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Best Forstner Drill Bits Australia [Top 3 Picks 2021]

If you’re a carpenter or woodworker, you depend on having the most precise cutting tools that deliver superior results day in and day out. Most professional woodworkers use a range of different drill bits to achieve the perfect finish, and one such essential drill bit is the Forstner.

The Forstner bit is a unique, large-bore bit that is commonly used in carpentry, cabinetry, and woodworking and is perfect for drilling large diameter holes or increasing the size of an existing hole.

Some advantages of using a Forstner bit are that it provides smooth bore and clean bottom holes, creates less woodchip waste and mess, doesn’t drift away from the centre point, and is often less expensive than other drill bit sets.

Let’s drill down into what makes a great Forstner bit.

Best Overall

IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece-min

The IRWIN Marples Wood Drilling Forstner bit set boasts over a thousand 4.7 out of 5-star ratings. These bits are made from tough carbon steel to ensure they stay sharp and produce precise flat-bottomed holes and pocket holes.

Forstner Bit Set Australia – Buying Guide

Image Name Features
Best Overall Best Overall IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece
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Freud PB-104 Precision Shear 4 Piece
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Mengshen Forstner Drill Bits Set 30-60mm 6PCS
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What is a Forstner Drill Bit?

This cylindrically shaped drill bit creates deep, flat holes in wood and other soft materials such as plastics. They are guided by the rim and not the centre point, making them ideal for boring through timber that is hard or contains knots and strong grains.

This type of bit is particularly useful in furniture and cabinetry making and other woodworking projects. It can effortlessly boreholes at an angle or increase the size of an existing hole.

These bits usually come in a range of sizes measured in diameter and are designed to be attached to your drill so the appropriate amount of force can be used to gain traction [1].

Forstner Bit Sizes

You can either buy Forstner bits individually or as a set. Our reviews focus specifically on sets as they add more value to your tool kit, plus they lend themselves to more versatile working solutions. After all having one 40mm Forstner bit will not cut it when you only have a small hole to drill. They usually come in a size range of 6 to 75 mm, so it’s essential to consider how you’ll be using the drill bits and what the best size ranges are for you. This is another reason sets are a great option.

Forstner Bit Material

Generally, these bits are made using high-speed steel (HSS), an iron-based alloy combining tungsten, vanadium, carbon, chromium, or molybdenum. HSS is designed to efficiently cut materials at high speeds and withstand high operating temperatures [2]. To add even more durability, a carbide-tipped bit is ideal [3].

Forstner Bit Edge Type

The cylindrical rim of a Forstner bit comes in either a flat or serrated cutting edge, and both have specific purposes. Flat-edged bits tend to cut fast but can overheat quickly, whereas serrated edge tends to dissipate heat better but doesn’t boreholes as quickly.

Forstner bit on white background.

Forstner Drill Bits Australia – Reviews

We’ve found the top three Forstner bits Australia and broken down each model’s key features and benefits.

1. IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece – Best Overall

Why we love it:

  • The bits are extra sharp and represent excellent value for money, plus they come packaged in a neat little plastic storage case. The range of 14 different sizes is great for a variety of different work requirements.

The IRWIN Marples Wood Drilling Forstner bit set boasts over a thousand 4.7 out of 5-star ratings. These bits are made from tough carbon steel to ensure they stay sharp and produce precise flat-bottomed holes and pocket holes. The ultra-sharp serrated cutting edges feature optimized angles to cut quickly and accurately through both hard and softwoods. These drill bits are ideal for fine woodworking, cabinet-making, and more.

The set includes a range of sizes varying from 6.3mm through to 50.8mm, and the reduced shank fits 9.5mm and larger drills and drill presses. It works with both electric and battery-operated drills as well.

2. Freud PB-104 Precision Shear 4 Piece 1/4-Inch to 1-Inch Serrated Edge Forstner Drill Bit Assortment

Why we love it:

  • These bits are high quality and can drill through wood like butter. These are an excellent option for a professional tool kit upgrade and are very reasonably priced.

Freud is the only manufacturer of drill bits that produce their own MicroGrain carbide with Titanium, called TiCo™. By creating their own carbide, they maximize the cutting life and performance of the tool [4].

The razor-sharp serrated edges easily create smooth and flat bottom holes and a good clean cut, plus the steep angled cutting edges create “chisel-like” curls for clean and fast woodchip removal.

The set has four different sizes ranging from 6.3mm to 25.4mm, and when it comes to performance, these bits are at the top of their class.

3. Mengshen Forstner Drill Bits Set 30-60mm 6PCS

Why we love it:

  • A great budget option that doesn’t skimp on performance. These bits are perfect for a DIYer, plus they come in individual plastic containers for easy and neat storage. The only thing to note with these bits is that the temperature does get very high with use, and the brand advises adding water or coolant to avoid damage.

The Mengshen set is made using tungsten steel and is heat-treated for added durability. The blade offers high accuracy drilling and a smooth cutting operation, plus excellent resistance to hard surfaces.

The HSS shank is sturdy and best suited for a drill press, bench drill, pistol drill, vertical drilling machine, and a handheld electric drill.  The Mengshen drill bit package includes six pieces, ranging from 30mm to 60mm, moving up in 5mm increments.

The set is excellent for many applications, including hard and softwood surfaces, plastic, and plywood. It’s also suitable for industrial hinge installation, wood maintenance and processing, and installation of drawers and doors.

The Verdict

Our top pick is the IRWIN Marples Forstner Bit Set, 14-Piece. We agree with the thousand other people who rated these bits at 4.7 out of 5 stars. They are a great professional set and offer an extensive size range to help create precision workmanship.

The best budget option is Freud PB-104 Precision Shear 4 Piece. These high-quality bits are great for a DIYer or professional and offer premium quality at a budget price point.

FAQs

While you can use a Forstner drill bit in a battery or electric handheld drill, they do tend to be better suited for use in a drill press.

Forstner bits are designed for woodworking applications and cut precise, clean-edged holes in wood. They can drill a flat-bottomed hole, making them a necessary tool for many hardware or cabinetry installations where an exact drilling depth is required.

The Forstner bit was named after Benajmin Forstner, who was a gunsmith in the late 1800s. Forstner possessed a superior knowledge of metallurgy, and rifling helped him develop the Forstner bit, which was initially called the “Forstner Flange Bit” or the “Webfoot Auger.” He patented his bit design in 1874 [5].

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