Top 15 Tools to Make Holes in Wood

man operating a power drill

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Making holes is among the many crucial tasks when handling woodworking projects. It may sound simple, but did you know that using the wrong tool can heighten the chances of ruining your workpiece? Lucky for you, our team is here to acquaint you with the best tools you can use to make holes so that you can work without the worry of failing your next project.

The Best Tools You Can Use to Make Holes in Wood

#1: Reciprocating Saw

If you’re currently planning for a small remodeling project, having a reciprocating saw in your tool list is the best decision you can make. When using this saw, our tool experts advise you to hold it with a firm grip. Due to its reciprocating operation, the saw may incur some shaking and bouncing, so you should be wearing protective gear as well. 

Milwaukee 2821-20 M18 FUEL 18V Brushless Cordless SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw

#2: Circular Saw

There may not be many power tools that are both affordable and versatile, but circular saws are among the few. Many woodworking shop owners like us consider this tool useful as it operates in a rotary motion and can handle materials like plastic, wood, metal, and masonry. Available circular saws in the market come in handheld and mounted kinds.  

#3: Jigsaw

While many casual DIYers would tell you that boring a hole in wood is a job for a drill, jigsaws can actually make plunge cuts. All you need to do is place the jigsaw shoe against the material and start the cutting operation at 50% speed. Gently drop it down until the blade is through the wood.

SKIL 4495-02 6.0 Amp Orbital Action Laser Jigsaw - cutting a circle

#4: Hole Saw

As the name suggests, hole saws are typically used when boring holes in your woodworking material. If you look closely, its blade has an annular shape that produces a hole output without potentially damaging the core workpiece. Our team finds this more efficient than twist drills due to its larger diameters.

Related product: 

Best drills for your hole saw

#5: Hole Jigs

Another tool to make holes in wood is the hole jig. If you want to drill angled holes for a precise joint, this jig can make that happen. Speed and versatility are the main perks of this tool, so it’s wise to consider this in your shopping list.

#6: Twist Drill

Although twist bits are commonly seen when cutting metal materials, this tool can be very well used in wood, for it operates in a rotary motion. You can identify these tools according to their shank style, from straight to taper.

twist drill bit

#7: Forstner Bits

As a tool patented in 1874 [1], no one could deny its wide-range ability to drill angled and overlapping holes. It has a unique feature to cut the workpiece with or without the center spur’s engagement.

#8: Stationary Drill

Unlike handheld tools, stationary drills are set in one workspace where users can slide down material to bore accurate holes. These tools are often motorized and heavy-duty that can handle both wood and metal.

#9: Hand Drill

Depending on the bit used, hand drills can handle not only wood but also different construction materials. If you prefer not to be restricted during the drilling operation, we highly recommend this equipment. You can also use different saw attachments for drills based on the project you are working on. This makes the tool very versatile to use. 

person using Dewalt DCK340C2

#10: Spade Bit

In terms of rough hole drilling, spade bits are the ones you can count on. These bits are typically flat and include one center point and two cutters.

#11: Auger Bit

For boring smooth holes, most expert DIYers would recommend auger bits. And because it’s twice as long as twist drills, these bits are specifically meant for deep hole drilling.

#12: Hammer + Nail

If you’re on a budget, you can opt for the traditional method. Grab your hammer and nails from your toolbox and start pinning the screw to create the hole into the wooden board or panel.

man using a hammer

#13: Awl

Another low-cost tool to consider is the awl. This pointed metal hand-held tool makes holes but is more suited for soft construction materials. While it’s popular for handling leather, this tool is handy for making holes bigger.

#14: Chisel or Gouge

Speaking of the classics, we can’t possibly forget chisels. These hardware tools are specifically designed to cut wood in different shapes, including boring holes. 

#15: Circle Cutter

If you don’t know what a circle cutter is, you can imagine it as a compass. With an outer point that you can control and a centerpiece to keep it in position, it can produce a bigger hole than some hole saws out there. 

Also read: 

Cost of tools for woodworking 

FAQ

What boring tool can you use to make a hole in wood?

The boring tool you can use to make a hole in the wood is the auger bit. It can produce deep holes smoothly and are twice as long as twist bits. 

Conclusion

There’s a bottomless list of tools to make holes in wood, but not all of them could fit specific project requirements. Before you put a tool in your hardware shopping list, our resident woodworkers urge you to assess your needs closely to avoid wasting time and money in the long run.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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