Author Topic: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?  (Read 10640 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3422
Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:10 AM »
Between the imperial brad point set and the stubby bit set that comes with the Centrotec Installer's set, I'm pretty well covered on standard drill bit sizes.  But one place that I'm still short is on sizes less than 1/8".  I looked over at Woodcraft/Snappy, but the small bits they have (7/64 and 3/32) are both countersink bits.  These will work in some applications, but ideally I'd like the option of a regular bit with no countersink.

Does anyone know of a manufacturer that makes regular, non-countersink small size centrotec drill bits? 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 08:18 AM by Edward A Reno III »
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Offline itasor

  • Posts: 44
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 08:53 AM »
I recently got the Installers Set from the Tool Nut sale and was surprised Festool doesn't include any <1/8 drill bits. For now, I've put this set in the Systainer: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-Hex-Shank-Pilot-Titanium-Drill-Bit-Set-4-Piece-AR1859G/205193139. Not Centrotec of course, but works fine in the regular chuck or directly in the drill with no chuck.

1/8 seems too large for a lot of smaller wood screws in soft wood.

Offline GregB-OH

  • Posts: 1
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 03:57 PM »
I just purchased a new Festool 18V Drill with the Centrotec chuck but I am now realizing there are no bits that fit in that chuck.  Does Festool make any type of drill bit kit for the Centrotec?  If so, where does one find this? I have looked on Festool's website without any success.   [sad] :o

Any help is much appreciated.
Greg B

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1191
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2016, 04:18 PM »
I just purchased a new Festool 18V Drill with the Centrotec chuck but I am now realizing there are no bits that fit in that chuck.  Does Festool make any type of drill bit kit for the Centrotec?  If so, where does one find this? I have looked on Festool's website without any success.   [sad] :o
Any help is much appreciated.
These sets (prod. # 495128, 769093, etc.) pop up on e-bay sometimes.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 04:48 PM »
I just purchased a new Festool 18V Drill with the Centrotec chuck but I am now realizing there are no bits that fit in that chuck.  Does Festool make any type of drill bit kit for the Centrotec?  If so, where does one find this? I have looked on Festool's website without any success.   [sad] :o

Any help is much appreciated.

Hi,

  Welcome to the forum!  [smile]

     Snappy brand makes quite a few Centrotec compatible bits. Four countersinks, several drill bits a couple self centering etc. A google search for 'Snappy Centrotec' will get you several places that sell them.

     I have them and they work well.

     As for smaller sizes of straight drill bits I have not found a source.

Seth

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 04:56 PM »
These sets (prod. # 495128, 769093, etc.) pop up on e-bay sometimes.

Unfortunately, if you're looking for drill bits under 1/8", the 495128 set only goes down to 3mm & the 769093 set only goes down to 4mm.  [sad]

The 498981 set goes from 1-10mm in .5mm increments, however, they are not Centrotec equipped. [sad] [sad]

https://www.festool.com/Products/Accessories/Pages/Detail.aspx?pid=498981&name=Novadrive-HSS-twist-drill-bit-HSS-D-1-10-Sort-19

Offline mrB

  • Posts: 421
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 08:08 PM »
Hi Greg,

To possibly answer you're question a little more accurately. . . Yes festool make and sell lots of bit sets for their centrotec system. And as mentioned above snappy make a few bits too.
I can't help you out with where to buy as I'm over here in the UK, and I know the whole range isn't always available in the US.

Typically festool sell a few small sets of drills, as well as some larger kits inside systainer tool boxes.
Hopefully someone else will be along to give you websites or part numbers for US.
there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline otis04

  • Posts: 136
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 10:22 PM »
This has been one of my main complaints with the Festool drills.  I like the drill, I just think the proprietary, and very expensive, Centrotech system is too much.  The rest of the industry uses a standard size, but Festool is different.  No real need for this foolishness.


Offline Mort

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 11:00 PM »
Cool thing is, you don't have to use it. You can use 1/4" hex bits either without the chuck or in the Jacobs chuck. It would be nice, though, if Festool made a chuck for the 1/4" hex shank that locked the bits in, like an impact driver does.
I hate signatures.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2016, 12:03 AM »
I just think the proprietary, and very expensive, Centrotech system is too much.

I really don't have a problem with the pricey Centrotec system components, rather I have a problem with Festool's failure to support the commonly used Centrotec drill sizes that are needed on a daily basis.
Festool offers NOTHING in wood drill bits under 3mm in the Centrotec format. What's with that? The majority of the pilot holes I drill are for #6, #8 and #10 screws...all of which need a smaller drill bit than 3mm. What happened to the goofy puzzle piece marketing ploy...something about we offer a system approach...really? So, they don't use small screws in Germany, is that right?
Is there some DIN stipulation that all wood screws used in Germany must be 6mm or larger? Come on Festool and plug that puzzle piece back in and support Centrotec drill bits in the smaller sizes.

Offline Euclid

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 03:09 AM »
I’ve become quite a fan of Centrotec; it has a couple of advantages that are not so immediately obvious - compactness and lightness, I find the CSX a delight to use with the Centrotec chuck - and the bit being held and driven by the output shaft of the motor rather than clamped in the jaws of a regular chuck.

I, too, find the lack of small sizes a disappointment; even just 2 and 2.5mm would be welcome.

As for the more general lack of bits mentioned above, I think this is a matter of Festool’s website than them not being made. All the regular-length brad-point wood bits seems to available individually - albeit only in whole-millimetre sizes 3-10 (?) - although the lovely and very useful stubby ones I have only seen as a set (3-8).

I probably have more use for the HSS bits; again they start at 3mm (and again that’s an annoyance) but I’ve seen them then in half-millimetre sizes up to, I think, 7 or 8mm, and then 9 and 10. 

As for the cost… whilst the HSS are perhaps not the absolute best (or by any means most expensive) bits I’ve seen they are very good and may be somewhat better value than they first appear: with each one, you get the Centrotec holder and three replaceable bits. You can get packs of extra bits without the holder. (The bits have a little flat ground on the shank to bear the locking setscrew. You could perhaps get away with any other bit and grind your own flat, but I’ve not tried that).

In addition to Snappy (mentioned above), Axminster carry a number of Fisch’s Centrotec-compatible bits as well as their own branded augers, forstners and hinge (centering) bits - also fitting Centrotec as well as the more common quick-fit format . I’ve seen others say that Axminster have their export sales well-sorted, so that might be an option. I note that FFX seem to carry a fuller range of Festool’s own bits than many others - I’m sure others may have them too, I just happened to notice theirs.

Sorry - that was bit long-winded…

- - - -
I’ve always assumed that Festool didn’t actually manufacture their own drill bits (I mean, why on earth would they bother with such a specialist process?). I noted that some of mine bore the legend ‘Made in Austria’ on the packaging, so I wondered if they might be Fisch or Alpen; anybody know?

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 396
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016, 05:44 AM »
Thin bits are prone to break. Having these in Centrotec would be a hassle (look for that small Allen key, the replacement bit, find a good light source, hold your breath, etcetera).
Just use regular bits in the Jacobs chuck. Even buy an extra chuck. Changing is a breeze, they connect like… guess what… Centrotec chucks.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Euclid

  • Posts: 102
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 06:15 AM »
That's a fair point, Bert.
After using the Centrotec though, the Jacobs does feel a touch clumsy with very small bits (just as with any other drill really), though I do have the older 8mm chuck which is, I think, a touch lighter.

And I already have so many non-Centrotec drill bits, small, large, stubby, cobalt etc, I really shouldn't be looking for reasons to spend more money!

Offline goyya76

  • Posts: 11
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2016, 07:55 AM »
hi all, maybe already mentioned -axminster.co.uk has some Fisch/Axcaliber drilling bits (single and sets) which are Centrotec compatible (essentially they have two slots, one of which for Centrotec) - also they have compatible screwing bits!

Ciao,

Francesco

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1191
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2016, 10:56 AM »
Festool offers NOTHING in wood drill bits under 3mm in the Centrotec format. What's with that? The majority of the pilot holes I drill are for #6, #8 and #10 screws...all of which need a smaller drill bit than 3mm.
Not to justify Festool strategy here, but you could place smaller bit into adapter bushing and stick it into larger Centrotec holder, grinding a flat for the set screw. These small steel capillary tubes are available in variety of sizes. For example, 3mm OD and 2mm ID:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5pcs-304-Stainless-Steel-Capillary-Tube-OD-3mm-x-2mm-ID-Length-0-5m-/271600933336?hash=item3f3cad59d8:g:NsYAAOSwd4tTvEfy
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 11:03 AM by Svar »

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 05:08 PM »
Well I got so tired of listening to myself complain that I decided to rectify the situation. I took a set of Milwaukee 1/4" hex drill bits, pulled 16 bits out of the set that run from 1/16" to 19/64". Put them on a lathe and reduced the OD by .010"-.012". They now all fit in the Centrotec chuck.  [big grin]

Photo 1 is 1/16" bit installed.
Photo 2 is 19/64" bit installed.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 05:13 PM by Cheese »

Offline Svar

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2016, 05:50 PM »
Put them on a lathe and reduced the OD by .010"-.012". They now all fit in the Centrotec chuck.  [big grin]
I'm confused. What part of the bit you've reduced?

Offline mrB

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2016, 06:12 PM »
There are two reasons why more standard hex drills, like those pictured in Cheese' post above, won't work with the centrotec chucks.

1)  The corners of the hex shank on Centrotec Bits is a more rounded. Hence the 'sharper' edges of normal bits prevent the profile from fitting into the Centrotec chuck. I believe cheese has taken off the corners/edges to allow the standard bits to slid into the Centrotec chuck.

2) The detent (dip in the drill shank) is too low in normal hex bits to engage with the locking mechanism in the centrotec chuck. This means that while the drill bits Cheese has altered (above post) will slot into the Centrotec chuck, there isn't anything other than friction keeping them there. The problem with this is that the drill bit can now slip forwards and disengage from the drive shaft of the drill. This could potentially damage the drill bit / centrotec chuck/

On top of what cheese has done it is possible to put a second detent into the bit so that full Centrotec functionality is achieved. Much like the "universal quick change" bit sold in the UK by Axminster.

there's nothing like the right tool for the job

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2016, 06:15 PM »
I'm confused. What part of the bit you've reduced?

The dimension across the flats of the hex are within .002"-.003" of each other, that's the reason they're swappable between systems. However, the dimension across the points of the hex is approximately .012" smaller on Centrotec bits, that's one reason standard 1/4" hex bits will not install into a Centrotec chuck.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

  • Posts: 396
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2016, 06:17 PM »
Yep, and it is all down to patent laws, where one can claim even the smallest of changes or 'innovations' for 17 years or even longer. Thank G there is no Disney in the world of chucks and bits who'd lobby this to extend to 70 years… (Sorry about this rant, I am kind of passionate about copyrights gone awry.)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2016, 06:24 PM »
Exactly @mrB ...

I've drilled a bunch of holes with the drills and they seem to work real well. I'll try using them over the next few days and we'll see what happens. If I run into an issue, I'll grind a lathe tool and machine in the detent groove. It sure is nice to have smaller drill bits that work.

Offline mrrhum

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2016, 12:33 PM »
Do I sense a new line of business in the offing?
A good craftsman knows enough to buy good tools.

Offline Bryanp292

  • Posts: 1
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 09:39 PM »
I've been using this Snappy centrotec adapter with those same milwaukee drill bits and other 1/4 in hex bits.  It does add a bit of length, but I have the quick change ability along with use of standard bits.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/161435/snappy-centrotec-to-14in-hex-quickchange-adapter.aspx

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2016, 03:53 PM »
I've drilled a bunch of holes with the drills and they seem to work real well. I'll try using them over the next few days and we'll see what happens.
.

FWIW...after using the modified drill bits for the last several days, on a few occasions they would stick in the wood and if you pulled on them they'd disengage from the Centrotec chuck, so I decided to machine the extra detent groove into each one of the drill bits.

Once everything is setup, it only takes 5-6 minutes to machine the groove in. Very happy with the results. I now have drill bits from 1/16" to 19/64" in 1/64" increments that will work with either the 2 Festool drills or the 3 Milwaukee drills.

Offline mike_aa

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2016, 11:14 PM »
I've been using this Snappy centrotec adapter with those same milwaukee drill bits and other 1/4 in hex bits.  It does add a bit of length, but I have the quick change ability along with use of standard bits.

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/161435/snappy-centrotec-to-14in-hex-quickchange-adapter.aspx

If you are planning on getting one, FYI, Woodcraft currently has (until Dec. 5th) free shipping on orders over $25 and a coupon code for $10 off a $25 and over purchase.  I just ordered one of these and added a small item bringing the total over $25 to get the $10 off and free shipping.

Mike A.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 11:18 PM by mike_aa »

Offline geoffshep

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2016, 07:45 AM »
It is fairly easy to convert legacy hex bits to fit centrotec - Paul-Marcel suggested it many years ago. I've done a few favourite bits this way - the groove is necessary for drill bits otherwise there is no way to pull them out of the hole you have just drilled.

There appear to be more centrotec-compatible drill and driver bits becoming available (eg Axminster's universal shank in the UK) but still not many drills smaller than 3mm it seems.

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-trade-bitz-11-piece-long-series-bit-set-506282



Offline TheSergeant

  • Posts: 77
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2017, 07:17 PM »
Very nice!  I just picked up a CXS and ordered this same bit set.  Mind if I asked how you set this up in the lathe?   Did you hold the bits right where the drill bit inserts into the base?

I've drilled a bunch of holes with the drills and they seem to work real well. I'll try using them over the next few days and we'll see what happens.
.

FWIW...after using the modified drill bits for the last several days, on a few occasions they would stick in the wood and if you pulled on them they'd disengage from the Centrotec chuck, so I decided to machine the extra detent groove into each one of the drill bits.

Once everything is setup, it only takes 5-6 minutes to machine the groove in. Very happy with the results. I now have drill bits from 1/16" to 19/64" in 1/64" increments that will work with either the 2 Festool drills or the 3 Milwaukee drills.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2017, 09:38 PM »
Mind if I asked how you set this up in the lathe?   Did you hold the bits right where the drill bit inserts into the base?

Ya if I remember correctly that’s exactly what I did. That way you can maintain the concentricity that you need with the OD of the drill flutes.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 01:05 AM by Cheese »

Offline SoonerFan

  • Posts: 362
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2017, 01:40 PM »
I sense a business opportunity for someone to make small (metric and imperial) Centrotec bit sets.  Maybe Woodpeckers will create a set as a One Time Tool.  Then again, if Woodpeckers did that I would complain that the kit I want the most is always a OTT as I am forced to wait 6 months or so  [smile]

Online RobBob

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2017, 01:59 PM »
Now that Lee Valley is selling Festool in the USA, maybe they will import Axminster's line of universal bits and drivers.

Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 991
Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2017, 02:27 PM »
Now that Lee Valley is selling Festool in the USA, maybe they will import Axminster's line of universal bits and drivers.

You can order direct to the USA from Axminster and they now even give you the option of pricing in dollars on the website.  There is an extra step involved for them to get you a quote on shipping, but otherwise it's just like ordering from anyone in the states.  I don't think they are able to sell Festool here, but they do offer a large number of bits that fit Centrotec.

[0]=Accessories&nR[visibility_search][=][0]=1&]Axminster

Mike A.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 02:36 PM by mike_aa »

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline jobsworth

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Re: Source for Centrotec compatible drill bits?
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2017, 09:22 AM »
just as easy to get this doodad you can use your non centrotec bits

https://www.andersonplywood.com/centrotec-bit-holder-bhs-65mm-festool-492648-fes492648/
Loving the Calif sun....