Forstner bits are drill bits normally used in making furniture or working on other woodwork projects. The design of these bits varies, depending on the drill used. Some of the differences in these bits include their lip angles, point angles, and spirals. These drill aspects affect how they are used. For instance, your drill will require a spiral rate if your project’s feed rate is higher. Drill bits are the drill parts that work together with handheld drills or drill presses to create holes in wood, plastic, or metallic materials. Forstner bits are a little expensive compared to the conventional twist bits.
There are many types of Forstner bits, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right bit is often a challenge, especially if you are new to this industry. That’s why we’ve taken time to pick the best Forstner bits for woodworking to make your work easier.
Top 5 Best Forstner bits for woodworking
1. Steelex D1007 1″ Forstner Bit
Steelex D1007 1″ Forstner Bit is designed with the user in mind. This drill bit is comfortable to use and will get the job done efficiently and effectively. It is manufactured from high-carbon tool steel, making it hard and durable. It also ensures you can use the bit repeatedly without the need to sharpen or replace it. In addition, the shank has a hex design that prevents it from slipping while in the drill chuck. This design can also allow you to use this bit in an impact driver.
Another thing you’ll like about this bit is its improved cutting edge and back angles, which work together to ensure your holes are precise and smooth. So if you want to get a neat hole in whatever material you are working on, this is the best bit to choose.
The Steelex D1007 1″ Forstner Bit works best with softwood and hardwood, and the whole set is packed in a strong wooden storage box for protection. Apart from protecting the bits, this storage box is great for organizing them for ease of access. The set has bits of sizes ranging from 0.25″ to 2.125″, so in terms of sizes, you are well covered. Steelex D1007 1″ Forstner Bits are designed for everyday use. The bits are easy to use, so if you do occasional woodwork, you’ll enjoy using them.
- Hex shank for precision.
- Excellent range of sizes.
- High-carbon steel.
- Sturdy storage box.
- Easy to use.
- Binds too easily.
- No heat resistance.
2. PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set
When dealing with drill bits, you need to have a variety. Nothing is more stressful than failing to get a drill bit whose size fits the job you have at hand. Therefore, a perfect drill bit set should have drill bits of different sizes, so you can pick whichever size you need for a project. That’s what PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set offers. The set has bits of 14 different sizes, so you don’t have to look elsewhere when you have this set. This eliminates guesswork or questions when you want to choose a drill bit.
Another annoying thing for woodworkers is to move around with a big box of tools. That’s not the case with the PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set. This set comes in a carry-case that’s compact hence easy to carry around. It doesn’t even take up a large space in your workshop. This means the PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set is suitable if you don’t have a large workshop or have to move from place to place working on different projects.
The sizes range from 0.25″ to 2″. Its open tooth design enables it to quickly remove wood shavings, creating clean and smooth flat-bottomed holes. You can use it to create many holes quickly, and you won’t feel any straining on your hands. In addition, the bits are strong and will serve you for a long time before you think of replacing them.
- Excellent at creating a flat-bottomed hole.
- Open-tooth design.
- 14-piece set.
- Low quality cutting edges.
- Dulls quickly.
3. IRWIN 1966934 Marples Wood Drilling Forstner Bit
If you are an experienced woodworker, you must have heard about or even used the IRWIN 1966934 Irwin Marples Wood Drilling Forstner Bit. This bit is known for producing the most accurate pocket and flat-bottomed holes faster than traditional Forstner bits. This doesn’t come as a surprise because it features an ultra-sharp knife-edge design. In addition, the bit is specifically designed to smoothly and efficiently cut through soft and hardwoods.
Unlike other bits, you’ll have to use so much effort when using the IRWIN 1966934 Irwin Marples Wood Drilling Forstner Bit. But, you just put it at the right place and give it a little push, and you’ll see the wood shavings coming off easily. Also, the pockets holes and the flat-bottomed holes will come out nicely with a smooth finish.
The cutting angles of this bit are engineered to maximize cutting speed, while the teeth are arranged to produce clean holes. Its reduced shank can fit 3/8″ and drill presses and larger drills. The bit can cut hardwood because it is made of hard material. The bit can drill so many holes without becoming overly hot or losing its sharpness. This is one of the main reasons why many woodworkers like this bit.
- Cutting angles designed to maximize cutting speed.
- Teeth engineered to produce clean holes.
- Drills high-quality pocket holes and flat-bottomed holes.
- Ultra-sharp cutting edge – can cut through hardwoods.
- Hole diameter 1-1/2″.
- The blade is not well machined, and it has some chips.
- Dulls quickly.
4. IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set
This is another bit from IRWIN, a company known globally for manufacturing high-quality drill bits. This 14-piece set is a must-have for many woodworkers. The 14 pieces have different sizes, so you can pick a piece that suits your project.
Many other drill sets have drills whose sizes are too close together or are too far apart, making it difficult to choose the right bits. This is not the case with IRWIN bits. The IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set has enough different sizes to fit any kind of project.
The sizes of the Forstner bits in the set range from 1/4″ to 2″. Since they are 14 within that range, the diversity here is enough for nearly all woodworking situations. In addition, the sizes are neither too far apart nor too close to one another.
The bits are stored in a case that opens like a briefcase, making organization easy because each has its specific space. In addition, the case is compact and very small compared to other cases.
The IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set is an ideal drill bit set to own if you have a hand drill. Its reduced shanks make it possible for its bits to fit 0.375pinch chucks as well as drill presses and larger drills. The available sizes range from 0.25″ to 1.375″. These bits are most suitable if you want to drill pocket holes or flat-bottomed holes.
- Durable stainless steel.
- 14-piece set.
- It fits drill presses and drills.
- Great price.
- Significantly reduced cutting time.
- Build quality issues.
- Dulls quickly.
5. Freud Precision Shear Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit
Many Forstner drill bits are difficult to use because you never know how strong they are, so you have to keep guessing when to use a drill bit. This is made worse by the fact that you’ll also never know whether the bits can only be used occasionally or you can use them frequently. Freud Precision Shear Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit removes these uncertainties. You can use these bits as many times as you wish.
Freud’s drill bit doesn’t give room for guesswork. It has serrated edges that ensure it’s strong enough for frequent use. When using this bit, you can be 100% sure that you’ll get a bore with a smooth flat bottom. So, it means you can use this bit any time you want and as many times as you want but still get the best results.
Another thing you’ll like about these bits is that they are razor-sharp, meaning your cuttings will be flawless and fast. As a result, you’ll be able to produce many finished works in a very short time without compromising quality.
The Freud Precision Forstner Drill Bit slices by the bit’s rotation, reducing the chances of chipping and splintering of the wood. In addition, the unique geometric design of its cutting edges produces excellent shearing action that allows faster rotational speeds for the best cutting experience.
- Steeply aligned cutting edges.
- Ultra-sharp bits for accurate hole.
- Durable – quality forged construction.
- Serrated edge for flawless cutting.
- Clean chip removal.
- Well balanced shaft.
- Not very reliable.
- Wears out quickly.
How to Choose Forstner Drill Bits
If you are a woodworker, you need a drill bit that gets the job done effectively and efficiently. The bit that’s perfect for you may not be perfect for the other woodworker, and drill bits aren’t made the same. That’s why you need to choose Forstner drill bits that are perfect for you and your project. Here are some factors you need to consider when choosing a Forstner drill bit.
The price and quality of a drill bit are normally directly proportional. If you want the best drill bit, you must be willing to spend more. Cheap drill bits break easily and do not produce perfect holes. However, if you find similar drill bits at different prices, you can pick the most affordable.
The size of a drill bit matters a lot because it determines the size of the hole you’ll get. If you are buying only one Forstner bit, you must, therefore, consider the size of the hole you want to drill. But if you want to drill holes of different sizes, you can buy a set of Forstner bits.
Forstner bits have three different cutting edges, and if you want cutting edges that cut quickly, you can choose the knife-edge drill bit. However, this drill bit puts a lot of strain on the drill motor, which causes overheating. The other options available are the wavy edge bits and the saw-tooth-edged bits.
The material used to make a drill bit determines its effectiveness and durability. The best bits are those made of high-speed steel. They are ideal for repeated jobs and don’t bend easily. Another option is to buy the carbide-tipped bits. They are tough and remain sharp longer. High-quality bits cost more than low-quality bits.
Number of bits per set
Most projects won’t need just a single hole size. That’s why you need drill bits of different sizes, so you remain versatile to handle any project that comes around. Some sets have only three pieces, while others have up to 16 pieces. The higher the number of pieces you have, the better. But it would be best if you also considered the cost implications.
To do a perfect job, there are certain considerations you must take into account before buying Frostner bits. First, the Frostner bit you buy should meet your expectations and fulfill the purpose for which you bought it, and it should do so in the shortest time possible.
A few things you need to keep in mind include:
Ask yourself how often you’ll use the drill bit. If you use it frequently, it has to be robust and durable.
The quality of the Forstner bit. Quality includes the material which it is made of and how it is designed. The best bit must be made of strong material and must be designed to make your work easier.
The adjustments and sizes. As a woodworker, you need a set of bits that can enable you to work on any project. However, it would be best if you also considered your own needs. Ask yourself which bits are easier to work with for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Forstner bit is unique because it can drill notches and holes on the edges of the working pieces. It can also drill angled holes on a workpiece face, e.g., pocket holes. In addition, a Forstner bit can work without a nicker or cutting spur or the “lead.”
If you need a drill attachment that you can use to drill larger holes, Forstner drill bits are the best choice for you. They leave neat finishes that are precise, especially when working on wood. Steelex, PORTER-CABLE, IRWIN, and Freud Precision, the best Forstner drill bits are made.
You can use a Forstner bit alongside a drill press to get the kind of precision you need. The first step is to place the workpiece. Place it on the drill press, then secure it using a clamp. Next, attach the Forstner bit in the drill and make proper height adjustments. The height will determine the kind of bore you want to make.
Using a pencil, mark the exact spot where you want to drill; that’s the exact place where you want to make the hole. Next, align the workpiece with the center of the drill bit. Once the alignment is locked, lower the drill press slowly on your workpiece.
Balance the pressure from the Forstner bit so the bit can run without getting stuck. As the hole begins to form, increase speed and pressure. Once you are satisfied with the hole, withdraw the bit while still spinning to remove the sawdust.
Unlike the ordinary drill bits, Forstner drill bits have a unique geometry that enables them to create clean flat-bottomed holes without clogging or burning. What will strike you when you look at these bits is that their entire circumferences aren’t cutting edges like other ordinary drill bits. Instead, Forstner bits have scoring teeth that quickly chip off pieces of material, preventing burning.
Their cutting edges have notches, resulting in small shavings that will not clog the bit. Another unique feature of Forstner bits is that their cutting edge geometry is unique in that they facilitate sharpening of the bits in case they get blunt.
These bits are great for drilling holes with large diameters into woods. They produce clean cuts. And one thing many woodworkers like about them is that they produce flat bottomed holes, except for the small dent the center point leaves. They are also used for making overlapping holes.
These bits will come in handy when you want to install hinges into your cabinet doors or when you want to remove a large amount of wood before you route applications. Of course, you can use Forstner bits with corded drills or drill presses and handheld drills too.
Unlike the standard drilling bits, Forstner bits are more efficient for woodworking because they are optimized for such applications. They cut more precisely and produce clean holes in the woods.
Forstner bits are engineered to minimize tear-out when drilling or exiting the material. For this reason, they are the best if you want to drill holes in the woods. In addition, they can dill flat-bottomed holes, making them excellent for many hardware installations, especially where a high level of precision is required. You can also use them to drill angled holes, holes at the edge of materials, and partially overlapping holes.
Forstner bits produce neater finished work than spade bits. Forstner bits drill neat, clean holes. They are also available in larger diameters than spade bits. Another difference between Forstner bits and spade bits is that Forstner bits can be used to drill surfaces at an angle. This is something that a spade bit cannot be used to do. It would require a lot of effort to hold the bit where it is required to prevent it from moving sideways because it’s flat.
However, spade bits and drill holes faster than Forstner bits, making them a good choice if you have a project that requires drilling many holes and where neatness is not a priority. Spade bits can cause splintering (tearing out) when drilling through a workpiece unless you have a sacrificial material to prevent tearing out.
At least you now have all the information you need about Forstner bits, meaning you can now make an informed decision. As you can see, Forstner bits are the best tools for creating clean, neat holes in wood. They are easy to use and are affordable.
Some of these bits are sold in sets having drill bits of different diameters, so you can pick the one that suits the project you have at hand. Many companies produce Forstner drill bits. Unfortunately, some of these companies don’t produce high-quality bits. If you want the best Forstner bits, pick one from among the five reviewed above.