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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all!

I am currently building my toymaking inventory on a very tight budget, and I am now in need of a good Forstner bit set AND a hole saw kit. I'd like both sets to be in the 14 or 16 piece range (starting around 3/4"). I've found a decent kit of each at Harbor Freight for roughly $35 each, but the reviews for kits in this price range seem less than assuring that they will cut smoothly over long periods of time. 

I am needing any help on the best kits I can get in this price range ($30-40 max each)

Thank you!



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Posts: 151
Reply with quote  #2 
Sean -
Try Peachtree Woodworking Supply -  They have a brand called Stone Mountain that I have a set of and they are quite good for the money.


Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #3 
I have the "Warrior" bi-metal hole saw set from Harbor Freight and it is a terrific value.  THe bi-metal saws would work for metal as well as wood so I think they will last a good long while using them only on wood.

I am also new to wooden toys so I figured that if I really get into it I can always upgrade the hole saws later - but I do not think I will need an upgrade as the one I have now is fine.

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Posts: 1,179
Reply with quote  #4 
SeanD - Another supplier  - Lee Valley Tools - offers top quality tools. A little pricy, but well worth it.
Problem may be the additional costs associated with shipping them to you, sometimes shipping costs exceed the item price.
  Many times internet purchases are the way to go, not only for reduced shipping costs but unit price as well.
   I have never experienced any problems with buying online and I do a lot of purchasing online.

But here is a little tip ... go to the bank and get a credit card, use this card only for online purchases. If anything goes wrong you can always cancel that card and get a new card and number. You are not endangering your personal credit card for household use. Set up a PayPal account and you are pretty much worry free.


Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #5 
I treat my bits all about the same.  I get an inexpensive set.  As they wear out I replace them with the better brand and longer lasting.  I have found that in my 12 forstner piece set (purchased at a local home center), I use about 4 of them all the time.  This saves you from buying an expensive set and only using a few of the bits.  I do the same with router bits.

Posts: 153
Reply with quote  #6 
Udie: I have yet to have a problem using a CC online...I use paypal, interac and a CC.

If you're worried about fraud or someone stealing your card, the best solution? Get a pay as you go credit card. That way, you only put on it the money that you're going to spend on that particular purchase so if anyone steals the number, they can't buy anything with it. Plus there is NO risk of being tardy in your payments and getting caught in that trap......

Mine is via my bank so whenever I need to make a purchase, it is 2 minutes to transfer money to it. A lot of banks call them travel credit cards....funny thing is? It costs $12.00 a year and that's it. No interest, no percentage of purchases, nothing.

Back to the topic at hand: I've used expensive hole saws and cheap ones. None of them last really. You can re-sharpen them with a dremel to extend their life and one other way? Don't over drive them. Let them cut at their own pace. If you over heat them that is one sure fire way for the teeth to lose their temper and soon enough, their edge......

One trick to hole saws: ever have trouble getting your cut out of the saw? To prevent this from happening go halfway through one side, until the pilot bit pokes through, then flip your piece over and finish the cut from the other side. Then it is halfway out of the hole saw and easy peasy to remove.....
Rod T

Posts: 649
Reply with quote  #7 
I bought a set of Fisch Wave Cutter Forstner bits recently.
They are fantastic, when treated gentle I don't get any tearout on the exit side. 
Not cheap, but they work really well.

I got them from here,

In Australia, but I am sure you could get similar in the the US.

Rod T


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #8 
Im totally new to all this could you please tell me what the advantage of Forstener bits are over those wide flat bits i would normally use to make a whole with, sorry if this is a stipid question, i really have no idea. Thank you in advance.
john lewman

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Posts: 2,873
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Luke,

That's a great question. The flat bits you're referring to are often called Spade Bits. These bits are cheap to buy and fast to use. However, they tear a hole rather than give you a clean hole.

The Forstner bits are more expensive but they'll give you a nice clean hole that requires little sanding.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #10 
Hi all first post from me and I'm also in Australia. Currently exploring how to make wooden cars, trucks, bulldozers, busses and planes for my grand children.

I bought a 16 piece set of forstner bits from a company called Carbatec here in Australia. They are a high carbon set and can be resharpened. There are several YouTube videos that can show you how to do this so even a cheap set can be made to last a fair while. As for hole saws get the bimetal ones as they stay sharp for longer if only used for cutting timber.

If you think tools are not cheap in USA you should see what we have to pay for them here in Australia.   

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Posts: 1,626
Reply with quote  #11 
High Speed Steel is the way to go. They will hold there edge even when they get hot and last a long time. If you don't have the money for a set. Consider buying quality bits only in the sizes you need. You might find that you will only need a few.

If you buy one of the large 16 bit sets there will be bits in the set that never drill a hole. I have a nice set of HSS brad point bits I've had for about forty years. Three of them get used enough that they are stored on a magnet on my drill press. There are about three others that see occasional use 6 of 15 get used.

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #12 
A Forstner bit is designed to drill a perfectly flat bottomed hole.

I bought a cheap set at Harbor Freight...they are cheap, and I don't use most, but they do an acceptable job.

My choice would be to use the Forstner bit. I also use a table top drill press on anything that I can.
Go slow, and if you use a backer board and you will reduce the risk of tearout.
I have had good luck with paddle bits and Forstner bits doing this.

The key is (imo) going slow and the backer board.

Here is Wikipedia on drill bits.
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