Forstner Bit Set?

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Forum topic by Rex B posted 09-11-2012 02:41 PM 5436 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rex B

320 posts in 2244 days

09-11-2012 02:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: forstner forstner bit drill bit forstner bit set drill press

I’m looking for a decent set of forstner bits to add to my birthday wishlist. I want the standard 16-piece set, and would like the price to be around $40, but no higher than $50. Now I know that none of the sets available in this price range will be exceptional, but I know that many lumberjocks have inexpensive sets and am looking for your experiences. Here are the options I have come up with:

  1. Grizzly
  2. MLCS (first one on the page)
  3. Eagle America
  4. Peachtree Woodworking (scroll down to 16 pc set in red case)

The MLCS set is very enticing with free shipping, but the one review they show is pretty poor. The Grizzly, Eagle America, and Peachtree sets would cost $9-$10 in shipping. Also, the Eagle America set is available with either round or hex shanks (hex costs more). Which style of shank do you guys prefer?

Thanks for your help. I’m open to any other options I haven’t listed here as well.

-- Rex

24 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2910 posts in 2166 days

#1 posted 09-11-2012 02:48 PM

Lowe’s has a Porter Cable 14 pc set 1/4 to 2 1/8 for 49.97. The one’s I have used did a good job for me.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tennessee's profile


2870 posts in 2508 days

#2 posted 09-11-2012 02:49 PM

I’ve owned this Porter Cable set for about two years, run a couple of them more times than I care to count, holds up very well.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2244 days

#3 posted 09-11-2012 02:56 PM

That’s another good option. It looks like it’s missing 1-3/4” and 1-7/8” compared with the other sets, but who knows how often I would need those?

-- Rex

View Handtooler's profile


1553 posts in 2126 days

#4 posted 09-11-2012 02:59 PM

I own the Grizzly 16 piece set, made in China, nice box. I’m an advanced novice and am very pleased with them. Renently a lady borrowed the set to use the 2 1/8th bit to install three cypher locks on her house and was so impressed that she ordered a set for herself and her husband. My other set was from Leichtung Co. in 1968 and they are still staying sharp but that company has been bought out by another woodworking supplier I think. I’ll be interested in your decision.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View a1Jim's profile


117086 posts in 3571 days

#5 posted 09-11-2012 03:22 PM

I have had good luck with low cost Forstner bits, I own the Grizzly and the MLCS and they have held up for years.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#6 posted 09-11-2012 06:38 PM

I have the grizzly HSS set. The 2” bit broke where the head meets the shank but I probably was my fault, though I certainly wasn’t suing it too hard.

The rest of the bits have been holding up just fine.

So grab whichever budget set you think is best, and as needed replace frequently used bits with quality bits. I like FAMAG’s quality line, but really want to try some colt maxicut bits too.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2684 days

#7 posted 09-11-2012 07:35 PM

Home Depot has the Ryobi set for the sam price as the PC at Lowes, pretty much the same set and the one I have has been working pretty good for wine bottle holders and a few other things.
Ryobi 14-Piece Forstner Bit Set
Model # A9FS14
Internet # 202078677
Store SKU # 106757

View spitnicker's profile


7 posts in 2861 days

#8 posted 09-11-2012 07:49 PM

I bought the MLCS 16-piece set two years ago and it has held up very well. I think it’s a great value.

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2244 days

#9 posted 09-11-2012 07:55 PM

Thanks for all the input guys. I’m leaning towards the MLCS set because of the price, and the fact that it has gotten a few nods here.

-- Rex

View Handtooler's profile


1553 posts in 2126 days

#10 posted 09-11-2012 09:08 PM

And MLCS often has FREE Shipping. Ask.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2244 days

#11 posted 09-11-2012 09:17 PM

From the MLCS website: “Every item in the catalog and on our web site are shipped FREE in the contiguous USA”

It’s a good thing to know, not something many tool sites offer.

-- Rex

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 3525 days

#12 posted 09-11-2012 09:26 PM

There is only one way to go. The Colt set
not in your price bracket but you can buy them individually.
Check out a video about them on you tube
I have a set and they are AWESOME!

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#13 posted 09-11-2012 09:52 PM

For what it’s worth, Highland Woodworking has a 16 pc set made out of HSS for $89 right now. I’ve been very tempted.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2182 days

#14 posted 09-11-2012 09:56 PM

The lumberjocks crew led me to a starter set at MCLS. I have only used 3 of them on pine but I have no complaints at all.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2251 days

#15 posted 09-11-2012 11:52 PM

I will take somewhat of a contrarian position here. Generally when you purchase a set of any tool, you get some sizes you will use and others you will you will likely never use. I have a set of round over router bits and have never used 3 of the 6. That essentially doubled the price for the ones I have used. So you will pay more for the pieces you actually use than you would if you purchased them individually when you actually needed them. Therefore, my suggestion would be to select the sizes you think you will use and ask for only those. Your donors’ funds will go further for your toys. FWIW

-- Art

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