These should work as advertised

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Review by RandyMorter posted 03-13-2011 07:46 PM 4530 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
These should work as advertised These should work as advertised These should work as advertised Click the pictures to enlarge them

Just so you know, this is the first and only time I’ve ever used a Forstner bit.

I’m working on a toy airplane project and believe I’ll have a need for these (I did in my first toy airplane – for the cockpit). Woodcraft has this set on sale right now for $12.49 (through 4/2/2011) so how can you go wrong?

These bits come in a nice wood case. They are stamped with their size, “China”, and the max RPM on each bit.

I made a couple of test cuts with the 3/4” bit into some redwood. I know, the redwood is soft. I randomly picked this bit size. The person at the store (in Chandler, AZ) said the key to these bits was to use them at 250-300 RPM. My DP will go to 300 so I used that speed. Note that the speed chart that comes with the bits says they can be used a lot faster. The 3/4” states it can be used at 1800 RPM in soft wood.

I used a pretty slow feed rate too, just looking at the thickness of the shavings as a guide.

The bit worked without any issue in the hole in the middle of the work piece. It worked okay on the edge cut too except for my inadequate clamping (you can see the multiple entry cuts in the picture).

The bit seemed to leave a nice smooth cut on the sides and the bottom.

I only rated these 4 stars because you can easily see what looks like burrs and nicks on the cutting edges. These are NOT carbide tipped. The ad for these claims they’re suitable for the hobbyist or occaisional user and I believe they are good for that (which is the category I’m placing myself in).

I wish they had perfect cutting edges and were carbon tipped, but you have to spend more to get that. IF or WHEN I wear these out I’ll replace them with a better set. I just figured these may actually work for me as often as I can see myself using them (I’m 53 years old and never have used them before – these could outlast me!).

For this price I think they’re a great value since the Woodcraft “Quality Forstner Bit, 1/2 Inch” is $12.99 by itself! Yeah, there’s a significant quality difference but since I think I’ll make maybe a half-dozen holes with these each year, this seems like a good way to go.

Update, 3/16/2011

I used the 3/8” bit last night without issue (in redwood). I really think these will be fine for my purposes. I still think the 4 stars is valid – they weren’t perfect looking out of the box, but I think they’ll do the job. The burrs / nicks don’t seem to make a difference. I don’t think I’ll be drilling hundreds of holes per day in hard wood.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

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228 posts in 3459 days

7 comments so far

View AttainableApex's profile


347 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 07:52 PM

i think you mean carbide tipped

-- Ben L

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4004 days

#2 posted 03-13-2011 10:37 PM

I’ve had these for about a year, and they do what I need them to do. I’ve used them for mounting cup hinges, boring out mortises, and making the 3/4” indent needed for tabletop fasteners. Like you said, it’s hard to go wrong at this price. They leave a clean hole – what else do you need as a hobbyist?

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 03-14-2011 12:24 AM

Thanks for the review Randy, that sounds like a good deal, I will have to check it out. I need to follow you around closer, table saw, drill bits, you can really shop right, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3459 days

#4 posted 03-14-2011 03:20 AM

Ben – you’re correct (as if I needed to tell you!).

That sounds great, Jimi_C! Just what I wanted to hear!

Please do, Mic – especially if you’ll teach me how to actually use some of the things I’ve picked up lately!

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3844 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 04:42 AM

Let me make a few general comments about Forstner bits – -

Carbide tipped Forstner bits are available but they are a lot more expensive. The price can rival carbide tipped router bits (i.e. quite expensive).

Be advised that most Forstner bits are relatively easy to sharpen by yourself and often new bits need a little sharpening before they are used. Forstner bit sharpening kits are available and advise on how to sharpen them is readily available on the internet.

Finally – Regardless of what the charts say, I find that a Forstner bit just “feels” right at a relatively low rpm. I run small bits (less than an inch) at about 500 rpm and bigger bits as low as 200 rpm. My biggest Forstner is a 3” and I wish I could get my DP below 200 for it.

Note – for large holes in hard wood, clamp the wood securely and use multiple bits at 1”, 1.5”, 2” etc.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 3459 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 04:53 PM

Thanks Rich! I’ll look into the sharpening. I’ve always been pretty poor at sharpening anything, unfortunately.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 4007 days

#7 posted 03-15-2011 07:18 AM

These sound like decent bits. I have a set of really cheap forstner bits and I often consider drop kicking the things out of the shop. I don’t know the name of them as I haven’t called them by their correct name in ages. But they come in that cute plastic clamshell with a handle and a window in it. I have seen them with many different names. Usually sell for less than $10 a set, do not pick them up, run away, far away.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

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