Hinge-Boring Bit Choices

Cabinetmakers discuss how to set up for boring Euro hinge holes in hard materials. August 31, 2010

Since I don't do many euro hinges I typically use a Forstner bit in a drill press - but this slow and the bits seem to dull quickly. I generally use Freud bits at 700 rpm in hard maple. So, I am considering switching to a true boring bit in the drill press. Does anyone here use this setup? If so, what speed do you run the bits and how successful is it?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
If you think you might be doing a few euro hinges on an ongoing basis, I would suggest that you look into the Blum Ecodrill unit. It's very handy because it's portable and it places the hole the exact required distance from the edge of the material. The supplied bit has worked well for me, but I haven't used it that much so far. You drive the integral Forstner drill bit with a special fitting that works in your hand drill. I use a battery operated drill and so far it works very well. It cost me something over $200 and I think it's worth it.

From contributor A:
We've bored a thousand doors with a $100 drill press and an Amana carbide boring bit. They drill perfect holes. You just need a couple of stop blocks with a straight fence on the drill press. We put a decent sized piece of melamine for the table to help support the doors. This is a no brainer - buy the correct bit.

From contributor V:
I keep meaning to buy a used mini press but a drill press works fine. My drill press has auto speed dial so I set it to where it sounds and feels right.

From the original questioner:
I was planning on getting the Amana 203351. It's made for the boring machines, but I figured it would work in a drill press as well.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor Y:
I wanted a mini press, but I am not willing to shell out the money for one. So what I did was bought a Euro eze and I use a CMT carbide bit. It works great. On the drill press I mounted a piece of prefinished ply and made a fence using the kreg flip stops so I can bore doors accurately and fast. For about $400 in total investment I think it preforms as well as a Blum machine. Although it does not line bore, but really who uses one to line bore?

From contributor W:
I use a CMT hinge boring jig. You hook it up to your drill press and attach a large base. Then you can drill all three holes and get the press in style hinges. Drill the holes in one shot and then tap the hinges in with a hammer. You will easily save the $260 price tag in time. It works just about as good as the mini press.

From contributor F:
If you don't use many Euro hinges I'd stick with the Amana cutters, they work well. For anyone building Euro cabinetry though I can't see how you could go without a hinge machine. There's no comparison with using a drill press. If you do a couple kitchens a year it will pay for itself in no time. I just bought a Blum machine at auction for $450 which is a little on the high side for auction prices. But I knew the machines history and it came with all the accessories. My last machine was a Grass which I paid less than $400 for. These are definitely amongst the machines that you ask yourself why you waited so long to buy one.

From contributor N:
I have to agree with contributor F. In the time it takes to set up the drill press you can have the project bored and the hinges inserted perfectly. Really the only way to go if youíre using Euro hinges. If itís a one shot thing the Forstner or the boring machine bit should work fine.