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Forum topic by treesner posted 06-06-2016 03:37 PM 764 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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treesner

166 posts in 424 days


06-06-2016 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill bits

I currently only have a normal set of bits and some spade bits but as i build out my own shop and stop relying on others i’m finding myself in need of:

bard point
forestner
counter sink
counter sink pre drill
hole saw

does anyone make a large kit that wold save money by bundling all these bits together or am i better off just going to woodcraft and getting individual sets?

is there any brands to get or stay away from in the drill bit realm?


28 replies so far

View syenefarmer's profile

syenefarmer

431 posts in 2541 days


#1 posted 06-06-2016 04:29 PM

Buy the best bit(s) that you can afford. For me, there is nothing more frustrating than a drill bit that doesn’t do that job swiftly and cleanly. I have very occasionally used hole saw bits so I agree with your having them at the bottom of your list. Buy them last. A few suggestions would be;

Brad point—— Lee Valley
Forstner —— Freud
Others——- Woodcraft, Lee Valley

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

976 posts in 913 days


#2 posted 06-06-2016 05:30 PM

Buy as you need.
  • Roman carbide forstners are inexpensive and durable. I now have a dozen.
  • Brads I bought as a set from 1/8” to 1/2” by 1/16”s.
  • Countersinks I purchased one bit.
  • Hinge centering set:
  • I got a set of drill & taps

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#3 posted 06-06-2016 08:28 PM



Buy the best bit(s) that you can afford. For me, there is nothing more frustrating than a drill bit that doesn t do that job swiftly and cleanly. I have very occasionally used hole saw bits so I agree with your having them at the bottom of your list. Buy them last. A few suggestions would be;

Brad point—— Lee Valley
Forstner —— Freud
Others——- Woodcraft, Lee Valley

- syenefarmer

Thanks for suggesting brands, hard to know what bits are good without using them for years haha. Those freud forstner are like 400, is there a runner up in fordtners?

One thing I was considering is getting a decent set with all the sizes and then buying individual nice bits for the common size.

For instance with the brad points get the lee valley lower quality big set then get a couple of the nicer ones like 1/4.

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#4 posted 06-06-2016 09:12 PM

found this useful post on festool forum
http://festoolownersgroup.com/other-tools-accessories/what-are-the-best-wood-drill-bits-and-forstner-bits/

///////

I did a comparison of 5 Forstner brands chosen based on information found here at the FOG as well as the internet and also one that I had in my tool kit. They are the Festool Forstner Bits (Centrotec System), the FAMAG Super Premium Carbide Tipped Bormax 3, The FAMAG Premium Bormax, the Colt Maxicut Forstner bits and a Freud Forstner bit that I have had for some years. I compared these bits drilling freehand partial holes in oak flooring (I had a couple of extra pieces of flooring too small to reuse which is why I used them for this test). The drill I used was the Festool T18+3. Let me say that all the bits are good for free hand drilling and if you own a full set of any, there is probably no need to change unless you are seeking out the absolute best made forstner bits.

I feel the Super Premium FAMAG Bormax 3’s were the best bits with the smoothest holes. They drill fast and stay cool. They are also the most expensive by far. If you have the money, these are the bits you want. Second place was close between the Festool and the FAMAG Bormax. Both made very smooth accurate holes. I love that the Festool bits work with the Centrotec System, but they only make a set of 5 and are metric. If you need to make larger holes than 35 MM, and if you would like Imperial sizes, you will want the BORMAX. I believe they are similarly priced. So that is my top 3 with 2 and 3 being tied, the edge going to Festool if you want Centrotec bits and the edge going to the Bormax bits if you need larger and Imperial sizes. If forced to choose between the two on an absolute basis, I would put the Festool bits in second and the Bormax bits in third.

While my Freud bit (it was only 1 inch) made holes just as good as the Colt Maxicut, the Colts cut the fastest holes of any of the bits and for that reason I placed them in the 4th position ahead of the Freud. The Freud was still excellent though. The Maxicut bits also have extensions that do not need to be screwed together which is great when having to get out of a jam by drilling a hole up behind a wall in order to run pipes. They are awfully tight though, so please make sure you drop a touch of oil in the extensions or you will not get them apart.

The standout to me was that the Super Premium FAMAG Bormax 3’s were noticeably better than the rest. They drill fast, are precise and make extremely smooth holes. And since they are carbide tipped they should last and last. The other surprise to me was just how good the Festool Forstner bits are. Other than the Bormax 3’s, they made the best holes. An interesting aside is that looking at the bits the best finished bits are the Festool and the Super Premium Bormax 3’s. The other bits are not finished to that same standard, and these are the bits that took 1st and second in cutting ability. In summary, my order of finish is below:

1.- FAMAG Super Premium Bormax 3 Carbide-Tipped
2.- FESTOOL Centrotec Forstner Bits
3.- FAMAG Premium Bormax Bits – Tied with the Festool
4.- Colt Maxicut Forstner Bits
5.- Freud ( probably the best buy)

I hope this was of some interest and value to you all. Thank you.

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#5 posted 06-06-2016 09:15 PM

Found the bormax listed here. set of 5 is $140 set of 16 is $600, hefty price

http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/Premium-Forstner-Bits-BORMAX-by-FAMAG-of-Germany/products/290/

View devann's profile

devann

2200 posts in 2152 days


#6 posted 06-06-2016 09:42 PM

Depending on how much drilling and the type of drilling you have to do, you may want to look into the Drill Dr. It’s a resharpening jig used for resharpening HS twist drill bits. It’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than continually buying replacement drill bits.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

423 posts in 585 days


#7 posted 06-06-2016 09:47 PM

I am of the opinion that drill bits are “expendables” and need to be replaced occasionally. For normal “twist” bits I buy the Dewalt sets when they go on sale (<$10). Counter-sinks…those “lowly” Vermont American sets (4 sizes) work well for me (<$15) and the drill bits are replaceable with a simple set screw (the set comes with the allen wrench). Brad points…the only set I own I bought from some catalog outfit a long time ago but I know I didn’t pay much and I don’t use them often. I keep a sharp awl handy to mark the hole and use twist bits/counter sinks from there. Somebody posted above about the hinge centering bits…if you do a lot of that then let me know what you find (I somehow lost all of those and recent projects tell me I need to replace them…might not even involve a bit but rather a punch to give me the center). Forstners…had a Delta set that came with my drill press years ago…they “got legs” somehow but I replaced them with a cheap set I got from Menards (8 bits up to 1”, “Tool-shop” brand as I recall). Hole saws…look at “Blu-Mol” sets which I think range up to 1 1/4”. After that buy what you need. You’ll need a separate arbor (won’t break the bank…<$15 I’m sure) and then whatever sizes you need that will all share the same arbor. Dewalt yellows are good for me.

View CyberDyneSystems's profile

CyberDyneSystems

220 posts in 1649 days


#8 posted 06-07-2016 02:38 AM

Twist drills can (and should) be resharpened indefinitely. The steel is the same the whole length. It will take dozens of dulling and resharpening to reduce the length to a point of being awkwardly short.

Brad points are much harder to sharpen, Forstner, harder still.

Drill Doctor is not a bad solution with several models in a large price range (starting as low as $49.00)

Picking up and old “Darex” drill sharpener on Craigs list is much better! (do your homework though, a complete working kit is getting hard to find)

Then there is the Tormek attachment, which I hear is also nice, excellent results but takes longer than the Darex or Drill Doctor. There’s a great recent review right here on LumberJocks.

Another advantage to sharpening, once you are able to sharpen your own bit’s you will find that as long as the steel is good, you will put a better (much better!) edge on them and have better cleaner cutting bits than most come new from the store.

IMHO Freud is one of the “sweet spots” in Forstener bits, a nice balance between cost and performance. A 16 bit set can be had for around $200.00. The cheap Chinese ones have gotten better, but they don’t hold an edge too long and again, very hard to find the resources to sharpen them easily. You have to do it by hand really.

-- Without the wood, it's just working

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#9 posted 06-07-2016 03:07 AM

Would you guys say a 16 bit kit is necessary for forstner? Or would it be better to put the money into a higher end 7bit set

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

976 posts in 913 days


#10 posted 06-07-2016 04:23 AM

I have the 1/8 steps, unless there is something specific you need to drill at a 1/16” step just buy that carbide bit.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#11 posted 06-07-2016 06:11 AM

FORSTEN DRILL BITS

Bormax
— 5 set 5/8—13/8 $125 (on sale woodcraft)
— 16 set 1/4—2
1/8 $600
— individual: $22-80 for the few that have reviewed they say they’re the best

Colt Maxicut
— 5 set 5/8—13/8 $139
— 10 set 1/2—2 $319
— individual: $24-50

Freud (not diablo)
— 7 set 1/4—7/8 $60 link
— 16 set 1/4—2
1/8 $225
— individual: $13—$21 alot of reviews of these seem to be best bang for buck

Lee Valley HSS sawtooth
— 7 set $60
—16 set $320

Lee Valley Maxi Cut
— 5 set 1/2—1 $125
— individual $26—$45

Woodcraft unmarked sawtooth (maybe steelax brand)
—16 set 1/4—21/8 $90
—24 set 1/4—3
1/8 $140

Roman Carbide
— 15 set 5/16—2_1/16 $140 haven’t heard much about these

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#12 posted 06-07-2016 06:16 AM

Trying to figure out which way i want to go about purchasing these forester bits

cheap replace nice:
maybe get the large set of cheap ones from woodcraft 24set $140 and mark which ones i use a lot of then replace those with high quality bormax or freud as they wear

nice bang for buck:
get the 16 set of freud for $225

nice small set + individuals as needed:
get the nice set of bormax 5 set for $125 then as i need different sizes purchase those individually to build out the set that I need

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1735 posts in 599 days


#13 posted 06-07-2016 04:31 PM

IMHO, unless you’re doing production work, spending that much $ on Forstner bits is a waste. Especially if you don’t have a machine that can take advantage of it. Don’t get me wrong, those bits are pricey for a reason and high quality steel or carbide that is precision ground to tight tolerance is great if you need it. But, a forstner that’s ground to within .000001” of nominal is utterly useless if your drill press has .010” of runout in the quill. Carbide cuts great and will last and last and last. But, if you’re using the drill 3 or 4 times a year to cut a half dozen holes, ...well you get the idea. :P

So, I’m not disputing the quality of the bits your considering. And maybe you do need them, if so, then go for it! I just hate to see people buy high-end drill bits and then put them in a $100 drill press from Lowes so I just wanted to give you some food for thought!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View treesner's profile

treesner

166 posts in 424 days


#14 posted 06-07-2016 05:33 PM



IMHO, unless you re doing production work, spending that much $ on Forstner bits is a waste. Especially if you don t have a machine that can take advantage of it. Don t get me wrong, those bits are pricey for a reason and high quality steel or carbide that is precision ground to tight tolerance is great if you need it. But, a forstner that s ground to within .000001” of nominal is utterly useless if your drill press has .010” of runout in the quill. Carbide cuts great and will last and last and last. But, if you re using the drill 3 or 4 times a year to cut a half dozen holes, ...well you get the idea. :P

So, I m not disputing the quality of the bits your considering. And maybe you do need them, if so, then go for it! I just hate to see people buy high-end drill bits and then put them in a $100 drill press from Lowes so I just wanted to give you some food for thought!

- HokieKen

Very good point! I just know that these bits will be in the shop for a very long time and get really frustrated when tools don’t preform like poor quality/dull bits splintering up the veneer, really brings down the quality and adds more work in sanding.

View brtech's profile

brtech

893 posts in 2383 days


#15 posted 06-07-2016 06:39 PM

I subscribe to the notion that a full set of relatively cheap bits is a great thing to have, which gets supplemented/replaced by good bits that I actually use. I have 3 sets:
1. A Harbor Freight twist drill set by 64ths. Having all the in-between sizes has saved many a project for me. This is my most used set. When they get dull, I replace them with much better quality bits from somewhere like McMaster Carr.
2. A Peachtree Brad Point set. This has very decent quality bits, 1/8” to 1/2” by 64ths. I’ve replaced a few of these, but they have been real good for me so far.
3. A “kitchen sink” set actually don’t remember where I got when it was on sale, but this thing is a blow molded plastic case that has a simple set of twists, Forstners from 1/4 to 1” by eights, 4 Vix style centering bits, a set of taper bits, a set of countersinks, a set of plug cutters, a set of depth stops, a pocket hole bit, and probably a few I forgot.
I have replaced a number of bits in this set as I find what I use. For example, I’ve replaced several of the Forstners with Colt Maxicuts, the taper bits with “Snappy” bits, and probably half of the twist drill bits. But this set has been great. It also goes with me when I need to do some work out of the shop, because it has everything, organized, with a carry case.

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