Best hole saw kits for wood, metal, glass, and more
Having the right hole saw kit provides convenience and precision to any drilling work needed around the house or workshop.
Compatible with a range of materials from metal, wood, and plastic, to tile and glass, there are many options to pick from to suit every need, whether professional or everyday DIY fixer-uppers.
If you’ve been hunting for the best hole saw kits to add to your toolbox, our list will help you make the best choice. Check out our recommendations and quick picks below!
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Best hole saw kits: Quick picks
Lenox Speed Slot Hole Saw Kit
- Excellent brand
- Available in sets of 8, 9, 10, and 17-pieces
- Versatile cutting ability
Spyder Hole Saw Kit
- Our pick for boring holes into wood
- Universal arbors that adapt to other hole saw brands
- Other versions of this kit are available with more or fewer items
HYCHIKA Hole Saw Kit
- Very complete, budget-friendly set
- Designed to cut through soft materials
- Great purchase if you’re new to hole saws and drilling
Guide to hole saw kits
Best hole saw kits
Read through our list of the best hole saw sets for wood, metal, glass, and more to discover which hole saw kit is the best for you!
Best overall: Lenox Speed Slot Hole Saw Kit
Lenox is a popular hand and power tools brand and it also happens to make one of the very best hole saw kits on the market: the Lenox Speed Slot Hole Saw Kit.
These bi-metal hole saws are versatile and we found them very capable, even for heavy-duty drilling. You can choose from four variations of this kit depending on your needs (8, 9, 10, and 17-pieces), all including the most common sizes to accommodate every task.
Besides optimally designed saw teeth and enhanced walls for durability, these hole saws boast a unique slot mechanism to facilitate plug removal in just a few steps. That said, if you like shortcuts and easy solutions for fluid crafting, this is an excellent pick!
While these hole saws work perfectly with various surfaces, we think they’re most impressive on more rigid materials, such as metal and thick wood.
As one of the top-rated suggestions, this hole saw kit is also one of the more expensive options, but we think it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re searching for tools that last a long time.
Best all-purpose: Milwaukee Hole Saw Kit
Milwaukee is another highly-trustworthy brand, and these all-purpose Milwaukee Hole Saw Kits ensure an intuitive experience, suitable for anyone, whether professionals or avid home improvers.
Exceptionally lightweight, this is a savvy pick if you struggle with arthritis or wrist pain and want to avoid additional weight on your drill. In addition, tooth design has been developed with advanced technology to guarantee effortless, clean drilling.
While these hole saws perform very well for most tasks, I believe they’re best for sporadic work vs. everyday heavy-duty drilling. Also, consider the materials you’ll be cutting as these will impact the life span of your tools — thin metals and wood are best suited.
Each kit includes a sturdy case with compartments you can customize to organize your tools as you see fit. Different variations of this kit are available with more or fewer hole saws and accessories; it’s a matter of finding what matches your needs.
I think the 13-piece hole saw kit is a great choice if this is your first purchase: you’ll have more than enough options to work with for under 80. On the other hand, the 28-piece kit is your best bet if you want something more ambitious and are willing to pay a higher value.
Best value: Sungator Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit
The SUNGATOR Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit is available in sets of 5, 7, and 18 pieces and offers a super affordable alternative to some of the best hole saw kits on the market. The complete 18-piece set costs under ~40!
Compatible with plywood, PVC, drywall, and metal, these hole saws are rust-proof, sharp, and durable, making these tools highly efficient for a myriad of home improvement projects.
One of the perks of this kit is its larger hole saws which cut through 43mm-50mm and feature four handy slots (two slots are standard) to make plug removal quick and fuss-free.
An adapter is another plus, allowing you to adjust a small mandrel to a medium mandrel if required. Besides these materials, this kit comes in a foam-based, compact plastic case to ensure tools are protected and locked in safely.
And while this may seem like a given, I’ve come across many sets that don’t offer this level of storage quality. If you’re one to transport your tools daily, I advise considering this factor when looking for your next hole saw kit!
Best for wood: Spyder Hole Saw Kit
If you know anything about power tool accessories, you’re bound to have heard about Spyder, the manufacturer of these high-quality hole saw kits.
Although compatible with heavy-duty materials like metal, these hole saws really shine when drilling wood. Besides clean sawing and perfect, debris-free slots, you can expect speediness with these tools —they cut five times quicker than average hole saws.
However, a more substantial power drill is crucial to successfully work through thicker surfaces like wood. That said, be sure to consider if you have the appropriate conditions to make this task as efficient as possible.
These Spyder hole saws also feature a Rapid core eject function that removes plugs with the press of a button! These kits also contain universal arbors that adapt to other hole saws, such as the Lenox and Milwaukee models on our list.
Although Spyder does offer a broader range of kit options, for under 80, you can get a complete 13-piece bi-metal set. We think this kit provides the perfect balance between price and quality, making it the ideal pick for first-time wood crafters wanting to test the waters.
Best for hard metal: EZARC Hole Saw Kit
This complete, 9-piece carbide hole cutter set is the perfect match if you’re goal is to drill through heavy-duty, metal surfaces.
Unlike most of the best hole saw kits listed, this set contains industrial-grade tools; ten times more durable than most bi-metal hole saws for metal.
These hole saws cut shake-free through stainless steel, sheet metal, aluminum, cast iron, and others, measuring up to 5mm. The 9-piece set includes five hole cutters of varying sizes, three pilot drill bits, and a hex key.
Although industrial grade, these can be used to fix anything around the home, whether in your kitchen, your air conditioning, electric boxes, etc. On the other hand, experience with boring holes with a high-powered drill is advisable as metal is more challenging to cut through.
Considering these tools’ top quality and durability, this is one of the most expensive items on our list at roughly 100. If you don’t require as many cutters and accessories and can make do with fewer options, there is a 6-piece set available too, for under 60.
Best for ceramics/glass: Semderm Diamond Drill Bits Set
If you’re planning on cutting through fragile surfaces such as glass or tile, this premium 10-piece diamond hole saw set is both efficient and affordable.
Each cutter is composed of carbon steel and nickel plating for maximum protection and, unlike other hole saws, is coated with industrial-grade diamonds instead of saw teeth.
The most compatible surfaces for these hole saws are glass, ceramic, marble, porcelain, brick, and more. If you love creative hobbies around gardening, this is an excellent tool to bore drainage holes into ceramic pots!
Know that this style of hole saw does tend to require a little more know-how vs. DIY-type hole saw kits. For example, depending on your chosen material, you may need to add water as you drill — excessive heat can lead to blunt diamonds and impact the process.
However, this set goes for only ~8, which is worth the investment if you’re curious to try these out. If you’re looking for something a little more complete, Etsy sells this multi-colored 25-piece pack that will meet the needs of more advanced hobbyists!
Best for soft surfaces: HYCHIKA Hole Saw Kit
Another great hole saw kit is the HYCHIKA 19-piece set, a popular, cheap solution for cutting an array of soft materials and surfaces.
Including 13 hole saws in different sizes, this pack also contains two mandrels, drill bits for replacement, an installation plate, and a hex key.
Because these hole saws are suited for soft materials such as plastic, softwood, PVC, and others, they will drill beautifully up to 25mm in depth. In addition, their carbon steel saw teeth ensure quick, slick, and smooth cutting —and all for roughly 20 bucks!
Nevertheless, as tempting as this product’s price may be, it’s not suitable for heavy-duty materials, so I suggest not trying your luck — it’ll be a waste of time and money.
This is an excellent kit for first-time drillers and homeowners looking to take on new home improvement projects; it’s affordable, easy to use, offers range, and is cheaper than many individually bought hole saws!
Best hole saw kit for doors: DeWALT Door Lock Installation Kit
Even if you don’t consider yourself the typical handyman or woman, you’ll find yourself confidently installing knobs on your own with this hole saw kit for doors.
This DeWALT pack comprises everything you need to get the job done quickly, is compatible with the majority of modern lock sizes, and is suitable for metal and wood doors.
The structure’s C-clamp design makes prep work easy, and you won’t have to worry about meticulous measuring. In addition, this gadget comes with an adapter and comprehensive guide that will have you boring holes within minutes.
I love how practical and straightforward this kit is, as it sticks to the essentials and is not packed with an overwhelming number of unnecessary bits and pieces to get the job done.
On the other hand, having an additional arbor would help avoid having to switch bits. Although the kit’s steps are easy to follow, it is important to follow instructions carefully to prevent incorrect drilling or possible door damage.
Best for electricians: DeWALT Hole Saw Electrician’s Kit
The following product on our list is an all-rounded option for electricians and plumbers who need to make drilling efficient, quick, and convenient on a daily basis.
With optimal fast plug ejection, these bi-metal hole saws last up to 50% longer than standard models and feature excellent saw teeth for long-life drilling through the most challenging materials.
This DeWALT kit includes two easy-to-swap mandrels and M3 steel hole saws to guarantee durability. The kit case is also very compact, easy to store, and designed to keep items secure while transporting.
Whether wood, metal, or plastic, this kit provides everything needed to accomplish any sawing task. Hole saws can also be purchased individually if you are interested in saving a little money.
Taking this product’s quality and heavy-duty endurance into account, the price of this complete 9-piece set is pretty affordable at ~70.
Best for professionals: Bosch Professional Hole Saw Kit
The last suggestion for the best hole saw kits is the Expert set by the ever-popular Bosch brand.
This kit is best suited for professionals or crafters who do lots of drilling regularly and includes high-quality hole saws designed to cut through diverse material types from wood and metal to brick and tile.
Its tools are developed to last 50 times longer than the average bi-metal hole saw, containing carbide technology to ensure exceptional durability and high tolerance to additional heat. Cutting ability is up to 60mm in depth, no matter the resource.
Because of its efficiency and popularity, this product is another of the pricier options on our list — a 14-piece kit costs over 200. You can also buy these individually if you just want a specific hole saw size vs. a complete set.
Bosch is also home to other hole saw kits you might be interested in for different purposes, such as the brand’s premium Diamond Hole Saw Set, Carbide Universal Hole Saw Set, and Sheet Metal Hole Saw Set.
How to choose the best hole saw kits and what to know
Whether you’re looking for hole saw kits for the first time or your goal is to retire an old set, here are a few things to keep in mind as you research the best hole saw kit for you.
The pieces indicated per kit do not refer to the total number of hole saws included in a set but to all of the accessories. For example, a 13-piece kit will likely contain around eight hole saws plus additional bits.
Know your tools! It’s essential to understand how these items work and become familiarized with all the necessary parts to make them function, such as mandrels, arbors, pilot bits, plugs, etc.
Be sure to have a drill that is compatible with the items in your potential hole saw kit. Also, consider your resources. The more rigid and thick your materials are (metal, hardwood, etc.), the more potent your drilling power should be.
Safety is always crucial, especially if you’re planning on doing home improvement or DIY projects with this tool for the first time. Wearing goggles and gloves are always easy safety precautions you should consider.
Not all hole saws have the same depth range or diameters. That said, it’s not worth experimenting with different materials and hole saws unless indicated for specific tasks/resources: this will dull your saw teeth in no time or simply not cut at all.
Evaluate price and kit size. As a professional, you might want to upgrade your kit to something more comprehensive. But if you figure you’ll only use your hole saws a couple of times a year, your needs will likely be met with a smaller set.
Always consult if your kit and hole saws are appropriate for cordless drilling and do as your potential seller advises.
That’s all for our guide to the best hole saw kits! Which will you be getting? Let everyone know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!
Hole Saw – The Ultimate Guide to Using a Hole Saw
Hole saws have gained vast usage among handypersons and DIY enthusiasts due to their efficiency and ability to cut a wide variety of hole sizes. over, they are relatively affordable and consume less power.
In this article, we’ll discuss tips and uncommon info surrounding the use of hole saws. We’ll also look at how to use hole saws to achieve project success and some maintenance tips to ensure that your hole saw lasts longer.
Table of Contents
- Cleaner Finish
- You Can Use it on Different Materials.
- Hole Sizes
- The Material in Question
- The Diameter and Depth of The Hole
- The Power of The Drill
- The Drill’s Battery Voltage
- Why Do You Need a Hole Saw’s Pilot Bit?
- Why is a Hole Saw’s Pilot Bit So Important?
- 3.1 Choose the Right Type of Hole Saw and Hole Saw Arbor
- 3.2 Attach the Hole Saw to Drill.
- 3.2.1 Insert the Arbor into the Power Drill
- 3.2.2 Attach the Hole Saw
- 3.2.3 Tighten the Hole Saw Attachment
- 3.2.4 Insert the arbor into the Chuck and Tighten
- 3.3 Drill Pilot Hole
- 3.4 Take Some Safety Measures
- 3.6 Removing Plugs
- 3.7 Can I use a Hole Saw with a Battery or Cordless Drill?
- Section 4 How can I use a Hole Saw to Enlarge an Existing Hole?
- 7.1 Preventing A Blowout
- 7.2 How to Avoid Wood-burning when using a Hole Saw?
- 7.3 What to do When Drilling Large-diameter Holes
Figure 1- A Set of Hole Saws
Section 1: Why Don’t Choose the Drill Bit But Hole Saw?
You may wonder why a drill bit can’t do the same job as a hole saw. If drilling sizable holes is your priority, you need a tool that is best suited for the job.
A couple of reasons why a hole saw would outperform a drill bit when it comes to drilling a hole includes the following.
Figure 2 – A Hole Saw and a Set of Drill Bits
Hole saws are cut with great precision as they come with pilot bits that allow you to precisely know the size of the hole you want to create or cut.
This precision also allows the spot to come out neatly. Plus, with a quality hole saw, you should be able to avoid splintering.
You Can Use it on Different Materials.
While drill bits like spade bits and Forstner bits are exclusively for woods, you can use hole saws on a wide range of materials.
Besides, there are specific hole saws for different materials – metal hole saws, diamond hole saws, and concrete hole saws.
There is a limit to the type of holes drill bits can drill. If you’re looking to drill well-sized holes, drill bits aren’t an option. You’re better off using a spot saw as you can seamlessly create holes with less effort.
Section 2 What Type of Drill is Best for Hole Saws?
Yes, hole saws are powerful tools, but they are only one part of the equation. It would be best to have a drill that powers your hole saws efficiently.
Predominantly, exercises tend to come in three types – hand-held drills, drill presses, and magnetic base drills.
Your working conditions should influence your drill choice. Most handypersons or DIY experts use hand-held drills (corded and cordless) because of the work ease it provides.
You can easily carry it around while you work. Regardless of your drill choice, you can’t afford to overlook some staple factors such as –
Figure 3 – A Hand-held Drill in Use
The Material in Question
The concerned material should inform your choice of a drill. Some fabrics require a strong drill power, while others might need less. In this regard, you should always check for the RPM. Some manufacturers usually have this info on their products.
The Diameter and Depth of The Hole
Some drills are more capable of drilling deeper holes and broader diameters. Each exercise comes with information regarding their capability; manufacturers should have this info on their products. Ensure to always lookout for this.
The Power of The Drill
Some materials tend to be more challenging than others. In this regard, you need a drill with a working power that matches the material or materials.
With a powerful exercise, you can quickly drill through hard materials like concrete. Also, the drill power affects the drill speed.
It would be best if you had a well-regulated rate for hard materials such as metals. Drilling hard materials such as metal at a very high speed can damage your drill bit. In this regard, we advise using a speed control drill.
The Drill’s Battery Voltage
To use the cordless drill, you must pay attention to the battery voltage. The more powerful the voltage, the more efficient your training will be.
Why Do You Need a Hole Saw’s Pilot Bit?
As the name implies, a pilot bit guides the hole saw to the area that needs drilling. It also ensures that the hole saw stays on course until you finish creating a hole.
A pilot bit is an anchor that holds the hole saw, keeping it from wobbling during the drilling/cutting process.
Why is a Hole Saw’s Pilot Bit So Important?
The pilot bit plays a critical role in ensuring that the bit stays firm using a hole saw. It prevents the hole saw from spinning and wobbling over the objects you want to see through.
Without it, you might accidentally gouge the surface of your item instead of having a neat, round penetration cut.
When you sink the pilot bit, it guides the hole saw in anchoring itself, enabling the saw’s stability even before the operation starts.
Section 3 How to Use a Hole Saw？
Hole saws are very efficient tools. However, you may have difficulty figuring your way around it, and that’s okay. We’ll be looking at the step-by-step procedures on how you can effectively use a hole saw.
Before we begin, let’s look at the few components of a hole saw. A hole saw consists of a saw blade and an arbor. The arbor acts as the base of the spot saw, and it’s the part that fits into the drill directly. Now that we know this let’s begin.
Figure 4- A Hole Saw Attached to a Hand-held Drill
3.1 Choose the Right Type of Hole Saw and Hole Saw Arbor
Here, we can’t’ t overemphasize that the material you’re looking to cut or drill should inform your choice of the hole saw and hole saw arbor. It would be best to note the hole sizes you intend to cut/drill.
If you frequently cut hard materials like metal or concrete, you should select a powerful hole saw to delve into these materials seamlessly.
Plus, hard materials like metal also necessitate lubricants as you’ll need to seam to ease friction and have a smooth drilling process.
For detachable arbors, choose a gazebo that fits your hole saw. Arbors come in two types: small gaps (14mm – 30mm) and large holes (32mm – 210mm).
Besides, you want an arbor that will fit into a ½ or 3/8 chuck, depending on your power drill’s specification or requirement.
3.2.1 Insert the Arbor into the Power Drill
Insert the arbor via the back of the hole saw, ensuring that the power drill grips it firmly. A firm grip prevents wobbly movement when the hole saw is used.
3.2.2 Attach the Hole Saw
Now, screw the hole saw into the arbor’s thread, ensuring it fits in tightly. If the drill bit happens to be adjustable, allow it to protrude past the hole saw blades by approximately 3/8 inch and tighten it again via the set screw.
The reason for this protrusion is so that you can bore your pilot hole without hassles.
3.2.3 Tighten the Hole Saw Attachment
Yes, we seem quite stuck on tightening because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take the extra step of drawing your hole saw onto the arbor.
This additional tightening will prevent it from coming off during a drill operation.
Wobbly movements from the spot saw when drilling could damage the material, and we don’t t want this.
3.2.4 Insert the arbor into the Chuck and Tighten
Here, you’ll fit the end of the arbor into the drill’s chuck. If you’re using a cordless drill, it should, at least, have an 18-volt battery, as anything less might not produce the torque you require.
An 18-voltage-powered exercise allows you to use your hole saw effectively. After you’ve confirmed this, tighten the chuck and ensure that it holds onto the arbor securely.
3.3 Drill Pilot Hole
Proceed to drill a pilot hole in the center of the spot you want to cut out. The pilot hole is a guide to ensure that the hole saw is steady and anchored.
While drilling, try to maintain a drill bit level. Plus, if your material is free-standing, you should anchor it onto something so the hole saw doesn’t cause it to spin.
3.4 Take Some Safety Measures
Before you start the actual drilling, take a final look at everything you’ll need during the drilling process. Tighten loose ends and fix whatnot. You also want to ensure that you have a lubricant by your side.
3.5 Align the Drill Bit in the Pilot’s Hole and Start Drilling
Position the drill bit’s tip into the pilot’s hole. It will keep the spot saw steady and stop it from wobbling. When you begin drilling, the teeth of your hole saw should come in contact with your workpiece evenly.
If you’re cutting a rigid material such as metal, endeavor to add a few drops of lubricant to the hole saw’s blade to ease friction.
Start drilling at a low speed and increase as you push the saw into your workpiece while making sure you’re maintaining the drill bit level.
Within intervals, slow down and remove the saw from the hole to clear out chippings and pent-up sawdust. It will also keep the blade from overheating.
3.6 Removing Plugs
It is one of the challenging phases in drilling, as most people find it difficult to dislodge a plug (mostly wood) from the hole saw. Well, if you’re using a spot saw with a plug ejecting feature, you don’t t need to worry, as the pin will come off quickly.
On the other hand, if your hole saw doesn’t’ t have this feature, you can use a slotted screwdriver to dislodge the plug. Using a slotted screwdriver can be tedious as it requires a considerable workforce.
3.7 Can I use a Hole Saw with a Battery or Cordless Drill?
While corded drills might allow you to outsource electrical voltage to power your training, a cordless drill will enable you to work seamlessly. It is because of its mobility.
However, if you have to use a cordless or battery-powered drill, ensure it has a battery voltage of at least 18-voltage power. Anything below the 18-voltage power will cause your routine to underperform, resulting in a poorly-done project.
How to Enlarge a Hole With a Hole Saw
Section 4 How can I use a Hole Saw to Enlarge an Existing Hole?
Drilling a fresh hole requires less effort than enlarging an existing hole. When preparing a new spot, your pivot bit is an anchor that allows you to hold your workpiece in place and drill evenly.
However, it’s quite different when you’re looking to enlarge an existing hole, as there is no place to fix your pivot bit. So, how do we enlarge an existing hole? Let’s find out in the subsequent paragraphs.
Figure 5 – A Large Diameter Hole Saw and A Concrete Plug
First, you mark the existing hole with horizontal and vertical lines. These lines will represent the center of the existing hole.
After drawing the lines, place a scrap piece of plywood over the existing hole, and transfer the center lines to the plywood.
Once the plywood is steady, fix your pilot bit on the intersection of both center lines, drill through the plywood, and then onto your workpiece.
Another way to enlarge an existing hole is by fixing two hole saws onto the arbor. To do this effectively, you need a smaller hole saw (one with the same diameter as the existing hole).
A more massive hole saw (one with a similar diameter to the new hole you’re about to drill).
You should fix the smaller hole saw inside the large one. So, when you start drilling, the smaller hole saw will easily slide through the existing hole, and the large outer hole saw will hit a new spot.
However, you should note that not all arbors allow two-hole saws, endeavor to verify this before attaching two holes to a single pavilion.
Section 5 How to Drill Tap Holes Through Acrylic or Metal Baths and Basins
Using hole saws to drill through wood materials is easy. The same is true for hard materials such as acrylic and metal baths. But you will need a different method, which we will study.
Advisably, you should always have cutting oil around when drilling metal, as this helps to reduce friction and offer the necessary lubrication. When there is a reduction in conflict, the hole saw will run as it will be cold.
Besides, cutting oil keeps the flush metal chips from the kerf. Invariably, this allows the teeth of the saw to slide through your hard material seamlessly.
Alternatively, if you can’t stop applying oil while using your hole saws at intervals, get a sponge and cut it into the exact shape of your hole saw.
Once you’ve done this, soak the sponge with cutting oil and let it absorb evenly. After this, put the sponge inside your hole saw.
While you drill the metal, the sponge supplies the oil making your work relatively seamless. Note that you should prepare cast iron without any lubricant as it needs none.
Section 6 How can I Prevent my Hole Saw from becoming Clogged with Dust?
As we said earlier, having a lubricant around is one of the best ways to reduce friction and sawdust formation. Ideally, sawdust comes from overheating and excess friction.
One subtle and effective way to douse this problem is by slowing down and retracting your hole saw now and then while drilling.
It allows the saw to cool off and the debris to spin off. However, if your drilling project calls for a more robust approach, you can try the trick below.
Once you drill the pilot hole for your cut, score the wood’s surface lightly with your hole saws. After scratching the surface, drill 1/4-inch holes within the scoreline’s inner markings, spacing them closely around the perimeter.
Ensure that you hit the spots entirely through your workpiece.
At this juncture, you can resume drilling with the hole saw and worry less about the sawdust. The sawdust will automatically escape via the ventilation holes as you drill.
My Spyder Hole saw set Best in the world
Figure 6 – A handyman Drilling A Wooden Plank
Section 7 What do I need to Pay Attention to When using a Hole Saw?
You need to pay attention to some specific tips when using hole saws. For precision, we’ll be looking at three tips that can come in handy.
7.1 Preventing A Blowout
Pulling out your hole saws from a cut can blow out the back of your workpiece. If you intend to blast holes through walls or floor joists, a blowout shouldn’t’ t be an issue.
However, a blowout can pose a serious concern if you’re sawing through finished surfaces such as doors or slabs. So, how can you avoid encountering a blowout while sawing through surfaces?
Fortunately, you can avoid a blowout by harnessing two approaches. First, you can place scrap wood behind your workpiece and saw into it.
Secondly, you can see halfway through from either of the ends and complete it by drilling through the other side of the workpiece.
7.2 How to Avoid Wood-burning when using a Hole Saw?
The best way to avoid burning your wood during a drilling project is by ensuring you have an effective lubricant. Drilling with cutting oil reduces friction and stops your hole saw from overheating.
7.3 What to do When Drilling Large-diameter Holes
Yes, drilling large diameter holes can be quite daunting as it weakens the wrist, drill motor, and hole saw. Instead of trying to hit a large-diameter home at once, you can harness an effortless technique.
This technique involves drilling several stress-relief holes within the cut perimeter. You can begin by drilling a 1/8-inch deep, circular hole on the workpiece with your hole saw.
After this, change the drill bit to a 3/16-inch diameter one. Use this drill bit to create several spots close to each other.
Endeavor to drill these holes around the initial 1/8 inch circular hole. Once you finish this, return to the hole saw and complete the sawing. You’ll discover that the 3/16-inch diameter holes will reduce the strain and stress during the drilling process.
With the tips we’ve discussed above, you should have no issue when it comes to using a hole saw. You can also use the buying guides shared in this article to choose the right hole saw for your project.
However, if you need further assistance in selecting the right spot saw, feel free to reach out to us. We will be glad to guide you and provide the necessary support for you.
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How to Use a Hole Saw Without Pilot Bit?
Hole saws are commonly used to cut large holes in materials such as wood or metal to create a smooth, round hole. The most common type is the arbored hole saw with a pilot bit in the center. But what if you do not want to punch a smaller center hole in the material that you are cutting out?
Can You Use a Hole Saw without a Pilot Bit?
The answer is yes, you can use a hole saw without a pilot drill to create a hole in wood, metal, or other material without creating a pilot hole. This is quite useful for two purposes.
- When the main purpose is to enlarge an existing hole.
- To create a circular piece from the material that you are cutting into. For those who use such shapes in the creation of other projects, the absence of the drill bit is quite desirable.
However, hole saws that do not have a pilot bit will require the use of a drill press or guiding plate in order to work properly.
Using Hole Saw on Drill Press
Without the pilot bit drilling into the center of the workpiece, the hole-saws tend to wander around especially at the beginning of the cut. The drill press or a milling machine solves this problem.
Hold the hole saw in the drill chuck. Place the workpiece on the drill press table and bring the tool close to the work to position the workpiece. Secure the workpiece with clamps to ensure that it won’t move during cutting. Switch on the machine and bring the tool to the work to start cutting.
It is important to ensure that you have sufficient clearance below the workpiece for the hole cutter to come out at the bottom end. You don’t want to spoil the table of your drill press. One way to do this is to use spacers or parallel blocks to raise the workpiece or place a scrap piece of wood below.
Hole Saw Guide Plates
The next method is to use a guide jig. If you are using a hole saw on a handheld drilling machine such as a cordless drill, you need a guide plate.
A guiding plate sits on top of the material and is firmly in place. The plate keeps the hole saw without a pilot bit from drifting or walking across the material. Without a guiding plate, it is difficult to near impossible to create a perfect circle.
How to Use a Hole Saw Guide?
The guide itself can be a DIY jig or a professional guide that you purchase in a store.
This is normally a piece of hard material such as steel with different size holes that will fit on top of the material. Secure the guide and place the hole saw inside and press the trigger to start sawing.
Adjustable Guide Jigs
You can also get adjustable guides. These are mainly used with diamond hole saws for cutting holes in tiles, granites, masonry, and stones.
The adjustable hole saw guide jig comes with a rubber base and plastic or aluminum housing. It has four hardened ball bearings that will open uniformly to adjust to the required hole size.
- Place the hole saw inside the guide jig between the rollers and adjust it according to the diameter of the saw.
- Remove the hole cutter and place the jig exactly where you want to drill.
- Press the suction-cup and lock the jig in place.
- Now you are ready for cutting the hole accurately.
How to Make a DIY Hole Saw Guide?
You do not need to purchase a separate guide if you already have material with the hole cut into the center. You can make one on your own by using a scrap piece of wood.
- Use the hole saw with a pilot bit to cut the right size hole into the scrap wood.
- Unlock the set screw and remove the pilot drill
- Secure the scrap wood on top of the material you wish to create the hole
- Set the hole saw inside the guide and press the trigger to begin
Be sure to use scrap wood that is thick and strong enough to act as a proper guide. Plus, set your hole saw firmly inside before you press the trigger.
Using a Hole Saw to Enlarge an Existing Hole
With the DIY guide that you have made, you can create several holes before it gets worn out. Since the hole saw has cutting teeth only on the periphery, it will not enlarge the hole in the guide jig. However, keep in mind that you have to align your power drill axis to the guide hole axis. If you tilt the drill too much, the jig will get damaged.
For maximum efficiency, use quick-release clamps to hold the guide in place and then move them to the next location.
If you plan on creating circular material for the long term, consider using a strong piece of scrap metal for your guide. It will last far longer than wood with the proper care. Plus, the metal will not have to be as thick as the wood which may make it easier to clamp into place.
Summary: So yes, you can use a hole saw without the pilot bit. You will need a bit of preparation, but with the proper guide, you can create hole after hole with relative ease.
Wood Boring Drill Bits: Spade Bits, Hole Saws, and Self Feed
We all know that drill bits have their limits when it comes to the size hole you can drill. But what happens when you need to do some larger wood boring?
As a teenager, I decided that I would replace the soft, rotted plywood back deck of our old bass boat. Being relatively ignorant in the ways of tools and working on getting my junior man card, I went to work ripping out the carpet and unscrewing the now very rusty fasteners. Cutting the new board and installing it wasn’t too much of a challenge. The problem came when I needed to reinstall the pedestal seat. It was secured by bolts but also sat several inches down through a 2-1/2 inch hole.
Looking back at trying to cut that #%@! hole… what was I thinking? I started with the largest drill bit I had in the center, then tried to work outward with a hand saw. When that didn’t work, I tried drilling holes in a circle and connecting the dots with that same dull hand saw. I did eventually get it in there, but it took a heck of a lot longer than it needed to and man, was it UGLY!
Had I known what to look for with spade bits, hole saws, and self-feed bits, I might have spent the afternoon fishing instead of cussing and sweating. Fortunately, I’m wiser now, both in my use of tools and the English language. I’m here to pass on that wisdom along with some help from Milwaukee Tool and their accessories.
Wood Boring with Spade Bits
Hole Diameter Range
Spade bits are going to cover the smallest of your wood boring needs. In fact, the smallest spade bits can be in the same range as a standard wood drill bit. Often called flat boring bits (or variations on that), spade bits come in diameters between 1/4″ and 1-1/2″
Spade bits like Milwaukee Flat Boring Bits have a shape that resembles a paddle. A brad point or threaded tip guides the bit into the wood and through the cut. The sharpened edges of the bit take small slices of wood out and eject them out of the hole. Use spade bits in high-speed mode up to 1″ in diameter and sometimes larger, depending on the design. The largest spade bits typically require low-speed mode to deliver the required torque to the bit.
A good, sharp spade bit lets you apply minimal downforce on your drill to make the cut. You can put additional pressure on it to drill faster, but it isn’t necessary. Particularly with larger bits, you’ll want to use your drill’s side handle if it has one. Today’s drills deliver a lot of torque and the bit can bind up causing the drill to twist your wrist or elbow painfully. Some spade bits have a 1/4″ hex shank that you can attach to your impact driver. Spade bits are less expensive than other wood-boring choices.
When to Use Spade Bits
Spade bits like Milwaukee Flat Boring Bits are a great option for cutting holes up to 1″ in wood that doesn’t require a fine finish. The breakthrough with a spade bit can be rather unsightly though. If you’re going to be leaving one side as the finished surface, drill into that side and let the breakthrough happen on the side you can’t see. Once you need to drill holes over an inch (and no longer in high speed with a spade bit), it’s time to look at hole saws.
Wood Boring with Hole Saws
Hole Diameter Range
Hole saws come in three basic designs. You typically use diamond grit hole saws in tile, masonry, and glass applications. Bi-metal works well for metal and often finds its way into wood applications. We find carbide-tipped hole cutters efficient for cutting wood. I’ll FOCUS on those next. You can typically find this style of wood-boring accessory as small as 1-inch. Conversely, they go all the way up to around 6-inches.
The hole saw consists of two parts: a mandrel and the hole saw. Collectively, we usually referr to the whole thing as a hole saw. The mandrel has a threaded and sometimes a locking coupling built around a drill bit that holds the saw in place. The pilot bit guides the cut. Milwaukee’s Big Hawg Hole Cutters actually employ a replaceable spade bit. This reduces the amount of friction against the core to improve the efficiency of the cut.
Because the hole saw as a system is much more complex than a spade bit, they are designed to be able to change hole saws around the same mandrel. This saves money. Hole saws require more torque than spade bits, so the shaft has to be thicker to avoid damage. You’ll need a 1/2″ drill for most hole saw systems.
A hole saw works by shredding away just the circumference of the hole rather than chewing out the entire hole like a spade bit or Forstner bit. This results in a solid core or plug you need to remove from the saw at completion.
Carbide vs Bimetal
Look at the teeth of the hole saw to see the difference between carbide-tipped wood boring and bi-metal general-purpose designs. Wood-boring hole saws have 2, 3, or 4 carbide teeth depending on the diameter. You can actually sharpen these teeth when they get dull over time. To give you an idea of sharpening cycles, Milwaukee Big Hawg Hole Cutters can bore up to 600 holes before needing sharpening. Bi-metal hole saws… well, I wouldn’t sharpen all those teeth. In fact, we recommend you don’t try.
While you can certainly use bi-metal hole saws, they drill up to 10 times slower than carbide-tipped hole saws designed for wood boring. Let the hole saw and drill do the work, and you should be able to drill at high speed most of the time. With larger diameter holes, drop the RPMs (speed) and use that higher drill torque.
When to Use Hole Saws
Hole saws like Milwaukee’s Big Hawg Hole Cutters are perfect for wood boring 1″ – 6″ rough-cut holes. It is possible to get bigger hole saws (Milwaukee Big Hawg goes up to 6-1/4″), but you’re really straining a typical 1/2″ drill at that point and you’ll start needing more specialized equipment.
Like spade bits, hole saws are a rough-cut wood-boring accessory. The breakthrough leaves a rough edge that you need to either sand or cover for finished work. Like spade bits, bore in from the side you intend to use as your finished surface. That hides the breakthrough side from view.
Wood Boring with Self Feed Bits
Hole Diameter Range
Self-feed bits typically handle hole sizes between 1 and 4 5/8-inches. Don’t confuse these with Forstner bits that can start as small as 1/4-inch.
Self-feed bits have outer teeth that cut a circumference like hole saws and a radial blade that slices out the core like a spade bit. The result is a cleaner finish that neither style can accomplish on its own. Self-feed bits also have a threaded tip that pulls the bit through the wood. The threaded tips like those on Milwaukee Switchblade Self Feed Bits stick out further than that of a Forstner bit to act as a guide and pull the bit ahead. They are usually favored by contractors who aren’t concerned with simply creating a recessed hole.
Most self-feed bits are constructed in a way that lets you sharpen the radial blade. Milwaukee Switchblade Self Feed Bits take it one step further. By adding a removable blade edge, the bits offer just as fine a finish while saving you time. The removable blades, like those from Milwaukee, use hardened steel. You still get a lot of life out of them. Just switch them out when they wear down instead of sharpening them.
Like hole saws, self-feed bits require a lot of torque to chew out a hole. You’ll need a 1/2″ drill to accommodate the larger diameter shaft. You’ll also want a spare battery nearby if you’re using a cordless model. Only with the smallest diameters will you be able to drill in high-speed mode with self-feed bits. You’ll make most of your cuts in high torque mode.
When to Use Self Feed Bits
Because self-feed bits fall into a range that is covered by spade bits and hole saws, it can be confusing knowing when to use them. Forstner bits are finish bits that woodworkers and carpenters rely on to make cleaner through holes or recessed holes in wood. Self-feed bits, however, are purely for powering through wood as fast as possible. For applications like under cabinet lighting installations, using a jig and handheld drill are fine with a Forstner bit. When precision is your goal, you’ll find most woodworkers turning to a drill press with a Forstner bit and avoiding that self-feed tip. However, general contractors, remodelers, and plumbers will be looking for the threaded tip found on Milwaukee’s Switchblade Self Feed Bits.