Forstner Bit Recommendations

Looking for a set of Forstner Bits. Any suggestions?
Rockler has a GuildCraft 16-Piece set on sale for 36$. Comments on these would especially be appreciated. Thanks.
Dave
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"Cox West" writes:

I have the Freud carbide set.
Best $89 I ever spent.
YMMV
Lew
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"AAvK" writes:

It was a couple of years ago, but I think it was McFeeley <s/p>, the outfit on the east coast that does fasteners.
BTW, the set did not include a 7/8" bit, I got it as an add on for about $20, if I remember.
HTH
Lew

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Internationaltool.com.
They've done well by me in the past.
Dave

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Any set that costs an average of $2.25 a bit should be viewed as occasional use that won't last in the long run. If you want something to get by for a few holes, then the rockler set is about as good as any. If you want bits that are going to last and remain high quality years down the road, go for something like Freud bits. I found the Freud carbid bits to be so good, that I decided to buy them one at a time as I needed the different sizes. For most large holes ( 1 1/2" or larger), I find a good us made hole cutter on the drill press to meet my needs.
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Bob wrote:

Me too. I started off with a $25 "Columbian" set from Lowe's. They're OK for occasional use. For the ones I use a lot, I stick a Freud in the hole and throw away the original one. So far I only have one Freud, but I'll be getting more as the need arises. I was really amazed at the difference. The Freuds cut at least three times faster, with fewer clogging problems, and without getting nearly as hot.
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high speed steel as I've read, but HSS sharpness lasts 10 times longer than basic carbon steel (also as I've read) so you don't want to get anything less than HSS. Those Rocklers are no doubt made in China, doesn't bother me... mine are as well but they are under an old American company, Oldham, Hickory brand HSS and garenteed forever. My set was $40 here: http://www.toolsforless.com/cgi-bin/ToolBig.pl?SKU S1016 this is a good honest business, fast and no profit on shipping. http://www.oldham-usa.com / Having used them, they work perfectly fine. With HSS, they can be sharpened by hand. I'm not to sure, but I think carbide will eventually wear gone with sharpening and are not as easy to sharpen. And any corrections invited.
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Any opinion on Hickory brand. TWC has them on show special in Atlanta set of 16 for S29.95
Russ

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"Russ Stanton" writes:

At that price, probably garbage.
Lew
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On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 19:44:22 -0500, "Russ Stanton"

I have a set. if you use them a lot, you'll want better. they work fine, though, and that's a good price.
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I've got some hickorys. Like 'em. Nuff said? Joe
Russ Stanton wrote:

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That Hickory set is the one TWC often sells at WW shows for $29. http://www.thewoodworkerschoice.com/detail.asp?product_id 52
I have them. I have no prior experience w/ Forstner (these are technically not Forstner, but rather some other -- see Lee Valley for defnition http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&pE533&cat=1,180,42240). Either they are "ok", or my expectations were way off. I figured they would move through wood fairly easily and leave perfectly clean holes. That is not the case. Much better than twist or brad point, but not quite what I expected.

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nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net wrote:

A really good Forstner (or "toothed" Forstner--I'm sure there's a name but I don't know it) will leave a virtually perfectly smooth hole and cut like a dream...
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"Sawtooth"...purpose being is to stay cooler... LV, I am sure, is redoing Chinese blanks like they do with their brad point bits which were originally basic twist bits. But, LV makes a totaly proper forstner like the ConValCo's.
In fact, the Lee Valley HSS Forstners are my recommendation and I should have bought those in the first place.
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Cox West wrote:

As other noted, don't be expecting a lifetime of use from such a set nor perfectly clean holes. There's a reason they're inexpensive. Whether they're also cheap is harder to tell.
I've seen some inexpensive sets under the CMT label that are reground by CMT from Chinese blanks...I've been tempted on them but still can't bring myself to by Chinese goods so I'm waiting til I need another size I don't have to buy a higher-priced set. That, of course, is personal prejudice...
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I bought a $14 set from Woodcraft. The worked very well for a short time. The advantage is they came in a nice box that I still use, they had all the sizes "just in case' I need them and got me through the first project. I've since replace the 3/8 and 3/4 with good quality, but a couple of the sizes have not been used yet. I don' thave a lot of money sitting and not being used but I have cheap insurance if a size is needed. And a nice case to keep them in.
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My recommendations are: # 1 HSS fostner bit for precision work in hard wood. # 2 Carbon steel fostner bits for occasional work in soft to medium wood where tolerance is negligible. In comparison a 13/8" carbon steel titanium colored fostner bit sells for about $8.40 CAD while the High-speed steel sells for $12.20 CAD. After using both I much prefer the HSS and do not mind paying an extra 30% for a superior quality bit. Not only HSS is better but I do not have to sharpen these as much as carbon steel. Now for furniture making I only use HSS bits. FWIW
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