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Spade Bit Vs Forstner Bit Vs Hole Saw

Spade Bit Vs Forstner Bit Vs Hole Saw

For a new woodworker, it is not easy to identify the difference between a spade bit, Forstner bit, or hole saw. However, these three drill bits are known as wood drill bits and utilized for a similar purpose. These wood boring drill bits can make different types of holes depending on the size of the hole, rough or smooth holes, and the number of holes.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional in woodworking, you must understand the basics of wood boring drill bits. While, to choose between spade bit, Forstner bit, or hole saw, you should know the difference between them.

Today through this article, we will let you know the difference between these three essential wood drill bits, along with what are these drill bits and what are they used for

What Are Spade Bit, Forstner Bit, and Hole Saw?

To get a clean and perfect hole in wood, you should know the basics of wood drill bits, such as their size, speed, type of cut, material, and application. And for that first, understand what are spade bit, Forstner bit, and hole saw.

Spade bit or Paddle bit

A spade bit looks like a spade (digging tool), used to drill holes in wood. They are also known by their other name "paddle bits". Spade drill bits have two sharp flat blades in the center that rotate (when attached with a drill) and drill holes in wood by throwing away wood shavings and wood dust.

Many woodworkers use spade bits to make flat-bottomed holes. However, they are used to make a large number of rough holes. Therefore, if you are not concerned about the quality of the holes and want to drill the number of holes in less time, prefer spade bits. The spade drill bit can be fast, easy and comfortable, but the result can be unsatisfactory.

What is a Spade bit Used For

Spade Bits - Primarily used to drill rough holes in wood and to drill multiple holes in a short time.

Spade bits are used to make rough holes in wood. Since they produce rough holes, spade bits are usually used to drill in areas that are not normally visible. Electricians and plumbers use spade bits to drill holes in wood to attach wires or pipes. Spade bits can quickly cut all types of wood, including plywood, and plastic materials.

Read More: How to Use a Spade bit

Pros and Cons of Using Spade Bit

PROS

CONS

Easy and Fast drilling.

Provide only rough holes.

Provide flat-bottomed and complete hole.

Holes quality can be irregular.

Can drill multiple holes in a short time.

Holes contain wood fragments and splinters.

Less risk of overheating.

Can deform while drilling.

Less costly.

Not suitable to get well-finished holes.

You May Also Have:

  • Spade Bit vs Auger Bit
  • Hole Saw vs Spade Bit
  • Spade bit vs boring bit

  • Forstner bit

    A Forstner bit is similar to a spade bit, they are also used to drill holes in wood. What makes Forstner bits different from spade bits is that they can drill neat and clean flat bottom holes, whereas spade bits make rough holes.

    A Forstner bit is named after its inventor Benjamin Forstner in 1874.

    The Forstner bit features a sharp tip in the middle and two rounded blades to cut the wood, which helps the drill bit move smoothly into the wood. They are made of high-speed steel. Most woodworkers use a Forstner bit with a power drill, but they can also be attached with a drill press and lathe.

    What is a Forstner bit Used For?

    Forstner bits- Primarily used to drill smooth, flat bottom holes.

    The Forstner bit is commonly used by the woodworking industry to drill holes in wood. The Forstner bit makes large and more precise holes than other drill bits. For industrial applications, the Forstner bit is used to make flat-bottom holes and overlapping holes. Use the Forstner bit for both hand tools and power tools to install a shelf.

    Pros and Cons of Using Forstner Bit

    PROS

    CONS

    More accurate/precise than spade bit.

    Unable to drill complete holes.

    Provide neat and clean flat bottom holes.

    Slow material removal rate.

    Drill holes with no wood splinters.

    Can break due to overheating.

    Use to drill overlapping holes.

    Costlier than spade bit.


    Hole Saw

    Hole saws - Primarily used to drill neat, clean, and smooth holes in wood.

    A hole saw is neither a saw nor a complete drill bit. Hole saws got their name from their circular blade, which is similar to a saw. Because hole saws make round holes (HOLE) with a circular blade (SAW), they are called hole saws.

    The hole saws feature a metal bar in the middle that connects the hole saw to the drill, also known as an arbor. Hole saw arbors are available both with or without a pilot drill. Hole saws are known as hole cutters.

    Hole Saw Can not Make Flat Bottom Holes, Why?

    Hole saws or hole cutters do not produce wood chips or wood shavings, instead, they simply cut entire plugs of wood, and for this reason, hole saw bit cannot drill flat-bottomed holes. However, this makes borehole cleaning easier.

    Pros and Cons of Using Hole Saw

    PROS

    CONS

    Do not create wood chips and shavings. 

    Cannot make flat-bottomed holes.

    Makes borehole cleaning easier.

    Expensive than Spade bit & Forstner bit.

    Make precise and perfect holes.

    While drilling, hole saws can get stuck.

    Can cut more materials than spade bit & Forstner bit.

    Produce large diameter holes.


    Difference Between- Spade Bit vs. Forstner Bit vs. Hole Saw

    With the help of the above information, now that you know what these three drill bits are and what are they used for?

    Now, how to choose the best wood drill bit? How to Choose Between a Spade Bit vs. Forstner Bit vs. Hole Saw?

    You can choose between these three wood boring drill bits based on the six most important factors such as the type of cut, cleanness of the cut, size, workpiece material, speed, and price. Let's understand every factor in detail.

    Here you will also know the difference between them. So, you can get maximum output by using them properly.

    Type of Cut

    Select the right wood drill bit based on “Type of cut”.

    Spade drill bit: Choose a spade bit if you want to drill multiple holes at once, disregarding the quality of the holes. The spade bit can make both flat-bottom holes and complete holes. But, as we discussed, you'll only get rough holes, not well-finished holes.

    Forstner drill bit: Choose a Forstner bit to make flat-bottom holes. Forstner bit makes more precise and perfect holes than other drill bits.

    Hole saw: Choose a hole saw to make a precise, neat, and smooth hole in the wood. A hole saw is perfect for making complete and clean holes. However, a hole saw cannot produce a flat bottom hole.

    Cleanliness of Cut

    Select the wood-boring drill bit based on “Cleanliness of Cut”.

    Spade bits: If you are not concerned about the quality of the hole, choose a spade drill bit. Spade bits are not perfect for boring clean and smooth holes in wood. However, you can drill any type of wood with spade bits.

    Forstner bit: Choose a Forstner bit if you want a perfectly round and well-finished hole in the wood. You can also use a Forstner bit to bore flat bottom holes in any type of wood.

    Hole saw: Choose a hole saw if you want to cut wood with a better finish. Although it will take longer to cut, the hole saws output is much cleaner.

    Available Sizes

    Select the wood drill bit based on “Drill Bit Size”.

    Wood drill bits are available in different sizes. Depending on the diameter you can choose the following drill bits:

    Spade bits: Spade drill bit sizes range from 1/4-inch to 1-1/2 inches.

    Forstner bit: Forstner bit sizes range from 1/4-inch to 2-1/4-inch.

    Hole Saw: Hole saw diameters range from 1 inch to 6 inches. Hole saws are perfect for making larger diameter holes.

    In addition to the diameter of the hole, you also need to consider the depth of the hole. Among these three drill bits, spade bits can drill deep holes.  Choose heavy-duty auger bits to drill deep holes.

    Workpiece Materials

    Select the wood drill bit based on “Workpiece material”.

    Spade bits and Forstner bits are the perfect wood boring drill bits.

    Spade bits: Choose spade bits if you want to cut through softwoods. They are not meant to use on hardwoods because drilling requires a lot of pressure and effort and, in the end, you won't get a proper hole. Sometimes, drilling hardwood with spade bits can also damage the tool.

    Forstner bit: Forstner Bit can drill through softwood and hardwood and drywall. Use low-speed drilling with a Forstner bit to prevent any damage to the tool as well as the workpiece.

    Hole Saw: Hole saws are available in different types. Almost all types are designed to drill through wood. Some hole saws types are also used to drill through metal, concrete, and even masonry.

    Speed

    Select the wood drill bit based on “Drill Speed”.

    These three drill bits are available at a range of speeds. To save your time and effort you can choose drill bits based on drilling speed:

    Spade Bits: Can perform high-speed drilling than Forstner and hole saw. Although high speed can lead to damage to tool and edge splinter. To prevent this twist-drill have two cutting edges and two flutes.

    Forstner Bit: Forstner bit is the slowest among the other two drill bits. However, to get the perfect outcome some extra time will be worth it.

    Hole Saw: In terms of speed hole saws are not so fast nor so slow, it lies in between fast and slow called the average speed tool.

    Price

    When it comes to the pricing difference between a spade bit, Forstner bit, and hole saw. A spade bit is the lowest priced drill bit followed by a Forstner bit and hole saw. In addition, the price of the best forstner bit set, spade bit sets may vary.  

    You can have our best drill bit set for metal.

    Also Read:

  • Forstner Bit vs Auger Bit
  • Hole saw vs Auger bit
  • Drill bit vs spade bit

  • CONCLUSION

    Now that you understand the basics (definition, applications, and when and how to choose) between spade bit, Forstner bit, and hole saw. Now it will be easier for you to identify the difference between these three drill bits.

    If we summarize the above article,

    Choose spade drill bits to get faster, and less efficient holes in wood in a short time. Unless you're concerned about the quality of the hole, spade bits are the perfect woodworking drill bit. To get the right flat bottom hole, choose a Forstner bit. The Forstner bit is ideal for making clean and smooth holes. Whereas, to drill large diameter holes, choose a hole saw. Hole saws are perfect for drilling a smooth and complete hole.

    Wrapping up now, I hope you got the information you came here for.

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