Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Best set of setting burs you've ever seen

Dear All,

I am looking for your opinions on the best set of setting burs
you’ve ever seen available to the trade. My husband and I are both
jewelers, and I have seen what is available in Gesswein, Rio,
Stuller, etc. However, they all seem a bit lacking. My husband sets
a lot of stones every day, and I would love to give him a truly
phenomenal set of burs.

I want a set that has tiny steps between sizes, not large jumps. I
want to give him a set that will have the right size bur for any
stone he is likely to set in a given day, which probably runs from a
.01ct melle stone to a 2 carat, and everything in between.

When I look at the premade sets, I notice they don’t contain all of
the sizes you can purchase individually. Maybe I will need to
purchase the burs individually and make up my own set? Also, is there
a brand or type of bur you all prefer? I’ve used mostly your standard
steel burs, but I see there are also high speed steel burs and some
tungsten burs.

I would want to have a set that has setting burs, rounds, and
probably 45 and 90 degree burs. I would also want 3/32 shanks.

So what do you all suggest? Having the perfect bur makes life so much
easier; I would love to make my husbands life easier.

And as a final note- I know this will not be inexpensive; I am
looking for the ultimate set of burs, not the cheapest.

Thank you all.

Nesheim Fuller Design
Mason City, Iowa 50401

Brenda and all !

I do not get any commissions for this email…:>) But the style of
burs I use for melees are the Round from #005 to #025.

Bud Burs #006 to about #020, Heart Shape>156C #009 to maximum of
#025, Cup Burs>77B #009 to #022. “Busch” makes all these burs. I use
High Speed Steel 156C with a 90 degree angle only, (these are all
similar to a diamonds’ pavilion). 70 degree is too shallow a cut. I
will use these H.S.S. mainly for Round Brilliant Cut centers only.
(these are at all cheap!!!)

Hoping that this helps your husband in diamond setting, as it does
with my setting work. Any tool supply house will sell these style of
burs of 3/32" diameter. Brenda, this little order will not come
cheap, but it will cover all the basic burs any setter needs.

To maintain your $$ investment, please use a light viscous oil, at
all times…Gerry Lewy! a.k.a. “Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!”


I have had a good experience getting fine tools from L.J Fracht and
Company in Wichita, KS They have been in business for many years and
know the trade well. Jim is a fine jeweler himself. 800-922-2330
Though I don’t set alot of facets, the burr set I got there has served
me and my students well.


in the long run i found it more economical and less frustrating to
buy the 6 packs then you solve the incremental issue- goo

Hi Brenda,

I recently took a stone setting class at the New Approach School for
Jewelers. (Blaine Lewis, his staff and the school are fantastic by
the way). Blaine has put together a custom set of burs that he sells
there because most sets available are lacking in one way or another.
Please contact them for details about what is in the set. It sells
for around $180 and comes in a nice wooden bur box. Those guys have
some great tools available at the school. They have really culled
through what is available to the trade and sell only great quality
tools. I will put the school contact info below. Contact them with
your questions. I think you will be pleased.

    New Approach School for Jewelers

(No affiliation, just a grateful student)

-Carrie Nunes

Hi Brenda

Karl Fischer in Germany.

just a quick message, I bought a whole bunch from this company in
Germany. I think either 10 or 12 pieces per size just so I get a
quantity dicount.they Have a huge selection of sizes and angles.
starting from under a millimeter up to 12 or 14 millimeter.

definatly do not buy the sets ,but separately per size/angle. and
you can purchase a Bur stand seperatly,magnetic or none.

the reason I went with Fischer was there prices were half the prices
here and then they came even lower when you bought their price point
break of a dozen I think. and they are German made, used to be
anyway. they are on line now, just google them. good luck.

    Karl Fischer
    D-7530 Pforzheim
    tel 07231-358001

Atelier Babikian 54147
Philadelphia , PA.19105

Hello Brenda:

I have not seen a complete set of burs packaged together as you are
talking about. Stuller offers a “Master bur set” for around $200. It
has 97 burs but it really isn’t complete. The best set of burs would
include 2 or 3 replacements for the burs you use the most and a
reorder of sizes as they wear out.What you or he are used to using
to set with will determine what types you get. Setting Burs are my
most used but I use 70 degree, 45 degree and ball burs alot also. I
have a big set of each plus I buy the grobet or bush brand of many
of the smaller sizes as replacements. Best sets of burs I ever
bought was from Swest in 1993 they came in a container like beading
tools come in.Good luck on your search and I hope he loves them.

Mike Mathews

I just read the original of this thread. Marry me, Brenda!!! (Nope,
already done) I looked in Otto Frei, and there are 35 sizes of
90deg. Hart burs alone. When you add in 45’s, 70’s, and also round
burs - not strictly “setting” burs, but of course essential, you
will have about 200 burs. And—you forgot cup burs - there’s 30
sizes of those, one of which is $7.95 each. Just from being in the
trade since the beginning of time, I can tell you there is no such
set, all in a bundle. And, you would want it “modular” anyway. That
is, one holder for hart, one for rounds, etc. All of them together
would take up half the benchtop, and also be confusing to use. My
suggestion as to quality, though, is just stick with a high quality
bur, such as Busch. If you get a $5.00, whiz-bang bur, and just touch
it to the girdle of a diamond, it instantly becomes a $.05 piece of
scrap steel. They are going to wear out, plus high-speed steel hart
burs can be too aggresive and sharp, often times. Lastly, the 006
sizes and the like don’t last long no matter what, so you need
six-packs of them anyway…The setters I deal with are spending
typically about $300 or more a MONTH on burs…

I know burs are not cheap, but if you are buying a whole bunch, you
should ask for a 10% discount for a large quantity. Don’t be bashful,
discounts are there, if you are a big time buyer…at one trip! Some
years ago I bought over $4,000 in burs alone…in one single fiscal

The aforementioned #006 sizes should be used as delicately as
possible, these sizes/burs never get within range of any gemstone.
Cup burs a.k.a. #77B, are the most expensive but useful. Rounding of
center stone claws or even the smallest multi-stone ring. They are
much needed, don’t be watching all the time for the dollar.

My rule of thumb, is to buy a “6-pack” of every possible size or
possibly a dozen, if used often…Once I bought a 6-pack of some very
large cup burs, and for these 6 cost me over $66.00 plus taxes. Let
me tell you all why? I had some rather small tube settings to round
off equally. So I invested in these 77B> #040 size, while the other
setters were struggling to make their tubes look half decent, mine
were cleaned in nano-seconds and looking like they were meant to be.
Clean, round, & even thickness of metal.

Once you decide to buy most of my previously mentioned sizes,
experiment with all possible uses. I use my little bud burs as
"mini-files". Inside of baguette bezels, inside of tube settings,
opening up Gypsy setting holes, tapering off the deep stone pavilion
metal settings…basically everywhere! These uses are endless…HAVE

I have a whole essay in my book, “Manual of Diamond Setting” just
on…" My Buddy Bur! “…Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!”

Idon (?)

A brilliant response! There is certainly no cure- all for the
perfect set of burs. Burs will betray you at every chance ,simply
because no two situations are ever exactly alike.Furthermore, every
setter will admit to overheating a bur or getting it too close to a
stone of superior hardness. Burs are consumables. Use them with
extreme caution, but realize that they are expendable. High speed
steel burs are definitely superior, but you will certainly also
undermine their superiority if you abuse them by assuming that they
have infintely resistance to heat dulling.

Ron Mills. Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.

Dear All,

Thank you for your posts on the ultimate bur set. Most advised
creating my own set, to best achieve the smallest increments between
sizes. Thank you all for your advice and input. I think I will order
individually, based on the bur styles we use most often, to create a
customized bur set that hopefully will be my husband’s ultimate bur

Perhaps the reason there is not much in the way of already assembled
sets is because we all want/need something slightly different to fit
our work habits?

Thanks again.

Nesheim Fuller Design
Mason City, Iowa