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Thread: What Countersink/Bit Brand Do You Think Is Best for the Money?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Punta Gorda, FL

    What Countersink/Bit Brand Do You Think Is Best for the Money?

    All bits dull. All countersinks dull. Countersinks can be easy to sharpen. Bits, not so much. So I was just wondering what your experiences are with countersinks w/bits in the best bang for the buck category?

    Fuller seems to be at the top in price (I found a 5 pc. set for $65). I saw a Snappy 5 pc. set in a Woodcraft flyer that was $25. DeWalt was a bit higher. Some have tapered bits (are they really more effective?) but most less expensive ones have straight bits.

    I need to replace mine. They are junk. I work a lot with harder woods and I want something that won't dull quickly. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Toledo, OH
    While I can't recommend a particular brand it would seem to me that tapered bits give the screw more bite. A straight bit will always leave a portion of the screw that is not offering any holding power. Screws are tapered, bolts are not. Just my .02 cents.
    Andy Kertesz

    " Impaled on nails of ice, raked by emerald fire"...... King Crimson '71

  3. #3
    Julie. I buy two piece carbide tips and countersinks. They clamp onto your drill bit with two Allen screws. They last forever. The only problem is they are aggressive
    Thanks John
    Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    M.A. Ford single flute countersinks, and anything Fuller makes are what we switched to about 15 years ago in the shop, been happy ever since. Fuller makes countersinks as well, but we found the Ford ones first. Beauty of Fuller is , they are a small family owned and operated company right here in the USA in Rhode Island - so for me, that is best for the money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Upland CA
    I have countersinks from at least 3 companies, Rockler, Snappy, and Fuller. They all have replaceable drill bits. I like the Snappy carbide the best, and mine use brad point drill bits.

    What I would like to find is some carbide countersinks with adjustable plastic collars that don't mark the wood. Seen steel ones, but not carbide, probably because the carbide tips are larger than the countersink.

    Rick Potter.

  6. #6
    These are my favorites by far.

    I prefer the straight bits, as they allow for me to adjust to a wider range of material thicknessess and are better for pulling joints closed. I never use tapered screws.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    santa clarita ca.
    forest city tools
    i've used these for 30 + years. the best ever

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Upland, CA
    Fuller, MA Ford, Morris Wood Tool are all excellent. Snappy a big step down, Rockler another big step down from that. The only drill bits I've found decent from DeWalt are Rotary Hammer Bits. They are generally junk and inconsistent since they are made from a variety of companies.

    Amana is excellent on other items so I would be surprised if they weren't excellent also.

    I have a Schrillo, made in Los Angeles, that is an enormously more sophisticated version of the Amana one that johnny referenced above. I paid a bunch of money for it 30+ years ago, probably the equivalent of $500. The countersink sits on the work, then the drill spins the cutter mechanism, which plunges on a micro-adjustable plunge mechanism.
    Last edited by Greg R Bradley; 06-01-2013 at 3:37 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Terrace, BC
    I use these:,180,42240 I've had the set of five sizes for five years now - and I love them.
    I love mankind. It's people I can't stand.

  10. #10
    I actually like the Rockler Insty-Drive countersinks and sets

    Attachment 263532

    Not mentioned in this thread is that often there should be a clearance hole in the first piece of stock. I would really like to see a good pilot-clearance-countersink bit or bit set. A tapered bit gets close to this but to do it RIGHT one has to employ two separate tools. There are some tools that are designed to make both a clearance and a pilot hole but the ones I've tried do work as cleanly as individual tools and they have little flexibility.

    Attachment 263533 Attachment 263536 Attachment 263539
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kevin Groenke; 06-01-2013 at 6:40 PM.
    Kevin Groenke

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Punta Gorda, FL
    Thanks for all your help. I didn't know Amana made CS bits and it was tempting. They are pricey! I have some Amana router bits and they're great but for now price won out. I ordered the 5 pc. Fuller set.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
    "just wondering what your experiences are with countersinks w/bits in"
    Tho bizarre, I look for function first, then quality and finally price.
    So I'm not consistant with your request here.
    Your priority is price, right?
    Nevertheless, in my view, the countersink and drilling opps should be separate.
    A drill mounted countersink will clog after a few spins.
    Once clogged, the countersink won't do its job; it tears rather than cuts.
    As such, in wood, I countersink after drilling the hole.
    Sometimes the countersinks are on their own arbors of the same drill size.
    See the 1/2 x 1" CB UR.
    In plastic and metal the drilling schedules vary.
    E.g., metal should be pre countersunk so the driill will find its home without wandering.
    After the drilling I'll countersink or counterbore, depending on the screw head config. Single flute Ford countersinks, whilst at times expensive, are the only pilotless countersinks I use; they do as advertized.
    Drilling can be complicated; it is not uncommon (in metal & plastic) for one hole to have 4 or 5 drilling operations. (CS one face>drill>CS the obverse>tap; the workpiece that gets the screw head might get 3 or 4 opps, maybe 8-10 opps/fastener). Complicated business!
    Last edited by pat warner; 06-02-2013 at 3:59 PM.

  13. I've used all kinds of pilot bits and countersinks over the past 30 years. At this point my favorite drill/countersink is the Festool version. Although there are only two sizes they cover the most of the screws that need a pilot hole.

    The depth of both the drill and countersink are independently adjustable. The countersink cuts chatter-free (mainly thanks to the pilot drill) and the free spinning depth stop saves the work surface.

    There are few countersinks that cut chatter-free without a pilot. The only kind that works reliably are the smooth cone style with a hole through the side and they usually require a pilot hole too.

    I have not used my nice tapered Fuller bits in years. For one thing, tapered wood screws are rare (I prefer straight shank Spax screws anyway). And the other thing is that the straight fluted countersinks don't cut as nice a hole as the Festool countersinks above.

    For the screw itself all I need is a rough clearance hole through the top board and the Spax (or #17 auger point on some other brand) will take care of the rest. If the screw is near an edge and the risk of splitting is high I'll extend the pilot hole with a straight bit. In very hard woods that do need a deeper pilot hole I'll just run a straight bit beyond the bottom of the first pilot hole. You do need to use some judgement in selecting the bit. As with the Fullers you can use a smaller pilot with soft woods and with very hard woods the pilot should be closer to the actual shank diameter.

    That might sound time consuming but I use quick change hex shank bits (even the cheap ones are good enough for pilot holes) and a high rpm 1/4 hex impact driver like the Milwaukee 2450 that spins at 2000 rpm makes quick work of such small holes. High rpm is best for pilot holes. Ordinary drills spin too slowly.

    Many will know that the Festool Centrotec shank will slip out of the ordinary ball detent chuck on that drill but Milwaukee also makes a Quik-Lok extension shank that fits into all 1/4" hex chucks and securely holds the Centrotec shanks. The ones I bought are nice and straight.

    The extra length makes it easier to make pilot holes perpendicular to the surface. If the angle is too far off the head won't sit flush for example. Also, the extra length often allows me to keep the bulk of the drill away from obstructions that would adversely affect the drilling angle. To that end, extra extensions can be added as needed.

    I've always been kind of obsessive about pilot holes. I really hate when the work is spoiled because the wood splits or the driver bit cams out of the screw head because it's too hard to turn or the screw strips out trying to ream a poorly formed or missing countersink, all because of the lack of a proper pilot hole. With the new screws (Spax or those with the #17 auger point) I'm slowly accepting the fact that one can drive and sink a screw flush in many cases. With the tools mentioned above the process is clean and efficient.
    Last edited by Michael Kellough; 06-02-2013 at 1:23 PM.

  14. This is the set I finally settled on. I like how the driver is always in the drill and you just remove the countersink to drive the screw.

  15. #15
    For regular hardened screws, like you find just about everywhere these days, I like the Insty combo countersinks. they use a regular twist drill and are easy to sharpen. You can also get tapered bits for them, but you really only need them when using traditional tapered wood screws (usually brass)

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