Best spot weld drill?
I was wondering what your opinions on the best spot weld driller are? I've been using the ones from harbor freight, and they work great and I like the design but they don't last very long. I cut the core support off my front, and was about a total of 30 spot welds, and I went thru 4 thats about $20 in spot weld drills.
I use a Blair spotweld cutter. Very nice quality, unique design. You have to center punch the spot weld for it to center itself successfully. I have about $50 into mine, but I have about every size head for it you would need to take a car apart. If you just need one size the cost is about $25 if I remember right. The main cost is the piece that is spring loaded and holds the bits. I use mine in a shop setting, and they are still going, probably cut almost 1000 spot welds with it so far.
You didn't say what type of spot weld drill you have in mind or what price range you are looking for but don't waste your money on these from Northern tool, Tractor Supply and several other discount tool suppliers.
These are total junk and although they may look like the higher quality cutters you will be lucky to get 3 or 4 holes drilled before the teeth dull and/or break off. These are are almost certainly the exact tool you have from HF so you already know what I am talking about. The same type of tool from Snap-On and other major pro suppliers works quite well however but are more expensive.
Northern does also carry the H&S Industries Cobalt spot weld cutter and these work quite good, at about $30 for each bit they are not cheap but they last a long time and do a really good job.
I have had great success with the Blair Kit no. 11082 AND the Blair 11750 lube stick.
I drilled out all the spot welds to remove the aprons on a 2005 Ford Focus using this tool and lube, and only used one cutter bit for the total project, which was around 150 welds or so..
The lube stick is awesome, it cuts faster and the bit lasted for the project.. money well spent.
I like the fact that it cuts around the weld, leaving the metal intact on one side of the seam. Just take a disc grinder and dust off the weld from the flange and you are ready for fit up of the new panel..
I'll probably try the blair kit 11082. I probably have spent more in cheap spot weld cutter than if I just bought this kit. I looked at the site what is the difference in the blair spot weld cutter and the blaircuttersand rotabroach? You know?
Funny you I should see this today as I spent a good part of yesterday sitting in the hospital with my wife and had the time to write a "Basics of Basics" on seperating welded on panels. I went thru the three common types of bits for drilling out spot welds.
That blair "mini hole saw" is actually the last one I would pick. After reading your posts I don't hate it as much as I use to though. :D In certain places and times it may not be a bad choice.
But I still would HIGHLY recommend more of a "pro" type drill. I haven't seen one of those blair style in a body shop in almost 20 years!
This is more of what we use today in a shop though this particular exact design I haven't had good luck with but it gives you an idea. What we use is a one piece bit that looks like the one on the bottom of this photo with the pilot bit retracted in.
This is a lowsy photo but here is one.
We have been through a few spot welds bit here while doing body restoration projects. We recently tried out a few bits from Auto Body Drill (autobodydrill.com) and were very impressed with how they held up. The TiN Coated type 187 punched through close to 200 spot welds. Supposedly they are manufactured in the USA and they specialize in spot weld supply. Just my 2 cents.
the drill bit that comes with some pop rivet kits is a favorite also..
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