When it comes to making smooth, accurate holes in wood, there are two bits that can be used - hole saws and wood Forstner bits. While these bits serve the same purpose, there are a few key differences. If you need to make flat-bottomed holes, a Forstner bit will be the best choice. If you need to make clean, round holes through wood, a hole saw will be ideal. Understanding the differences between these bits will help you know which bit to choose for your project. In this guide, we’ll share the key differences and how each bit works.
Hole Saws and Wood Forstner Bits - What’s the Difference?
How do hole saws and wood Forstner bits compare? How do these bits work? What else should you know? Let’s take a look.
First up, let’s talk about hole bits. As their name suggests, these bits are used to make holes in wood and other materials. They have a unique cylindrical design that features jagged teeth around the edge. Used alongside arbors, which keep them centred as you work, they cut through wood easily without the need to use a lot of force. They are the best option for projects requiring smooth, precise, larger holes in wood. Made from tough fracture-resistant HSS (High-Speed Steel), they drill through wood without the risk of rough edges. At Ruwag, our hole bit range includes Standard Bi-Metal Hole Saws (ideal for most types of wood) and Fast-Cutting Bi-Metal Hole Saws (with a 10x performance rating that makes them perfect for tougher wood types). Whether you’re planning a woodworking project that requires smooth holes cut through wood, installing light fixtures or doing any other work that needs a high level of accuracy, these bits will deliver the best results.
Wood Forstner Bits
Wood Forstener bits also have a round shape with a jagged cutting edge. They are also used to create round, perfectly smooth holes in wood. They have a centring tip to ensure accurate drilling. Unlike hole bits, however, they do not have a hollow centre. Instead, they have a cutting mechanism that runs from the edge to the centre. Rather than cutting holes directly through wood, these bits are made to cut large diameter flat-bottomed holes in wood. Their design cuts smoothly through wood, making them a great option for projects that require holes that do not cut all the way through the wood. Some of the ways that these bits are used include drilling overlapping openings and even angled holes. Used alongside chisels or flat wood bits, these bits give you a lot of versatility.
Which is best?
Ultimately, the best bit to use will depend entirely on what you are trying to achieve. If you need to drill larger holes directly through wood, a hole bit is the best option. If you need to drill larger round flat-bottomed holes into wood, a Forstner bit is the best choice. If you do a lot of woodworking projects, an even better option is to invest in both of these bits in assorted sizes. You may find that you need hollow and flat-bottomed holes in a single project. Using the right bits for your project is essential to get the best results. Trying to use that isn’t suited to the job at hand can ruin your workpiece and potentially ruin the bit at the same time. Having a selection of bits on hand will give you everything you need for your project, giving you flawless results, every time.
Ruwag offers a range of high-quality drill bits for every project. Along with our premium hole saws and Forstener bits, we have other wood drill bits that give you even more versatility.