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Whether you want to build a unique storage case for your coin collection or find a classy way to mark the year you built your woodworking project, you’ll be hard pressed to find the right-sized bit in a regular Forstner bit set. What you need is a coin-sized Forstner bit set.

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There may be sets for other countries’ coins out there, but we’ll talk about sets that have bits for the 6 sizes of U.S. coins. The bits for the U.S. coin sizes are more or less as follows:

  • Pennies: 19.1 mm or 0.751″
  • Nickles: 21.3mm or .839″
  • Dimes: 18mm or .709″
  • Quarters:  24.1mm or .949″
  • Half Dollars: 30.6mm or  1.205″
  • Dollars: 26.6mm or 1.047″
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Good Forstner bits can be expensive; you don’t want to just chuck them out when they get dull. You could bring them in to be sharpened, or you could do it yourself with a few simple tools that you can acquire separately or buy in a kit from several different retailers.

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Forstner bits are awesome. After discovering them for myself, I use my set every chance I get. Even the less-expensive bits leave smooth bore holes with almost no splintering. If you’re a serious woodworker you might want to take a look at some of the finer bits on the market: Bormax Forstner style bits from German manufacturer FAMAG.

The patented design is formed by razor-sharp teeth set in a “wave-form” pattern. It produces less friction and heat, requires less power, and wears slower than other Forstner-style bits. The “wave-form” pattern also clears dust and chips efficiently, producing tear-free and accurate holes. You can use the bits in wood, MDF, plywood, and plastic.

Precision machined from high carbon steel, the imperial sized bits either have a 5/16″ or 3/8″ shank and they’re sold in sizes from 5/8 to 2-1/4″. You’re going to shell out anywhere from $20 to $75 for a single Bormax bit depending on the size. To save some money, you can purchase kits with either 5 or 16 bits for $140 or $530, respectively.

Bormax [FAMAG]
Bormax [Traditional Woodworker]
Bormax [Dieter Schmid]

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