What Are Hole Saws Used For?

There are various tools needed for home construction, furniture, and renovations. Some are peculiar to specific jobs, while some can be used for almost everything. One of them is a hole saw. 

What Is a Hole Saw?

A hole saw, which is also known as a hole cutter, is a saw blade attachment, shaped as a ring or cylinder and used with power drills to cut out perfectly round holes. It typically has an arbor at the center to prevent the saw teeth from walking.

Carpenters and constructors generally prefer using it, thanks to its ability to create holes without needing to cut the core of whatever is being drilled into. Rather than twist drills or spade drills, hole saws get the jobs done faster and easier.

How deep a hole saw can cut is often limited by the depth of the cup-like shape blade. Most hole saws come with short blades, which are used on thin workpieces, like thin woods. However, there are longer ones available for jobs that require them.

Types of Hole Saws

There are two types of hole saws; the adjustable hole saw and the circle cutter.

  • Adjustable Hole Saws

Adjustable hole saws consist of several thin metal strips that closely resemble saw blades. It also has a flat disc with a lot of grooves and a shank on each side. When you snap the blades into the different grooves on the disc, you can turn the hole saw into one with a wide variety of sizes.

  • Circle Cutters

A circle cutter is, in reality, just another type of adjustable hole saw. It is formed by having 1 to 3 adjustable teeth on a saw with a pilot bit. You only need to adjust the teeth to the proper position to cut holes of different sizes.

Components of a Hole Saw

A hole saw is made up of a steel or metal cylinder, slots, and teeth that are mounted on an arbor. The cutting edge typically has saw teeth or, sometimes, industrial diamond embedded in it. The arbor may also carry a pilot drill. 

The teeth come in two different types; variable pitch or constant tooth pitch. The variable is when there are ununiformed distances between each tooth, while a constant tooth pitch is when there is a constant or uniformed distance between each tooth. The former provides a smooth cut with a reduced effect on the blade, while the latter cuts a bit slower but makes a finer cut.

Hole saws come in varying teeth per inch or TPI. The ones with higher TPIs cut slower, provide a smoother finish, and are less likely to tear your workpiece. The ones with lower TPIs cut faster, give a less smooth cut, and are more likely to tear your workpiece. 

The teeth can be used for a lot of materials like plastic, wood, metal, soft plaster, brick, concrete, glass, and stone.

Then there are slots. Every hole saw comes with one. They are used to allow dust to escape.

What Are Hole Saws Used For?

Hole saws are used for many types of home construction or furniture work. They are used for electrical and plumbing work. Here are some of the typical applications.

  • Installing doors

The handles and locks we see on doors cannot be fixed without cutting out a hole for them to stay in. this hole is cut out with a hole saw. It is done when installing things like locksets and deadbolts.

  • Installing drainage pipes

Hole saws come in handy when installing any type of drainage or waste pipe. Due to how fast it works, you can quickly cut out a hole with little to no effort. An excellent example of when you will need one is when you are trying to install a roman bathtub in a bathroom or a granite countertop in a kitchen with no existing drainage pipes. 

  • Installing extra connections in pipes

Let’s assume your bathroom has pre-existing pipes, but you need extra to accommodate your bathtub and countertop adequately; you can use a hole saw to cut those holes too.

  • Installing electrical cables

Plumbers aren’t the only ones who love to use hole saws; electricians do too. They often use it to cut out holes that serve as access points in ceilings for light fixtures and other necessary cables and wiring.

  • Installing vents

You will need a hole saw with teeth made of industrial diamond for this. It will cut through masonry when you want to install air vents. 

  • Constructing pet houses

You can use hole saws to cut out holes that will serve as entrances for your reptile or birds to go into their tiny houses.

How To Use Hole Saws

As always, it’s essential to follow all safety protocols before handling any type of machine tool, especially if you have no previous experience with using one.

  1. Always wear safety goggles, gloves and facemasks. This is essential to prevent you from accidentally cutting or harming yourself and prevent sawdust from getting into your eyes, mouth or nose as it is very toxic to your health.
  2. Use earplugs. Hole saws can be very loud when it’s being used, so to prevent future listening problems, get some for yourself.
  3. Ensure the pilot drill goes beyond the cutting edge by at least 1/8’.
  4. Secure the material to be cut to prevent spinning or slipping.
  5. Follow the instructions and recommended speed for the size of the hole saw and the workpiece.
  6. Frequently check the mandrel’s drive pins to ensure they have not vibrated out of the drive holes in the saw.