Bit for drilling lots of 1" holes?

I’m making a pegboard and need to drill 300 1" holes.

Right now the largest bit I’ve got is an 1/8" (straight cut). If I do an “outline” on each hole, it’ll take roughly 6 hours to cut that many holes.

So, I’m wondering if maybe there’s a better (larger) bit I should use that would just cut out the hole’s completely (so I don’t have to worry about the loose inside bits bouncing around in each hole) that would also drastically cut down on time.

Not sure what size or bit type I might want to look for.

For reference, here’s the Easel project: (I’ll basically be repeating this 12 times for the entire project)

What are your cut settings?
Maybe just cut then 1/8" deep and then finish with 1" hole saw in a hand drill without the pilot bit.
That will take some time as well.

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1" Diameter plunge router bit.?

You’re making multiples? I’d spot drill a template with a V-bit on the CNC, drill with a small diameter bit (by hand), transfer to another board, drill holes (by hand) with a 1" forstner, hole saw, or boring bit. It’ll get old.
Most bits for a drill are not meant to spin as fast as the router will spin them.

I’m avoiding 300 hand-drilled holes at all cost.

Just asking if there’s a more time-efficient bit I could use on the X-Carve, and if so, what might it be.

I haven’t tried this, but it seems like the suggestion of the 1" plunge router bit would work, coupled with the “peck drilling” feature that was recently added to Easel. I’m not sure it is any faster than what you already calculated. In fact, at default settings, I came up with ~2 minutes per hole. You could probably speed that up a bit, but it is very hard to know without experimenting.

It would, however, potentially be better than using 1/8" bit and outlines. To be safe, you would need to use tabs so the center piece will not come loose during cutting. If the center piece comes loose, you run the risk of a broken bit or worse. If you do use tabs, then you will have to still manually remove at least 600 tabs (2 per hole, minimum)

Using the 1" bit with Peck drilling eliminates this problem. You just cut a clean hole, with nothing to remove. Will that work? Maybe, but I haven’t tried it, so you’d have to do your own testing to make sure it is safe and gives you the desired result.

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Anything bigger than your 1/8". Don’t forget that Easel won’t ramp the cut, and if you lose steps on your Z, you might be in for a mess.

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Ah! So THAT’S what the “drill hole” feature is for. Good feedback and with a plunge bit I think may do the trick perfectly.


Use caution as I think that is a large bit for a compact router.
Make sure you use slowest setting on the router.

I would use a good quality 1/4 inch bit, set cut 1mm deeper than thickness and use a sacrificial waste board. Pocket the lot out using dust extraction. You will end up with clean holes, no tabs to sort out. A 1” bit is far too much for a 1/4 palm router.

What does it matter then if it takes two or three hours, you will have no further work to do to them?


You dont have to carve it all, just a circle will be sufficient.

But that would entail cleaning up 600 tabs, taking longer and more work, and less accurate than letting the machine just pocket the lot out.

I’ve just finished making a heap of these for xmas presents and they didn’t take that long

What type of bit did you use?

22mm, the settings are in the link

Right, but what kind of bit? Plunge? Straight cut? Upcut? Something else?

22mm Surface Planing Bottom Cleaning Wood Milling CNC Router Cutting Mill Bit $14.95 AU on ebay

How thick is your material?

3/4” birch plywood

I dont follow all of the “rules” and cut baltic birch a LOT. I dont use tabs and use a compression bit and run it between .15 and .2 DOC at over 100 inches per minute. It will take some time for sure, but you can likely push your machine faster than you currently are. I do, however, have 9mm belts and a linear Z which will help with rigidity some but I’m not crazy overbuilt compared to a stock machine.

Ramp things up a bit and see how it does. I use my overrides a lot to dial things in by sound, adjusting feed rates and spindle speed as I go.

With a 1/8" compression bit or even a down cut bit, your cuts will be left filled with sawdust that will lock the circle in place. I haven’t done tabs on a job in at least my last 100 projects on 1/2 and 3/4 birch.