Decent forstner bit set that wont break the bank

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Forum topic by jaydubya posted 10-08-2011 01:59 AM 5623 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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183 posts in 2234 days

10-08-2011 01:59 AM

Thinking about a set of forstners. Was looking at the Porter cable 14pc set at lowes for 50 bucks. any other options for decent, mid-price bits?
Whats the chances that the harbor freight 16 pc set is any good for 32 bucks after a 20 percent coupon?

13 replies so far

View cabmaker's profile


1473 posts in 2231 days

#1 posted 10-08-2011 04:15 AM

The chances are not in your favor. I have that same set and get away with it because I don t often use a forstner and when I do it will most likely be in a drill press for a hole or two. It is ok with me because I did not have big expectations when I bought them. (plan on sharpening them)

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 10-08-2011 04:32 AM

Cabmaker, are you yalking about the porter cable set or the HF set?

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1849 days

#3 posted 10-08-2011 05:05 AM

If you decide on the HF set make sure that you get the set with the solid smooth ground shafts and titanium plating the other cheaper set is no good with the hex shafts that run out of true. You get what you pay for.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 10-08-2011 05:34 AM

I have a Vermont American set, but for the 2-3 I use often, I popped for the carbides.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2062 days

#5 posted 10-08-2011 05:49 AM

I like my Porter Cable 8 pc. set. They were reasonable and keep on keeping on as long as I keep them away from nails and brads.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View John's profile


15 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 10-08-2011 06:26 AM

Here is a review on the Woodriver 7pc set from another LJ and they are currently on sale for $12.49

I have not used them but the price is right if the 7-piece set works for you.

View wingate_52's profile


221 posts in 1992 days

#7 posted 10-08-2011 08:48 AM

I have a between size set 5/16” etc from MLCS that is great. Not too impressed with the TN coated bits, I use 2 sets of these at school. I have some big 2”-3 1/4” Chinese ones that are just about ok for occasional use, and my Austrian Stubai ones are the best

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2717 days

#8 posted 10-08-2011 10:22 AM

I have the Porter cable 14pc set.
I have had them for about three years. I use them a lot and they are still sharp.
This is an excellent set to start with, and won’t break the bank.
I found these to be an excellent investment.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2654 days

#9 posted 10-08-2011 09:03 PM

I had the PC set from the BORG, it was okay, no better, or worse than my current Grizzly 31 PC set… Just around 1/4 the bits for 1/2 the price is all…

I have been very happy with the Grizzly tool steel 31pc master set, sharpens easily, and the holes are acccurate, at least he ones I have used thus far… Price isn’t too bad…":

However, If I was going to use them in a production environment, I would spring the extra bucks for the HSS ones…":

One caveat, Grizzly shows both of these items as presently back ordered, and Grizzly back orders can be somewhat painful… But if you can take the back order, they are good forstners for the money…

Likewise, the 31pc set from MLCS is known to be a real winner… Never had a problem with MLCS.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View lynng's profile


11 posts in 1899 days

#10 posted 10-09-2011 04:33 AM

I have the 14 piece PC set from Lowes. I have been very pleased with it.

-- Lynn, Trenton Maine

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2473 days

#11 posted 10-10-2011 06:22 AM

I have that HF set and have used it for quite a while. I’m happy. I believe all forstners should be used in a drill press.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View cabmaker's profile


1473 posts in 2231 days

#12 posted 10-10-2011 10:45 PM

Sorry jaydubya, I just got back to this post. I was making referance to the HF set.

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

994 posts in 2596 days

#13 posted 10-10-2011 10:55 PM

I have the PC set (both the small set and big set). I am very happy with my sets. They are still sharp and cut great. I’ve had them for about 2 years now. When thinking about buying a set, whichever it may be, get the bigger set, you never know when you need a big or small bit.

-- Follow me on YouTube-

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