Benjamin Forstner (25 March 1834 – 27 February 1897), was an American gunsmith, inventor and dry goods merchant.
Forstner was born in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. His successful invention of the Forstner bit, patented on September 22, 1874, was to make him a rich man. Without the lead screw (which Forstner called the “gimlet-point”) and cutting lips of more conventional wood boring bits it would prove especially useful to gunsmiths like himself and other high-end woodworkers. The bit was unsurpassed in drilling an exceedingly smooth-sided hole with a flat bottom. It was better than the Russell Jennings twist bits for boring at an angle and not following the grain of the wood. Forstner eventually worked out licensing arrangements for the manufacture and sale of his bit by a number of companies, most notably two Connecticut firms: the Colt Firearms Company of Hartford and the Bridgeport Gun Implement Company, successors (in 1886) to the Union Metallic Cartridge Company. Even today, the Forstner bit continues to be manufactured, although it has changed to a split-ring design.
Forstner also invented an electric motor.


One Response to Forstner bit for drilling flat bottomed holes

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