Sometimes when I want to make flat bottomed holes, I like to drill with Forstner bits. I don’t use them as often as other tools but I like to get picky with my bits as most of you already know, woodworking and joinery jobs can be tough if you do not have the right tools for the job. For other uses of Forstner bits, Rockler has explained it very well here.
If you’ve done the work before, you know how having a good Forstner bit set is very vital as Forstner bits are fragile and need to handle with moderated speed. Even a good Forstner Bit can get ruined easily if you used too much force or drill too fast. While there are many good brands of Forstner bits out there, making a choice for the best is also another problem.
In this article, we guide you on the choice process. Most importantly, we review the top Forstner bits and advise you on how you should go about the purchase process. Let’s get started!
If you are in a hurry, our choice for the best Forstner bits is the PORTER- PC1014 for its excellent design and durability.
Here is our list of Top 4 Best Forstner Bit Sets
#1: Freud 7 Pcs. Precision Shear Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bits – Best Value
I am a loyal fan of Freud but that does not mean why this set is our top choice.
If you want flawless cutting, then this might be the Forstner bit that you have been searching for. It tops our list and is, in fact, our best cheap Forstner bit. We picked it because of its top rating even after many reviews by users. This is evidence of great acceptance and possibly, an outstanding performance.
With its steep angled cutting edges, this drill bit produces smooth holes that are flat at the bottom as well. Also, the edges are razor sharp for ease of cutting. Besides, its geometric design makes chip removal easy for clean drilling. In a nutshell, having drill bits of this type makes your work easy and efficient since you’ll use little effort to do the work. The edges also produce a great shearing action for more efficient cutting.
Freud Precision bits are highly versatile as well. You can use them to drill hardwoods, softwoods, and plywoods among other materials. If these are the materials you want to drill, then you might have just found your dream drill bit.
- Can drill flat bottom holes, overlapping holes, and pocket holes since it has multiple cutting edges
- Its edges are razor-sharp serrated that cut faster with less splintering and chipping
- Operates faster with rotational speeds for efficient drilling/cutting
- It tends to get dull quickly and holes you drill using it may need sanding
#2: PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece (PC1010) – Best Overall
Our best Forstner bit set is the PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set. It is a top-rated option with great features as you’ll see here. First, it has optimized cutting angles that make it possible to produce flat bottom holes with it. The same feature also makes it a perfect option if you want a fine smooth finish in all the holes you drill.
When it comes to the design, PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bits have an open tooth design. It is this unique design that makes it the best when you want to drill faster and clean holes. The bits are also made of hardened steel for enhanced durability. The material also gives them great strength to withstand the pressure of drilling. It is thus best both for home as well as commercial use.
As a potential buyer, you should also note that PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bits come as a set composed of various sizes. With it, you’ll possibly have bits that will meet your drilling needs. If you drill for commercial purposes, then this might meet your needs since it is a highly versatile option.
- Open tooth design gives them the ability to cut great and smoothly
- Made of hardened steel for long life
- Some users claim that one bit handles only a few holes then gets dull hence might not be good for multiple tasks.
#3: IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set – Best Budget Pick
IRWIN is a reputable brand in the market. Its products including drill bits are famous for their high-quality and great strength. That’s why the Marples Forstner Bits by Irwin are top-rated and remain among the best. We picked them for their efficiency and ability to produce smooth holes.
Just like the other two already reviewed bits, the IRWIN types can produce flat-bottomed as well as pocket holes. Its cutting angles also maximize speed. Furthermore, their design enables them to produce clean holes.
With their smaller shank size, these bits are ideal for many drilling activities. You can use them for cabinet making as well as woodworking and many other activities. In all these activities and others, these bits cut quickly and more accurately.
- Their tough carbon steel construction helps them remain sharp
- Sharp and can make large holes quickly hence making chisel work easier
- Nice range of sizes to suit different drilling/cutting roles
- Does not do well for any use outside woodworking
#4: Grizzly H7694 Master Forstner Bit Set – Best for Versatility
I believed it is one of the best Forstner bits out there for woodworking. My friends also agreed that having the Grizzly H7694 Master Forstner Bit Set makes woodworking an easy task for it comes with bits of various sizes ranging from small to larger ones. This feature increases their versatility, making it a great choice for those people looking for a great variety of bits in one set.
Hex shanks of Grizzly H7694 bits can easily fit 3/8 inches drill chucks. This feature prevents slippage and also increases accuracy when cutting. Also, each bit is sharpened, size marked, and all are kept well in wooden case. This makes it easy to carry and store them especially if you want tools to use over a long time.
In a nutshell, the Grizzly H7694 Master Forstner Bits work flawlessly. More specifically, they cut easily and smoothly. Every woodworker no doubt wants such features. This can, therefore, be the right option for you if you desire such great features.
- It comes as a set with almost every bit size you need hence it can help drill a wide variety of holes. For the price, you get a good number of Forstner bits you could possibly need.
- Bits have marks of size and are neatly put in a case for durability and ease of carrying.
- Some users have complained that larger bits are not very good in comparison with small ones
- Made in China, the quality could be better.
Picking one from these four options is now a simple task. If you want the cheapest, you now know which one is okay. If your Forstner bit is one from a reputable brand, you know which one to pick. The most important thing for you is to get one that will meet your needs fully.
Forstner Bits Buying Guide
Before you decide to acquire any drilling tool, there are a few things to consider. Doing so can help you get a durable bit that will make your woodwork easier. It is, therefore, very vital and necessary to have a guide. Essentially, a guide helps you to narrow down from many options to a single one. Here are very vital things you should check when purchasing a Forstner drill bit:
Type of Edge
Different Forstner drill bits have different edge types. These edges determine how you use them. They are also designed to suit different drilling tasks. Some are meant to drill faster at high speeds, others for smooth holes and others for better heat dissipation.
Common edge types include wavy edge, knife-edge, and razor-sharp edges. As you can easily suggest from the names of these edges, they differ in their speed of cutting. Others are fast while others are not but can drill large holes and last longer. You should thus bear this in mind when making a choice.
The material used determines the durability of the bit you buy. Some are made of strong metals while others are made of a bit lighter metals. The materials not only determine lifespan, but they also determine the cost of the bit. Usually, the tough ones sell for a bit higher price than those of lighter materials and it usually indicate higher quality Forstner bits.
Common materials used in the making of Forstner drill bits are high-speed steel and carbide-based steels. In addition to the material, some bits also have a coating. All these have a very vital role to play in the lifespan of the bit you buy. You should thus check it carefully before you finally decide to pick one.
Bits come in different sizes to suit the varying needs of woodworkers. Some want to drill large holes while others want smaller ones. As a buyer, your decision should depend on the size of holes you’ll be drilling with your bits. It is, however, recommendable that you acquire a set that has a variety of sizes ranging from small ones to big sizes. There are good Forstner bits sets that have this feature. Get one and make your work easier.
Price, brand and customer reviews are also important to check when deciding on the type of Forstner drill bit to purchase. In a nutshell, the type of drill bit you get depends on many things. Most importantly, it depends on what you plan to do with the bit. These should guide your decision-making process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Use Forstner Bits With?
You can use Forstner drill bits with a drill press as well as handheld drills
Can I Sharpen My Forstner Drill Bit?
Yes, if you feel it’s not sharp enough, you can sharpen it to increase its cutting ability
What Size is the Most Appropriate?
It depends on what you want to do but generally, bit sizes ranging from 1inch to 3/8 inch are the best sizes.
The best Forstner bit depends on the work you want to do with it. Each brand in the market has a specific role that is designed for. As a woodworker, I own the Grizzly H7694 Forstner bit set and I just loved it for its outstanding quality. This guide of using Forstner bit was really helpful when I first start.
However, the most important thing to consider is whether the features of the bit you are considering match the work you plan to do. Price and other considerations are vital as well. But what benefit will you gain to buy the cheapest but fail to complete the work you have? Well, that is something you should think about. With this guide, however, your choice process is easy now. Make use of it, and make your woodwork easy with your good Forstner bits set. Check out our other guide for buying good drill bits for wood, countersink bit and brad point drill bit.