Forstner bits are fantastic if you need a nice clean hole, particularly with a clean bottom. They’re also great if you use ‘em to drill out the majority of a mortise and use a chisel to clean out the sides and corners. Like with most bits, a good set can hurt the wallet. But right now Rockler has a good quality seven-piece Forstner bit set for just $11. The set includes bits from 1/4” to an inch with 3/8” round shanks. They even come in a molded-plastic case to keep them nice and sharp until you need them.
Precise, no tear out, with a case for less than most of us pay for lunch — what more could you ask for?
If you pop over to Harbor Freight, they’re got a 7 piece set for $9 -– but with no case, and the quality of the bits probably isn’t up to the same standard. There are some other cheap sets out there, too, but buyer beware.