Canadian Woodworking

BORA Tempest Forstner 7-piece drill bit set

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Efficiently designed drill bits that cut clean, flat-bottom holes in hard and softwood.

Author: Carl Duguay

Forstner bits are preferred by furniture makes because they excel at producing perfectly clean holes with flat bottoms. These bits are distinguished from other drill bits by having two flat curved rims with inside bevels, two chippers, and a center spur.

As well as drilling precise, clean-edged holes in soft and hard woods, plywood, MDF, and laminates, these bits excel at drilling angled holes, overlapping holes, and holes on the edge of stock.

Manufacturer: BORA Tool
Model: BFB-009867
Price: $69.99 US
Made in: Austria
Source: BORA Tool

 

Key Features:

  • High speed steel
  • Precision CNC ground cutting edges
  • Small center point for easy bit registration
  • Fully forged body

BORA Tempest Forstner bits are available in sizes from 1/4″ to 2-1/8″ and in sets of 4, 7 and 16 bits. The 7-piece boxed set contains what are probably the most frequently used sizes of Forstner bits: 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″, and 1″ bits. Shank diameters range from 1/4″ to 3/8″. Overall bit length is about 3-1/2″. These bits are manufactured in Austria by FISCH Tools who are widely known for their high-quality drilling and cutting tools.

The softwood storage box is very nicely made and each bit has it’s own slot. It’s nice looking and practical – for bit protection, storage, and carrying about the shop.

Similar to most Forstner bits, these Tempest bits are CNC precision ground from high speed steel. I measured all the bit diameters, and found them to be spot-on. The cutting edges are very sharp as are the beveled edges on the chippers. The four-sided center point makes it easy to precisely position the bit for drilling and makes the bit less susceptible to inadvertently jumping about especially if you use them in a power drill.

The holes that I drilled with the bits precisely matched the diameter of the bits, and the rim edges and bottom of the holes were crisp and clean. When drilling shallow holes, up to about 1″ deep for the 5/8″ and larger bits (up to about 3/4″ with the smaller diameter bits) the bits do a good job of clearing chips. Going any deeper, there was a tendency for the holes to plug-up with debris. To be fair, this happens with all the other brands of Forstner bits I’ve used. You can avoid this problem all-together by sinking the bit 1/4″ or so for small bits (1/2″ or so for larger bits), and then pulling the bit out of the hole to allow chips to clear.

The Tempest drill bits do a great job drilling angled holes, overlapping holes, and holes on the edge of boards. Drilling holes on the edge of stock is easier if you clamp the stock to the drill press table – particularly when drilling into short, narrow stock.

I haven’t used these bits long enough to determine whether they will last appreciably longer than other brands of Forstner bits, but over the four week period that I have been exclusively using the Tempest bits in the shop they’re holding up magnificently. The holes they cut are as crisp and clean as the first time I used the bits and they show no signs of dulling.

I find that these bits cut quickly, and leave super clean holes – both rims and bottoms. Used in the drill press (as they typically should be) they feed easily enough and chip ejection isn’t much of a problem, especially if you back-out the bit when drilling deep or wide holes. When drilling multiple holes consecutively I found that the bits didn’t heat up appreciably.

If consistently precise, cleanly cut flat bottomed holes are what you want, then the BORA Tempest Forstner bits are well worth considering.

 

BORA Tempest bits
Nicely machined with sharp cutting edges.
BORA Tempest bits
Clean cuts with flat bottoms.
BORA Tempest bits
Equally great cuts in end grain.
BORA Tempest bits
A good choice when it comes to precision drilling.

Published:
Last modified: April 29, 2024

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.


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