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Drills & Notching Blades

updated (07/19/2018)

Generally-available, heavy-duty, off-the-shelf drills are used to allow easy replacement or repair should they ever fail.  All of the following drills (except for the Black & Decker) have ball-bearing chuck-end bearings.  They all have a 0-2500 RPM variable speed.  Refer to the Products page to order and for other information.

[Black & Decker] [DeWalt] [Hitachi] [Makita] [Notching Blades]

Question:  Which notching blade should I use--the fine-tooth or coarse-tooth?

Answer:  We ship the machine with both styles but the coarse (60T) will work with both steel and aluminum armor while the fine-tooth (132T) can clog with aluminum but is less "grabby" when cutting steel.  More info on these is below.

Question:  I snapped-off the right drill arbor trying to take the nut off to change the blade.  Who tightened this thing?

Answer:  We hand-tighten both right and left to about 20lb-ft which is a little past "snug".  What happened was that you turned the right drill nut CCW to "loosen" it when in fact you were tightening it because it is LH (backwards) thread.  Brute strength overcame cold steel...  The right-side is LH so the nut won't loosen-up due to blade rotation.  Also note that the arbor is pinned for that same purpose.  We now also stamp an "L" into the end of the LH arbor.  Everyone in your company who will be using the machine should read the directions before using or servicing it.

Question: One of our drills is running more slowly and sometimes not at all.

Answer: Sometimes drills can be repaired by blowing the grit out of them and running them opposite of their normal rotation for a minute or two to "clean" the glaze from the brushes. Or they can be removed, disassembled and cleaned if that doesn't work. We also offer a "kit" to retrofit the Hitachi drill below.

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  • The standard drill now being used is the Hitachi D10VH 3/8" VSR drill (6A).  These are a very well-designed, heavy-duty drill and are providing years of service.  There are 1000s available and this will be the standard drill until further notice.  Although imported, the fit and finish of this drill are top notch. In the 5 years we have been using these in our machines, we have yet to have any warranty problems or returns. We offer a "kit" to retrofit these in place of the Black & Decker drills.


  • Click HERE to view the D10VH Parts List (hitachipartslist.pdf, 104k)
  • Click HERE to view the D10VH Instructions (hitachiinstructions.pdf, 506k)

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  • The Black & Decker DR450 3/8" VSR drills (4A, 4.5A, 5A) we had used for 4-5 years have long since been discontinued.  We not longer stock or service these.  They have been very reliable and seldom needed replacement.  These also have a sleeve-type chuck-end bushing which has never been a problem.  The picture above shows a returned, "warranted" drill which we tested, installed a 1/2" chuck and "spare" DeWalt cord and it has been working flawlessly for us for over 8 years.  It is one of several B&D shop drills that were warranted but are still very serviceable.  Parts may still be available from Black & Decker should you need service parts. Or retrofit to the now standard Hitachi drill.

  • The following links may also help.

    • Click HERE to view the Parts List (dr450partslist.htm, 14k)
    • Click HERE to view the Exploded picture that goes with the Parts List above (dr450exploded.gif, 39k)
    • Click HERE to view the Wiring Diagram (dr450wiring.gif, 98k)

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  • As an optional heavier-duty replacement for the Black & Decker, we developed a kit to install DeWalt DW106 3/8" VSR drills (5.4A) into our machine.  See the updated Order Form (Word 95 file, orderform.doc, 23k) for ordering info and kit description. This was to be the replacement drill for the B&D when we ran out but has been since been discontinued by DeWalt.  They are readily available Remanufactured or in used tool/pawn shops.  The kit should also work with any other DW10x models.  Refer to the above picture of a shop drill (not a warranty return). The second picture shows new drills mounted in a machine. The third picture shows the kit mounted under the belt hook of the drill. This is a "special order" item. UPDATE: The "kit" for this drill has been discontinued.

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  • Another drill that can replace the B&Ds are the Makita 6408 3/8" VSR drill (4.9A).  These are a very well-designed, heavy-duty drill and should provide years of service.  Since they are more expensive and require considerably more labor to fit them into the machine, the price of the MC Cable Cutter & Pigtailer will increase if you want these optional, "special order" drills. You would only want or need these installed in your machine if your tool room prefers/services Makita tools. UPDATE: We no longer offer this as an optional or replacement drill.

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  • As noted above, the coarse, 60T Notching Blades work with both steel and aluminum armor MC.  They are black-oxide coated with a slight kerf.  These will last indefinitely when cutting aluminum.  Click the thumbnail on the left below for a better look.

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  • Also able to cut both steel and aluminum and shown on the above right is the fine, 132T notching blades, although these may clog when used with aluminum.  They are precision-ground and hardened and are specially made for our machine.  These cut a little smoother than the coarse and have less tendency to "grab".

  • Left and Right replacement arbors and hardware can also be ordered.  Refer to the Price List for price and availability.

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  • In a pinch you could probably adapt a different "no-name" imported drill but we have not done so due to product quality and configuration variances...(ie: from a tool show, Harbor Freight, etc.)