4

I don't have a drill bit set, since I wouldn't use most of the bits in typical sets. I buy individual bits depending on what I need for a project. I now have a motley collection of bits in various sizes, material, intended use and wear (often they come in sets of two so I'll have one "used" and one "new"). I can't easily identify a drill bit at a glance. Their original packaging is to bulky and fragile to use as storage.

Is there an easy, inexpensive way to keep them organized so that I can tell at a glance which bits I have and which is which? It should be a flexible system, that doesn't need to be re-set every time I go and buy a new bit - so it can't be a box with non-customizable slots for different bits, for example.

The best I can think of is to use a label printer to print flag-style labels and affix them to the base of each bit. I guess it's better than nothing, but I'm hoping for something more elegant.

3

If you consider that you will not have drills with a tighter "spacing" than 0.5 millimeter or 1/64 of an inch, you can chart out a prospective build. For the purpose of this answer, I'll use metric, as the numbers are easier to type.

Select a material of your choosing, wood, plastic, aluminum. Mark the block with gradations similar to a ruler, but allow for increased spacing as you move to the high end.

That is to say, start with a zero mark and that's where you'd drill a 1 mm hole. 1 mm is small, so you could make the second mark 2 mm away and drill a 2 mm hole. Another method used for commercial drill holders is to stagger the small drill holes on a diagonal. The 2 mm drill would be only a single mm away from the first, but one-third of the way from the back, while the initial 1 mm drill is one third of the way from the front.

drill organizer

I threw the above image together in Inkscape using the guides feature. The centers of the horizontal are on 10 mm spacing while the left most set of holes are on 5 mm spacing, increased to 10 mm for the last three. It looks horrible, but serves as an example.

The holes are drawn to scale, 1 mm starting in 1 mm increments.

The block into which you drill the holes can be of uniform height but should be tall enough to hold your longest drill. If you drill the smallest hole halfway deep, consider to drill each successive hole deep enough to have each drill extend about the same proportion. Rather than have the ends of the bits extending at an angle, if the block is cut so the top is at an angle, the ends of the bits will be more closely aligned and easier to access.

side view

The image above is another butcher job, but it shows how the larger drills go deeper and remain at the same level at the top.

It's practical to consider that a hole drilled by a 1 mm bit will be a bit snug to use as the storage. It's sensible to drill each hole one size larger, although a 2 mm hole for a 1 mm bit will be sloppy. If you have half-mm steps, it's better to use a 1.5 for the 1 mm bit.

Leaving room on the block for drill sizes is also a good idea and reduces error and guessing which drill goes where.

4

My dad solved this problem by drilling many holes into one edge of a 1x2 that did not go all the way through. Rows of these were nailed up across the wall studs near the drill press. It was easy to find drill bits even if there was no particular order. Multiples of one size could be placed into one larger hole.

Keeping a digital caliper on a hook nearby allowed quick diameter measure if needed. Also helpful was the printed drill size and thread chart taped up on the wall.

  • That's the sort of idea I was looking for! I think you could skip the caliper by writing next to each hole what it's supposed to contain. – Bege1986 Sep 6 '18 at 20:22
  • Decent digital calipers are low cost these days and can be very handy to keep around for multiple reasons. – Michael Karas Sep 6 '18 at 20:25
  • Having the calipers or card handy allows you to measure the size when you take a bit out of the rack, a good habit to get into. You can even make your own card cheaply by drilling and labeling holes in scrap whatever. – Matthew Gauthier Sep 6 '18 at 21:14
  • Mount a drill gauge on the wall next to the wood drill bit holder, for easy size identification prior to use. Then your arrangement can remain truly flexible, as opposed to having marked holes. – Jimmy Fix-it Sep 7 '18 at 1:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.