Fantastic bit set, especially for the price!

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Review by dbhost posted 09-16-2009 05:33 PM 5682 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Fantastic bit set, especially for the price! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After needing sizes that just weren’t in my Porter Cable 8 piece set, and finding out what it would cost to buy bits individually, I decided, being the cheapskate that I am, to look for a set. The big box of crayons as it were.

Now I have been looking pretty seriously into the MLCS 31 piece Master Forstner Bit Set (and they ARE coming down in price) but at the list price I had first seen them at of $129.00, I was open to options. I ran accross the Fine Woodworking article that raved about the Grizz 16 piece set, so when I came across the Grizzly, considering the reviews it got on Amazon, among other places, I figured, for the price, why not?

I can’t speak definitively about durability as mine arrived yesterday, but I can speak about my impressions so far. (I may update / add an updated review later on if my impression changes).

The box that the bits shipped in appeared well made, however the bumper gizmos that the bits rest on weren’t all lined up quite right, and several of the bits on the top right corner don’t quite have enough room, where the bits on the bottom right have too much room… Aside from that, and it doesn’t really matter with the lid closed anyway as the foam blocks hold everything tight… all was well. My box did not stick to the cardboard like others have mentioned theirs did. With the type of finish that is on this box, I can see how it could stick if not 100% cured. If they get in a rush to run an order out the door, well curing time gets rushed…

The bits measured up accurately, or close enough for my purposes. The 1/2” was only shy by .001” which is no big deal. I used the 1-1/16” bit, and 3/4” bit which measured 1.0625 and .75 respectively. (Right on the money).

I am replacing a 7 piece Porter Cable set, along with a couple of Freud single bits. The Grizzly bits center point takes a bit more work getting the bit down into the wood, but not anything that would impact accuracy, and most likely would NOT be noticed using these in a drill press instead of a hand drill…

Once the bit is started, material removal was fast, and efficient, with shavings coming out of the back side of the bit in nearly hand plane like thin wispy curls.

I am happy this set shipped with the plastic protective covers for the heads of the bits. The little extra distance they went to protect the bits is well appreciated.

The hex drive bit shanks insure solid, slip free engagement with the drill, or drill press chuck. It would take some work to mess up chucking these up tightly…

These bits are typical of Asian produced tools as they are shipped coated in cosmoline, which is easy enough to get off of the bits simply with mineral spirits and a clean rag. I did not read the country of origin statement, but from the quality of the construction, and machining, I would guess these are Taiwan made and not mainland China.

This is item #2 from Grizzly for me, and I was hesitant to try them a second time due to the low quality of the first item (a drill press table). But I see so many people that have Grizzly this or that, and are very happy with it. If this bit set quality lives up to my initial impressions, then the drill press table is just a fluke… These appear every bit as good as the Porter Cables, and nicer than the Freuds… And I hate to say that because I have been overjoyed by every bit and blade I have gotten from them…

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5777 posts in 4003 days

16 comments so far

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4593 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 07:13 PM

Thanks for the review. I have been considering replacing my set and this review has been helpful.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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420 posts in 4413 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 08:10 PM

yep, I have been looking into this set as well thanks!

-- If you can't build it, code it. If you can't code it, build it. But always ALWAYS take a picture.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4041 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 08:21 PM

Thanks for the review….great job! I will certainly look into these if/when I need to replace my current set.

I use my forstners more than any other bit….they can be used for so much….cutting mortises, starting hole for hollow vessels, countersinks and an unlimited amount of hole cutting applications….they are much more durable then the circular hole cutters (which can fill up with waste and have to be cleaned out prior to cutting a hole in deep work)....The forstners self clean out the hole so you don’t have to keep pulling the drill out to get the waste out of the way of the cutter, or have to get a round piece of waste off the center bit after drilling the hole…and lastly the forstners if used correctly and at the recommended speeds will cut a chip free clean hole.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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790 posts in 4966 days

#4 posted 09-17-2009 04:22 AM

Great info. I reviewed a 16 piece Grizzly set based on the FWW article that cost around $30.00 from and found them to also be a great value for the dollars spent. I haven’t felt the need to get a more expensive set based on their performance. It’s always nice to find cheap but good stuff. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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118065 posts in 4348 days

#5 posted 09-17-2009 05:01 AM

Good review I hope they work out long term for you.


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5688 posts in 4079 days

#6 posted 09-17-2009 06:10 AM

I purchased the same grizzly set about a year ago and have been pleased with their quality. For the price I could not go wrong and they have held up quite well for such an inexpensive set.

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203 posts in 4536 days

#7 posted 09-18-2009 12:12 AM

Hello dbhost,

that’s nice, It looks like the same set I have the same set, I buy it in the UK, at
If find it a nice set for a nice price.
It is not that great qualitie from Germany, but for a hobbyist
it is a great set.

Thanks for your review,


-- Greetings from the Netherlands.

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5777 posts in 4003 days

#8 posted 09-18-2009 04:58 AM

Looks awfully similar. Being that mine is sold by Grizzly, and the packaging was marked as such, I suspect that it was indeed manufactured in China however. I would have preferred German made bits, but for the price, indeed this was a bargain…

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A Slice of Wood Workshop

1109 posts in 3944 days

#9 posted 09-18-2009 01:30 PM

I have the porter cable set too. I like them a lot but just as with you it seemed like i am always 1 or 2 bits shy of being a complete set. I’ll have to look into the grizzly set. Thanks for the review.

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4816 posts in 3945 days

#10 posted 09-18-2009 09:51 PM

Excellent review. I, TOO, have been considering this set—particularly in light of what I recently paid for a single (3/8”) bit :-O

Aside from potential manufacturing tolerance issues (the actual dia. is not exactly the size as the spec’d dia.), is it safe to presume that a lower-priced Forstner bit is even MORE picky about being used at LOW RPMs, and even more likely to be damaged by excessive RPMs??

-- -- Neil

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495 posts in 4481 days

#11 posted 09-21-2009 03:44 AM

Mine arrived earlier this week. it is a keeper!

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

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Mike Gager

665 posts in 4038 days

#12 posted 09-22-2009 05:23 PM

harbor freight has a 16 piece set that looks identical to this one except it, of course, only has 16 bits. same style bits and same box

ive noticed grizzly sells many of the same things as HF (not saying there is anything wrong with that)

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5777 posts in 4003 days

#13 posted 09-22-2009 10:50 PM

Considering many of the tools we now use are made on the same assembly line, in the same factories in Taiwan and mainland China, I would not be stunned to know they are the same as the Grizz, as the MLCS as the Porter Cable as the…. I could go on and on… And kind of my point on the belt cleaner review. There is no need to spend big extra bucks to buy a brand name when all it is, is a name tag on the same exact product…

When there are worthwhile differences, that would be the time to spend the extra, if those differences are worth it to you!

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5777 posts in 4003 days

#14 posted 09-23-2009 01:29 AM

Gotta bump this…. Don’t like seeing 13 replies to the review…

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#15 posted 10-13-2009 02:43 AM

I nabbed this set with my new griz DP a few weeks ago. I’ve used them quite a lot since and am definitely satisfied. When I priced a 6 bit set at the borg last week I was even more impressed!

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