Forstner Bit vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw- Comparison Guide In 2022

We all know that Forstner bit, Spade Bit, and Hole saw are the kind of tools made to drill big holes. However, often people confuse the terms and use of one with another and don’t understand which one is actually suitable for them. 

If you are someone facing the same problem then you have found the right place as this article will deal with Forstner bit vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw. Therefore, we are going to introduce you to the three tools and their usage. 

Stay tuned.

Difference Between Forstner Bit vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw

 that Forstner bit, Spade Bit, and Hole saw VS  Hole Saw vs Spade Bit  VS Hole Saw vs Spade Bit

What is Forstner Bit?

The name of this tool is in honor of Benjamin Forstner who introduced the design in 1886. His intention was to create a tool that would dig holes without creating a mess or damage to the work-piece. More or less, it is the kind of tool that allows one to frills clean. 

However, with time the design is changed to a pointy tip and split ring design in lieu of a lead screw. The outcome is almost the same though.

Hence, Forstner bit suits best for clean drilling that can be used with drill presses. That being said, you can also use it with a hand drill. 

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 What is Spade Bit?

When speed is your main concern rather than making clean holes, Spade bit comes in service. It is also called paddle bits because of how they look. Thereupon, it is highly recommended for making boring holes through wooden pieces. 

Usually, spade bits makes bigger holes than the holes created by twist drill bits. Therefore, it makes holes of ¼ inches to 1-1/2 inches. 

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Also read:- best bole saw kit

What is Hole Saw?

The hole saw, essentially drill bits, comes in a round shape associated with sharp edges to make a hole through the working piece. Hence, to make a hole you have to rotate the saw around the axis. 

A hole saw has two parts having a pilot frill at the center point and saw teeth in the end. 

You will find Hole saw with different sizes starting from 1 inch. One should get the grip of a hole depending on the size of the workpiece. 

It is also to mention that the hole saw is designed in such a way that it doesn’t create wood chips. O, you can easily use it to make holes over multiple places of the workpiece.

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Hole Saw vs Spade Bit

              Hole Saw                                     Spade Bit 
Hole saw can make a clean hole through the material. If your concern is cutting clean then a hole saw is more suitable. A spade bit is able to make a hole through the thickest piece of wood, but with a mess. If your main concern is cutting through hard materials then Space bit is the better option.
Hole saw is suitable for both metal cutting and woodworking. Or even masonry.Space bit is the best pick for woodworking.
Normally spade bit sizes appear 7/8 inches to 14 inches. (22mm to 350mm).On the other hand, Spade bits appear in ¼ inch to 1-1/2 inches.

Forstner Bit Vs Spade Bit

Forstner bitSpade bit
Forstner nit can create the perfect design-like hole. Therefore, It makes a hole slowly and carefully.A spade bit is best known for making quicker holes. If your preference is speed, then Spade bit is the best option out there.
Mostly, Forstner bits are not cheaper.A spade bit is the most affordable tool in the woodworking tool arena.
For detailing work you should choose Forstner bit. To work on fiberboard, acrylic wood, plasterboard, hardwood, chipboard, and plastic-laminated wood, Spade bit is applicable. 

Forstner Bit Vs Auger Bit

Forstner bitAuger bit
It requires a bit of pressure to make a hole through the Forstner bit.Auger bit doesn’t require much pressure to make a boring hole.
Forstner bit is best known for making specific designed clean holes.An Auger bit can also make specifically designed holes but not as good as a Forstner bit.
For moderate pace and damage-free cutting, Forstner bit is more eligible.An Auger bit can be used as a replacement to Forstner bit and Spade bit. However, the performance is not better than those two specified for jobs.

What are Spade bits are used for 

Normally, Spade bit is a go-to tool for electricians and other tradesmen. Therefore, it makes the hole through walls to set pipes or wiring. Also, it Is largely used in various types of woodworking projects. 

The pilot point that is situated over the shank is used to make quick-chuck drills as well as regularly chucked drills. So, the spade bits are well suited for any type of woodworking project and others. 

Related PostBest Hole Saw for Cutting Thick Metal

How to Pick the Right?

If you have read the whole article above then we must say, congratulations – now you know key features of each type- the Forstner bit vs Spade bit vs Hole Saw. 

Now it comes to the fact of how to pick it?

Well, Spade bits are widely designed for making holes through a rough piece of work. When your preference is solely making holes in thick material and you don’t care much about how it looks then look no further than Spade bits. You should also know that it is the cheapest of the three tools discussed above.

On the contrary, Forstner bits create flat-bottom, clean, and designable holes. It works slowly and carefully. If you are intending any designing furniture work project then look no further than Forstner bits.

The Hole saw is totally different from the other two as it takes away material by cutting a solid piece of wood rather than chipping away on a small amount at a time. You cannot use a Hole saw for making partial holes. However, it works quite fast. Hence, it is a quality item for complete drilling through materials. 


When would use a Spade bit?

Use a Spade bit when your work material is plywood, wood, or plastics. You can’t use it on metals.

What is the largest Spade bit?

A Spade bit can be highest 1-1/2” which is often on the Amazon display.

Can you use hole saw without a pilot bit?

You can drill without a pilot bit using a hole saw but in that case, you need to use a guide plate to stabilize the hole saw. 

Can you use a spade bit on plastic?

Yes, you can use a spade bit on plastic. 


Lastly, you can collect all of the tools for different applications and experiences in your woodworking journey. For versatile usage, however, a Hole saw is a suitable choice. They come in different sizes including bigger sizes which are pretty helpful with metal, wood, or masonry. 

 Having said that, no matter what tool you are choosing, it requires examining the deck or material first. Your choice largely depends on what type of material you will be using the tool. 

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