrelieved area provides the space/material needed to to grind a curved leading edge (without it any "spurs" will be flat faced). The pictured bit also has whats called double margin lands, the lands are relieved down the center instead having everything behind the leading edge relieved (single margin). The added friction is minimal and inconsequential when drilling wood (VS metal). The benefits are cleaner and more precise holes, as well as better wear resistance when using drill bushings.


Fisch is the only brand I know of that makes quality high speed steel (HSS/HS) brad point bits. They also make what they call a "low priced" "standard design" which has no spurs and is made from "special steel". Unfortunately it can be really hard to tell what's what.... Stumpy Nubs Review of Fisch HSS Brad Point Bits (YouTube).

The bit pictured is from their 3-12mm 1/4" hex shank HSS 013BE series 5317_fisch_013BE.pdf. The only place I see them for sale is as a ships from manufacturer set at Woodcraft. I cannot tell what the difference between the 013BE and 013B 5317_fisch_013B.pdf series is.... Zoro stocks 013BE 5mm (...gone) and 3mm (...backordered), but not all of their "...x 1/4 In." titles are correct/013BE's.... Amazon's 3, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 14mm part numbers match the hex shank 013BE's

Zoro, Amazon and others, sell some of the 3-32mm and 1/8-1/2" HSS 013C series bits which are a straight shank version of the above. Some have reduced shanks: The 11-20mm ones have a 10mm shank, the 22-32mm a 13mm shank and the 1/2" has a 3/8" shank. Unfortunately they are listed by nonsensical partial EAN (VS UPC) barcode numbers instead of Art. No.'s which include the series, size and length of the bit, e.g. 013C100133, 013C 10 x 133mm. Most are listed as FSF-176nnn, e,g, FSF-176688 (same 10mm bit). You can use the metric 5317_fisch_013C.pdf or imperial5317_fish_imperial.pdf pdf's to build a FSF-nnnnnn (9002696nnnnnn) to search for.

Amazon has a listing with all the fractional 013C bits, but at least one part number is wrong (1/2" is for a wave forstner bit) and the 11/32" image is wrong (single land 20mm bit). Listing errors seem to be a common issue on other sites as well... Searching using EAN's from above pdfs works fine. Example 013C finds: 10mm, 11mm, 12mm and 13mm (with an odd exception, pretty friggin' expensive)

Zoro's 013C listings (12/29/16, 4-9mm <$12, no 10mm, 11-14mm >$30) have metric part numbers, but imperial sizes in the description.,, The cheap FSF-003(or 4)nnn listings are for the 0120 spurless metric series, images are wrong and some are listed by imperial size.

Unless I've missed something, none of the other Fisch brad point bits are spurred HSS.

Quick note on forstner bits. Their 0400 Univeral series has a similar curved front edge spur (better than the partial rim Maxicut) and would be great for for perpendicular holes. Their 0317 wave cutter appears (haven't used one) to be an improvement on straight/full rim bits (reduced heat/friction) and should be great for angled entry holes... Stumpy Nubs (YouTube) likes them.
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