LumberJocks

Forstner Bit vs. Hole Saw, what do you think?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by DocSavage45 posted 05-31-2015 06:03 PM 1176 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


05-31-2015 06:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question drill press hole saw sharpening

I just posted a forum topic regarding carbide or steel forstner bit’s, Thanks for your replies.

I also have a hole saw kit. I used this a number of times. Recently used it on my Drill Press Table build. Put the hole saw on the drill press and cut the hole. I got a lot of chatter while cutting. Did the job. I expected what happened . The hole saw cuts different than a forstner bit. More sawing action( keeping teeth unclogged while the forstner bit works more like a chisel.

Looking for your thoughts ,experience and preferences. Pros and cons?

Thanks for your input!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher


21 replies so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

4772 posts in 1671 days


#1 posted 05-31-2015 06:39 PM

Hole saw for rough work and construction. They leave a rougher finish and are not very precise on size—they can easily be +/- 1/8” or more from the listed size.

Forstner bit for anything needing precsion and a clean finish.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#2 posted 05-31-2015 06:43 PM

JayT,

my hole saw cutting has been smooth..so far, and my forstner bit (dull) splintered the pfir plywood even with a backer board. Guess Murphy’s in the shop/ But I will do some checking regarding hole size accuracy.

Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2768 days


#3 posted 05-31-2015 06:49 PM

A hole saw is used for cutting a through hole whereas a forstner bit can also cut a through hole cleaner and with more precision but it can also cut a hole that doesn’t go completely through your workpiece.

I have a set of Forstner bits ranging from 1/8 to 3-1/4” and they are from a mixed group of sources that I acquired over the years. I use the Irwin hole saws and like them since they seem to be the most precise …I have taken my dial calipers to the store to measure them… and are a lot easier to get the cut-out piece out of the bit after drilling.

With any of them it is important to clamp them to the table whenever possible

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3253 days


#4 posted 05-31-2015 06:53 PM

The other advantage of a forstner bit is that you can drill as deep as needed. Of course with a hole saw you can only drill as deep as the bit will allow.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3926 posts in 1953 days


#5 posted 05-31-2015 07:06 PM

Everything above…I consider a hole saw a construction tool, the forstner for woodworking.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#6 posted 05-31-2015 07:12 PM

Greg,

Didn’t see Irwin on Amazon. LOL! But I do have a number or their tools. Taking your calipers. Now that’s precision.

Clamping is just like sharpening. The only way to be safe.

Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#7 posted 05-31-2015 07:14 PM

Charlie,

Good points. My hole saw kit is shallow, and I have to cut all the way through. Recently used a 3/4 forstner bit to do a shallow indent in a cover piece.

Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#8 posted 05-31-2015 07:15 PM

Fred,

You’re right. But right now I have a deep set hole saw and a dull forstner bit. LOL! Same size.

As I said earlier. Sharpen, sharpen, sharpen!

Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View UncleStumpy's profile

UncleStumpy

707 posts in 1772 days


#9 posted 06-01-2015 03:55 AM

Hey Doc!

Fred said it the most succinctly.

But about the dull Forstner bit…... I am a complete dork when it comes to sharpening my lathe tools but I have the chisel thing down pretty good. I just sharpened a couple of my Forstner bits and it didn’t take much. Just like a chisel, smooth and flatten the bottom, and then lightly sharpen the angle (forget the proper word). I used a smaller, smoother file and just tested the sharpness on the old fingernail. Not as sharp as brand new, but man o’ man, what a difference!
Maybe some of the other guys have a better way, but ANYTHING beats a dull Forstner bit.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 946 days


#10 posted 06-01-2015 04:43 AM

Just split the circular waste with a chisel or screwdriver and pop it out. After the full depth of the hole saw is cut it becomes a pain but it’s doable. A dremel tool with a cutoff wheel it your best friend. I touch up bits all the time but mainly when I want zero tearout. Like for starting dogholes in my workbench. That being said. I have a ryobi and a HF set so it’s no big loss if its butchered while sharpening. I haven’t come close yet though.

Edit: a hole saw will work for for drilling precise holes too. You just have to account for the actual size of the finished hole and not the stated size. To prevent tear out I run the holesaw backwards for a bit. Never tried it in a drill press though. Mainly for drilling a big starter hole in finished cabinets to cut in receptacles. Rarely have it failed me.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#11 posted 06-01-2015 06:17 AM

Uncle Stumpy,

As I said sharpening of all my cutting tools is on my “To Do” list.

Even checked out a pretty good video.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#12 posted 06-01-2015 06:18 AM

Fridge,

Thanks for your suggestions. My hole saws have done better than my forstner bits ,,,so far. But sharpen, sharpen, sharpen??? LOL!

Thanks

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View bosum3919's profile

bosum3919

338 posts in 1079 days


#13 posted 06-01-2015 09:27 PM

To me, this is a question of how large of a hole you are cutting. Rarely would I even consider a hole saw. For small diameter holes less than 1 3/4” I always use a forstner bit. Larger than than, I prefer to use a General tools circle cutter. This cutter does create a lot of burn marks, so if I need a better looking hole, I use it as a pattern and with a pattern bit in the router, I then cut my larger hole. Maybe not quite the question that you asked, but there is always more than one way to skin the cat.

-- Bob

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7696 posts in 2302 days


#14 posted 06-01-2015 09:52 PM

Bob.

Thanks!

my shop cats probably wouldn’t like that phrase. LOL

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4530 posts in 1972 days


#15 posted 06-01-2015 10:07 PM

Tom, you’ve been asking questions I can’t answer, glad you’re receiving good info.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com