Grizzly - H7694 31 piece Master Forstner Bit Set. (Rating: 5)

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…