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You may sometimes wonder how perfect circular cuts are made in materials as hard as marble. Well fortunately, we knew someone would be asking this question so we’re not only going to give the answer, we’re also going to provide an article that will explain everything you need to know about the device that does this and discuss the best models around.
So the simple answer: A hole saw. It is a special tool that allows us to cut any surface or material easily, making perfect holes for taps, hoses or lights. These tools are very popular amongst decorators, construction workers and DIY enthusiasts. Want to know more? Read on.
- 1 First things first
- 2 The best hole saws on the UK market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about hole saws
- 3.1 What are hole saws exactly?
- 3.2 What are the parts of a hole saw?
- 3.3 What are bi-metal hole saws?
- 3.4 What types of hole saws are there?
- 3.5 Main applications of each type of hole saw
- 3.6 What are the optimal speeds for hole saws?
- 3.7 How do you use a hole saw?
- 3.8 Should I drill dry or should I lubricate the hole saw?
- 3.9 Advantage and disadvantages of using a hole saw
- 3.10 Advice for using a hole saw
- 4 Shopping criteria
- 5 Summary
First things first
- Hole saws have a cup attachment that makes holes.
- Harder materials, such as ceramics or concrete, will require the use of lubricating liquids such as oil or water. The depth to which you can drill will be determined by the shape of the cup attachment.
- Most manufacturers recommend that you use variable speed drills to make cuts with hole saws.
- Hole saws, especially those with diamond-grain teeth, need care to prolong their useful life.
The best hole saws on the UK market
These days you will find a wide variety of hole saws on the market. Unless you are a professional builder or carpenter, it can be confusing to know which is the best one. To help you with the process, we have selected the five best hole saws for you – let’s check them out.
- Silverline 633729 Hole Saw Kit
- Draper 89716 9-Piece Hole Saw Kit for Downlights
- Hole Saw Kit, Tacklife 16 Pieces
- Bosch Home and Garden 2607019450 11-Piece Hole Saw Set
- 3PCS HSS Step Bits
Silverline 633729 Hole Saw Kit
Silverline is recognised and trusted throughout the UK and Europe. They have a comprehensive range of over 5000 hand and power tools for use in the home, garden and workshop that meet both current and future demands.
This Hole Saw Kit is a 16 piece kit which comes in the following sizes 19, 22, 29, 32, 38, 44, 51, 64, 76, 89, 102 & 127mm making every job for timber, plasterboard, plastic & non ferrous metals possible. It is also supplied in a robust storage case ensuring the safety of the product and yourself.
Draper 89716 9-Piece Hole Saw Kit for Downlights
This hole saw kit is specifically for cutting holes for downlight installation in wood or plastic. The blades are made from carbon steel with induction hardened teeth. The kits includes 6 hole saw blades in sizes: 51, 60, 64, 70, 75 and 86 mm diameter.
The product score 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon and consumer comments are very positive for DIY downlight installation with many consumer reviews stating they also used for other jobs.
Hole Saw Kit, Tacklife 16 Pieces
This product is perfect for use on soft materials such as soft wood, PVC and plastic plate but not metal. It is made from carbon steel and heat treated for high speed, fast, clean cuts. There are 12 sizes available; 19, 22, 28, 32, 38, 44, 51, 64, 76, 89,102 and 127mm. It has been well organized in a convenient plastic storage case, keeping the product safe and making it easy for you to transport and carry out work.
The reviews on this product are great with most popular comments such as value for money, variety of sizes, good quality.
Bosch Home and Garden 2607019450 11-Piece Hole Saw Set
Bosch is a leading manufacturer of accessories for power tools and is an innovation leader with 125 years of tradition. Bosch’s aim is to develop innovative accessories for all applications, for more efficient working and for new materials. With more than 8000 products, Bosch offers the appropriate accessories for virtually all applications, users and all brands of power tools.
A well put-together hole saw set, of good design and build quality. Comes with a variety of sizes ranging from 22mm to 68mm, making it a useful set for a wide variety of jobs.
3PCS HSS Step Bits
This Pagoda Drill Bit set contain 3 size: 4-12mm, 4-20mm and 4-32 mm, supplied with a portable fabric bag. It has a two-fluted design which provides faster, smoother drilling, for wood, sheet metal, steel and other surfaces.
It boasts amazing heat dissipation for longer use and it a great looking product. The package includes 1X Set (3pcs) Step Drill with a sturdy nylon storage bag. It comes with a 6 month quality warranty
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about hole saws
Hole saws are quite easy to use, they are simply an extension that fits on to an electric drill or screwdriver to make circular holes. They are also extremely handy to have in your tool box thanks to their versatility and functionality. You will find everything you need to know about hole saws below.
What are hole saws exactly?
What are the parts of a hole saw?
Below we will explain the most important parts of a hole saw:
- A cylinder or cup:This is the most important part of the hole saw. Normally it will be made of carbon steel, one end has a serrated edge and the other is fits to the motoring device
- Adjustment system: It is the part in which the drill engages. It is usually a thread or nut that is connected to the drill and serves to centre and guide the cut.
- Slots: The wall of the cup may have holes. These serve to extract the dust and prevent it from accumulating inside, which could slow down the bit and cause problems in the cut.
What are bi-metal hole saws?
Bi-metal hole saws combine two types of steel to form the edge of the cutting end: high-speed steel and soft elastic steel. Both form a durable edge that allows you to cut at high speed on all types of materials. In addition, this combination helps the tool to be much more durable.
What types of hole saws are there?
The below table shows the different types of hole saws and their characteristics:
|Type of material||Type of saw||Characteristics|
|By material||Soft materials|| To work with wood or plaster.
The most commonly used type in cabinet making, decoration and construction.
|By material||For concrete|| Ideal for working with very hard materials.
It’s best to choose a high-quality saw.
|By material||For tiles|| Have a diamond edge.
Cuts cleanly without breaks or cracks.
Works with low revolutions.
Cool the blade with water in order to extend its useful life.
|By material||For metal|| Ideals for all types of metals (ferrous and non-ferrous).
Offer a high level of cutting quality
Frequently used in workshops.
|By design||Adjustable|| Very practical, as the cutting diameter can be adjusted.
Can do a variety of tasks.
|By design||Various|| Set of cylindrical saws in various sizes.
Let you make different sized holes.
Main applications of each type of hole saw
The pitch of the saw’s teeth is measured in the number of teeth per centimetre or inch. The way the teeth are grouped come in 2 different styles, “constant” and “variable”. A constant pitch hole saw maintains the same distance between teeth whereas a variable pitch hole saw varies that distance.
We have prepared an orientation chart for reference detailing l the main applications of the different types of hole saws.
|Type of saw||Available diameters||Recommended speeds depending on the material||Maximum cutting depth||Materials it can cut|
|Bimetal, constant step.||14-210 mm||25-3000 RPM||41 mm||Metals, stainless stell, cast iron, brass, aluminium, plaster, non-ferrous materials, wood, PVC.|
|Bimetal, variable step.||14-210 mm||25-3000 RPM||41 mm||Metals, astainless stell, cast iron, brass, aluminium, plaster, non-ferrous materials, wood, PVC.|
|Diamond.||14-151 mm||150-1200 RPM||41 mm||Acrylic, ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, fibreglass, masonry, brick.|
|Carbide edge.||19-152 mm||20-3200 RPM||41 mm||Formica, fibreglass, plaster, floating floors, wood veneers.|
|Carbide grains.||22-114 mm||100-1000 RPM||41 mm||Non-metallic materials, floating floors, fibreglass.|
|Carbide edge for laminates.||15-100 mm||65-800 RPM||13 mm||Metals, stainless steel, non-ferrous materials.|
|To use with cordless drills.||16-38 mm||70-700 RPM||13 mm||Metals, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals.|
|To use with cord drills.||16-38 mm||70-700 RPM||13 mm||Metals, stainless steel, non-ferrous metals, plaster.|
|Carbide edge, multipurpose.||19-159 mm||300-1000 RPM||54 mm||Wood, wood veneer, formica, plastic, acrylics, plaster, floating floors, glass, fibreglass, ceramics, tiles, masonry.|
What are the optimal speeds for hole saws?
To cut, for example, wood and plastic, you need a number of revolutions approximately 10 times greater than you would need to cut steel. It is for this reason that it is recommended to use the hole saws with variable speed drills since they are the only ones that will allow you to adjust the revolutions.
How do you use a hole saw?
If you want to know how hole saws work in general, we explain below:
- Using a pencil, draw a circle where you want to drill and mark the centre of the circle.
- Insert the pilot drill into the drill and make sure that you hold it firmly so that it does not come loose.
- Mount the hole saw on the shaft that passes through the end of the shank and through the opening in the bottom of the saw. The pilot drill should protrude between 0.63 and 0.95 cm from the saw teeth.
- Install the cup saw in the drill. The end of the rod is placed on the mandrel and make sure it fits well.
- Plug in the drill and align the pilot drill with the centre of the marked circle.
- Turn on the drill. Remember to keep your hand steady and perpendicular to the work surface. It is advisable to apply light pressure. , Drill part of the hole and remove the saw. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary to complete the task. This will reduce friction and lengthen its life.
Should I drill dry or should I lubricate the hole saw?
To drill on materials as hard as concrete or cement, it is best to lubricate with water. Otherwise, the excess heat generated during the drilling process can make the edge of the saw lose and, therefore, reduce its lifespan and negatively affect performance.
Advantage and disadvantages of using a hole saw
Among the main disadvantages are that you need a variable speed electric drill to use a hole saw. Cleaning is another problem as the cups can get clogged if all excess materials are not removed from them.
Advice for using a hole saw
- First of all, follow the usual safety regulations. Wear protective glasses, appropriate clothing and, if you have long hair, tie it up.
- The instructions of the manufacturers are fundamental. Read the manual and follow the instructions.
- Do not rush to make the cut, let the saw do its job. If you see smoke it is caused by you working too fast or because the saw is worn.
- Whenever you extract the material from the cup, be sure to remove the remaining chips and all the residue. This will prevent the holes from clogging. Typically, multipurpose hole saws incorporate slots to facilitate the extraction of waste material.
- If the perforated button is stuck to the saw, remove it with a screwdriver.
- When cutting most metals (except cast iron) and ceramics, it is recommended to use coolant.
- If you cut tempered steel, vitrified ceramics or materials that incorporate concrete it is better to use hole saws with teeth or diamond grains.
- Unless they are specifically manufactured for this purpose, do not use cordless drills with hole saws, as these do not have enough power and the motor will burn.
Hole saws are tools designed to make large holes. Unlike drills, they are specifically for making large diameter holes. You’ll find a range of different hole saws on the market these days, so here are some of the things to keep in mind when buying one.
Material and thickness
Cup saws are designed for a specific type of material. For example, metal saws that are made of carbon steel will allow you to work on all types of ferrous and non-ferrous surfaces. You will also find saws for wood and softer materials. In general, multipurpose hole saws are used for construction work. These will work on stone plaster and thin metal sheets. These are ideal for electrical work, such as connecting pipes and cables to electrical panels.
Type of step
As previously explained within this article, the step is the distance between the teeth. This is an important factor. In our table we explain which steps are appropriate for which material. , The length and shape of the teeth will determine the type of material on which you can work. Before choosing your hole saw, read the manufacturer’s insert carefully and look at our table.
Type of teeth or edge
The type of material that covers the teeth determines what material can be cut by the hole saw. In this way, bimetallic holes are ideal for working with metals, wood and plastics. Those with carbide tips work on fibreglass, Formica and other soft materials. For cuts in hard materials such as concrete or ceramic and tiles, you should look for hole saws with teeth coated with diamond or diamond-edged grain.
Manual and especially cordless drills do not usually have enough speed to reach the required number of revolutions per minute recommended by hole saw manufacturers. If you plan to work with a cordless drill, make sure you purchase a hole saw specifically manufactured for this type of drill. When choosing a hole saw you should look at the diameter of the drill chuck and select the correct size. If you choose a saw that does not fit your drill, you would be wasting your money.
As we have already explained, not all the hole saws work at the same speed and they are best suited to being used with variable speed power drills, this is because different materials should be cut at different speeds. Consider the revolutions per minute they need to work at and the material you need to cut. The speed will depend on the diameter of your saw, the smaller diameter plus the speed of rotation. To cut soft materials, such as plastic or wood, you will need many more revolutions than to drill into concrete.
The hole saw you choose determines how deep it can cut. You should choose the type of hole saw which will suit the hole you wish to drill. There are models which drill holes with a smaller diameter and plenty of depth, and others which do the opposite. As a general rule, large diameter holes tend to have less depth. Look carefully before choosing and always do it according to your needs. If you’re not going to need to drill deep holes, don’t choose own with a long drill bit.
The hole saws are, basically, a type of cylindrical saw that can cut holes of a certain depth. These saws are used for masonry, decoration and woodwork. They are also used by professionals in the construction industry such as electricians and masons .
It is not easy to choose the best hole saw as there are many on the UK market today. There are a great variety of models and choosing the right one will depend on the jobs you want to do. We’ve given you a lot of information about hole saws, so hopefully you can go and purchase the one that will best suit your needs.
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(Source of the featured image: Narit Charoenval: 49688297/ 123rf.com)