Forstner bits

I need to buy a 1" forstner bit. It seems much cheaper to buy a set. One of my woodworking friends says he uses them infrequently. I see a carbon steel set on Rockler for $20 and a Freud carbide set on Amazon for $85.
So here is my question. For those of you who use these bits, do you use them often enough to justify the huge increase in price to get carbide?
Dick Snyder
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Ive had my Northern Tool set for the past few years now - (like 30 bux for a 20 peice set) I got it when I needed a 1" one as well - and HD sold a 1" one for around $25.
I keep them cleaned up and they still work well. I use them more frequently now and think Ill be upgrading soon.

of
steel
them
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Dick Snyder wrote:

The $20 sets will get the job done if you don't use them very often. They dull very quickly and they don't cut all that well when they're new.
I have one of those $25 sets from Lowe's, and I accidentally destroyed the 3/4" bit when I had the brilliant idea to use sandpaper as a shim for the top I grafted onto my workbench. Bore, bore, bore... Wow, this is taking forever. What the hell is that in the hole anyway? Black? Rough. Aw, crap.
So I bought a Freud I think. I don't think it's even carbide, but the difference between this lone silver bit (which cost about $12 by itself) and all the others in the set is really astonishing. So I'd say quality really does matter a great deal with these things, and you get what you pay for.
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I think some of it depends on what you will use them for. I have a cheap HSS set, and I use them on soft woods only. The thing about these is they are not easy to sharpen, so: cheaper, duller, faster. I would say if you have a use for a particular size that you will use a lot, get a good one in that size, and then just keep the cheaper set for the "once in a while I need one of the other sizes" needs.
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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 18:31:10 -0400, "Dick Snyder"

the only one that has been clearly worth it to me to get is the size for cup hinges....
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snipped-for-privacy@thanks.com wrote in <snip>

Amen to that! And the hole cuts more cleanly as well. (Mine is the blue carbide one from Rockler - works very well.)
The cheapie has been discarded, so as not to confuse the unwary.
Patriarch, who buys the individual Freud Diablo bits 'as needed'
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them
I've never used a cheap set, but I've used both high speed steel and carbide Freud Forstner bits. The carbide Freuds are incredible. I've decided to stick with them and buy one at a time as I need them. The carbide bits will probably last me to my grave.
Bob
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wrote:

I bought the cheap set at HF for $7.99... Took the wood box apart and put it back together... the education in box building was worth a lot more than the bits, but the bits will work until I replace them... The ones that will probably get replaced first are the 1" and the 3/8"..... I use a lot of 3/8" t-bolts with the brad holes and this combo lets them indent nice and flat..
Sold 2 pairs of rv chocks last weekend, so I guess I can justify a few better bits now.. *g*
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 14:27:23 +0000, mac davis wrote:

How far are the rims below the inside cutters? Sharpening books say to keep that distance about 0.05", but my cheapos are almost 1/8". I'd add a caveat to earlier advice: OK, get an inexpensive set, but don't go to the bottom of the line $8 sets. Only good thing about the chiwanese stuff is you can practise sharpening Forstners and not fret about wrecking the bits in the process.
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On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 10:11:59 -0500, Australopithecus scobis

I doubt that these are worth sharpening.... but I knew that from the price when I ordered them..
They brought me from zero to 5 forstner bits... and let me learn on something that I don't have to worry about hurting...
They also allowed me to take a step up in the appearance of the chocks I make for a few extra bucks and to meet other campers... like the ads say.. "priceless"
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No - but I'd echo Bridger's caveat. If I end up doing a lot of euro hinges, then I'll probably invest in a good, carbide 35mm bit. The rest of mine are HSS. Harbor Freight set to start with and I'm replacing them 1 by 1 with Freud HSS
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Dick Snyder woke up and had the following to say....:

I have a set of 7 carbide bits ranging form 1/2" to 1 1/2" I use the 1/2" (for screw pockets) and the 1 3/8" (for door hinges) the most, though I have used the others also. Are they worth it ? Yes ! I found these on sale for about 1/2 price years ago, can't remember where though.
JAW
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Dick: You are right. Like most "bits" you will do better buying a set. If you don't plan to use them often don't break your bank. I bought an 6 piece Delta set a couple of years ago that covers 3/8 through 1" in 1/8" increments. I believe it was in the $18-20 range. Since then I have seen larger sets that aren't a whole lot higher.

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