Anyone that's worked with metal, wood, plastic or any other material knows that drilling perfect holes in them is practically impossible without using drill bits. There are a variety of drill bits on the market today for each of these materials, and each is optimized for a particular material.
With a specialty to wood, particular drill bit types come out as preferred. At the very top of the list are the Forstner drill bit models, whose applicability on wood is unmatched. Whether it’s for professional work or just everyday DIY action, the Forstner drill bits are preferred by experts and novices alike for a very good reason.
When it comes to drilling holes in any wooden surface, this model does have an edge over other models in both design and workability. Their precision is to die for, as are the holes they make that come with soft edges and flat bottoms.
That a professional may choose a Forstner drill for their woodwork is not a surprise; it's an illumination of just how applicable their functionality and unique design is.
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Best Forstner Bit Models
- What Are the Best Forstner Bit Models Out There? – Short Review
- #1. PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece - Practicality
- #2. Freud PB-107B 7Pc Forstner Bit Set - Precision
- 3. Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank - Carbon Steel Toughness
- 4.IRWIN Marples (1966893) Forstner Bit Set - Ultra-Sharp
- #5. Meichoon Forstner Drill Bit Set 15-35mm - Durability
- #6. IVY Classic 46180 Forstner Bit Set, Wooden Case - Two-Cutter Design
- #7. Freud (PB-104) Precision Shear Forstner Bit Set - Reliability
- #8. Qibaok 17Pcs Forstner Bit Set Drill - Application
- How Does a Forstner Bit Work?
- What Makes Forstner Bits Popular?
- Factors to Consider Before Getting a Forstner Bit
- The Features of an Ideal Forstner Bit
- Tips for Better Workability With Forstner Bits
Top 3 Best Forstner Bit Models
What Are the Best Forstner Bit Models Out There? – Short Review
There may be lots of Forstner drill bit models out there, but a few stand out for their impeccable qualities and workability.
And although all Forstner drill bits naturally come with a set of standard features that they all share, some models still perform better than others in one aspect or another.
The commonest features of each model below have been highlighted.
#1. PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece - Practicality
First up is the fantastic DIY Forstner bit kit that does not disappoint in any situation. We give you the PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece.
For more than 100 years, PORTER-CABLE has been one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to power tools, both cordless and corded, accessories, and woodworking equipment.
You can put your trust in their products since they continue to dominate the market and impress customers each day.
A clear example is this Forstner kit. Like all perfect drilling bits, it has optimized cutting angles that allow you to drill flat bottom holes with ease. In an attempt to create smooth finish lines, you’ll receive help from its open-tooth design that leaves no debris or dust once exiting the hole.
Furthermore, the bits’ material allows it to maintain its longevity and durability throughout the years without any visual wearing, whatsoever.
You won’t have to worry about the right size and whether this kit will have the one you need. It comes with fourteen different pieces that range from ¼ to 2-inch sizes.
Considering that this type of quality comes with an affordable price, you undoubtedly don’t want to miss out on a product like this - ideal for woodworking and makes your life easier.
#2. Freud PB-107B 7Pc Forstner Bit Set - Precision
In the world of woodworking, precision means absolutely everything. Each piece and hole needs to be perfectly matched to achieve absolute stability. This is where the Freud PB-107B 7Pc Forstner Bit Set comes into play.
The main feature of Forstner drill bits is the ability to drill flat bottomed holes with ease. However, this set of drill bits features a razor-sharp serrated edge, enabling you to slice through wood without worrying about splintering or chipping.
The sheer design of these bits is efficient in producing faster speeds of rotation to maximize the smoothness of the overall process and the ability to create perfectly shaped holes.
It contains various sizes, from ¼ to 1-inch diameter, which is probably more than you’ll need for everyday work if you’re not a professional. If you need more sizes, we recommend the first product on our list that offers 14 different ones.
But, by all accord, this set of Forstner bits is as good as it gets. Just remember not to use it on the hardwood pieces since it can catch on the edge and skate around. Aside from this, this product is worth investing in.
3. Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank - Carbon Steel Toughness
A fantastic tool manufacturer, Steelex, has been one of the most intriguing companies on the market for a long time.
Their goal to produce quality products while maintaining attention to details has given birth to the Steelex D3573 Forstner Bit Set with Hex Shank.
The high-carbon steel bits that come in this wooden package are incredibly durable and precise. They allow you to cut smooth and flat-bottomed holes with no troubles while maintaining precise drills.
The cutting edges are designed in a way to maximize both precision cutting and chip removal. With this set, you won’t worry about any debris or leftover rugged edges.
Plus, the wooden crate design makes practicality one of the best features of this product: the bottom folds and the storage tilts that enable quick access.
As you’ll receive 16 pieces with this Forstner bit set, you’ll have a variety of sizes to choose from for your everyday woodworking endeavors. Plus, you’ll get multiple hex shank bits that will undoubtedly help out.
However, this product lands in third place due to its price. It costs a bit more compared to the other products, but think of it as an investment. They have an extensive lifespan and will undoubtedly do you right for a long time.
4.IRWIN Marples (1966893) Forstner Bit Set - Ultra-Sharp
Next up is an Amazon’s Choice product, the fantastic IRWIN Marples (1966893) Forstner Bit Set.
Irwin is proud to present its famous Forstner bit set with amazingly sharp cutting teeth. They are ideal for working with all types of wood - hardwood, softwood, and even plywood. Their specifically engineered teeth are efficient in creating smooth and precise holes, which is the goal with any Forstner bit set.
The technology behind these bits allows you to reduce your cutting time significantly compared to other drilling bit sets. The shank fits ⅜-inch drills, but also more massive drills and drill presses.
During the entire woodworking process, you’ll see that the job is quite smooth and debris-free since the overall smoothness does not allow for any ruggedness. Furthermore, they are ideal for creating mortises and tenon joints.
However, they do not have a hex shank, which might be a deal-breaker for some of you, but the sheer quality of this product and the price, in general, should be enough to consider it at least. And it comes with a significant discount, which is certainly a plus!
#5. Meichoon Forstner Drill Bit Set 15-35mm - Durability
You’ll undoubtedly come across this product in your future conversations when it comes to Forstner drill bits. Say hello to the Meichoon Forstner Drill Bit Set 15-35mm.
It’s all about durability when it comes to this product. It is made out of tungsten steel alloy, and its salient material is wolfram - a chemical element praised for its resistance and general toughness when combined with steel.
Its resistance to heat and wearing off allows this Forstner kit to last a long time and efficient work in the process. Once you use these bits, you’ll feel no shocks or tremors during the entire process.
This kit includes 16 different pieces of bits, ranging from 15 mm to 35 mm. Even if you’re a professional, they will work out for you just fine.
If you want to know about its practical use, you’ve come to the right place. You can feel free to use these bits for any type of wood, plastic, and other materials that require perforation.
You should know, however, that the packaging itself is in plastic router bit cases. It does disappoint a bit, but considering the price that this kit goes for, it’s no wonder. It doesn’t look pretty, but it’ll get the job done.
#6. IVY Classic 46180 Forstner Bit Set, Wooden Case - Two-Cutter Design
If you’re looking for a non-premium product for a low price that will do you well in the future, you’ve found it. We present to you the IVY Classic 46180 Forstner Bit Set, Wooden Case.
Even though this is not the best Forstner bit set on the market, it certainly deserves to be called one of them. It is a 5-piece bit kit with a two-cutter design made for optimized cutting efficiency and chip removal.
And, with a tempered rim, these bits can create both smooth and angled holes with ease.
As is the case with all Forstner bits, they are designed to create flat-bottom holes as well, and they do it precisely on regular wood and plywood. With Rockwell hardness, these-high speed steel bits deliver maximum power for each drill.
However, since they are not professional-grade bits, you might notice an occasional tear-out or a crude finish if the wood you’re drilling is harder than usual. Still, for this amount of cash, you won’t find a better product for quality.
All in all, it may not be the best, it’s certainly worth trying out!
#7. Freud (PB-104) Precision Shear Forstner Bit Set - Reliability
Here’s another product from the reliable Freud company, one that will not disappoint you.
If you feel like the previous Freud product that we’ve covered is too much for you, and you want something simple and straightforward, we encourage you to try this one. It’s excellent for beginners and offers everything you’ll need, even more.
It has five pieces, ranging from ¼-inch to 1-inch bits that are made for razor-sharp precision. Serrated edges enable you to drill into the wood without having to think about splintering and residual debris. This one does it smoothly and elegantly.
It also features an UltraSharp Spur feature that ensures your starting hole will be accurate without straying or dancing over the workpiece.
Next to smooth finishes that these bits produce, they’ll also create chisel-like twists that ensure easy chip removal.
Still, if you’re a professional woodworker, you’ll probably want to go for a complete kit since this one only has five smaller sizes that are more suitable for DIY home projects. But, for a reliable Amazon’s Choice product, it’s undoubtedly worth investing in!
#8. Qibaok 17Pcs Forstner Bit Set Drill - Application
And for the last product on this list, we give you the versatile Qibaok 17Pcs Forstner Bit Set Drill.
In terms of quality, this product will not make you regret your decision to buy it. Similar to our fifth product, it also has exceptionally durable bits made from quality material - carbon HSS steel construction.
The introduction of durable materials allows the Forstner bits to make precise holes with absolute accuracy, and you don’t need to worry about doing it way too firm or soft. All it takes is seconds, and you’ve got yourself an easy drill.
Also, carbon steel allows you to drill for a prolonged period since the alloy is heat resistant, and you won’t have to take brakes that slow down the entire process.
When it comes to application, you can use this product for everything, ranging from crafting drawers, tables, shelves, and chairs to mounting spherical doors. Plus, you’ll have enough sizes to choose from since it comes with 17 different Forstner bits.
However, they are not made for professional use, so the sizes may vary under different measuring props. Still, once you find the one that fits your needs, it won’t matter to you, and you’ll be glad you bought it for this price.
How Does a Forstner Bit Work?
Like any other drill bit, Forstner drill bits cut into the wood by drilling to form a hole. They can be attached to a hand drill or a cordless drill.
The drill comes with a central spur that is surrounded by a rim. The rim is designed to be sharp edged so as to easily cut through the wood surface. The sharper the rim edge, the sharper the edge of the hole created.
With exertion of pressure, the spur is guided into the wood by the rim, which also enables the creation of a sharp edged hole with a flat base.
In addition to creating holes whose surfaces need no further finishing, Forstner bits are also known to leave a small depression at the base of the hole, caused by the spur as it drills into the wood.
What Makes Forstner Bits Popular?
There may be many other drill bit models on the market, but not all are as popular as Forstner drill bits when it comes to woodworking projects.
Even with distinct variations in project requirements, most woodworkers vouch for Forstner drill bits, mainly because of their vast attributes.
Below, we look at some of the reasons or characteristics that render this drill bit type very popular.
#1. They Create the Smoothest Walls
Courtesy of having really sharp rims, Forstner bits rank high among the drill bit types that can create very smooth walls in the sides of any hole. Most users also relate that the holes drilled by Forstner bits do not require smoothing after.
Well drilled holes with sharp edges and of accurate size are commonly required in professional woodworking.
#2. They Are Good for Creating Overlapping Holes
Unlike some other drill bit types whose drills tend to come off as messy, the Forstner bit's rim design and sharpness always come in handy when drilling holes that overlap each other, and allow for a clean cut that also looks professional.
#3. They Create a Simple, Clean Edged and Flat Based Hole
Forstner bits have another unique ability over other bit types. The holes they bore have a flat base, with only a tiny hole at the bottom created by a spur. In some models such as those with an adjustable spur, the hole can also be done away with by pulling back the spur as the drilling continues. Due to their ability to drill without plugging (especially the models with a larger diameter), they also cut clean holes.
#4. They Can Also Drill Well at an Angle
Starting a drill at a steep angle is not as difficult with a Forstner bit as it is with some other drill bit models, courtesy of its sharp rim. Forstner bits are guided by the outside rim of the bit during drilling, unlike other drill bit models that are guided by the tip. This ability also renders them ideal for drilling holes on the edge of material, which is something some other drills cannot finish perfectly.
Factors to Consider Before Getting a Forstner Bit
A few factors should come into consideration before you make your final pick of a Forstner bit. The factors differ with individual needs, but some get to cut across.
Below are three of the main factors.
With a wide variation in models comes a vast range of prices that buyers have to choose from. Budgets can be very limiting, but don't really mean only the low quality stuff can be afforded.
Between some of the brands on sale, there is a gap so wide in price that most woodworkers may never afford to buy the highly priced Forstner bits until they really need them.
Your budget is a direct determinant of the type of Forstner bit you can buy. With a smaller budget, a number of cheaper options are available, although they may not be as sharp or last as long as the more expensive options.
Bigger budgets allow individuals more room to choose and afford the more expensive drill bit models and tool sets.
2. Type of Job in Question
Woodworking jobs can be done by almost everyone that possesses the knowledge of how to fix a nail. They are not very complex once studied, but necessitate a touch of professionalism every once in a while. Individuals partaking of woodworking as a hobby tend to work differently from those working on wood in professional design studios.
This generates a difference in the Forstner bit requirements of each user. Depending on either job type, different Forstner bit models may prove more appropriate than others, cost wise and functionality wise.
Smaller, home-based projects may require cheaper but practical models unlike huge design projects that need top notch tools that are usually highly priced.
3. Materials Used
The Forstner bits sold today have evolved greatly from the original and are now made from a wide range of materials.
With increased competition between manufacturers to produce the bit with the sharpest cut and the smoothest edge, a number of materials have been incorporated in Forstner bit metals to improve qualities such as durability and resistance to rust.
Steel still ranks as the commonest and most used metal. Beside it are a few other materials. In any tool shop, you will be presented with Forstner bits made of either stainless steel, plain steel, titanium coated steel or carbide.
Depending on your knowledge of each material's functionality, you might not have trouble making your pick. If not, a few tips should get you up and going.
The first is that steel models are known to start out with sharper edges than carbide models, while carbide models end up having a longer edge life than any variation of steel.
While some features may stay permanent, different models come with certain variations, depending on the manufacturer. In consequence, user needs always vary.
The commonest variations in Forstner bits occur in rim length, spur function etc. With rims, the common variations include the standard rim, which is long, straight edged and sharp and the toothed rim, which is similar in design to the standard rim but has jagged teeth instead of a straight edge. Other models lack a long rim; instead they have more cutting spurs.
Longer rim models are preferred for their ability to create better angled and overlapping holes than shorter rim models.
As for variations in the central spur, some models come with adjustable screw spurs that can be pulled back during drilling to prevent the formation of the small depression that forms in models with un-adjustable spurs. These models are usually preferred for very professional woodwork projects.
The Features of an Ideal Forstner Bit
A good Forstner bit should be able to work favorably in a number of areas. The factors to look at when choosing a Forstner bit include chip clearing, quality of bore rim, ability to create overlapping holes, angled ability and heating rate.
1. Chip Clearing
Per the Forstner bit’s working method, the bit drills into the wood surface, guided by the surrounding rim. During drilling, it is common for bits to get covered by wood pieces/flakes from the process as it goes deeper into the wood. The pieces can always be removed with a stick, but the process can get really tiresome and messy over time. Additionally, holes drilled with plugging tend to have rougher edges than others.
To make a clean, precise, sharp edged hole, one needs to work with efficiency and without unnecessary breaks. A good Forstner bit should clear the wood pieces out of the hole in consonance with the bit’s drilling. This allows for a steady process that is uninterrupted with breaks to clean out the plug. Bits with smaller diameters (1/2 in.) are more likely to plug up than hose with wider diameters.
2. Ability to Create Overlapping Holes
Woodwork practices such as excavating a mortise require drilling a series of overlapping holes with perfect precision.
Most drill bits can do this, but not all are as good as Forstner bits. Even with this generality, some models are better than others in this quality.
All Forstner bits, like any other drill bit, have issues with heat gain as a result of the friction between the rim and the wood surface. Most will gain heat as the process goes on; some will even leave burn marks on the wood (especially when they grow out of shape).
Nevertheless, Forstner bits tend to have lower heat gain rate than other drill bit types, with temperatures that range from 130F to 180F. A good Forstner bit shouldn’t go beyond that temperature.
4. Angled Hole Ability
Forstner bits are generally favored for activities such as creating holes on the edge of wood surfaces and drilling holes into surfaces at steep angles.
A good bit should do this quite easily since they come with sharp rims that guide the bit with ease into any steep sided workpiece.
5. Quality of Bore Rim
The quality of bore rims directly determines the edge sharpness of the hole that the drill bit may create. Blunt bore rims always make holes with rough, messy surfaces that require further smoothing to render them perfect.
With Forstner drill bits, the quality is usually high. Whether straight, toothed or rimless, the bore rim is always sharp and ready for its purpose.
Tips for Better Workability With Forstner Bits
Woodworking is a precise job that requires a steady hand, patience, imagination, and the best tools. Forstner bits are essential when working with wood since they create just the right holes for joints and perfectly shaped flat-bottomed holes.
So, if you wish to do a perfect job, you need the best Forstner bit set - the PORTER-CABLE Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece.
product make every woodworker feel filled with joy. The entire design and quality are unmatched by any product on the market right now.
So don’t wait and let the best go to someone else’s tool shed!