How sharp should Forstner drill bits be out of box?

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Forum topic by danoaz posted 11-14-2013 02:36 PM 856 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View danoaz's profile


222 posts in 2168 days

11-14-2013 02:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: forstner drill bits sharpen

I bought some Forstner drill bits that I would classify as medium priced. When I open the box and feel the sharpness they all feel like a dull knife. I didn’t really expect them to be Samurai sharp but I am really wondering if I need to sharpen them or just take them back. Anyone else experience this?

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

5 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#1 posted 11-14-2013 02:43 PM

I don’t know if there is any objective way to describe what they should feel like out of the box, but you should not have to sharpen them before you use them.

I would try them out and see what happens.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2485 days

#2 posted 11-14-2013 02:49 PM

I have an old cheap set of Forstners I bought used about 10 years ago.
All of them except the 1/4” and 3/8” bits will cut you if you run your finger along the edge.

The 1/4” I dropped on a cinder block stack and the 3/8” hit a hidden screw. They both still work but not well.

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

View JollyGreen67's profile


1669 posts in 2760 days

#3 posted 11-14-2013 05:13 PM

A whole sharper than those POS things by Ryobi, which chunk their way through wood!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1749 days

#4 posted 11-14-2013 09:14 PM

Don’t fuss about it, just sharpen them to your liking. A dremel with a small cone point will sharpen the rim knife and teeth, and a small triangle file sharpens the raker blade. I sharpen my Forstners any time they need it and it’s not difficult.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3241 days

#5 posted 11-14-2013 10:32 PM

If the shavings come off in a nice spiral without burning or using an excessive amount of force, they are sharp enough.

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