Pocket Hole Bit Breakage

Hold-down pressure and belt tightness adjustments can stop bits from snapping while drilling pocket holes. June 2, 2009

How many drilling cycles should I expect out of Kreg pocket hole bits? I have a single spindle air/electric drilling tub and at first I was getting 7,000 to 9,000 holes out of bits but only 1,500 to 2,500 from the last four or five bits in a row. We do mostly oak and soft maple. When I've done hickory the bits would break even quicker. Any insight would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor D:
I have the same machine DK1100FE for about five years now. If your bits are breaking (assuming just the tip) then I would adjust (increase) your hold down pressure and tighten your belt. I had one bit break on my machine about two years ago and found the combination of the two to be the culprit. The bit would plunge into the cut, the drill would stall (loose belt) and the piece would move (low hold down pressure), causing the tip to snap. Since making these adjustments I have gotten over 15,000 holes from the current bit and it drills fine every time. That was the first and only time I ever had to make any adjustments to the machine. My problem showed up when doing hickory also.

From the original questioner:
Thanks, I'll try that. The tip is exactly what beaks and is left in the wood when it happens.