Drill bits scam or not?

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Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Barbarianna @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:43 pm

I was at an 'amazing house things' show a few weeks ago, replete with exhibitors selling 59-lever bifold doors, garden pods made of kevlar ammonian bleach Mars meteorite, etc etc. All good.

One stand was one of those 'salesman demo' types. You know, guy with product X uses it on typical substrate in front of your very eyes, and people queue up afterwards to hand over their damn money for his super-duper product.

This one was called 'Cobolt' (with an o) and sold a set of 20 drill bits. They looked a graphitey grey, and the tips were most closely shaped to masonry tips. He took the smallest one- a 3mm bit- and drilled into wood, holding it there beyond the task, waiting for the thing to smoke up proper like, then he put it straight into a steel brake disc at full speed, without any drill bit lubricant, and pressed down at full speed and the thing just plunged through, and then took it straight out and went into a dense concrete slab, holding the thing sideways etc etc: all the things that break drill bits up. It came out fine; the wood hole was a bit rough and smokey, the steel and masonry were holes were clean.

Then he did the same thing with a bit randomly selected from another box in his stock.

The set was selling for £40 and has a 'lifetime' guarantee: he acknowledged that the bits could and would wear or break, but that even if they did, the customer had to return it to the company address and would be sent a free replacement, the only cost being the postage stamp.

I didn't get one despite hovering about the place. I guess I was cynical, but remain unsatisfied because I am not sure what the business model is. What part of this is the weak link, if any? Is this a mail return issue, betting that customers wont return bits or that even if they do, they are very cheap for the company to replace? Or is the company going to exist at all, preferring to sell a load of bits at a tidy profit then going out of business?
The issue is of course that I am sure major manufacturers would have come up with such a product and warranty if they could make it. So it seems TGTBT. A bit like the legendary sexy LGBTs we see on TV.

It could of course be true; a genuinely new and transformative product is being sold by a small company which wants to retain control of its destiny while it grows. But these things are rarer than the former options.

So. What is going on djathink?
Last edited by Barbarianna on Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Strawman @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:49 pm

I thought the same before about Halford's Pro range of tools which they replace no quibble when they break, although I don't think they offer drill bits. I suppose a lot of people lose the receipt or can't be bothered returning stuff so there is still a profit in there.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Dirk @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:20 pm

I glimpsed the same thing (but not all the demo) at the boat show Barbs. I broke step for a moment, but my wife said it was bound to crap and my immediate thought was she was right. But I did think later it may have been worth a try.

I was particularly interested because our house is made of a varierty of different stones. So every now and then you drill into a wall and hit something weird that destroys bits.

So if anyone does try the bits and they work - please let me know
Last edited by Dirk on Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by dirtyboy @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:25 pm

I saw the same thing at a campervan festival, I too was drawn in, but I didn't buy because I use poundland/lild/aldi type machinery and if they die, I buy another.

I bought some gear when I reno'd my first house in 2000, the cordless drill and hammer drill are still going strong....although the workbench crumpled under a giant oak log last year :hehe:

Drill bits are ten a penny and I don't think i'd need to drill a brake disk any time soon.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by thekungfury @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:40 pm

Sounds a bit Dr James P Johnson's magical elixir to me.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Pigeon @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:58 pm

The use of cobalt (spelt properly) as an alloying element for steel to produce an alloy which is good for making tough and abusable drill bits is a well-established practice. Cobalt-alloy drill bits are widely available. Like this.

Some bugger spelling it wrong and selling sets for 40 quid a pop sounds to me like some bugger taking advantage of people who don't know this and trying to make out they're a unique product in order to rip people off.
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Dirk @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:07 pm

Was the lifetime guarantee that interested me
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:29 pm

For the demo, I bet he was just taking advantage of people forgetting how effective a new bit is as most will use blunted crap in their garage.

The lifetime guarantee is worth tit all I suspect: the company doesn't have an obvious web presence and the cost of sending a bit back to them (recorded) is probably not far off the cost of a new bit anyway so many won't bother. Even if they do, he'll be Pobolt next year and demonstrating the innovative new potato peeler that you can't cut your fingers on when it run it along them. Lifetime guarantee too, the last peeler you'll need to buy, I'm not asking £5 for them, who'll give me £3.99?
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by Dirk @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:43 pm

You're probably right TS

Someone should buy some to check though
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Re: Drill bits scam or not?

Post by thekungfury @ Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:13 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:For the demo, I bet he was just taking advantage of people forgetting how effective a new bit is as most will use blunted crap in their garage.

The lifetime guarantee is worth tit all I suspect: the company doesn't have an obvious web presence and the cost of sending a bit back to them (recorded) is probably not far off the cost of a new bit anyway so many won't bother. Even if they do, he'll be Pobolt next year and demonstrating the innovative new potato peeler that you can't cut your fingers on when it run it along them. Lifetime guarantee too, the last peeler you'll need to buy, I'm not asking £5 for them, who'll give me £3.99?

Hello person I've definitely never met before. I'll take two!
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