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No Longer Here, BY CHOICE
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The fact that you paid $37 for 20 or 30 forstner bits should tell you why they dont cut. Based on another thread, we know Im not against buying SOME tools from HF but I dont buy bits there. That same set of decent quality would cost probably $300 or better. I buy forstners like I do router bits, as I need them. That way I can afford to buy a little better quality.

Your also asking alot out of a bit that size, especially in end grain.

Id take those back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
its too late to take them back. ive had them for a while now
 

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I have a high speed steel set and a titanium nitride coated set which is the only way to go. The bits don't burn up and cut ten times better than the standard high speed steel set. Both are cheap sets but the coating really makes a difference.
 

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The video does not display for me for some reason... What is taking place?

I have a Grizzly HSS set that I paid a bunch more than I would have for HF bits, but I gather from the other comments here that you are having trouble with cutting with them... HSS needs to be kept sharp much more often than Ti coated or carbide tipped bits.

You might just try your hand at sharpening your bits...

http://on.aol.com/video/how-to-sharpen-forstner-bits-with-a-rotary-tool-302212014
 

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I have a big set I got from Grizzly and every bit I have tried so far (going into everything from pine to oak) has worked fine. It is not an expensive set (it was a 32-piece set with 1/6-inch increments) and it is not carbide tipped or anything special, but the units I have used so far cut clean holes and cut them fast. I have also purchased really big bits from Grizzly, and have one that I got from Clockits to make (obviously) recess mounts for clock movements. All have worked fine.

I buy some things from HF, but not their power tools, sanding belts, saw blades, or (now that I have seen your problem) forstner bits. The place is fun to shop in, but one should choose wisely when getting certain items.

Howard Ferstler
 

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Old School
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That particular bit may not have been sharp enough. With the edge design, it could be DIY sharpened, and at best that's a shot in the dark. With just files and hones, we can't produce the accuracy of the machinery that creates the bits. It might be worth a try. If the bit doesn't work so well before sharpening, the edge may be worse after.

What might affect the cutting ability is the speed and feed rate for that particular bit, and the stock being drilled. The bits should have come with recommended RPM's. I find that the carbide tipped bits work the absolute best for the longest period of time. There are different cutting edge designs for Forstners, and some work better than others.





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I've been happy with several HF items, but I usually recommend against their cutters and bits. I wish their was something more helpful I could do for you, but nothing's coming to mind other than to return them and buy different bits. You can always try taking them back to the store and asking for an exchange....maybe it's just a bad bit/set....worst they can say is no.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Yep, but ...

Anyone ever use these for creating mortise and tenant joints? Would it work?
All my tenants moved out and left the joint a mess. :blink:
They weren't very sharp, so I took them to the woodshed and gave 'em hell. They will never be the same again. They were also a bit boring, if you know what I means..... :eek: Not much depth to them individually, but more as a hole.
 

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I know bashing on HF without once asking any questions is easier but I have an older set of HF forstner bits and every bit works fine. That said I have limited stuff from them and almost nothing bought there is at least 5 years old. That is partially because the things I bought still work fine and partially because as funny as it sounds, quality as went down ever since the son took the business. That happen I think like 5 years ago.

It could just be that one bit was not sharp but in the video you said the big ones don't seem sharp or work good yet the little ones are fine. That tells me your spinning those larger bits way to fast. They require a slower speed the bigger the bit gets regardless of what brand you buy.

You can also check with HF if it was a local store. Hand tools have a lifetime warranty (I don't use them but know the policy) not sure what it is on the bits.
 

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I have HF forstner bits and they work great. I did have the same problem you have once. Turned out I exhausted the travel of my drill press.
 

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I have HF forstner bits and they work great. I did have the same problem you have once. Turned out I exhausted the travel of my drill press.
:laughing: yep that would do it also. Got a feeling that's not the problem since the paddle bit worked fine. Which by the way can be spun at higher speeds.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
had the press set at slowest speed. this is end grain but that's no excuse.
 

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I've touched up my cheap (Porter Cable) forstners with an auger file before. It isn't too hard, so you can try it with your HFs. I got my auger bit file from Lee Valley but TFWW and others have them, too. Once the ones I used most get too bad I intend to replace them with Freud or similar.
 

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I have a big set I got from Grizzly and every bit I have tried so far (going into everything from pine to oak) has worked fine. It is not an expensive set (it was a 32-piece set with 1/6-inch increments) and it is not carbide tipped or anything special, but the units I have used so far cut clean holes and cut them fast. I have also purchased really big bits from Grizzly, and have one that I got from Clockits to make (obviously) recess mounts for clock movements. All have worked fine.

I buy some things from HF, but not their power tools, sanding belts, saw blades, or (now that I have seen your problem) forstner bits. The place is fun to shop in, but one should choose wisely when getting certain items.

Howard Ferstler
Howard, I totally get your leeriness about HF, but to be completely honest. I have had good luck with their power tools. The sanding belts so far are working although I suspect they will give up faster than better name brands, however they are putting up with an awful lot of abuse so far... The worst sanding belts I have used so far are 3M, those things kept popping the seam and getting tangled in the sander before it could stop.

I really wish I could remember who I got my clock making forstner bits from, but I too have a set of specailty sized "Clock making" forstner bits. I thought they were from either Grizzly, but if not them it would have to be MLCS or Penn State Industries... Those are the three I have done a bit of business with... But the none of my bits are carbide, they are all HSS, and holding up really well, although for a production shop I would definately want carbide...

I can't agree strongly enough on steering clear of Harbor Freight bits, and blades though. There are a lot of things they sell I am willing to give a shot, but after the blade and router bit fiascoes I have had with them, including carbide tips falling off before I could even get the blade installed in the saw... yeah HF can keep their bits and blades, I am not willing to trust them.
 

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Hmmm. Okay NOW I can see the video.

Just a dumb though, but what speed is your drill press running at? It is possible that running too fast and the bit will just slide over the end grain sort of burnishing it, instead of cutting it...

If you don't have it yet, download and print a copy of the Wood Magzine drill press speed chart. I put mine in a sheet protector, and have it hanging from the drill press table for easy access.

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-tips/techniques/drilling-boring/drill-press-speed-chart/

If possible, could you set the press to the recommended speed from the chart, or from the HF set if it has recommended bit speeds, and then shoot some video of the actual drilling operation so we can get a better view of what is going on?
 
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