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Nov 21, 2014
We need our bits to be tougher. They have a tendency to break easier than regular tamperproof bits. Our big center pins (required to repel all tools and hammers) and tight tolerances (needed to make each keyway different) are the culprit.
We're pursuing toughness and hardness. This is an age old balance, even Mr. Phillips of Phillips® screw had to solve. His solution was using shock steel with special modifications. We thought that would be our answer too, and looked for a source. Would you believe those sources have dried up, now that most of bit manufacturing has moved to Asia? We ended up finding shock steel and were hopeful to see new results.
Our Experiments Worked.
Using new material immediately increased bit strength by 20%. Here is Rodger Mares performing the tests. He breaks the bit, records the torque, and checks the Rockwell. He did this by using different tempering temperatures. 20% increase on bit strength was not good enough and we were a little disappointed the new material didn’t produce better results.
Finally a Break-Through
Interestingly enough, we found something we had not considered before. When the length of the bit tip’s nose was kept short, the strength improved by 50%. It wasn't from the heat treat or changing our material, but by simply shortening the tip. To the left is a picture of 3 broken and stripped bits. The one on the left was the strongest and shortest.
We discovered this after spending thousands on machines, tooling, and special wire. Why does our progress always seem to be so hard? Yet, now it’s the beginning of a new process change. We will make the bits fully engage in a customer’s fastener, while keeping the tip short. For those of you who experience bit breakages…grind your bit down until it buries itself to the hilt. You will immediately get better life.