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Forum topic by DKV posted 08-12-2013 08:29 PM 1213 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3940 posts in 2529 days

08-12-2013 08:29 PM

About five years ago I bought a set of Freud forstner bits (set of 7) and have been very satisfied. They were expensive but they were recommended by a number of woodworking magazines. I use every bit except the 1 3/8” bit…maybe I used it a time or two but it still looks unused. I’ve had a couple of projects that have required bits bigger than 1 3/8”. I could have added Freud bits but why when I will probably only use the bigger bits a small number of times. I purchased a Steelex 1 1/2” and 1 9/16” from Amazon and they work just fine. They cost a 1/3 of the price of Freud. When I was making cabinets for the wife I had to order a mm (30 or 40) bit for the European style hinges and have not had a need since. How do you buy your bits? Do you try to stay with your original brand? Do you go cheap for 1 or 2 time use? Or…do you borrow the bit?

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8 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2512 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 08:38 PM

The size of most hinges for the Euro hinges is 35mm….. I just use a 1 3/8” bit.

My Forstner bits came from Porter Cable, half the price of the Dewalts, and seem to be just as good. I’ve been using them for around 14 years.
I have sizes from 1/8” up to 3 1/4”, although I bought most of the ones larger than 1 1/2” separately.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2623 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 08:40 PM

I have bought them in sets, based on “value” in the past. When I need a certain size usually ends up being a higher priced/quality bit. I do see a difference between higher end bits, and the sets I usually drag home. Quicker cuts mostly.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#3 posted 08-12-2013 09:03 PM

I have the cheapest 7 bit set I could find and have added 3 or 4 Freud and Milwaukee as needed for specific jobs.
I have a couple 1 3/8” (35mm) bits because I bought one along with some euro hinges and didn’t realize my cheap set already had a 1 3/8” (35mm). For bigger holes I try to manage with hole saws. Wish I had a bigger set but other things have a higher priority for me.

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3688 days

#4 posted 08-12-2013 09:09 PM

Several years ago, I bought a set of Steelex Forstner bits. Most are OK, but two of them (3/4” and 7/8”) have so much runout the hole they drill is over-sized. I also have a 7 bit set of cheap bits from Menards (Tool Shop brand) ... they are spot on, with no runout.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3673 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 09:14 PM

depending on the needs of the project – if this is a one-off project, I’ll go cost-effective, if it’s a bit that is constantly used in most projects, I’ll go all-quality (long term minded). mind you – quality does not alwas equate highest-cost (I’ll usually refrain from getting anything with logs of bells and whistles which adds extra cost that I usually do not require)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2311 days

#6 posted 08-12-2013 09:35 PM

I have a couple of Freud fostners that were terrible with tear out in cherry right out of the box. My Ryobi set works great. Go figure.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2994 days

#7 posted 08-12-2013 10:33 PM

My forstner bits rarely see the light of day, a 20 piece set from on special offer. For the little flat bottomed drilling I do with them they are more than adequate. For euro hinges – 35mm & 26mm I bought tct tipped end mill cutters, expensive but durable which produce very clean holes.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1973 days

#8 posted 08-12-2013 11:04 PM

back when I did a lot of stairs I bought a 5/8, 3/4, and 1 1/2 Freud. I also have a 35 mill I got from my millwork supplier. It has nothing in it but the size. They are still wearing well. Other than those I pretty much use fly bit. I usually take a drill into lowes any test them for runout. The tool guy knows me and understands what I am doing. They just send them back as defective.

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