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How To Choose and Use The Right Hole Saw For Your DIY Project

How To Choose and Use The Right Hole Saw For Your DIY Project

As you progress in your DIY project encounter, adding more tools to your toolkit should become a hobby. Some projects require you to use more sophisticated tools. In making holes, of course, you can use drill bits, however, the use of drill bits might not be suitable for some tasks and you may need to go for tools like hole saws.

Hole saws are suitable for use when the need for cutting perfectly round holes in your work piece arises. Although their use extends to glass; ceramic; concrete; stone; metals, they are commonly used on woods and plaster. For effective cutting, it is ideally used with a power drill and it’s quite advantageous to use when a hole of about 100 millimeters is to be made.

Hole saws are useful when holes are to be made...

  • On doors for installation of hardware
  • On ceilings to install light fixtures
  • In pipework for additional connections
  • For the passage of wires and cables
  • For drainage purposes, etc.


For your DIY projects, the type of hole saw needed depends largely on the intended use. Luckily, they come in various sizes and are manufactured from different materials to suit your needs.


  • Bi-metal Hole Saws

These are versatile hole saws used for making holes on a wide range of work pieces including woods, plastics, aluminum, steel, cast iron, and stainless steel. The serrated teeth are made from an alloy of 8% cobalt and high-speed steel (HSS); a configuration that allows smooth cutting through your work piece and prevents it from heating and wearing out easily during usage, thereby, increasing its durability. These teeth are welded to the body of the hole saw which is typically a softer metal, thus creating a Bi-Metal hole saw.

The teeth have two different configurations (variable pitch and fine), and an arbor is needed  to attach the hole saw to your drill. Depending on your project needs, you can easily switch between hole saws of varying diameters since they are separated from the arbor. You may check for the available sizes from us. 

The variable pitch type provides a better cut. when used in wood as the 4/6 tooth configuration allows for better dust and chip extraction while drilling. The fine-tooth type gives a finer cut when used in metal. A cooling liquid is recommended when drilling ferrous metals for both tooth configurations.

When drilling with Bi-metal hole saws, take the following precautions…

  • Apply only moderate pressure
  • Use the recommended cooling agents when drilling metal
  • Maintain a relatively constant position
  • Use recommended RPM’s for each size, speed kills!


  • Carbide Hole Saws

The carbide hole saws feature tough tungsten carbide tipped teeth that allow for easy cutting action and are also responsible for their remarkable durability. The carbide teeth also enable quick withdrawal of chips and swarf thereby improving its efficiency. Unlike the bi-metal hole saws, carbide hole saws are mainly suitable for cutting through woods, plastics, and fiber cement, not metals. However, there are carbide hole saws designed specifically for metal work as well.

The available diameters are between the range of ¾  to 6” and you may check our list for your desired size to start making professional holes for your DIY projects.


  • Diamond Hole Saws

 If you don’t know before now, making circular holes on tiles (ceramic/porcelain) can be difficult. However, our diamond hole saws are suitable for this operation and are also used for making holes in other work pieces including glass, marble, fiberglass, fiber cement board, and terrazzo. They give the best cut when used with water to keep them cool, reduce dust and increase life span.

An interesting feature of these hole saws is that the absence of teeth is quite noticeable as they are coated or infused with a diamond which is responsible for their toughness and durability.

Go through our list and select your desired diamond hole saw size.


Attaching Your Hole Saws to a Drill - The Best Way!

The usage of hole saws comes with risks especially when they are not well attached to your drill, so knowing how to go about the attachment is important to protect yourself from such risks.

  • Know the size of hole saw you’re working with and it’s recommended RPM’s
  • When selecting an arbor, ensure to select and use the appropriate one that fits correctly into the hole saw and power drill’s chuck. Check the arbor’s size rating to ensure it’s rated for your hole saw diameter.
  • No matter what type of drill you are using corded, cordless, use it in the lower speed range to improve torque and avoid excessive speed. Too fast and you can burn your material and heat up the hole saw too much. Use the side handle to avoid injury when using large diameter hole saws.


General Guidelines On The Usage Of Hole Saws - Know Them!

Now that you are familiar with the 3 types of hole saws available on the market, it’s necessary to get acquainted with their usage. However, working on different materials may require the usage of different hole saws as previously discussed. Although varying drilling techniques might be required for different hole saws to achieve optimum results, there are some general techniques you should know as a hole saw operator. 

  • Make sure your arbor is tight and the hole saw is mounted properly on it
  • Go slow to start and don’t exceed recommended RPM’s for it’s diameter
  • To prevent overheating and clogging of your hole saw, periodically remove dust and chippings from it
  • To obtain a smoother cut, if possible, continue and finish cutting from the other end once the pilot drill bit has poked through
  • Manually remove any slug or wastes in your hole saw. However, with an ejector spring arbor, the process is automatic.
  • Clean your hole saws and store them in a dry place after each project. If they appear dull, sharpen using a hand file before the next use or replace them.
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