Drilling Pcbs

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Dr.killjoy, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    What does everyone use to drill the holes for their diy pcbs ??
    I ask cause I am looking for a portable hand held drill of some sort to make a couple pcb or in larger hole.. I would love to use my drill press but to big for my apartment...

  2. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    The vast majority of PCB drilling is probably done with a drill press and solid carbide bits. Handheld drills and small carbide bits do not go well together. You will break a lot of bits, unless you have a really steady hand and good technique. If drilling small holes for the usual wire leaded component freehand, I would use a HSS bit.

    1) Consider getting a smaller, portable drill press.
    2) Switch to SMD's. The 12xx size is really not that small. No holes needed.
    3) If using Eagle, use "drill aid ULP" . That adds a fill to holes and leaves just a little spot in the center of each pad bare. You can adjust the size of that spot (I use 0.5 mm). The spot acts as a center punch and helps get a good start for either freehand or drill-press drilling.

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  3. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
    They make a little drill press for dremel tools. That's what I use.
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  4. dl324

    AAC Fanatic!

    Mar 30, 2015
    Any drill press too large for your apartment will have too much runout to be useful.

    This is what I use. A dremel-type drill in a mini drill press. Some say this model has too much runout, but it works for me. I've drilled thousands of holes with carbide bits and haven't broken a single bit using it. Maybe it requires proper technique...
  5. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    I found this and it seems really nice but I don't have a 3d printer



    I was looking to get a micro drill press but haven't really seen anything I like or small enough.. I know smd is the future but I am just learning through hole parts and might have to make the move anyways ... Thanks for the great info on Eagle as I wasn't aware and might help me out later down the road..

    I was checking them out and worth a shot ..

    Thanks I never saw that before but the price is alot but I am not sure I have a choice ..
  6. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    I use a Unimat miniature lathe. A bit expensive but a nice toy to have.

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  7. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    Don't tempt me cause I want a full size lathe and milling machine..I was a machinist apprentice for a little while and love it..
  8. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    This is what I use now, a Microlux 81631. I have never broken a carbide PCB drill bit with it. I previously used the Dremel drill press and I constantly broke bits with it. It never stayed in alignment. Considering that bits cost between $0.50 and $1.00, I figure the Microlux will pay for itself in about 2 years. Plus, a good bit of frustration is gone.
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