Forstner bits-good quality brand?

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Forum topic by tdallen47 posted 04-22-2015 01:14 PM 1210 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 1213 days

04-22-2015 01:14 PM

I’ve just started putting a woodworking shop together and want to buy a forstner bit kit say 1/4’’ to 3’’ in size. BUT there are so many brands out there Irwin, Shars, Hickory, Rockler. Now I’m sure some of these are made in china, not my preference BUT I need a bit that will last a while before replacing, who has experience in a recommendation of brand,etc. thanks. I don’t want the cheapest but not the most expensive either, just all around good quality and will last reasonably some length of time.

8 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2942 posts in 2199 days

#1 posted 04-22-2015 01:30 PM

I bought a Porter Cable set went from 1/4” to 2 1/8” It skipped a couple sizes). It was on sale really cheap at Lowe’s or Woodcraft. It does a good job.
I would not get a set out to 3” it will be expensive and most sizes you won’t use. I had to buy a 1 3/4” and 2 3/8” bits separately. I haven’t had a need for anything else yet.

The set waho6o9 posted a link to is the one i bought. Check your local Borgs You might catch it cheaper.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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8207 posts in 2603 days

#2 posted 04-22-2015 01:34 PM

Buy what you need and when you need it is another approach. Spendy ^

A good all rounder set to start out with ^

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2520 days

#3 posted 04-22-2015 01:37 PM

I’ve had a set of Freud carbide edged forstners for over 15 years. They’ve been sharpened (once, I think) and are still going strong. I expect them to last for a whole lot longer. But I also have some Freud HSS forstners, and frankly they cut a cleaner hole. I haven’t used any of these to the point they need sharpening and they’ve done really well. Highly recommend either, but for long life: the carbide bits.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2396 days

#4 posted 04-22-2015 03:00 PM

I have some Freud bits and I think they’ve worked great so far. Like others have said, unless you have a need for a particular larger size, I’d buy them as you need them. I think a set with smaller sizes (maybe up to 3/4” or 1”) would do pretty much anything you need to do. I find that I use mine mostly for roughing out mortises, and those typically use bits under 1/2”. The only large size I have is the one I purchased when it came time to install euro hinges.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View bondogaposis's profile


4767 posts in 2378 days

#5 posted 04-22-2015 04:19 PM

Lately I have been getting my bits from Lee Valley and I have been a lot happier w/ those than the Chinese ones I have in my collection.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2284 days

#6 posted 04-22-2015 11:52 PM

I use and like Fisch forstner bits. As has been mentioned, just buy the sizes you need as you need them.

-- Art

View iminmyshop's profile


284 posts in 2021 days

#7 posted 04-23-2015 12:29 AM

No matter what you use, RUN THEM SLOWLY to avoid burning the bit.


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#8 posted 04-23-2015 07:22 AM

A fairly common larger size required is the 35mm or 1 3/8” diameter.
That bit is required to install hidden cabinet hinges.
Otherwise, I find the sets that go up to 1” cover most of my needs.
A good set of brad point bits is very useful as well.

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