Best Forstner Bits

Best Forstner Bit for Woodworking – Reviews & Buying Guide 2023

Drill bits that are usually used in woodwork projects like furniture making are known as a forstner bit.  The geometry of drill bits differ depending on the drill being used. Examples of geometry aspects that are many drills have include a spiral, point angle and lip angle. These aspects determine the use of the drills, for example a drill with a spiral rate will be used on jobs that require faster feed rates. Now, drill bits are usually used together with drill presses or hand held drills to create holes in metals, plastic and wood materials. In many occasions forstner bits are costly when compared with the normal twist bits but they have fewer desirable features.

The Most Important Criteria For Choosing Forstner Bits

In order to be able to define the decisive points of criticism before the purchase of forstner bits, some considerations must be taken into account before the purchase decision.

The Most Important Criteria For Choosing Forstner Bits

Ultimately, the choice of a particular model is always one of the most important issues. This also determines if the forstner bits meet your expectations and fulfills its purpose for a longer period of time.

  • The first criterion is, therefore, when, how often and for what drill forstner bits are needed. Each product must be durable and robust, especially if it is used frequently or even constantly.
  • The quality of the forstner bits is therefore, together with the other characteristics of the forstner bits, the most important point. This is the only way to decide if your choice is the right product.
  • Therefore, consider what the forstner bits should be able to do to meet your needs before looking through the whole selection of forstner bit comparison.
  • The brands, sizes and adjustments, as well as the areas of application provided, facilitate the selection.
  • You should think about it from the beginning: What size, performance and adjustments your ideal forstner drill should have. This will facilitate the selection in the next steps. Your own needs are also one of the most important criteria here and play a decisive role in finding the perfect forstner bits.

Editor Choice Top 5 Forstner Bit 

Top Ten Forstner Drill Bits Reviews

1. PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece (PC1014)

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Drill bit sets need to have variety. There is nothing more stressful than having drill bits for every size except the particular size that you need. The Porter Cable set contains drill bits of many sizes which is very nice. They come with 14 different sizes so this eliminates any questions or guesswork when it comes to choosing a drill bit.

There is also nothing more annoying than lugging around a giant case for all the drill bits that takes up a lot of space. The case that the Porter Cable comes with is very small, easy to carry, and does not take up a lot of space.

This is really good for anyone who does not have a big workspace to work with. Additionally, different than some forstner drill bit sets, it is possible to place these bits into a hand drill.

Porter-Cable PC1014 14-Piece Forstner Drill Bit Set
  • Optimized Cutting Angles For Flat Bottom Holes
  • Open Tooth Design For Clean Fast Holes

Because the Porter Cable set has so much variety, there is a price to pay. And that price is that they can dull very quickly and require constant resharpening. This makes sense because the case comes with so many bits and that they are packed so tightly in the case.

If you leave all the bits in the very small case it comes with in an area with extreme temperatures, it can dull the bits because they are packed so tightly together. 

2. IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece (1966893)

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A common issue with most forstner bit sets is that the sizes are sometimes not diverse enough. These sets often contain sizes that are either too far apart, or sizes that are too close together. Irwin’s set solves this problem by having enough different sizes in their set to fit any kind of situation.

There are 14 pieces Irwin’s set, ranging from ¼ of an inch to 2 inches. This is just diverse enough for most all situations, but does not contain an overwhelming amount of pieces. The case itself opens up like a briefcase, and is very small and compact compared to other sets. There are individual spaces for each bit, which makes it easy to stay organized.

The only thing about Irwin’s set that may cause issues is the quality. Sharpness will always be an issue when it comes to forstner sets, and Irwin’s set is not as good as it could be as far as sharpness is concerned.

IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, Wood Drill Bits, Made of Carbon Steel, Ideal for Fine Woodworking,...
  • Easily Drills High-Quality Flat-Bottomed And Pocket Holes
  • Features Optimized Ultra-Sharp Cutting Teeth Specifically Engineered To Cut Through Hard And Soft Woods Smoothly And Efficiently

It is not uncommon to find chipped edges on the bits in this particular set, which takes away from the overall quality of the set as well. If you intend to connect these to a drill that you use regularly, you may want to reconsider, as it is clear that Irwin’s forstner bit set is not designed for professional carpenters but for those who do carpentry as a hobby.

3. Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank, 16-Piece

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Very few sets are better than Steelex when it comes to variety. Not only does it contain 16 pieces with very diverse sizes, it also comes with a hex shank, which many forstner bit sets do not contain. This provides a bit for almost any situation, which is fantastic. The hex shank that is comes with is ⅜ of an inch.

The case for Steelex’s set looks very nice and does a good job of organizing the bits. The case itself is made of wood and it folds under the bottom, which allows for easier access than the usual plastic cases which only fold halfway. This will save a lot of space when using these when working.

Some forstner bit sets are designed for professional carpenters who work every day and some sets are designed for those who work occasionally. Steelex’s set is designed for the latter. The bits are easy to use, but are not able to be used on certain pieces of wood.

Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank, 16-Piece
  • Country Of Origin : China
  • Package Weight : 5.2 Lbs

Furthermore, Steelex’s bits are not designed for multiple uses either. Anybody who does occasional woodwork will enjoy them, but those who do woodwork on a consistent basis will need to look elsewhere.

4. Freud 16 Pcs. Precision Shear Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit Set 1/4-Inch to 2-1/8-Inch (PB-100)

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The problem with a majority of forstner drill bits is that there is a lot of guesswork involved in how strong they are. It is usually uncertain whether the bits can be used frequently or occasionally until you begin using them yourself. This can be very frustrating for anybody who does woodwork, whether they use their drill frequently or occasionally.

Freud’s drill bit set eliminates this guesswork right away. The serrated edges on the bits ensure that they are strong enough to be used frequently. When you attach these bits to your drill, there will be no risk of a bottom that isn’t smooth or a bore that is not smooth. While forstner bits that are designed for occasional use also promise this, Freud’s set promises it every time. Again, the serrated edges of the bits make this possible.

Different sizes will not be an issue either with Freud’s set. The set contains drill bits as small as ¼ of an inch to 2 and ⅛ inches, which means you’re nearly guaranteed to have a bit ready for any situation.

Freud PB-100: 1/4" to 2-1/8" (Dia.) 16 Pcs. Forstner Bit Set
  • Specs: Diameter 1/4" to 2-1/8", Length 3-1/2", Rotation RH, Shank 1/4" to 3/8"
  • Razor-sharp serrated edges give smooth and flat-bottom holes.

Because of the serrated edges of the bits, this set is not as forgiving as the forstner drill bit sets that are designed for occasional use, and they will require more concentration when drilling with them. Another possible issue with Freud’s set is the packaging and the case. The case is not as organized as most other forstner drill bit sets, as the bits do not have designated spaces inside of the case.

5. Grizzly Industrial H7694 – Master Forstner Bit 31 pc. Set

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At a whopping 31 pieces, Grizzly offers complete peace of mind when it comes to which drill bits to use. Anybody who uses this set for woodwork will never need to worry if they have the right size for their drill.
With all these pieces, you would think that the case that Grizzly’s set comes in would be very crowded and disorganized. This is not an accurate assumption, as the storage box is not only made of wood and is very durable, but it also has designated places for each and every drill bit. It is very clear to detect what size goes where and this is very important, especially when dealing with so many pieces.

Anybody who does crafting frequently will want to stay away from Grizzly’s set. While it does come with a lot of pieces, there is a major sacrifice. And that sacrifice is quality. Expect an unusually high amount of deviation with these bits, as they do are not as firm to the chuck as they should be.

Grizzly Industrial H7694-31-Piece Mega Forstner Bit Set
  • Each bit is precision ground and sharpened, clearly size marked and organized in a fitted wooden case.
  • Hex shanks fit 3/8" drill chucks and prevent chuck slippage that otherwise leads to scarring and decreased accuracy

Another reason why everyday crafters may want to stay away is because of how the sizes are displayed on the bits. Most forstner drill bits that are designed for frequent use have the sizes engraved. Grizzly’s set does not do this, so if they are used frequently, the printed size is likely to fade.

6. Black Friday Forstner Drill Bit (16Pcs 15mm-35mm Drill Bits)

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When being used frequently, forstner drill bits can get dull. This is especially true if the bits are made of medium quality metals and if they are designed to cut very deep and fast, which is common of any given forstner drill bit.

Because Baban’s set is made of tungsten, they last a very long time. This is ideal for anybody who does frequent crafting, as they will not need to worry about sharpening their drill bits, which can be troublesome.

Forstner drill bits either come in a plastic case or a wooden case. Baban’s set comes in the former, with each drill bit contained in its own designated space. Plastic cases are a bit more durable than wooden ones as well, which is nice.

Something that users may have some trouble with is the measurements of the sizes. While most drill bits are measured in inches, the ones in Baban’s set are measured in millimeters. While this is negligible to those who use millimeters to measure things anyway, this could be troublesome to those who have always measured things in inches. The fact that there is no option to order a set that displays the bit sizes in inches is not good either.

The tungsten design of Baban’s forstner drill bits make them difficult to control. When using them, you will want to be extra careful because if you are not, you will experience a lot more deviation than you want or expect.

7. Freud FB-107 7-Piece Forstner Drill Bit Set

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There are two major issues that crafters face when using forstner drill bits.

The first of these is deviation. Something that happens with a lot of forstner drill bits is that they can lose their stability when being used, sometimes getting thrown off center. This can result in the intended holes having an imperfect diameter.

The bits in Freud’s 7 piece hold their centering much better than other forstner bits, providing a lot more balance even when compared against their other sets.

Another issue that crafters face are durability. This is especially true when it comes to people who craft often and need to use their forstner bits more often than others. Fortunately for these types, Freud’s 7 piece set last very long, with users claiming that they have drilled nearly 60 holes with the set.

Freud PB-107 Precision Shear 7 Piece 1/4-Inch to 1-Inch Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit Assortment
1,273 Reviews

Anybody who is looking for a set that is diverse in size will probably need to choose another set, as only 7 pieces come in this set. The size increments are ⅛ of an inch, which can also be troublesome. Do not get this set if you do not know exactly how big or small you need your forstner drill bits to be. If you are unsure, you are much better off getting a set with more pieces.

8. IVY Classic 46180 5-Piece Forstner Bit Set, High-Speed Steel, Wooden Case

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Common forstner bits can get dull and unless in the hands of a very advanced craftsman, can encounter issues staying straight.

Ivy Classic’s set ensures that none of these are issues at all.

While they are longer than some other forstner bits, that does not matter. They are just as efficient as any other high quality forstner drill bits, if not better. You would expect that there would be some imbalances when drilling deeper, but that is surprisingly not the case..

Worrying about how centered Ivy Classic’s forstner bits are will never be an issue. The spurs on the bits are much sharper than other forstner bits and this is what helps center them.

Weighing in at a 52 to 56 on Rockwell’s hardness scales, durability is also not an issue with Ivy Classic’s set. It will be possible to drill dozens of holes with these bits without needing to worry if they are getting worn down.

IVY Classic 46180 5-Piece Forstner Bit Set, High-Carbon Steel, Wooden Case
  • Tapered rim cuts clean, smooth pocket holes, angled holes and flat bottom holes in wood and plywood, Swift Bore (Registered Trademark)
  • Sharp spur centers and guides bit

Different than most other sets, you need to know exactly what sizes you need when getting Ivy Classic’s set. They only come in the following sizes (measured in inches): ¾, ⅞, 1, 1-¼, and 1-⅜. No other size is included in the set.

9. DerBlue 5Pcs Professional Forstner Drill Bit Set Woodworking Hole Saw Wood Cutter

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It is always nice to have drill bits that are easily accessible and come in many shapes and sizes. The problem with most drill bits are that often they do not have a diverse amount of sizing for the job that needs to be done.

Most sets do not have enough sizes or settings to do everything somebody needs to do when it comes to shop work. One of the best things about the DerBlue set is that it comes with just the right amount of bits to do whatever is necessary. They range from 15mm to 35mm in size of the bits that can be connected to them, and can fit most drills which is also a very nice thing about the DerBlue set.

There are a couple of issues with the DerBlue set. The first issue is that they do not arrive really sharp. In all probability, it will be necessary to sharpen the bits in the set before using them as they do arrive more dull than normally.

Also, if you have a rotary drill or even a hand drill, it will be close to impossible to attach the DerBlue bits to them. They just do not seem to have the flexibility to perform well on a hand drill as they would on a drill press.

10. Woodworking Forstner Drill Bits Sets, 17 PCS

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The number one thing that most shop workers look for when looking for a new set of drill bits is variety. If they have a lot of work to do and have a very diverse and large workspace that requires a diverse amount of drill bit sizes for different jobs, they will not care about sharpening their drill bits if they get dull.

The Heheinc drill bit set contains literally anything and everything necessary for any kind of job that requires drilling, as it comes with an astounding 17 pieces. There is no drilling job that cannot be accomplished if you possess the Heheinc drill bit set.

It is standard that drill bits like these will become dull and will encounter wear and tear quickly. Many people who do a lot of woodwork accept this. The Heheinc drill bit set, like any other forstner drill bit sets do.

Woodworking Forstner Drill Bits Sets, HEHEINC 17 PCS Carbon High Speed Steel Wood Working Hole...
  • Material: Made of high quality Carbide Tungsten Steel, with hot process, high hardness, high precision, high toughness, smooth cutting and high resistance to impact.
  • Highly working efficiency: With highly hardness and excellent workmanship design, these forstner drill bits can be used for high speed rotary drilling, and the perforation is neat, smooth, no broken edge, also wood chips can be discharged quickly. Safety and labor saving.

But one other thing that may turn people off from this particular drill bit set is how they are packaged. They do not appear to come in any kind of case that can be carried around. Some report that some of the bits come in a case and some come in a bag. This can make things very disorganized for someone who works with drill bits often.

Where Did The Forstner Bit Come From?

Forster bits were invented by Benjamin Forstner and hence the name. Such bits bore flat bottomed precise holes in respect to the grain of the wood that is to be used. Such can be used to make holes overlapping other holes and even make holes from the edge of blocks of wood.

Where Did The Forstner Bit Come From?

Because of their abilities to create flat bottomed holes, they can be used to add inlays by creating holes on already glued veneer. And because they require a lot of force to push them up into the material they are drilling, forstner bit are usually used in lathes or drill presses and not as portable drills. This makes them a bad choice when it comes to looking for hand held drilling tools. Another reason as to why forstner bits are often used in lathes or drill presses and not as hand-held drilling tools is that its nature at times makes it difficult to move it through the materials they are used to drill. Therefore, when using forstner bits, it is important to remember not to depend on the centers of these tools in guiding the drill deeper into the wood.

Now, a forstner bit consists of center points that lead it through the cutting. Its cylindrical cutter shears the fibers of wood at the ends of the bore, also guiding the whole bit into the material it is drilling more precisely. Majority of forstner bits also have radial edges used to plane off the materials they are used to cut at the end of a hole. Different forstner bits will have varying numbers of radial edges depending on their designs. For the reason that these drills do not have any mechanism to get off chips from the holes they drill, they have to be pulled out regularly to have the chips removed. Earlier on, forstner bits were commonly used by gunsmiths because they were very good at drilling holes with exceeding smooth sides. In addition to the above, forstner bits can be used to create holes with square bottoms hence making it possible to be used for applications that require such shapes of holes.

Again, another benefit of using forstner bits is that such are more effective in drilling larger volumes of wood in a very short time. Finally, just like the majority of other drills, you can get a forstner bit in many varieties, giving users freedom of choice. Continue Reading Wood Lathe.

Why Should You use Forstner Bit?

To drill in hard and soft woods

A drill bit is often used for the general drill where the concentrically of the hole and the precision of the size are not very important, woodworkers can choose from a variety of styles of drill bits: wood drill bits, mortising drill bits, drill bits shovel, drill bits for conical holes or helicoidal bits made of HSS steel or hard metal , among others.

However, for holes on wood or plastic in uncomfortable or difficult to handle places, that have a precise size and that have flat and clean backgrounds, Forstner bits are the best option.

Why Should You use Forstner Bit?

Also drilling precise holes with clean edges and edges in hard and soft woods, plywood, MDF and laminates, these bits can improve their efficiency in holes with angled drilling, overlapping holes and holes in the edge of the material.

Note: For holes in MDF boards or abrasive boards, drilling tools with tungsten carbide plates are recommended.

Forstner drill usually have 2 flat curved edges with internal bevels, two anti-slash cuts and a centering tip

In general, they are available in diameters of up to 68 mm or more, depending on the manufacturer.

The drill bits have a configuration similar to the standard, except that the part that makes the outer diameter of the hole is notched.

These models can have diameters of approximately 10 mm to 100 mm.

Customers who have purchased a forstner bit : from the CMT brand in Tecnocorte, are more identified with the model with wavy cuts (without teeth), with a semicircle with a sharp edge in the inside curved part (wavy area).

The perception is that the wavy or scalloped contour cuts more quickly, produces less friction, reduces heat build-up and improves ejection of the chip.

 It also makes a great paper when drilling holes in angles

However to drill holes near the edge of the material is recommended to hold the piece with a jacks, clamps or screws, even more if the piece to be drilled is small or with regularities.

If you work with the right material without being too abrasive, without reheating the tool, you can sharpen between 15 to 25.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Why are Forstner Bits called Forstner Bits?

Yeah, we asked ourselves the same question! That’s because the name of the person who invented Forstner Bits is Benjamin Forstner.

Q. Can Forstner Bits be used as portable drills?

Yes, but it isn’t wise to use them as portable drills. They are best used in mechanical drills like lathes.

Q. How wide is the drill of a Forstner Bit?

That varies. It can have a diameter of 10-100 mm.

Q. Is a wavy Forstner Bit better?

Some Forstner Bits are wavier than others. It is generally observed that the Forstner Bits with wavy contour cuts better, and are overall better as well.

Q. Can a Forstner Bit cut large volumes of wood in a short time?

You bet! That’s the charm of Forstner Bits: efficient drilling.

A Final Word – Our Personal Recommendation

To be honest, we truly love all of the forstner bits mentioned here but we personally recommend you to buy:

Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank, 16-Piece
  • Country Of Origin : China
  • Package Weight : 5.2 Lbs

It will definitely fulfill all of your requirements and will do a great job of organizing the bits for you. I’m sure you’ll love them just as much as we do!

Related Article: Dowel jig Kit

Last update on 2024-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. WaterFilterly is user-supported. We might receive a commission on any purchase you make through clicking links on this page.

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