Recommendations for high-quality drill bits

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Forum topic by groland posted 02-02-2017 09:01 PM 752 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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202 posts in 3556 days

02-02-2017 09:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill bits

I bought a largish set of brad-point HSS drill bits from Rockler, but they have a great deal of runout, wobble and so on that makes them very frustrating to work with. Some of them wobble so badly, my whole drill press shakes when I try to use them.
I am wondering if anyone can recommend a source of better-quality drill bits?

I am also interested in a good-quality set of Forstner bits as well, so recommendations for those would be welcome.

Many thanks,


10 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile


392 posts in 732 days

#1 posted 02-02-2017 09:08 PM handles roman carbide forstner bits. Not bad quality for the price.
They also have brad point drills & sets.

Rockler is expensive for tools.


View Underdog's profile


1185 posts in 2179 days

#2 posted 02-02-2017 09:09 PM

Colt-Riss seems to have a good reputation for Forstner Bits.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View groland's profile


202 posts in 3556 days

#3 posted 02-03-2017 04:36 PM

Thanks Madmark2 and Underdog for these suggestions. I have learned one painful, expensive lesson—check the return policies of sellers of tools and, when you buy drill bit sets, drill a hole with every single bit in the set and make sure they are all satisfactory within the return period. Return them within that time if they are as bad as the Rockler tools.


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5089 posts in 2637 days

#4 posted 02-03-2017 04:51 PM

Highly recommend these from LV. I’ve had a set for about 7 years now that have seen a lot of use and still cut cleanly, no wobble, and hold up well. For Forstner Bits I’ve had a set of Freud carbide for almost 20 years, been sharpened twice. Love them, but at today’s prices maybe a HSS set makes more sense. I’ve got a few of those (Freud HSS) and they are nice. Thhe HSS bits cut a lot more cleanly than the carbide….but the carbide last a very, very long time.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2907 days

#5 posted 02-03-2017 05:06 PM

Fred + 100 !

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View them700project's profile (online now)


126 posts in 1162 days

#6 posted 02-03-2017 06:46 PM

Look towards FAMAG for forstners from what i hear but be ready to spend they come in a few lines
Quality 1” $22
Premium 1” $35
Super Premium 1” $76

View Ripper70's profile


1131 posts in 1052 days

#7 posted 02-03-2017 06:52 PM

I’ve always been happy with the cut and quality of Freud Forstner Bits. You can buy them off the rack at HD and sometimes find good deals on Amazon or eBay.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View 9x9's profile


82 posts in 1384 days

#8 posted 02-03-2017 07:39 PM

Colt——-> for brad & forstner bits——- had Freud for many years and had no problems with em, just decided to upgrade to Colt about 4 years ago. Gave old Freud set to son. Next upgrade to FAMAG? ? ? ? not in this lifetime.

-- Youngsville, LA

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2524 days

#9 posted 02-03-2017 08:04 PM

I’m still using some Black and Decker brad points I bought 10-15 years ago so I can’t help there. If I were looking for a modestly priced set today, I would look at Dewalt or Irwin first, never had any trouble with bits from either company.

On Forstners, I had some vintage forstner bits that cut like razors but clogged really fast so I sold them and bought the Porter Cable set and they are somewhat disappointing. I like having a lot of sizes but they are not very sharp. They cut cleanly enough but slowly. But if you are on a budget they do the job.

edit; here are some companies that make good twist bits, don’t know if they make brads or forstners.
Century Drill
Chicago Latrobe
Triumph Twist Drill

-- Rick M,

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2254 days

#10 posted 02-03-2017 08:06 PM

Another thumbs up for the brad points recommended in Fred’s post. Fantastic bits!

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