What Are Forstner Bits Used for?

What Are Forstner Bits Used for? image by Photos by Gene Tencza
What Are Forstner Bits Used for? image by Photos by Gene Tencza


A forstner bit is a special boring tool that is much more versatile than a twist drill. It has a center point that allows you to accurately locate it on your workpiece. It works by scoring the cutting circle with spurs that are located on its circumference. It then shaves the stock out of the hole by means of two horizontal cutting edges. You can do many things with a forstner bit that would be impossible to do with an ordinary drill.

Large holes

You can drill a hole through the top of your computer desk for a "wiring grommet." The hole will have nice clean edges.

Forstner bit

Flat bottoms

The bottom of a hole bored with a forstner bit is essentially flat. You can make trays for pins, tacks or paper clips by boring a series of large shallow holes. You can make a cup holder by boring almost all the way through a thick block of wood.


End grain

You can use a forstner bit to bore a hole in the end of a piece of wood without following the grain. This will allow you to accurately locate dowel holes when making joints.

Angled holes

A forstner bit will allow you to bore holes at an angle without tearing the wood. For example, you can make the holes in a chair seat for the back posts, legs and arm supports.

Veneered surfaces

If you need to inlay a contrasting circle in a veneered surface, a forstner bit will remove the existing veneer without tearing the edge of the circle.

Who Can Help

  • You can buy forstner bits at the larger hardware and building supplies stores
  • These are examples or wire management grommets for computer desks.

About this Author

Gene Tencza has worked in the furniture industry all his life. Tencza has always been a chronic home handyman, mechanic and "Jack of all trades". He has been writing professionally for eHow.com since May of 2009. Tencza has a Bachelor of Science in industrial education from Central Conneticut State University

Photo by: Photos by Gene Tencza

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