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Thread: Forstner Bits: HF vs Grizzly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Madison, WI
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    268

    Forstner Bits: HF vs Grizzly

    Need some second opinions:
    Am I correct in assuming that THIS and THESE are in all likelihood the exact same set of bits?
    And if so - is it weird that Id STILL feel better buying them from Grizzly??
    Ive read few posts by people here who bought the HF ones and seem to like them OK - anyone else have experience with this set?
    And why oh why is the HSS set even more expensive - isnt TiN just a coating over HSS??? Looks like the same manufacturer - would I just be paying an extra $30 for the hex shank?

    ps: I know, I know - save up and buy a nice carbide set. That price point just isnt going to work for me right now, and for as often as I use these they'll probably last me for years. If/when I wear them out then Ill invest in a nice LeeValley set.
    Proud to Hate Michigan Athletics Since 1981


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Washington State
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    I'm not going to comment on the specific items, but give an overview of Grizz and HF from my point of view.

    In some (but absolutely not all) instances HF and Grizz sell identical, or virtually identical items. The difference is typically that HF is cheaper (especially if you are using a coupon) but Grizz has much better quality control (and their prices aren't bad). I've yet to return anything to Grizz along the bits/belts/etc. I have returned a number of things to HF in the past. Or at least taken the time to open up the box in the store to make sure everything was there and eyeball it for finish. To be fair, the HF guys know that their QC is crappy and take things back without a question. But if you aren't close to a HF store, it can be a pain.

    Grizz also has great customer service. The HF people are pretty nice, but the Grizz guys just know their stuff and are happy to help (in my experience).

    In short, if you are buying budget and aren't close to either store, I would go with Grizz as I think you have less chance of needing to return it. If you are close to HF, go for it, just take the time to look through the box and buy the best looking one. If you are close to both stores, I'd say pick whichever you like best. I'm minutes from Grizz and an hour from HF, so I tend to buy from Grizz since I can walk in there. But I take monthly or so trips to HF for various deals.

    Of course be advised that within minutes someone is going to tell you that you should be spending $200 on some nicer version of what you are trying to buy, as happens with most every thread that mentions cheap tools. And they may be right. But if I had to wait and buy top of the line for everything, I wouldn't get to build anything for the next 5 years because I wouldn't have the tools. Top of the line is great, but lots of great stuff is made with less-than-premium tools.
    Last edited by Josh Reet; 11-04-2009 at 1:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
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    9,458
    The thing that was lacking when I bought a similar set at a similar price at Sears is there are no 1/16 size increments.

    Here are some similar sets, individual bits and sets with the 1/16 sizes. They may not be as cheap.

    jim
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
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    Looks like with the Grizzly set you get the box.
    I bought a cheap set of Forstner bits but got wise. I've been replacing them with Freud a few at a time. Wish I didn't waste the money for the cheapies.
    Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill, and laxative on the same night.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    N.W. Missouri
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    1,058
    I have a cheap set. For hobby work I can't justify a lot of money on something that I don't use often. One thing I have noticed is the cheap ones have lower quality metal and you have to be careful not to let the cutting edge get too hot when using, of it will dull them fast.

    John

  6. I would like to believe that I could tell you to buy from a more reputable brand name company and believe that you could do that. Unfortunately, I am no longer sure. Nearly everyone is marketing product made where it can be done cheaper and I am afraid that this is done by stripping out quality.

    Remember, you hardly ever get more than you pay for and seldom get what you pay for.

  7. #7

    I've got the Grizzly set

    I got it as a free gift when I bought my band saw back a couple of years ago. Is Freud a better bit - sure - but these bits get the job done just fine and for a heck of a lot less money. Nice to have the size options sitting on the shelf and the money in my pocket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Atlanta , Ga.
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    3,970
    If you are not industrial.. I highly doubt you need carbide. I work in my shop 5 days a week.. have cut thousands of holes with my forstner bits and so far.... have no need to upgrade. My set is a cheap set of Ole Hickory WW'ing made by Oldham and purchased about 10 years ago at HD for around $25.

    Both sets are probably the same but I would foot the extra few dollars to get the box unless you plan to store them in an open shelf.. rack.. etc.

    BTW.. the key IMO to a cheap set not dis-tempering is plunge and release to allow the chips to extract and the metal to get a bit of air as in air cool...

    Good luck...
    Sarge..

    Woodworkers' Guild of Georgia
    Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

  9. #9
    I have the HF set with the 1/2" shank. I got them on sale. Normally the set costs $40, I got it for half of that. They work great for me.

    I was at the store this SAT and was looking at them again. The ones with the hex shanks were on sale. I talked to another guy who had the same set as me for 14 years! They get dull, but they are easy to file sharp.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Chain Of Lakes, Nortern Illinois
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    418
    use a 20% off coupon and its only 32.00 bucks.

    Or WC is having a sale on woodriver bits as well. 10pc set for 19.99..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    I've had a set from HF for years and they have been great and served me very well.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    The thing that was lacking when I bought a similar set at a similar price at Sears is there are no 1/16 size increments.

    Here are some similar sets, individual bits and sets with the 1/16 sizes. They may not be as cheap.

    jim
    http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mast...1-pc-Set/H7694 This is the set I bought. It is by 1/16ths and seems to work just fine, also it has hex shanks for no slipping.

  13. #13
    Are the titanium nitride (TiN) coated tools HSS? I wanted to purchase a 29 pc. brad point set in HSS, but they were considerably higher than the TiN coated bit set since they were only available individually. The individual HSS brad bits are excellent. Shop Fox folks said the TIN coated bits in the brad set were not the same as the individual bits, so I am waiting on the HSS brad bits to be available in a set from Griz.

    I believe there is an advertising purpose for many of the items we see as "TIN coated" in the market place, i.e. not implying Griz or HF but the others out there. I mean, who needs a TiN coated speed wrench .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Barnett View Post
    Are the titanium nitride (TiN) coated tools HSS? I wanted to purchase a 29 pc. brad point set in HSS, but they were considerably higher than the TiN coated bit set since they were only available individually. The individual HSS brad bits are excellent. Shop Fox folks said the TIN coated bits in the brad set were not the same as the individual bits, so I am waiting on the HSS brad bits to be available in a set from Griz.

    I believe there is an advertising purpose for many of the items we see as "TIN coated" in the market place, i.e. not implying Griz or HF but the others out there. I mean, who needs a TiN coated speed wrench .
    New fad...kinda like nitrogen, first it's in your tires, now your gas. Where next, your cornflakes?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Ida, MI
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    10,920
    I've got that set from Harbor Freight. really, I see no reason to upgrade as they serve my needs pretty well.


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