It is well known that forstners, spade bits, and hole saws are usually used for drilling holes. But people often get confused to know which tool is ideal for which application. They often don’t know which tool to use for their job. To help you learn which tool to use and when to use, we have created this comparison of Forstner vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw. In this article, we will help you to understand the differences between these tools.
If you want to bore many holes in a limited amount of time, you can use a spade bit. It is cheap, and it also saves time. But if you want neat and clean partial holes, you might consider buying a Forstner. They can bore precise holes with flat bottoms. And if you’re going to bore through metal, you might want a hole saw. They are less messy than spade bits.
Forstner Vs Spade Bit Vs Hole Saw: Differences
All three of these bits are generally used for drilling holes. But each bit is generally designed for a particular task. Let us take a glance at the differences between these three bits.
|Features||Forstner||Spade bit||Hole saw|
|Type of holes||Flat bottom holes||Partial and complete holes.||Only complete holes.|
|Speed||Slow speed/ cutting.||Fast speed/ cutting||Moderate speed/ cutting|
|Size||1/4-inch to 2-1/4-inches||1/4-inch to 1-1/2 inches.||1-6 inches|
|Cleanliness||Cleanest holes||Messy and rough holes cause splinters||Clean and neat holes|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Let us now look at the differences between these drill bits in detail.
The Forstner can bore clean holes. But it is not as fast when compared to a spade bit. The bit is delicate. So you cannot drill quickly because it might damage the bit. Sometimes this damage is irreparable. And you’ll end up buying a new set. Forstner bit can heat up while for an extended period. This can wear out the bit and cause permanent damage. So remember to give these tools some rest.
Among all the three options, the spade bit is the fastest. It uses a high torque and can bore holes through wood with ease. But it requires a lot of strength to hold it in place. These bits have a reduced cutting surface area. This causes less friction. It also reduces the amount of heat produced. So you can use them for a longer time.
But be careful that you don’t drill it at a slow speed. The hole saw has higher torque than a Forstner. But it is not as fast as a spade bit. But it can cut through materials like wood and plastic with ease. One can also use it to drill through iron or steel.
2. Cleanliness Of The Cut
Among these three options, the Forstner bit can cut the cleanest holes. It may not be as speedy as a spade bit. But it can bore very neat and precise holes. One can drill holes into the surfaces with this bit at a particular angle. You can also use these bits to decorate your wooden deck. But you cannot use it to drill through the wood. It can also create partial holes with flat bottoms.
When it comes to spade bits, they are the messier than forstners and hole saws. When you use these bits, there is one common issue. These bits can cause splinters where the bit exits. But if you don’t care about neatness, spade bits would be best for you. It can let you bore several holes within a short amount of time. It is usually preferred to use these bits on softwood. Using it on hardwood can create more splinters. It also leaves the surface rough due to the thick fiber.
Hole saws are much more cleaner than the spade bits. It can go all through the wood. Unlike spade bits, hole saws provide a cleaner finish. If you are using a quality hole saw, you should be able to avoid splinters. It is usually recommended that you also drill from the ‘finish side.’ This will give you a clean and neat finish. Hole saws can also bore wider holes than spade bits. A hole saw shreds away the circumference of the hole. But the spade bit, and the Forstner chews out the entire hole. Also, you cannot use this bit to bore partial holes.
3. Size And Depth Of Holes
The Forstner, spade bit, and hole saws come in different sizes. Forstners often range from 1/4-inch upto2-1/4-inches. That is around 10mm to 90mm. Spade bits usually range from 1/4-inch to 1-1/2 inches.
This is about 10mm up to 36mm. Some spade bits can also be 6mm small. And finally, hole saws range in sizes from 1 inch up to 6 inches. That is approximately about 25mm to 150mm.
This makes it an ideal tool for boring, wider holes than the other 2 bits. Besides the diameter, one must also consider the depth of the hole. Spade bits can bore the deepest holes. The hole saws usually follow it. And finally, the Forstner bores the smallest holes among the three drill bits.
Both forstners and hole saws can provide boreholes with precision. The forstners followed by hole saws. But spade bits are generally not that good when it comes to cleanliness. The spade bits create more mess than the other two drill bits. Using this bit on wood can make the surface rough. This leads to splinters.
Spade bits are also hard to control while drilling. The drill sometimes might try to wrench itself out of your hand. But the forstners and hole saws provides more control while drilling. This is because they do not use the same amount of torque like that of the spade bits.
Like always, the price of the tool depends upon the brand and quality. So it’s difficult to tell which tool is the cheapest or most expensive. Generally, among the three tools, the spade tends to be the cheapest. They are usually followed by the Forstner bits. And finally, the hole saws tend to be more costly than the other two. So if you’re in a tight budget, you might consider getting yourself a spade bit. They are cheap and can fulfill most of your needs.
People usually tend to use spade bits and forstners for woodworking project like treehouses. They are not ideal for working on metals. There are various types of hole saws. The common ones are usually used on wood. But we can find hole saws that are generally designed for masonry work. You can use these bits to cut through metals—for instance, iron and aluminum.
Forstner Vs spade Bit Vs Hole Saw: What It Is?
What Is A Forstner?
The Forstner bit is named after Benjamin Forstner. He was the first one to patent its design in 1886. These bits do not care about speed. But it can drill clean and precise holes. Today Forstner bits are generally designed differently. They use a split ring design with a pointy tip. But their purpose remains the same. They provide absolute accuracy and cleanliness while drilling holes. You can also use it with hand drills. These bits can drill holes with a perfectly flat bottom.
What Is A Spade Bit?
Spade bits are also called paddle bits because of their design. As their name suggests, these bits look like spades. These bits have a flat and wide blade. It also has a sharp point at the center. This sharp point acts as a guide and leads the way. But it is the cutting edge at the shoulder of the blade that does the drilling part. Each edge of the flattened part is usually sharpened. But you cannot drill through metal with these bits. They are often used in wood and plastic. These bits can drill holes with surprising precision. They are usually less expensive than the wood drilling bits.
What Is A Hole Saw?
We use hole saws for, you guessed it, cutting holes. Hole saws usually consist of 2 parts. They are the mandrel and the blade. A mandrel is a part to which the blade is generally attached to. The blade is a hollow cylindrical attachment. True to its name, these bits have teeth like saws. The mandrel is usually held by the chuck of the drill. A small part of the mandrel sticks out of the saw.
This guides the saw blade into the wood. One can use blades of different sizes on a single mandrel. They cut holes by rotating around their axis in a drill. They can cut through a variety of materials. These include wood, plastic, and steel. They can also cut through metals like iron and aluminum.
Forstner Vs Spade Bit Vs Hole Saw: Recommended Products
1. Bosch DSB5014P Daredevil Spade Bit
- Features a full-cone threaded tip for fast and effortless drilling
- Contoured paddle for fast chip removal
- Hex shank power groove to reduce slippage
This is one of the best spade bits because of their high performance. It also has a nice set of outward-facing spurs. This will help you get clean walls. They also have featured threaded cone tips. This will help to guide the bit through the hole.
2. Porter-Cable PC1014
- Optimized Cutting Angles For Flat Bottom Holes
- Open Tooth Design For Clean Fast Holes
- Creates A Fine Smooth Finish
This is one of the best and most popular sets of forstners you can buy. It is a 14 piece set and is available at an affordable rate. This set is actually designed for durability and long life. It also includes common sizes from ¼ – 2 inches.
3. LENOX Tools Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit
- 13-piece LENOX bi-metal hole saw kit includes 9 hole saws, 2 arbors and 2 pilot bits.
- For wood and metal applications. Speed Slot plug removal system is easy to use.
- Non-binding coating provides faster cuts 10% taller than prior generation hole saws for a deeper cut.
This is a trendy brand hole saw kits. It is a 26 piece set with 20 hole sizes. This will help you to handle any job you can think of. They also feature a new tooth design. This will help you to cut through wood as well as metal with ease.
Forstner Vs Spade Bit Vs Hole Saw: When To Use One?
The use of the bits depends upon the task for which you use them. First, let’s start with forstners. If you want a neat and clean hole, you should go for a Forstner. As mentioned earlier, forstners can bore precise holes with flat bottoms. So if you want to bore partial holes, you should consider getting a Forstner. It might not be as fast as hole saws or spade bits. But it is the best tool to give you a perfect hole. These bits are often eyed by perfectionists.
Spade bits are usually used to make rough holes. So if you don’t care much about cleanliness, you can choose a spade it. It can work faster than forstners and hole saws. It is ideal for boring a lot of holes in a short period. Also, this bit is the cheapest of the three. But make sure you do not cut metal with this bit. It can cause permanent damage to the tool. Spade bits are often used on wood.
Hole saws can provide a fair speed. But unlike the spade bits or forstners, you can’t use them to create partial holes. You can use them only for drilling through the material thoroughly. There are certain types of hole saws that can cut through metal. So you can use these saws for masonry work too. Unlike the other two bits, the hole saw shreds the circumference of the hole. This feature is what makes the hole saw different from others. Also, these bits can drill precise holes better than a spade bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can one use a spade bit on metals?
Should one sharpen their spade bit?
Where can one use a Forstner bit?
Is it worth buying a forstner?
What type of drill should one use for hole saws?
Is the pilot of a hole saw important?
Each tool has a unique application. They are all designed for a specific purpose. It would be best if you considered this factor while buying a tool. Also, the use of the tool depends upon the work you are using it for.
Also, each tool is better than the other at some point. And they have their pros and cons. As a buyer, you should be aware of their differences. This will help you select the right tool for your job. We hope this article has helped you out and cleared all your confusion.