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Forstner Bit or Hole Saw?

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Forum topic by cowboyup3371 posted 01-11-2018 04:20 AM 550 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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cowboyup3371

59 posts in 220 days


01-11-2018 04:20 AM

How do you decide which to use when you are wanting to drill a hole for a project? I tested both on a scrap piece tonight and think for this project I’ll use the forstner but a hole saw worked just as well.

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way


8 replies so far

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Woodknack

11771 posts in 2402 days


#1 posted 01-11-2018 04:32 AM

I usually only use hole saws to make wood circles for wheels, knobs, etc.; or on occasionally if I need a hole larger than my Forstners. A good quality hole saw will cut metal.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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woodbutcherbynight

4824 posts in 2431 days


#2 posted 01-11-2018 04:34 AM

Both will get the job done, of the two the Forstner is more accurate IMHO. The Forstner bit allows you to make a hole with a flat bottom, the hole saw cannot do this. For precision work I use a Forstner bit up to 2 1/2 inches, the largest that I have in my set. After that it is hole saw time.

If you do use the hole saw save the inner waste parts. These come in handy for all kinds of spacers and other odd jigs and such.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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runswithscissors

2764 posts in 2047 days


#3 posted 01-15-2018 01:08 AM

I find hole saws wobble on their arbors, making a precisely sized hole difficult. I’d be curious if anyone knows of an arbor that fixes this problem.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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TheFridge

9605 posts in 1508 days


#4 posted 01-15-2018 01:22 AM



I find hole saws wobble on their arbors, making a precisely sized hole difficult. I d be curious if anyone knows of an arbor that fixes this problem.

- runswithscissors

Most aren’t meant to be precise. Maybe a starrett kit. That’s all I got.

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

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bondogaposis

4755 posts in 2373 days


#5 posted 01-15-2018 01:23 AM

I will always use a Forstner bit if I can, because I get a cleaner cut.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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cowboyup3371

59 posts in 220 days


#6 posted 01-15-2018 01:33 AM

I used my forstner bit but I wish I didn’t have to deal with the small point on the end. I had to go deep enough for the hole coming down from the top to meet up right but the bit’s point barely poked through the other side. The outside edge of the box will be hid but I need to figure out a better way for future projects

-- Cowboy Up or Quit - If you are going to quit than get out of my way

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

572 posts in 1492 days


#7 posted 01-15-2018 01:35 AM

I have yet to find a hole saw with the proper sized gullets for drilling anything thicker than about 1/4” material. Everything I’ve seen has small gullets which clog up almost immediately with packed sawdust.

And you wouldn’t necessarily use a forstner bit on really thin material. So that’s my reccomendation, not based on size but based on thickness of material to be drilled through; thin – hole saw, thick – forstner bit.

Obviously forstner bits cannot drill through metal, so this advice pertains to wood drilling only.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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William Shelley

572 posts in 1492 days


#8 posted 01-15-2018 01:38 AM



I used my forstner bit but I wish I didn t have to deal with the small point on the end. I had to go deep enough for the hole coming down from the top to meet up right but the bit s point barely poked through the other side. The outside edge of the box will be hid but I need to figure out a better way for future projects

- cowboyup3371

If you had a beefy drill press with good bearings and such, you could try chucking an endmill and “finishing” the hole with that. I’d probably go with a 2 or 3-flute not a 4-flute. Make sure to clamp your workpiece really well because the endmill has nothing to keep it centered on the hole – that’s kind of the point, they’re for lateral milling not drilling. But some have the correct geometry to be used for both.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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