Best Hole Saw/Type of Hole Saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Question Best Hole Saw/Type of Hole Saw

I'm just getting into woodworking, and my current project (a pour over coffee stand) needs a hole that would most easily be cut with a hole saw.

I've had trouble finding any info on what type of hole saw would be best. Bi-metal? Carbide tipped? Something else? I'm cutting through cherry currently, but I'm planning to make more of these out of a variety of woods. I'm more concerned with precision than speed. I'm not pounding through 2x4s on the jobsite. I need as nice of a finish as I can get. If anyone has any type or brand recommendations, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
Will
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 05:40 AM
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I'll throw a vote in for the Bosch. The quick change system makes swapping out the saws a quick, painless procedure. They're also pretty reasonably priced & seem to hold up well.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 06:11 AM
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 10:07 AM
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what diameter?

Forstner bits will give you the best "finish" - but are limited in size.

hole saws can be a bit crude - altho the quick change designs are convenient, the hole saw itself sometimes is a bit "loose" on the arbor which makes for wobble and chewing up the edges. designs where you use a wrench to tighten the hole saw to the arbor do not wobble quite so much. pre-drill pilot holes also reduce chatter&wobble at entry.

either way, you'll need to back-up the exit side of the hole to prevent breakout - if the side also needs a fine finish.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 11:31 AM
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Lowes carries a brand of hole saw called SPYDER. Available in HSS and carbide. I've had good luck with them.

When drilling with a hole saw, drill in until the center drill bit just breaks through the back side, then flip the board and finish drilling from the back side. Makes for a smoother cut.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 11:32 AM
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as asked above:
what size hole
what thickness of wood
what will the hole be used for
can you post a sketch of your project
will you be routing the hole with a roundover bit ???
can you get the wood onto a drill press ??
will you be cutting the holes free hand ??
for odd size and odd shaped holes, I would make a template
out of MDF or plexiglass and use a top bearing bit in a router
to make them smooth and very consistent.

info like that will help us help you the best.

.

.
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Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 01-16-2019 at 11:36 AM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-16-2019, 12:13 PM
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lenox and ridgid are typically the "go to" for contractors around here...
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 12:12 AM
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Hole saws are for contractors. They make holes, but they are rough. If you are making furniture quality projects, a hole saw would be my last choice. Forstner bits or a router with a small diameter straight bit and a circle jig would produce a better quality cut. I have Forstner bits from 1/4" all the way up to 3 1/2" in 1/8" increments and a few in metric sizes. They are available. www.woodline.com is where I bought a set of the larger sizes.

For better help you need to tell us more about what you are doing. Answer the questions that John Smith posted above and we can do a much better job of helping you.

Charley
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducbsa View Post
Ouch. Mentioned the brand, but forgot to include more useful information. And as I see I can't edit my previous message. My mistake.
I use bi-metal: https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/bos...-sets-22528-c/
Yet, you'll need to select the tooth configuration for the job you are doing.

-- Derek Shaw, my blog cabinet table saw reviews
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 03:44 AM
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Ive heard that the carbide tipped hole saws leave surprisingly clean holes, but like a lot of people im of the opinion that theyre construction tools, not woodworking tools. Forestner bits are my go-to, a set up to about 2 inches is relatively inexpensive, and will leave much cleaner holes in your work. If you need larger holes, a router with a circle jig works great, or a circular template with a pattern bit, depending on the exact configuration of the hole.

Which method you should use depends on the size of the hole, but forestner or router, either will leave a better quality hole

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
Hole saws are for contractors. They make holes, but they are rough. If you are making furniture quality projects, a hole saw would be my last choice. Forstner bits or a router with a small diameter straight bit and a circle jig would produce a better quality cut. I have Forstner bits from 1/4" all the way up to 3 1/2" in 1/8" increments and a few in metric sizes. They are available. www.woodline.com is where I bought a set of the larger sizes.

For better help you need to tell us more about what you are doing. Answer the questions that John Smith posted above and we can do a much better job of helping you.

Charley
That's what spindle sanders are for.

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post #12 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchymist View Post
That's what spindle sanders are for.
A spindle sander smooths curves, but makes a round hole anything but round. There much better and faster ways to make clean round holes. Wood butchers (construction workers and framing carpenters) use hole saws and spindle sanders. Furniture and cabinet makers use Forstner bits and routers.

Charley
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharleyL View Post
A spindle sander smooths curves, but makes a round hole anything but round. There much better and faster ways to make clean round holes. Wood butchers (construction workers and framing carpenters) use hole saws and spindle sanders. Furniture and cabinet makers use Forstner bits and routers.

Charley
Dunno about that ...... really didn't want to buy a forstner bit for this:

(Actually did use a router for the roundover on the holes, but a spindle sander worked just fine for the sanding).
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post #14 of 22 Old 01-17-2019, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
lenox and ridgid are typically the "go to" for contractors around here...
Milwaukee hole saws work very well

Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies all and my apologies for the delay in responding. Work has been extra busy the past couple of days.

I'm drilling out a 2 3/4 hole. Right now I'm working with cherry, but I'll likely have more projects with various other woods. Thickness is 1/2-3/4.

I've ordered a forstner bit, which I'm hoping will do the trick. I picked up a used drill press a couple of weeks ago, and I'm looking forward to trying it out!
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 11:49 AM
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Depending on what you want to spend and if you have DP here is a link. https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shop...=forstner+bits
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 12:00 PM
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What he said ^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Willing View Post
Depending on what you want to spend and if you have DP here is a link. https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shop...=forstner+bits

A 2 3/4" Forstner bit is $25.00 at MCLS. That's a good investment for your project. You can always sharpen it yourself as the web site shows.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 04:48 PM
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any one have experience with both the smooth 'knife edge' style of Forstner and the 'saw tooth' style?


I've always shied away from the saw tooth design thinking it would tear the entry side more than the 'traditional' / 'old fashioned' smooth edge
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
any one have experience with both the smooth 'knife edge' style of Forstner and the 'saw tooth' style?


I've always shied away from the saw tooth design thinking it would tear the entry side more than the 'traditional' / 'old fashioned' smooth edge
I have both, they all work OK, no difference. YMMV depending on manufacturer.

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post #20 of 22 Old 01-18-2019, 07:34 PM
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thanks for the info - I should probably try one sometime....
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