Author Topic: review and rant together  (Read 2260 times)

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Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2074
review and rant together
« on: May 01, 2022, 11:07 AM »
I have had a set of Snappy brand self-centering bits for many years, never had an issue with them. They have performed exactly as expected. The other day, I broke the drill bit inside the smallest one, 5/32" I think. No big deal, I will just replace it with one from this little import set that I was given a few months ago. This set is some cheap Chinese thing, made to look German by the name. (Werkzeug)
They even come with spare drill bits, so I didn't have to disassemble one to steal it.
This is where the problems come in, for both brands.
The Snappy, which prides itself on being American made, uses a proprietary extra-long drill bit. There is no need for that, the drilling depth of self-centering drills is not that big of a deal. They are for tiny screws in piano hinges and such. It does however mean that you have to buy it from them, which I am sure is the point.
The cheap knock-offs are shorter, using normal length drills, which shows that it can be done in the first place, but they are the most hideous, course looking thing out there. The real point about the copy of the real thing problem, that I have seen is that they are so close, but critically wrong in some simple way? I don't get it? If you are going to unapologetically copy something, at least understand the point of it. The cap that screws on, holding the end nib and spring is knurled around the base, to help unscrew it, on the Snappy branded ones.
But on the knock off, the knurling is on the base of the unit itself? That is not only useless to get that cap off, at that point it is not necessary at all. They are putting in an extra step that does nothing, except "look" similar, until you unscrew it? Stupid.
As I see it, they both fail. One for unnecessarily complicating a thing to make it proprietary and the other for not even being able to copy correctly.
I am not a fan of these rip-off types of items, but I just don't get how they can be "so close" and still be so far at the same time.
The same thing happened in the autobody industry when I worked there in the 90s. Aftermarket fenders (and other parts) "look" like they will fit, but they just never do? 

The broken one is still longer than the other.
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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5712
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2022, 12:44 PM »
It’s hard to find a self-centering drill that works well. Often the spring is too weak and the drill reaches the work before the centering cone can get centered. Or the centering cone jambs in the contracted position and you have to try to pull out.

Don’t know the manufacturer the ones have that work best have round shanks.

I wish W.L. Fuller made them, but then they’d probably fail to include a hex shank.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 10166
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2022, 02:01 PM »
I've always been a fan of the original Vix bit manufactured by S.E. Vick. The problem is they are only offered with round shanks. They really work well but it's that round shank issue.
Several years ago I purchased US made bits with hex shanks that looked identical to the Vix bits, they fit the drill nicely but every now & then material gets jammed between the drill bit and the housing so that the drill bit won't retract, they're a PITA.

Well, well, well things have changed... [cool]...it now appears they do make hex shank Vix bits but I can't access their website.  [sad]

https://www.vixbitsonline.com


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5712
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2022, 02:58 PM »
$40 for that 3 piece set of Vix bits at Amazon.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1189
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2022, 03:12 PM »
If you look at that Snappy drill bit, it is not only longer but it has an exceptionally short thread. This makes it more stable and there is likely some other non-obvious reason as well.

As Snappy was anyway ordering a custom bit, there was no reason to (not) adjust the thread length and bit length as well - the price of those custom bits would be the same for them when they get them in bulk. And some "savy" customer would hopefully not go using "general" bits where they do not belong. Heh.
 8)

What Snappy should offer is a cost-effective bundle of - say - 5 bits as spare set and it should be fine IMO. Or just ship a couple directly with the thing. The bits are nothing in the overall cost.


Off topic:
In the engineering world custom-length bits are absolutely normal. E.g. our local bit vendor (not a big one, about $10M turnover) has 3 different lengths in the catalog and all are readily in stock - short/standard/long - for every single bit they make. That is in 0.1mm increments, mind you. Plus they make fixed-length ones with all bits having the same length, regardless the diameter. These are bits which go from ¢50 apiece ... nothing special.
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2074
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2022, 04:11 PM »
That's the broken one. The actual length of the flutes of the bit is at least 1/2" -3/4" longer.
That's what I am getting at though, there is no need for it. The whole thing could be much more compact, as proven by the knock-off.
The problem with the knock-off, other than the waste/stupidity of the knurling, is as Michael Kellough said, the springs are weak, they don't center well.

The thing I like about the Snappy version, over the original Vix, is the screw cap. They can be cleaned out quite easily. When you put 5 knuckle "Institutional" hinges into doors with 3mm PVC edgebanding, it becomes important. I haven't had to do that for years, but back when I first started, I was in the assembly/up-fit department and it was a thing.
CSX
DF500 + assortment set
PS420 + Base kit
OF1010
OF1010F
OF1400
MFK700 (2)
TS55, FS1080, FS1400 holey, FS1900, FS3000
CT26E + Workshop cleaning set
RO90
RO125
ETS EC 125
RAS115
ETS 125 (2)
TS75
Shaper Origin/Workstation/Plate
MFT clamps set
Installers set
Centrotech organizer set
Socket/Ratchet set

Offline Laminator

  • Posts: 382
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2022, 07:14 PM »
I ordered collets from snappy to fit the shank of my Vix bits so I could run them in a impact driver. This was many years ago so I don't know if Snappy still offers the collets.  I also use them on various small drill bits so I can use cobalt bits or (rarely) a tapcon bit with my impact driver.

Online woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 532
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2022, 05:21 AM »
@Crazyraceguy The same thing happens literally everywhere. The Chinese seem to have the ability to produce knockoffs which look the same, but aren’t. They also don’t seem to have any grasp on the concept of materials quality.

Perfect example - I run a 1957 Morris Minor as a hobby car. The original clutch finally failed, so I took it to a local repair shop who specialise in fixing old stuff. They put in a new Borg & Beck clutch. Looked good, packaging was on point etc. The release bearing fell apart as I was driving the car home, 2 miles away. They recovered it, and took out the failed clutch to figure out what had gone wrong. The bearing had shattered into six pieces, because it was made of Chinese cheese. They replaced it with a UK-made one, and all is good.

It’s worth going on YouTube and looking at some of the so-called ‘Tofu Dreg’ construction projects which are catastrophically failing in China. Scary stuff.

Is this endemic to China? Or are they just catering to a world which wants to buy everything at the lowest possible price, I wonder?

Offline jaguar36

  • Posts: 247
    • Toolamanjaro.com
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2022, 08:21 AM »
Is this endemic to China? Or are they just catering to a world which wants to buy everything at the lowest possible price, I wonder?
Its a cost race to the bottom, China has plenty of ability to make high quality parts, look at the iPhones for example.
That's the broken one. The actual length of the flutes of the bit is at least 1/2" -3/4" longer.
That's what I am getting at though, there is no need for it.


I seriously doubt they made it longer to make it a proprietary bit with the hopes of making money on replacement bits.  Folks frequently site that as a reason, but its rarely the case.  Far more likely they made it a longer bit for some other reason, likely they wanted it to be longer to have a longer reach.  Could even be something as simple as that was the length of bit the guy had when he first designed it.

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 931
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2022, 09:09 AM »
$40 for that 3 piece set of Vix bits at Amazon.

Love Amazon: 1-set $40, 2-sets $208, and 4-sets $416.

Offline Peter Kelly

  • Posts: 180
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2022, 09:32 AM »
Is this endemic to China? Or are they just catering to a world which wants to buy everything at the lowest possible price, I wonder?
When you treat employees like dirt, the output tends to suffer.

Wall St, corporate heads and the Party elite are the ones that benefit from the low price of offshoring manufacturing to places like China. The savings definitely aren't passed on to the consumer.

Offline woodferret

  • Posts: 222
Re: review and rant together
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2022, 09:16 PM »
Is this endemic to China? Or are they just catering to a world which wants to buy everything at the lowest possible price, I wonder?

The later.  You'll find instances of corners cut in civil projects but it's a running joke that westerners buy parts even domestic won't touch cause its cheap.