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Forstner Bit vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw- Comparison Guide In 2023

There are many different types of drill bits available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. In this article, we’ll be comparing three of the most popular types of drill bits – Forstner bits, spade bits and hole saws. Forstner bits are ideal for drilling clean, flat-bottomed holes in wood.

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.

What is Difference Forstner Bit vs Spade Bit vs Hole Saw?

When it comes to creating holes in wood, there are three main types of bits that you can use – spade, Forstner, and hole saws. So, which one is the best option for your project? Let’s take a closer look at each type of bit to help you make the best decision…

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. 

What is Forstner Bit?

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. 

What is Spade Bit?

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. 

What is Hole Saw?

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. 

What is a Benefit of Using a Forstner Bit Over the Other Options?

A Forstner bit is a type of drill bit that is designed for drilling flat-bottomed holes in wood. It can also be used to drill through-holes in wood, metal, and plastic. The main advantage of using a Forstner bit over other types of drill bits is that it produces very clean and accurate holes.

Another advantage of Forstner bits is that they can be used to drill overlapping holes. This means that you can start drilling from the edge of one board and end up drilling into the edge of another board without having to reposition the drill bit. Forstner bits are also very versatile when it comes to size.

They are available in a wide range of sizes, from small bits that can create pilot holes for screws to large bits that can be used to create vent holes in cabinets. The only real downside to using Forstner bits is that they are more expensive than other types of drill bits. However, their precision and versatility make them worth the extra cost for many woodworkers and DIYers.


What Does a Spade Hole Saw And Forstner Bit Do?

A spade hole saw is a cutting tool that is used to make holes in wood. It consists of a blade with a sharp point at one end and a handle at the other. The blade is inserted into the wood and then rotated in a clockwise direction, cutting through the wood as it goes.

A Forstner bit is a type of drill bit that is designed for drilling clean, accurate holes in Wood. It has a sharp, central point that starts the hole and two or more cutting blades around the periphery. As the bit is rotated, the blades cut into the wood, making a smooth-sided hole.

What Advantage Does a Forstner Drill Have Over a Spade Drill?

If you’re looking for clean, precise holes in wood, a Forstner drill is the way to go. Unlike a spade bit, which cuts only on the upstroke, a Forstner bit cuts on both the up- and downstrokes. This results in fewer tear-outs and gives you a cleaner hole overall.

Another advantage of Forstner bits is that they can drill overlapping holes. This means that you can start drilling at an angle and then come back around and drill from the other side without having to worry about the two holes connecting. This can be really helpful if you’re trying to create a large, round opening (like for an electrical outlet).

Forstner bits also have a tendency to stay sharp longer than other types of bits. That’s because they cut through wood rather than tearing it out like spade bits do. If you’re doing a lot of drilling, investing in a good set of Forstner bits is definitely worth it.

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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