for $32, can not go wrong

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Review by Holbs posted 03-16-2014 02:34 PM 2216 views 0 times favorited 8 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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733 posts in 929 days

8 comments so far

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1386 posts in 1524 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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733 posts in 929 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.

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17250 posts in 1767 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

-- 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

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1074 posts in 1693 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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184 posts in 2676 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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8286 posts in 1933 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!

-- Deodorant is like Common Sense. Those who need it the most, never use it.

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733 posts in 929 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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8286 posts in 1933 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.

-- Deodorant is like Common Sense. Those who need it the most, never use it.

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