Forstner bits are near indispensable for anyone who is interested in woodworking.
No other type of bits can make holes as smooth or precise as Forstner bits can. Not only that, but you can also drill 90° holes, angled holes, and overlapping holes with these bits. That’s why getting the best Forstner bit set should be your priority.
However, Forstner can be quite pricey at times, and getting individual bits based on your momentary needs might be inefficient in the long run. That is why it is wise to buy a Forstner bit set, which comes with bits of multiple sizes that will serve you well for a long time.
In this article, we will take a look at 9 Forstner bit sets to help you make the right choice.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Before we review the 9 products in this article, we should talk about the things you need to take into consideration. This will give you a much clearer idea of what to focus on while reading the best Forstner bit set reviews.
- Build Quality
The bits in the bit set should always have a firm build. Otherwise, it will affect the quality of the drilling. Bits made out of high Carbon steel are usually ideal for drilling purposes, and so you should look out for that.
- Units of Measurement
This really depends on the area you reside in or what is more convenient to you. If you live in the US and prefer metric units, then you should buy a bit set labeled in metric units, i.e., inches. But if you prefer using imperial units instead, then you should try to get bits that are labeled in millimeters or centimeters.
- Number of Bits
You should keep in mind that one of the key reasons for buying a complete bit set is so that you don’t have to run to the market for individual bits. So with that in mind, you should make sure the bit set you are buying has sufficient pieces. It is good to have more than 10 bits.
There are two types of shanks in bits. They are round shank and hex shank. Round shanks are for drill presses, and hex shanks are for impact drivers.
Bits are small tools that can get lost easily. That is why packaging is very important for bits. You should try to buy a bit set that also comes in a strong and well-organized box.
9 Best Forstner Bit Set Reviews
What is the finest Forstner bit set? We will try to answer this question by reviewing the following bit sets and determining what works and what doesn’t.
PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set
As we have said, it is good to have at least 10 pieces in your bit set, and this one comes with 14, which will satisfy your needs and then some. The bits range from 0.25 inches to 2 inches of size.
Even though this product comes with so many bits of various sizes, it is not too expensive. In fact, this bit set is actually quite budget-friendly and has great value for money. The build quality is absolutely top-notch as it is made of Carbon steel. This greatly influences the durability of the bits.
And this bit set is extremely versatile as it not only has bits of various sizes, but it also has bits of various types, which include knife-edge, sawtooth edge, and wavy edge bits. Thus you can use the bits in the bit set for multiple purposes.
However, it is worth mentioning that you need to use these bits with extra care because they may become dull after a few minutes of use. This is a result of the excessive friction they are guilty of producing. The drilling is also very slow because of the limitations of the bits.
- Comes 14 pieces of bits
- Has a wide variety of bits of different sizes
- Very budget-friendly
- Made of Carbon steel that makes it firm and durable
- Bits become dull after a few minutes of use
- Drilling is slow compared to other bits
Freud Precision Shear Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit Set
Before moving further, we should mention that this is one of the more costly bit sets. Compared to the previous bit set, this one is extremely expensive. However, it has multiple redeeming qualities that make up for this price.
Firstly, it comes in a solid and well-organized box that keeps the bits safe. Freud consistently delivers when it comes to packaging, and this one is no exception. Secondly, there are 16 bits inside the box, and they come in various sizes.
Thirdly, these bits come with serrated edges. Because of this edge, you can drill larger holes much faster and with less friction. However, they are not the best at drilling angled and overlapping holes and so this set is weak when it comes to versatility.
But unlike the previous product, this one doesn’t slack off when it comes to longevity. Because of the low amount of friction it produces, it can go for a longer period of time with a high RPM. The solid construction of the bits also influences its durability.
Considering everything, you could even say that this is the best quality Forstner bit set.
- Comes in a solid and well-organized box
- Contains 16 bits of various sizes
- The bits come with a serrated edge
- Can run for a long time without getting dull
- Very expensive
- Not good for drilling angled or overlapping holes
Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set
The specialty of this bit set is the fact that it comes with both round and hex shanks. Thus you can use it in drill presses, handheld drills, and impact drivers. The range of sizes the bits come in is absolutely magnificent. And the smallest size is 0.25 inches, and the largest is 2.125 inches.
And the packaging is absolutely top-notch. All the bits come inside a strongbox and are kept safe and organized.
All of the bits are made of Carbon steel, which makes them very strong and adds a lot to the drilling power. However, this doesn’t successfully translate into higher durability. Many people have complained that after a few months, these bits lose their edge.
Furthermore, these bits produce a lot of friction, and thus the drill easily heats up. That makes these bits very difficult to work with.
- Comes with both round and hex shanks
- Has bits of almost all possible sizes
- Comes packaged in a strong and well-organized box
- Made of high-quality steel which adds to the drilling power
- Questionable durability
- Heats up easily which makes it difficult to work with
Grizzly Industrial H7694 Master Forstner Bit
Grizzly Industrial isn’t a company usually known for its superior quality, but you can always count on it to make up for its quality with insane volume. This bit set from Grizzly comes with 31 pieces, which is more than any other bit set on this list.
The bits in this set come with both round and hex shanks. So that adds a layer of versatility to the bits. There are bits of almost all possible sizes starting from 0.25 inches to 2.125 inches in this bit set. And all of them are packaged in a lovely wooden case.
Unfortunately, there is a strong argument to be made about the set being overpriced. The only notable feature it has is the number of bits, but that doesn’t justify its price. Furthermore, the bit set is quite difficult to use. It makes an annoying rattle every time you start using it, and that makes it tough to position it.
- Contains a total of 31 bits
- Has both hex and round shanks
- Contains bits of almost all possible sizes
- Comes packaged in a strong wooden case that keeps the bits safe
- Doesn’t have enough great features to justify its price
- Difficult to use because of the annoying rattles
IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set
This is one of the more budget-friendly options when it comes to bit sets. At a very low price, it delivers a lot of great features. For example, this bit set comes with 14 pieces. While it is no Grizzly, it also costs nearly 100$ less. So the amount is just perfect.
These bits come in great packaging. The box is sturdy and firm. And the bits inside the box are kept very well organized. A lot of people have attested to the durability of these bits. Most customers have said that these bits run exceptionally well even after years of use.
The bits in this set are wavy-edged, and thus, they are extremely fast. But the bits need more variety in them. The wavy-edged bits aren’t good when it comes to drilling angled holes. Besides, the size range of the bits is 0.25-1.375 inch which leaves a lot more to be desired.
- Has 14 bits of various sizes
- Comes with fantastic packaging
- Great durability that has been verified by multiple customers
- Can run very fast compared to other bits
- Lacking in variety
Freud PB-107 Forstner Bit Set
The last Freud product on this list was the most expensive product on the list. But this one is actually quite cheap and budget-friendly. But it has to sacrifice some big features to get to that price range. Firstly, it only has 7 pieces. So there is a huge chance that you might end up needing to buy additional bits when you need them.
Secondly, the bits that are available seriously lack variety. The size range for these bits is 0.25-1 inch. That leaves out bits of many crucial sizes.
However, there are things that this bit set does right. For example, it is extremely versatile, and the edges of the bits work great on plywood, hardwood, and softwood.
Again, it comes packaged in a strong and sturdy wooden case with great interior design to keep the tools safe. Even though this bit set lacks some heavy-duty bits, the ones that are available are perfect for light craftworks.
- Perfect bit set for light-duty woodworks
- Very cost-effective
- Comes in a wooden box
- Very versatile and works well in plywood, hardwood, and softwood
- Contains only 7 pieces
- Lacks any heavy-duty bits
IVY Classic 46180 Forstner Bit Set
This is an extremely cheap and affordable product. But just like the previous product, this one has to give up some features for being in this price range.
For starters, it only has 5 pieces, and that is barely sufficient. As we have mentioned, this not what you want if you are a professional in woodworking.
The sizes of the bit set are also lacking in variety but in the opposite sense compared to the last product. And the size range is 0.75-1.375 inches, which is fit for drilling large holes but not good for drilling precise small holes.
Besides that, the bits in this set are very durable and long-lasting. They also come in a very handy wooden case that makes sure the bits are safe.
- Extremely cheap
- Very durable
- Great wooden packaging
- Serves you very well when it comes to drilling larger holes
- Contains only 5 pieces which are the bare minimum requirement
- Doesn’t have any bits for more precise drilling
Knugoua Woodworking Forstner Drill Bit Sets
This product is also very cheap like the previous products. In fact, it is the second cheapest bit set on the list after the IVY set. But while it does have flaws, it doesn’t compromise in quantity and variety.
There are a total of 17 bits in this bit set, and they are all of different types. This variety also translates to the sizes of the bits as well. The smallest bit has a diameter of 0.25 inches, and the largest one has a diameter of 2 inches.
And the smaller bits work absolutely fantastically. The holes that are drilled with the smaller bits are extremely precise, with no ragged edges.
But we can’t say the same for the larger bits. The larger bits are quite sloppy and often leave a mess after the drilling is done. And the edges are often ragged and uneven. They often cause tear-outs and ruin the quality of the wood.
Adding to that, the bits aren’t exactly durable. Multiple customers have complained that the drilling power of the bits reduces gradually with time.
- Very cheap
- Contains a total of 17 pieces
- Has great variety when it comes to the sizes of the bits
- The smaller bits can drill very precise holes with minimal tear-outs
- The larger bits are quite sloppy and often causes tear-outs in the wood
- Not very durable
Freud PB-107B Forstner Bit Set
This is an upgraded version of the Freud PB-107 that we previously reviewed. It has improved upon many of the features of the previous Freud bit set but fails to improve in others.
To get the flaws out of the way, this bit set also has 7 bits only. As we have mentioned, that is barely enough for a bit set as it may require you to buy additional bits. The sizes of the bits also lack variety as they are limited to 0.25-1 inch bits.
However, it drastically improves the accuracy compared to the PB-107. The holes drilled by these bits are even more precise than before, and that makes it perfect for light-duty woodworks. And the durability is also worth mentioning. Almost everyone who has used it has attested to its durability.
The wooden box that it comes packaged in is of fantastic quality. Freud never fails to deliver quality wooden boxes with their bit sets, and this one is no exception.
Lastly, it also comes at a fantastic price. While the quantity and variety of bits could use some improvements when it comes the quality, this product might be the best Forstner bit set for the money.
- Great value for money
- Can drill extremely precise holes
- Has verified longevity
- Comes in a high-quality wooden box
- Contains only 7 pieces
- Doesn’t come with bits that are suitable for heavy-duty works
How to Use a Forstner Bit Set Step-by-Step
Now that you have all the key information on buying the bit set, it is time to understand the process of using one. The article would essentially become redundant if you didn’t know how to use these bit sets, and that is what we will show in this section.
Step-1: Determine the type of hole you want to drill. This can be any type of holes, be it angled holes, 90° holes, or overlapping holes.
Step-2: Choose the right size of your bit. This will depend on the type and size of the hole you want to drill.
Step-3: Mount the bit on to your drill press or handheld drill carefully. Make sure it’s tightly mounted.
Step-4: Place the center spur of the bit exactly where you want to drill the hole. The central spur helps keep the bits balanced and centered. So, try to make sure the positioning is accurate.
Step-5: If you are using a drill press, be cautious of the RPM you set. The right RPM setting depends on the bit you are using.
Step-6: Start drilling in the manner you need to drill. If you are using a drill press, remember to back out at times to keep the friction down. If you are using a handheld drill, frequently start and stop to keep the friction down.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best Forstner bit sets:
- Why are Forstner bits called Forstner bits?
An American gunsmith in the 19th century named Benjamin Forstner was the first person to invent what we now call Forstner bits. These bits are called Forstner bits in honor of his name.
- Can you use a Forstner bit in a handheld drill?
Yes, you can use a Forstner bit of any size in your handheld drill. But you need to apply more pressure when using a handheld drill. So it is better to use a drill press instead. Drill presses don’t need any extra pressure to use Forstner bits while keeping itself stable.
- How wide is the drill of a Forstner bit?
The Forstner bit can be of multiple sizes. In imperial units, the minimum measurement is around 10 millimeters, but this can extend to 5 centimeters as well. In metric units, the smallest bit size is 0.25 inches, and that can extend to 2.125 inches at max.
- Is wavy Forstner bit better?
Wavy edged Forstner bits are fantastic for drilling overlapping and 90° holes. They can also drill larger holes with less friction. However, they are not suitable for drilling angled holes. They also work slower compared to other bits. So these aren’t better when time is of the essence.
- Can a Forstner bit cut large volumes of wood in a short time?
With the right combination of drills and bits, you can drill a large hole in a very short time. Sawtooth edged bits work better in this regard. They can drill very large holes, and they generally do it faster than other bits.
We hope you could benefit from this article. The secret to finding the right bit set for you is to understand what you require from the bit set. It is up to you whether you want to prioritize quantity, variety, or quality.
Regardless of what you prioritize, you should try to strike a healthy balance among the three. In that way, you can find the best Forstner bit set for you.