If you want to know how to use a hole saw, at first, you need to what a hole saw is. I think you can easily guess what a hole saw exactly is from the name. Yes! A hole saw is a type of saw which is used to cut, dig, make holes. This is why it is also known as hole cutter.
A hole saw is a ring-shaped cylindrical body, having a large diameter made of metal or steel or sometimes of some other materials with teeth at the top edges. It is used by attaching it to a power drill. When the drill rotates at a very high speed, the cylinder of the saw also rotates along with it and the teeth dig the hole in the desired material by removing particles of the material as sawdust.
Hole saws are very cheap and easily available saws. You can buy a hole saw from any hardware shop near you at just $5. You can buy a whole set of hole saws in $15 and With $45, a whole set of bimetal hole saw by which both metal and wood can be drilled. Oh! That reminds me, the hole saw has various uses. That means a hole saw can be used to cut many types of materials like wood, plastic, metals, stone, ceramics and etc. Now we will discuss the different types of hole saws.
Different types of hole saws
Carbon steel: Carbon steel hole saws are used in soft materials like wood, non-laminated plastic, etc.
Variable Pitch Bi-Metallic: Bi-metal blades are a bit stronger. So they have less possibility of shattering. So these type of saws can be used for cutting through harder materials like hardwood, plywood, non-ferrous metals, etc.
Deep Cut Variable Pitch Bi-Metallic: These saws are almost similar to the variable pitch bi metallic saws. Their only exception and specialty are that they can cut very deep up to 42.5mm. Without this feature, they are just normal variable pitch bi metallic hole saws.
Tungsten Carbide Tipped: These saws are very strong, powerful and durable. They can cut through almost all types of materials like wood, plastic, metals, tiles, etc. They also provide service for a long time. If you have this all-rounder saw in your workshop, there is less necessity of other types of saws unless you are a professional woodworker.
Multi-Hole Saw: Multi-hole saws are used for cutting multiple sizes of holes in the workpiece. They can also cut through every type of materials such as- chipboard, plywood, non-laminated plastic, non-ferrous metal, etc.
Constant Pitch Smooth Cut: Constant pitch smooth cut saws are made of tough steel alloy body. They are abrasion proof, heat resistant and spin at very high speed. They are mostly used for cutting hard materials especially steel. Other materials like wood, plastic, etc. can also be worked with this type of hole saw.
Diamond-Edged: You will find two types of diamond-edged hole saws. One type with teeth and another type without teeth. It does not matter which type of saw you have. Both types of saws are very strong. They have either diamond coated edge or diamond fused edge. This is why they are called diamond-edged. They can cut through any type of materials no matter how hard it is. But generally, ceramic tiles are drilled with these types of saws. They are heat resistant. But cooling them with water is highly recommended.
Adjustable: The feature of these saws is that they can make holes of various sizes with the same machine.
Note that, as I have said, hole saws made of carborundum or diamond grit can be used for cutting through even harder materials than metals like stones or tiles. But these saws are not suitable for cutting through woods.
Taking care of the hole saw
Cleaning: Among all the other saws, a hole saw tends to get more dirty by spreading sawdust in a large amount. Wood chips also stuck in the grooves or teeth of the hole saw. So, the hole saw has to be cleaned properly after each time it is used.
And also remember to back out in the middle of the cut time to time to prevent the spreading of excessive saw dust.
Sharpening: It is better to change the hole saw when it wears out or become unsuitable for use instead of sharpening it again. A hole can be sharpened. But it is very hard and intimidating work. It will take hours and will give you a very unsatisfying result. This is why it is better to change the hole saw instead of sharpening it again.
Storing: Storing a hole saw is very easy. The only thing that should be kept in mind is that the storing place has to be somewhere dry where the metal body of the hole saw will not get corroded.
Whenever you are using a power saw, it is mandatory to wear some safety equipment and maintain some rules for safety. Wearing eye protection and ear protection is a must. You also have to wear gloves for the safety of your hands. When using a hole saw, you also have to wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth. Because, unlike other saws, a hole saw spreads dust in every direction where most of the other saws only spread dust in one or two directions.
Materials required for drilling with a hole saw
- Safety glasses
- Hearing protection
- Dust musk
- Corded drill
- Drill bit set
- Hole saw kit
- Tape measures
- Wood chisel
Prepare the hole saw for cutting
Selecting the right size of the hole saw: The first preparation a woodworker has to take before cutting with a hole saw is to select the right type and size of hole saw depending on the type of the material and the size of the hole.
Arbor: The arbor is a very important tool for a hole saw. There are two types of arbors found in the market for this saws. On for hole saws of small size and one for hole saws of large sizes. Pick the correct arbor for your saw. Then insert it through the back of your saw.
Fit the hole saw and the arbor together: When you have put this saw and the arbor together, screw the hole saw onto the thread of the arbor. And tighten it properly.
Tighten the hole saw: When you are finished tightening the arbor and saw, tighten the drill with them. You can use a pair of spanners to tighten the saw properly.
Tighten with the chuck: When you are done tightening the rest of the parts of the saw, tighten the chuck until the arbor is held by it properly.
How to use a hole saw
Step-1: To cut with a hole saw, at first, you have to cut a pilot hole with the drill. The pilot hole must be in the center of the hole. If you cut a pilot hole, then it will make some room for the center bit to fit in. Drill the hole in such a way that it transfers the center to the other side.
Step-2: Position the center bit or the drill bit in the pilot hole. The center bit is the tip of the arbor’s drill bit. This is to prevent the saw from moving when it is spinning at high speed. And also remember to put the saw through the pilot hole straight.
Step-3: Keep your hands steady and start the saw. Do not start to cut at high speed like other saws. Start slowly instead. Then gradually increase the speed. Make sure that the hole saw teeth are contacting the surface of the workpiece evenly. Take the saw up to full speed if you are cutting wood. And keep the saw sow for cutting metals. But whatever you are cutting, always remember to slow the speed and back out frequently to remove sawdust from both the saw and the workpiece.
Step-4: Do not make the hole in the workpiece from one side. This will not give smooth edged hole. So, cut halfway through one side. Then go to the other side of the workpiece and repeat from step-1. Put the center bit of the hole in the pilot hole again and start drilling. Then finish drilling when the hole is complete.
Step-5: Now is the time to use the wood chisel that I have mentioned in the required materials paragraph. Remove the wood plug from the half made hole in the workpiece with the wood chisel. This will help the saw to go deeper. You can use a screwdriver if you do not have a chisel by your side urgently.
Why the hole saw?
The thin cylindrical walls of the hole saw cuts through materials with less friction. You can use a saw for cutting holes in ceilings, for fittings, cutting vents, drilling large holes for locksets or for plumbing pipes. The hole saw is also a versatile saw; just as I have said earlier. So if you know how to use a hole saw, then you can drill various sizes of holes in any type of material with one saw.