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Forstner Bit Opinions

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  • Forstner Bit Opinions

    I’m looking for opinions on decent small Forstner bit sets. These would be used for general woodworking and usually in a hand drill or portable drill press. I currently have a 7 pc set of Porter Cable bits I think I picked up at Home Depot (1/4” – 1”) several months ago. They cut poorly. “Very poorly” (Need to rent an elephant each time to get enough weight on top of them to drive through a piece of wood) I have a 1 3/8” Freud (Diablo) for hinges and several other large sizes that cut great. All thoughts would be appreciated.
    Jim
    Jim

  • #2
    Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

    Originally posted by JJCiesla View Post
    .......... I have a 1 3/8” Freud (Diablo) for hinges and several other large sizes that cut great. All thoughts would be appreciated.
    Jim
    I think you answered your own question. My first set of forstner bits was also a cheapo set. As the individual bits dulled, I replaced them with Freud bits. The difference is night and day! Another source for great quality bits is www.leevalley.com
    ================================================== ====
    All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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    • #3
      Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

      I too am a big fan of the Freud Forstner bits. I bought a cheapo set from Lowes a few years ago that lasted longer than I had thought they would. But the ones that did get used went quickly.
      Still enjoying all 10 fingers!

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      • #4
        Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

        As I have a few sets of cheepo bits I believe spending some time sharpening them may be in order. Does anyone have experience sharpening these. I sharpen everything else so I might as well try the Forstners.
        Jim
        Jim

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        • #5
          Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

          New cheapos work great, it's true! But quality ones work great a lot longer.

          I picked up a Freud Diablo 16 piece set a while back at a garage sale for $80, and these continue to impress me, and get used on my important projects and hardwoods.
          I also have a cheapo "Woodcraft" set which I use for pine, MDF, and what-not. These work best in the drill press to get some force behind 'em.

          Anyway, Rockler currently has some Forstner bit sets on sale. A 16 piece set for $35. Replace your often-used bits over time with better quality. Chances are you'll only need to replace 2-4 of the most common sizes.

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          • #6
            Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

            Wood Junkie makes a good point - get the high $ bits in the sizes you use most often and go with the 'China' specials. Amazon lists the 16 bit Freud set on sale for $160 - $35 at Rockler makes sense! I have a set of 24 bits that I have had for 5 years and I have not used most of them. Would have been a waste to buy the "good" ones if they just sit in the box!

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            • #7
              Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

              Just wanted to add a follow-up to my previous post...

              One of the advantages of buying one of these cheapie/mid tier sets is that you get a great case to store your better quality bits as you acquire them. This goes a long way to preserving that bit, over throwing it in your toolbox or drawer unprotected.

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              • #8
                Re: Forstner Bit Opinions

                I just took delivery of a set from Rockler for $10. 7-piece set. I'll be trying them out tonight on the drill press.

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