|Review by Shopsmithtom||posted 11-11-2008 02:50 AM||5127 views||2 times favorited||9 comments|
I recently read (in Fine Woodworking Magazine # 197, April, 2008) a review of several brands of forstner bits and decided that my Harbor Freight 7 piece set (1/4” – 1”) bought on sale for $5.00 was obsolete. That set, by the way, served me well for the money spent…as anyone who has read anything I’ve added to this sight in the past may remember, I’m really cheap… but I really needed more larger bit sizes.
After reading the article, I noted that they picked this set as a best value with a 16 piece set ranging from 1/4” to 2 1/8” sizes. The set sells for around $30.00 which is less that 2 bucks a bit for you mathematically challenged lumberjocks. There are a lot of no-name brands out there that go for more money.
Now…on to the test. I wouldn’t expect you to simply take the word of Fine Woodworking Magazine, so I figured I’d try them out & pass along my results. I figured that trying every bit was overkill, so, in the interest of time, I picked 4 bits to test. I used a piece of hard maple as my wood.
The sizes I chose were, 1/4”, 3/4”, 1 1/4”, and 1 3/4”.
I drilled one hole with each bit, going through until the point came through the bottom, and then flipped the wood over and drilled from that side, so as not to have any tearout.
I measured the holes with a dial read caliper (garage sale, but a nice one…remember…cheap)The actual hole sizes were: 1/4’= .25”, 3/4”= .75”, 1 1/4”= 1.26”, 1 3/4”= 1.76”. That’s close enough for me.
While the bits seemed to run a little hot (I really don’t have a lot to compare to, so it’s just an impression and the wood did not burn) they cleared debris very well, and the hole sides were clean.
They come in a pretty nice wood case. These are made in China (so what’s new?) but I think for the money you simply can’t go wrong with this set.
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you