How to Cut a Circle in Wood With a Drill

There are many ways in which you can cut a circle out of wood. However, the chances are that those ways require you to have some expensive power tools to get the job done, which not everyone can afford. But most people do have a drill back at home. So we are going to explore ways in which we can cut a circle in wood with a drill.

There are plenty of reasons why you would need to cut out a circle in a piece of wood. The problem is there are not many ways you can do it without the appropriate power tools. One way is to cut out a circle in wood using a jigsaw, but it requires you to build a frame for that.

If you have a simple drill at home, using the appropriate bits can also provide you with great results.

What Are the Drill Bits Used for Cutting a Circle in Wood?

There are two kinds of drill bits usually used for carving out a circle in wood. But there is a key difference between both bits, one will cut out a circle and one drill a circle in wood.

First drill bit which is used to cut out a circle is called a hole saw. A hole saw is basically an attachment more than a drill bit. It is attached over your usual drill bit used for drilling holes in a wall. You attach it on the end using a fastener. With it, you can cut out a circle from any piece of wood. You will have that piece of circular wood for use, you can make various objects out of it.

The other drill bit is used to drill in a circular hole in wood. This is called a spade bit and it is a wide bit with a narrow tip. It starts off small and as you progress to drill deeper it widens the hole. With a bigger spade bit, you can drill bigger holes in the wood. But it drills out a hole in the wood so you do not end up with a circular piece of wood.

So depending on your usage, you will have to use either method. There is another method but it requires a drill press and an attachment. We will not be covering that as not everyone has a drill press at home. Buying a drill press is expensive as well. But the hole saw attachment and the spade bit are not as expensive.

How to Cut a Circle With a Drill – Step by Step

For you to cut a circle with a drill you will need a handheld drill, a hole saw attachment if you want to cut a circle out or a spade bit.

Step 1)

Place the piece of wood you want to cut a circle in over two pieces of scrap wood that can elevate it. Otherwise, you will end up with a circular hole in your workbench. The best way is to make sure there is empty space under the piece of wood you want a circle in. You can also do that by placing the wood over the edges of two workbenches.

Step 2)

Take the battery out of your drill if you are using a battery-powered one. If you have a drill that uses an electric outlet disconnect the cord from it. After which you can attach either a spade bit or a hole saw attachment. The hole saw attachment uses a normal drill bit as well, so keep that in mind.

Step 3)

Plug the cord back in the outlet or slide in the battery again in the drill. Mark the center where you want to cut the circle in. This is to improve the accuracy of the hole.

Step 4)

If you are using a spade bit, start by drilling in the narrow point slowly inside the wood. Once the narrow point digs in you can increase the power and push the drill inside till it passes through. If you do not want a complete hole inside the wood but a partial one, the spade bit works best for that.

If you are using a hole saw attachment, you will need to first use the drill bit to create a hole in the center where you want to cut a circle. Then move down till the hole saw has clearly cut through the piece of wood.

Step 5)

If you have a hole saw attachment, you can slowly pull out the piece of circular wood from inside it. There will be a hole in the middle though, so keep that in mind when you are using it.

With these easy steps, you can cut a circle in a piece of wood. Of course, the thickness of the piece of wood also matters here. If the wood is too thick you cannot cut a circle all the way through using a hole saw. For that a spade bit is your best bet.

KATA Hole Saw Set


Material: Carbon Steel
Compatible With: Standard Electric Drill, Impact Drill
Ideal for: Softwood, Plywood, Plastic Plate, Plasterboard & Thin PVC Board
Pieces: 20
Includes: 13 Pieces Saw Blades: 3/4″ (19mm), 7/8″ (22mm), 1-1/8″ (29mm), 1-1/4″ (32mm), 1-1/2″ (38mm), 1-3/4″ (44mm), 2″ (51mm), 2-1/2″ (64mm), 3″ (76mm), 3-1/2″ (89mm), 4″ (102mm), 5″ (127mm), 6″(152mm), 2 Mandrels, 3 Drill Bits, 1 Hex Key, 1 Installation Plate.
Perks: Easy to Install, Fast Wood Cutting, Professional Quality, Solid Storage Case

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Things to Be Careful of When Operating a Drill to Cut a Circle in Wood

  • When changing drill bits or using attachments always make sure to cut off all power supply to the drill. If you are using a cordless drill take out the batteries before changing the drill bit. If you are using a corded one, then pull the cord out of the outlet to make sure it doesn’t turn on. This will make sure you avoid any accidental injuries while changing the bit.
  • When cutting a circle always make sure that the wood is elevated from your workbench’s surface. You do not want to cut a circle in your workbench or damage it. You can use either two big pieces of wood to elevate it from the bench or place the wood at the edge of two workbenches.

The spade bit might require you to use different sizes to make it easier for you to cut a bit circle in wood. When you buy spade bits it usually comes in a set with different sizes anyways so you would not have to buy these separately. Just buying a set works out for

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