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Bargain forstner bits

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condeesteso

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I think these are well worth knowing about. I just got a set of 16 bits from Screwfix for about £35 including shipping. All the reviews there were 5 star so I thought they were worth a go.
I needed 2 large sizes for the wood screws on the new bench and had hunted around... was looking at around £40 - 70 for each size, and I'll only really use them once (the 2" and 2 1/8"), so this set looked like a winner.
I've just tested them in ash, and they really are excellent. The sizes above 3/4" are saw-tooth, all machining seems very good (not absolutely impeccable, my Freud pro ones are slighly better finished on the cutting edges). Entry can be very clean as long as you cut slow to start (let the first fibres cut cleanly, then you are off).
The blow-mold case is better than the average, and it's easy to get the bits out, just press the cutting head and the shank lifts easily. Seems like a minor point but how many times do you reach for a screwdriver to lever a bit out of one of those cases?
I find Forstner bits very useful with the pillar drill - for getting rid of stock on mortices for example (don't have a morticer and don't really feel the need).
Anyway, hugely recommended for general use, and at around £2 each average, a true bargain.
 

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imageel

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I bought a set of these a while ago for much the same reason - had to drill some large holes for front and tail vice screws, and I too was pleasantly surprised at how clean they cut.
Only problem I did find was that the 10mm one had a significant wander in it, enough to make it useless for dowelling.
Since I had used a couple of the other bits I thought I might try to tue it myself using blows from a large block of wood but without success, so back to the trusty lip-n-spur instead :D
Ed
 

powertools

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It makes a plesent change for a well respected member of this forum to recomend lower priced tools.
To many times members ask for advice on a tool purchase and without knowing how much use the tool will get and for what purpose the tool will be used for the advice always seems to be the same, buy the best brand name item.
When it comes to tools that may not be used very much or may be abused to get some jobs done this is not always the best advice.
 

chippy1970

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I bought a Screwfix holesaw set (Red box one) years ago it was only about a tenner at the time and I thought it would be rubbish, its still going strong used in the trade environment just goes to show some of this cheap stuff is good
 

condeesteso

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Hi Powertools - respected? non. Well? fairly, for the time being.
SEE - I do use machines! Just spent a few hours today hand-planing a lump of ash* (26 x 12 x 2 1/4 inches) - just too big for my 10 inch planer. Crikey - hard it was (cupped and with a touch of twist too). But I couldn't do it with a powertool... at least not one I had. (Well, I suppose the belt sander which would have completely effed it up, really quick).
* yes, it's the sliding deadman for me bench innit. When that bench is done it's going to have one big party (just the one).
 

powertools

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condeesteso":1mj8z4mv said:
Hi Powertools - respected? non. Well? fairly, for the time being.
SEE - I do use machines! Just spent a few hours today hand-planing a lump of ash* (26 x 12 x 2 1/4 inches) - just too big for my 10 inch planer. Crikey - hard it was (cupped and with a touch of twist too). But I couldn't do it with a powertool... at least not one I had. (Well, I suppose the belt sander which would have completely effed it up, really quick).
* yes, it's the sliding deadman for me bench innit. When that bench is done it's going to have one big party (just the one).

This should not be a debate about power tools vs hand tools but more about if there is a place in most workshops for buget priced tools of either type. I see someone has started a thread about buget priced tools and it will be interesting to see the replies.

As an aside you will find amusing that having seen your posts about scratch blocks I have made one using one of those corrigated conner fastners as a blade to score groves in the loose tennons that I make for the glue to escape.
 

wobblycogs

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Got to add my 2p worth to this. I bought a set of Axi forstner bits last year (http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-15-piece-axminster-tin-coated-forstner-bit-set-prod816857/) and I've been very disappointed in the quality which is rare for Axi stuff. None of the bits are what I would call sharp and the machining is only ok at best - a couple had nibs on the outside edge of the bit which had to be removed before it could be used. Should have bought from ScrewFix I suppose.
 

nanowire

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wobblycogs":3m32xve8 said:
Got to add my 2p worth to this. I bought a set of Axi forstner bits last year (/axminster-15-piece-axminster-tin-coated-forstner-bit-set-prod816857/) and I've been very disappointed in the quality which is rare for Axi stuff. None of the bits are what I would call sharp and the machining is only ok at best - a couple had nibs on the outside edge of the bit which had to be removed before it could be used. Should have bought from ScrewFix I suppose.
I have had the same experience with that set from Axminster. One third was returned due to them being non-centered resulting in heavy wobbling and bad, enlarged holes. I got new ones sent to me and after some sharpening they work OK.
 

woodbloke

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wobblycogs":2ni8804k said:
Got to add my 2p worth to this. I bought a set of Axi forstner bits last year (http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-15-piece-axminster-tin-coated-forstner-bit-set-prod816857/) and I've been very disappointed in the quality which is rare for Axi stuff. None of the bits are what I would call sharp and the machining is only ok at best - a couple had nibs on the outside edge of the bit which had to be removed before it could be used. Should have bought from ScrewFix I suppose.
Same here, the Ax bits were a complete waste of time, which makes me wonder about cheaper bits in general. Eventually I took the plunge and ordered a complete set of the Famag saw tooth bits from Matt at WH which have proved to be a revelation. It helped at the time that they were on offer, so not quite as spendy as they might have been - Rob
 

Benchwayze

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Don't worry about SWMBO complaints any more.
She just rolls her eyes and carries on.

Had to replace 3 power tools in the last month. That's what comes of buying them all together. But maybe this time, they will see me out!

Had a big kick-back fright with my Elu Biscuit Jointer yesterday, :shock: so that's being serviced. :mrgreen:

I will check out these bits next month! My tools fund has taken a battering! :cry:
 

Tony Spear

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gregmcateer":2kocnwas said:
The Missus will be pleased to hear not all the new items need to be expensive brands!!
Greg
Greg, you NEVER tell them that 'cos next time you fancy something shiny and expensive, she's bound to insist that you must be able to find something a lot cheaper! :roll: :mrgreen:
 

Eric The Viking

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Horses for courses, innit?

I've been pleased with the Axminster set (also bought them on offer last year) so far, but I've not yet had to do anything demanding ultra precision. They're my 'go to' ones for general use over about 12mm. I agree they're weren't sharp, but they seem to be fine so far.

To be honest, I'm checking and sharpening them as I need to use the different sizes, so there may be a duffer in there yet.

'Sofa so good' though, as they say down the furniture recycling place...

E.
 

condeesteso

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an update on the Screwfix ones, as I have used them quite a bit recently. I tend to get a tiny bit of surface rust - not so at all with the expensive Freuds or any other tools in the workshop which I consider to be dry. Not a problem but noted.
The swarf removal tends to clog, and I cannot really see why as the clearance channels are well-flowed. It may be slight roughness on the surfaces.
The round shank (c.f. the hex shank on some) does not present any problems at all to me - even on the big 2" plus (in an Axminster pillar with keyless chuck). I note the quality Freuds are the same (round shank) and I don't believe it's an issue in practice.
The Screwfix set beats the budget gold coloured ones I got ages ago, by a mile. And at £30 i still reckon they are good for general lightish use, and particularly for the big sizes you may only use very occasionally anyway. I cannot compare them with the Records of course, but at under £2 a bit, I would still recommend them.
 

condeesteso

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It's been a long time, but something to report about these bits. Had occasion yesterday to need the 54mm (largest in set). Cuts clean and fine, but discovered it isn't 54 at all. Measures 50.1mm so not even 2". The size down marked 51 is actually about 48mm. Never noticed this before and maybe never used these big ones before but quite a problem. Annoting that they are marked in 3 places too: shank, plastic cap and in the blow-mold case:

FB1.jpg


Now I need a 54mm, probably for very occasional use. Any recommendations at the budget end please?
 

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