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Often times electricians, plumbers, hvac techs, carpenters, hobbyists, and other tradesmen encounter tasks that need drilling circular holes through material in order to make rounded fittings. For example, an electrician may want to make a circular hole on a junction box to fit conduits, a carpenter may have to cut holes in wood doors to install door locks or a plumber may want to make a hole in stainless steel metal sink to install a faucet. All these tasks require nice clean circular holes that can only be made easily and professionally with the right set of hole saw kit.
A typical hole saw kit has several circular hole cutters of different standard sizes for drilling holes of different sizes. This article is a comprehensive review of the top 5 best hole saws for wood, metal, and plastic, each with over 10 different sizes of saw bits.
Comparison Table for 5 Best Hole Saw Sets
This table is a side-by-side summary of the features of each of the five holesaw sets. It includes the advantages and disadvantages of each kit and the number of saw bits in each package.
|Milwaukee Hole Dozer 28 Piece 49-22-4185||Lenox Big Daddy 26-piece Set||DEWALT D180005 14 Piece Master Hole Saw Kit||Bosch 25-piece Master Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit HB25m||Tacklife Hole Saw Kit PHS01C 16 pieces 3/4’’-5’’ Full Set|
|Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon|
|No. of Pieces||28||26||14||25||16|
|Hole Saw Sizes||3/4 in, 7/8 in, 1 in, 1-1/8 in, 1-1/4 in, 1-3/8 in, 1-1/2 in, 1-3/4 in, 2 in, 2-1/8 in, 2-1/4 in, 2-1/2 in, 2-5/8 in, 3 in, 3-1/4 in, 3-3/8 in, 3-5/8 in, 3-3/4 in, 4-1/8 in, 4-1/4 in, 4-1/2 in, 4-3/4-in||3/4 In., 7/8 In., 1 In., 1-1/8 In., 1-3/8 In., 1-1/2 In., 1-3/4 In., 2 In., 2-1/8 In., 2-1/4 In. 2-1/2 In., 2-11/16 In., 3In., 3-1/4 In., 3-3/8In., 3-5/8 In., 3-3/4 In., 4-1/8 In., 4-1/2 In.,4-3/4 In.||3/4 In., 7/8 In., 1In., 1-1/8 In., 1-3/8 In., 1-1/2 In., 1-3/4 In., 2In., 2-1/8 In., 2-1/4 In., 2-1/2||3/4 In., 7/8 In., 1 In., 1-1/8 In., 1-3/8 In., 1-1/2 In., 1-3/4 In., 2 In., 2-1/8 In., 2-1/2 In., 3 In.;||3/4 In., 7/8 In., 1-1/8 In., 1-1/4 In., 1-1/2 In., 1-3/4 In., 2 In., 2-1/2 In.,3In., 3-1/2In., 4 In., 5In.|
|Package Dimensions||16.5 x 9 x 4.5 inches||8 x 12 x 4 inches||3 x 9.8 x 7.3 inches||5 x 8.6 x 9.7 inches||7.7 x 6 x 1.5 inches|
|Weight||14.4 pounds||7.74 pounds||4.9 pounds||6.4 pounds||2.2 pounds|
|Country of Manufacture||United States||United States||United States||Germany|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime Tooth Break Warranty||90 Days Warranty||3-Year Limited||24-Months Warranty|
|Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon||Buy from Amazon|
This section provides detailed reviews of the five hole saw kits. Each kit is discussed extensively so that you can have an easy time selecting the one that fits your drilling needs.
Milwaukee Hole Saw Kit Review – 49-22-4185 28 Piece
At the top of the list is the Milwaukee 49-22-4185 28-Piece All Purpose Professional Hole Dozer Ice Hardened Hole Saw Kit. The kit includes a total of 22 circular drill bits that are ice hardened and nicely packed in a compact plastic carrying case together with other accessories. The ice hardened hole saws feature the latest and strongest tooth-form in the industry known as the RIP GUARD™. The saws also have a Limited Lifetime Tooth Break Warranty so that you can drill with confidence. However, that does not mean that the teeth are weakly designed. As a matter of fact, each tooth is built with more steel along with 8% cobalt behind the cutting edge for added strength. This guarantees increased productivity on the worksite as well as good hole quality. The hole saw blades can be used to drill large holes as wide as 4-3/4 inch and small holes of up to 3/4 inches in diameter.
Drilling holes in wood can be disappointing at times. If you are a regular hole saw user, you will admit that one of most time-wasting activities is removing stuck plugs, especially when cutting through sheets of wood. On average, you can lose 20 seconds trying to remove a stuck woodcut. The seconds accumulate into minutes, minutes into hours, and hours into days of no productivity. To reduce this downtime and increase productivity the Milwaukee hole saw bits feature an all-access slot design. This refers to the big enough slot on the sides of the the circular blades. The slot makes it easy to access plug with a screw driver subsequently making it easy and faster to remove plug. The slot also lets you apply leverage at multiple points so that you use less energy removing plug and more energy drilling. This saves time and increases your overall jobsite productivity.
To top it off, the milwaukee hole dozer also includes 3 quick change arbors of different lengths with 1/2″ shanks for the different hole saw sizes. There are also 3 different types of well made pilot drill bits and an allen wrench for removing and adjusting.
Bottom line, the 28 pieces all purpose milwaukee hole dozer is a contractor grade hole saw kit for metal and wood. You can use it to drill shallow and fairly deep holes in wood (hard and soft), aluminum, plastic, and thin stainless steel sheets without frustration. The saws are rated to last 50% longer than the competitor. However, if you break a tooth on any of these bi metal hole saw blades, Miluwakee has you covered. They provide an unrivalled lifetime warranty cover on the hole saw teeth provided you have been drilling holes in the materials this set was made for. This set is ideal for all technicians, especially plumbers, HVAC techs, and electricians. It has all the holesaw sizes for all kinds of pipes that you may encounter in your plumbing work. Even your hvac and electrician colleagues will like this kit. The only major disappointment you may encounter with the milwaukee hole cutters is the scratching of the white paint after intense abuse. Otherwise, it is a worthy investment for professional users and DIY techs.
Lenox Hole Saw Kit Review – The Big Daddy Set
Packed in a nice little molded-plastic blue and white carrying case, the LENOX Tools Bi-Metal Speed Slot Hole Saw Kit contains among others 20 pieces of commonly used bi-metallic hole saws. The sizes of the circular saws span between 3/4 inches and 4-3/4 inches. Unlike the Milwaukee hole dozer saws that have slots all round, the lenox hole cutters have only one slot known as a speed slot. The speed slot has copyrighted staircase design that allows you to easily pry out stuck wood plugs with an ordinary flat-blade screwdriver. This unique design makes removal of plug very easy.
All the saws have large sharp teeth that are optimized to cut more efficiently and last for many cuts. They are also constructed with a thicker wall for increased strength and durability. As far as cutting speed is concerned, the hole saws boast the T3 technology in their construction. This technology makes them cut through metal more easily while guaranteeing a life twice as long as the previous generations.
The big daddy set also includes an assortment of three snap-back arbors (1L,2L, & 6L). The arbors has a 1/2 inch shank. The package also includes different types of pilot drills.
Although quite expensive, the lenox hole saw kit is a nice addition to an electrician’s tool stock. It is also useful to plumbers and carpenters. This heavy duty set of bi-metal hole saws is strongly built to cut deeply through metal and wood with ease. The staircase design of the speed slot makes it easier to convert an unproductive hole saw to an unplugged one in seconds, thereby minimizing downtime. The ability of the Lenox T3 technology circular saws to cut holes in heavy gauge steel electrical junction boxes makes it an ideal metal cutting hole saw for electricians whose work involve installing conduits in metal and plastic material. This 26-piece big daddy set is worth every dime!
Dewalt D180005 14 Piece Master Hole Saw Set
Primarily designed to drill holes into wood, plastic, and very thin metal sheet, the DeWalt hole saw kit packs 11 holes saw cutters of different sizes together with other accessories. With this hole saw set, you can drill large holes of up to 3 inches wide and holes as small as 3/4 inch in diameter. This assortment also includes 2 tool-free mandrels that accommodate the different sizes of hole saws. The first four smaller sizes hole cutters fit onto the small mandrel by simply screwing them on. The other larger sizes use the mandrel that has two injector buttons. Both mandrels have hex shanks of different sizes. The shank of the larger mandrel is 7/16 inches in size while that of the smaller arbor is 3/8 inches.
The two injector buttons or prongs on the larger mandrel keep the large hole saws in place for more secure operation. Both mandrels have a tool-free quick attach and release mechanism. So, to install a dewalt hole saw, you first need to pull back the mandrel, attach the hole saw, and release. For the large hole cutters, you need to snap the injector buttons into the two holes on the hole saw to lock it in place.
All these dewalt circular cutters and accessories are packed nicely in a fantastic molded-plastic carrying case that is compact on your workbench. The plastic storage case also has a handle for easy transportation of the hole saws.
If you are an electrician or a plumber or a woodworking hobbyist looking for a budget hole saw kit that has all the convenient sizes for your tasks, the Dewalt D180005 14 Piece Master kit is a perfect choice. It is an ideal door lock hole saw kit that can be used to cut lock holes on wooden door with ease. It can also be used by plumbers to bore holes on plastic and PVC. Unfortunately, these dewalt hole saw blades are not well-tempered for heavy duty applications on thick metal. Therefore, if your work involves a lot of drilling holes in metal, this dewalt D180005 kit may disappoint. Its teeth easily gets stripped by hard metal such as steel. This makes this fairly priced hole saw set only good for drilling holes in wood and plastic, not metal!
Bosch Hole Saw Set Review – HB25M Bi-Metal 25-Piece
Albeit quite bulky, the Bosch 25-Piece Master Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit HB25M contains so many items, among them the 11 different sizes of hole saw blades. The sizes of the hole cutters span from 3/4 inches to 3 inches. Unlike other ordinary hole saws that burn their way into wood producing loads of smoke, the Bosch HB25M holesaws are made from 8% cobalt alloy that makes them heat-resistant thus resulting in less or no smoke during operation. The alternating sizes of the teeth, otherwise referred to as the progressor tooth design, allows the saws to cut a lot faster with more precision. The large teeth are optimized for fast clean cuts in thick materials while the short ones are optimized for thin materials.
Also contained in the kit are 4 small adapters and washers, 7 larger adapters, a quick change mandrel, and 2 pilot bits. The adapters are installed onto hole saws so that you can use them with the quick change arbor. One beautiful thing about Bosch’s hole saws design is that the saws can be used with standard arbors from other brands.All you need to do is to remove the adapter and install the hole saw directly onto the standard mandrel and you are good to go. The mandrel too can be used with other standard circular hole cutters, provided you use the bosch adapters.
If your work involves occasionally cutting standard size circular holes into wood and thin metal sheets, the Bosch HB25M Hole Saw kit is the set for you. It is budget friendly and ideal for less intense applications such as installing shower doors or stainless steel piping. The design of the hole saws is optimized for getting through thick and thin materials with ease. The hole saws have a universal design allow you to use them with other standard mandrels from other manufacturers. However, the pilot bits might stand short when used with the deep throat saws.
Tacklife Hole Saw Set Review – PHS01C 16 Pieces Full Set with Mandrels
Characterized by its shallow hole saws, the Tacklife hole saw kit contains a total of 12 commonly used hole cutter blades. Their sizes range from 3/4 inches to 5 inches in width. The hole saws are made of heat treated carbon steel that makes them resistant to impact and wear. They are black in color, which makes them look neat even after the paint scratches off after some use.
The tacklife holesaws are made from hardened high carbon steel. These circular blades are meant to be used on soft wood, plywood, fiberglass thin PVC boards, and plastic. They are, however, not suitable for cutting through metal sheets, hard wood, or particle boards.
The tacklife kit includes other components such as an installation plate for the large blades, two different sized mandrels with replaceable pilot bits, and a hex key wrench for removing and tightening the mandrel bits. All the compoments are packed conveniently in a hard plastic package box that unfortunately does not have a handle.
The Tacklife hole saw set is suitable for cutting relatively shallow holes of not more than 25mm deep and up to 5 inches wide. It can be used for drilling wood, PVC board, plastic plate and very thin alloys. However, it is not suitable for hard material such as density board, aluminum, stone and computer tables. Nevertheless, it is without a doubt the most affordable and ideal hole saw kit for plumbers who are looking for a budget drilling set. It is also a great starter kit for hobbyists.
How to Assemble a Hole Saw Kit in 6 Easy Steps
- Select the appropriate size of the hole saw.
Choose the round hole cutter that is appropriate for the size of the hole you intend to make.
- Pick a mandrel.
Select the mandrel that properly fits the size of the hole saw. Normally, there are different mandrels for different ranges of hole saw sizes.
- For threaded mandrel, screw the circular hole cutter tightly on it.
If the hole saw mandrel is threaded, just screw the circular hole cutter on it using the following procedure.
How to tighten a hole saw onto a threaded mandrel
- Take two open-end wrenches: one the size of the arbor shaft and another one that can hold tight the hole saw on its flat grooves at the bottom.
- While holding the wrenches firmly, turn them in opposing directions to tighten the hole saw onto the mandrel. Ensure the saw tight enough so that it does not come loose when drilling.
- For quick quick change mandrel, just lock the hole saw into place
It is super easy to install a hole saw on a quick swap mandrel. You just need to sit the hole saw onto the mandrel through the drive pin holes and lock it in place.
- Insert the assembled hole saw kit onto the drill chuck of you favorite drill driver.
Pick a drill of your choice and install the mandrel of the hole saw onto the drill and tighten.
- Ready to use!You are now ready to start drilling nifty circular holes with your hole cutter!
- Repeat the procedure if you want to change the hole saw and/or mandrel
How to Use a Hole Saw to Drill Holes
Time for drilling hole in wood sheet: 2 minutes.
After assembling the hole saw kit, the next step is to use it to drill holes. Although most handymen know how to use a hole saw, a good number does not. Even worse is that a fraction of those who use these circular saws to make holes do not know how to use them effectively and safely. Fortunately, these 7-steps outline the procedure for using a hole saw effectively.
Warning: Ensure that you wear protective clothes, glasses, and a heavy-duty pair of gloves before you begin to drill holes.
- Identify where you want to drill
The first step is to identify where you want to make a hole. You can mark the center with a pencil.
- Drill a pilot hole
Fit the drill bit to your drill and make a pilot hole into the mark you just made in the previous step.
- Install the hole saw and mandrel
Fit the hole saw and mandrel assembly into the drill. Ensure that the pilot bit sticks out further than the hole saw itself.
- Position the drill
Direct the drill perpendicularly onto the material you want to drill through.
- Begin to drill
Start to operate the drill. The pilot bit will guide the drill.
- Flip the material
If you are a making hole on a thick sheet of wood, such as particleboard, just drill about halfway through and flip it over. The pilot hole will give you a perfect index to finish the cut nice and clean.
Tip: Drilling from both sides gives you a clean cut that does not have any tear-out.
- Avoid twisting your wrist when operating the drill
Hole saws larger than 3″ tend to grab when you start to cut in. That pull may cause strain or even twist on your wrist. For such cases, use a drill that has a handle on it so that you can have both the drill and the handle against your body to keep it from twisting.