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September 05, 7:52 PM [GMT -5]

Overall the non-hole saw specific advice was good. The advice on using hole saws in wood was inaccurate. There are 3 types of typical hole cutters, the traditional carbon steel hole saw shown in the project which is the cheapest to buy and the quickest to dull and end up in the trash. Next is line is the bi-metal hole saw with its tiny teeth that are made from high speed steel which is much harder and more durable (stays sharp longer) than tool steel hole saws. Both types have a great deal of inside and outside sidewall contact while cutting and two thirds of the drill power is wasted in overcoming this friction. This contact also often results in burned wood and the cut plug of wood takes four times as long to remove from the hole saw as it took to cut the first hole.

Third type is the modern big gullet hole cutter with a few very large teeth, sometimes using high speed steel like the Hawg cutters and sometimes using the harder tungsten carbide teeth like the Blue Boar hole cutters. These cut holes ten times as fast and one can cut three times as large a hole with a hand drill than would be possible using the same drill and a bi-metal hole saw. With this type the cut plug will fall out of the hole saw and there is no burning of the wood.

Recommendation to use a very high speed is contrary to the recommendations of the drill manufacturers. This is due in large part to the power requirements of a bi-metal hole saw. Drill manufacturers universally recommend a 500RPM or LOW speed range drill setting for hole saws in wood. The exception is a 4" or larger big gullet hole cutter where a speed of 100 RPM is optimum is the user has a 3-speed range gearbox on their drill as is found with some of the drills from Rigid and DeWalt.

Lastly the performance of the hole saw is in large part dependent upon the pilot bit. When cutting into wood a spade pilot bit will make for a much faster operation than the conventional high speed steel twist bit which is really designed for use in meta.

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How to Properly Use a Hole Saw

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