Which forstner bit set?

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Forum topic by MonsterWoodworker posted 11-24-2014 01:54 PM 3937 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1307 days

11-24-2014 01:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: forstner drill bit question

Well, I have finally taken the plunge and signed up for Lumberjocks and this is my first Forum Topic post ! I have been a woodworker for for 20+ years and have utilized Lumberjocks through the years to get tons of information and answers to all my woodworking questions, read down-to-earth product reviews and have gotten great inspiration from all the pics and blog entries on projects and jigs.

However, I have scoured the web and I am at a loss to which Forstner Bit Set to purchase. Like many of you I started with a basic 7 Piece Porter Cable Forstner Bit Set from HD but have recently found a need for different sizes not included in this set as my skill level and project difficulty expand. I have narrowed my choice down to buy from Grizzly either the hex shank “H7694 Master Forstner Bit 31 PC. Set” ($90.95 +shipping) or the “D3573 Steelex Forstner Bit 16 PC. Set” ($39.95+shipping). I have read all the publication and web reviews and these essentially are the same bits (short of the 31 piece set having the 1/16” filler sizes) and the quality/value of these will fit the bill.

So, what’s the issue? I am somewhat of a simpleton/minimalist (it’s not the $50 difference) and do not want to purchase the 31 piece set if the 16 piece set will work just fine. If I do not NEED the 31 piece set I would rather stretch my $50 and actually buy more wood! I would love to hear from people who own both the 16 piece set and the 31 piece set (...or originally purchased a 16 piece set and later picked up a “filler” set like the Grizzly “H5862 15 PC. Carbide Forstner Bit Filler Set”). Do you feel the 16 piece set is lacking? Is the 31 piece set overkill? Do you find the 31 piece set bit options to be a real project-saver? Is the 16 piece set more then enough? I appreciate and look forward to all your opinions and insight.

aka: MonsterWoodworker

8 replies so far

View JerryLH's profile


134 posts in 1336 days

#1 posted 11-24-2014 02:12 PM

I have often asked nearly the same question – what is the best brand of forstner bits. They all lood good new in the box, but we all know all steel is not the same.

Thanks Greg for the question – I’ll be watching the answers you get.

Send me no flowers
when I’m gone,
Come see me today.


-- Develop your character -- for it becomes your destiny. Jerry - Mannford, Ok

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2602 days

#2 posted 11-24-2014 02:28 PM

Welcome to LJ’s Greg.

I’d purchase what you need as opposed to a larger set which you may or may not use.

Spendy are the Colts forstner bits but worth it:

I purchased one for end grain on my lathe and it works well and the chip extraction
is better than a regular forstner bit.

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1362 days

#3 posted 11-24-2014 08:12 PM

I bought a set of the cheapo Chinese forstners that come in the wood box. They work well. No complaints.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View runswithscissors's profile


2766 posts in 2050 days

#4 posted 11-24-2014 11:29 PM

If you know you’ll be making the same projects over and over, get the fewest possible bits. If you’re like me, you don’t know what you’ll be making next, and are sure to need a size you don’t have. There have been occasions when I really would have liked the in-between sizes.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View greenacres2's profile


324 posts in 2193 days

#5 posted 11-25-2014 01:41 AM

I bought a set of Fisch 1/4” to 2” by 1/8’s. The set was used, but only 2 of the bits—rest were brand new. In under 6 months of hobby projects—i’ve probably used all but 4 or 5. Things like making a radius cut before jig sawing waste, holes for wire grommets, whatever. I knew i would use them, i just didn’t realize that once they were on the shelf i’d start thinking differently about what i could do.


View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1511 days

#6 posted 11-25-2014 01:59 AM

1/4”-2” in 1/8” increments at least. By bigger as you need em.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2540 days

#7 posted 11-25-2014 02:12 AM

Although I also own the PC set, and have used it extensively, I find that the larger set which I also own in a Chinese brand comes in handy for odd jobs and those strange projects where the right bit is just not in the PC set. I always say, if you don’t use it every day, get the one with more, since you will not wear it out that fast.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3557 days

#8 posted 11-25-2014 02:48 AM

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