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for $32, can not go wrong

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Review by Holbs posted 03-16-2014 02:34 PM 2449 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
for $32, can not go wrong No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was in need to make 6” and 6 1/4” circles for my dust collection HVAC blast gates and support holders. My Microfence circular router jig CAN go as low as 6”, but I had to install a Bosch router adapter which changes the minimum diameter to 7”. I’ve reviewed other circle cutters and decided on the Grizzly because it looks more “stout” and there are zero reviews I could find so … a crap shoot :) I could of went with a hole saw but that is a fixed diameter for any future smaller holes, leaves a very rough uneven cut, and the price tags are over $60 (at least, the Milwaukee’s were). Suggested RPM is 500 maximum. Well, my 10” delta drill press can only go to 650. I went to work on 1/2” maple ply. There were no directions that came with this cutter. Luckily, after my circle cutter research I knew to cut down 1/2 way then flip over (so 1/4” on one side then 1/4” on other side). End result was a perfectly precisioned 6 1/4” hole. Some burnt wood smoke and blackness on the blade cutter along with some stutters as the cutter got caught and took about 10 minutes to finish the hole (I kept stopping every once in awhile to put water on the cutter to cool it down). I’ll put that to cutting maple ply and at a higher RPM. Hopefully, some work on my diamond sharpening stones will make the cutter 100% again.




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Holbs

841 posts in 1027 days



13 comments so far

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jumbojack

1424 posts in 1622 days


#1 posted 03-16-2014 02:51 PM

i inherited a couple of these. my drill press wont get down that low either, besides these things scare the crap out of me. Ten minutes to cut a hole? Man i could chew one faster than that.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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Holbs

841 posts in 1027 days


#2 posted 03-16-2014 03:07 PM

at 650 RPM, it’s not THAT kind of fast of a rotation. If anything flew off, I do not think the velocity would cause bodily injury. Maybe an ouchie if at all :) Could always construct a lexan 12” lexan ring if I were that concerned for protection, but it did hold up and it did it well.
Yes… took 10 minutes for a single hole because I was purposely going SLOOOOOOW. I do not think this device was made for high speed turnaround projects. I made a single template of 6” and another one for 6 1/4”, then let my router and flush trim bit take care of the next 12 pieces.
I have seen a better idea for cutting smaller holes with a router via plexiglass by John English at Woodcraft:

I’ll probably hit that up later after some other major projects get complete.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

18387 posts in 1864 days


#3 posted 03-16-2014 03:58 PM

These contraptions are dangerous and I just won’t use them. In my machine shop I used boring heads and bars on a Bridgeport mill that operate on a similar principle. However, a drill press is not a Bridgeport mill and a boring head is a heavy duty expensive tool.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View cutworm's profile

cutworm

1074 posts in 1791 days


#4 posted 03-18-2014 01:38 AM

Thanks for the post. One of those things you don’t need everyday but really handy when you need a large hole. I plan to get one.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

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scoobydooo9r

187 posts in 2774 days


#5 posted 03-18-2014 06:47 AM

Yeah, those things always scare me when I see them going… but jamming a chisel into a spinning piece of wood didn’t seem like a great idea to me before I finally tried turning either! Thanks for sharing, it’s great to see and hear reviews about tools that you don’t use or see much of.

-- I don't make mistakes, I make design challenges!

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Rick

8286 posts in 2031 days


#6 posted 03-21-2014 11:53 PM

I’ve had a Lee Valley one for 2/3 Years now. If you use it properly, nothing to be afraid of.

Works like a Charm! The Steel Cutter is Double Ended so you can do a “Wheel Cut” or a “Hole Cut”.

If you buy Garbage like the one below from Harbor Freight For $5.99 You’re asking for Trouble!

-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

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Holbs

841 posts in 1027 days


#7 posted 03-21-2014 11:55 PM

so that is why it’s double sided :)
Rick.. does your cutter get heated up really quick? I have to stop mine every once in awhile and wet it down (it sizzles the water) and let cool before i continue. slow going.

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Rick

8286 posts in 2031 days


#8 posted 03-22-2014 11:02 PM

No. Not That Hot. If it starts to smoke a little I just back off the pressure. The Fastest I run it is about 500 RPM. Usually a little slower.

For this piece of equipment “Slow & Easy” is the name of the game.

-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

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BigBrownLog

38 posts in 1264 days


#9 posted 07-25-2015 11:58 PM

I hate to tell you that you are doing something wrong but it’s important that you know this if you want any metallic things you have to last.

Do not EVER put cold water on any steel that is hot enough to burn your skin. Doing so changes the molecular properties f the steel and makes it brittle. Same thing applies to welding, if you just finished a V-grove, butt joint, any kind of weld and you dunk it in water to quench it you will hear it pop and bang. Now your weld is useless and will not pass inspection because it has a lot of cracks in it, it”s brittle, and will snap under static or dynamic pressure. (This is metallurgy)

Your best option is to be patient and let it normalize to temperature.

-- Whoever said nothing is impossible has obviously never tried to staple water to a tree

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

841 posts in 1027 days


#10 posted 07-26-2015 06:56 AM

good to know. I have probably damaged the cutter with the ambient temp water I used. I most likely will never use it again for it’s slowness of use.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

979 posts in 2611 days


#11 posted 07-27-2015 11:55 AM

If you buy Garbage like the one below from Harbor Freight For $5.99 You’re asking for Trouble!

Oh, I don’t know about that! I actually purchased one of these and have used it for many speaker holes of odd sizes. I actually like the two cutters because forces are much better balanced.

What makes the Harbor Freight unit more dangerous?

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

841 posts in 1027 days


#12 posted 07-28-2015 12:25 AM

would love to see a video of the use of these circle cutters. I had a HORRIBLE time with mine, enough to never want to use it again. I would research up the bandsaw way of cutting circles instead of circle cutters on a drill press.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

979 posts in 2611 days


#13 posted 07-28-2015 10:54 AM

I had a HORRIBLE time with mine, enough to never want to use it again.

That’s part of what prompted my question why the Harbor Freight version is so terrible. I bought it, not because it was cheap, but because it had two fly cutters. I do not see how one fly-cutter could possibly be used, at least on my drill press which has limited lower speed, without lots of unbalanced stress on the part being cut.

As I mentioned, I used the cutter from Harbor Freight to cut odd-sized holes for speakers in my last project. It performed admirably. It was finicky to setup right (I used calipers and math to set up both cutters to the same diameter) but I cut the hole halfway, flipped the piece over and cut the rest of the way. No overheating, no trauma, no drama and the holes came out very nice.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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