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Tip #134
Forstner Bit Use & Maintenance

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8 Times to reach for your Forstner Bits:

  • When you need a flat-bottomed hole
  • When you need to drill to within 1/32" to 1/16" of the bottom of your workpiece without piercing through
  • When you need to drill an angled hole
  • When you need to bore over-lapping holes
  • To re-locate an existing hole by enlarging it
  • To drill veneers without splitting
  • To create round-end mortises
  • When you need to bore end grains

7 Tips For Using & Maintaining Forstner Bits

  • Forstner bits should ALWAYS be used in a Drill Press
  • For accurate positioning (when using Forstners with little or no center spur), you should always draw or scribe your circle on your workpiece before boring
  • Always follow the manufacturer's speed recommendations. Forstners usually work best at slow speeds...especially when boring large diameter holes or working with hard woods. Excess speed will burn the bit and destroy the temper of the steel. A Speed Reducer may be required for certain operations .
  • NEVER drill metal with a Forstner Bit
  • When drilling deeper than the Bit rim, always retract the bit frequently to clear the chips and avoid burning.
  • Never sharpen the outside of the rim on a Forstner Bit, as this will reduce the size of the hole it will drill. In fact, it's best to have Forstners PROFESSIONALLY sharpened.
  • If possible, clamp your workpiece in position when using Forstners to ensure accurate positioning

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