Point me to the right drill bits

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Forum topic by SirSeth posted 01-18-2013 02:15 AM 1758 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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85 posts in 3107 days

01-18-2013 02:15 AM

...or the right drill bits thread if that’s the case.

What are the best values out there for a clean hole in hardwood. I build guitars, so exotic hardwoods will be part of the mix. I was thinking the carbide tipped brad point set of 13 at Japan Woodworker might be a possibility (though they are pricey for me and want to be more sure that they are worth the expense).

I currently own Forstner bits that I use for holes larger than 5/8 inch, but my other bits have been a cheap set of Black and Decker bits that leave a lot to be desired imo.


-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

5 replies so far

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#1 posted 01-18-2013 04:57 AM

Lee Valley sells excellent brad point bits at a very fair price. They are Triumph twist drills that have been CNC sharpened into brad point bits. They consistently rank highly in surveys.

You need to buy a variety of bits: forstner, brad point, twist, step, parabolic tip etc. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, step drills are best for drilling holes is very thin material. Do that with a brad point bit and it will trash the work.

Brad point or forstner are very poor in end grain. Parabolic tip bits drill straight holes in end grain. Twist drills are good in end grain too but they will wander more than a parabolic tipped bit.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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85 posts in 3107 days

#2 posted 01-18-2013 11:00 AM

Thanks Dwight
It sounds like you’ve got some experience under your belt. I’ve never really heard the pros and cons of different types before. That’s really helpful and I’ll look at the Lee Valley drills.

-- What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

View JAAune's profile


1887 posts in 3199 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 03:11 PM

If I were to have just one set I’d go with standard twist bits. Given two sets, I’d buy a second batch of twist drills and regrind the tips to brad point configuration.

For larger holes I favor a combination of inexpensive spade bits and very expensive Boremax forstner bits.

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#4 posted 01-19-2013 03:31 PM

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3118 posts in 2907 days

#5 posted 01-19-2013 10:09 PM

Haven’t used the Maxi Cuts; they look like a good tool. With ordinary Forstners, I find that diameters smaller than 1/2” don’t clear the chips well, so I use brad points for those.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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