Introduction to the Hole Saw

When it comes to making large diameter holes something called a hole saw is the way to go.  Note that this is not fine woodworking as it can leave a bit of tearout.  However if you are doing something more utilitarian or in construction it works great.  I’m not really a fan of buying a set as you need to buy the sizes you need based on the projects you are doing.  I’ve found the Milwaukee brand that I get from Home Depot to be a great value.  You buy one center and then buy the sizes you need as you go along.  Warning the larger ones are not cheep, I’ve got more than $100 into my collection, but that expense was spread out over time.

A word of warning, you do need a big drill to run the larger ones and if they catch in the wood it can surprise you and maybe hurt your wrist.  I was drilling holes for 3″ drain pipe in new construction and the saw caught spinning the drill which had a side handle.  That handle slammed into a stud hard to break the handle off.  Unfortunately my hand was caught between that handle and the stud and it really hurt.  I suspect I may have fractured one of the bones in the back of my hand and I’ve heard stories of people spraining or breaking their wrist, so caution is in order.  Also NEVER use a trigger lock to keep the drill on.


These also work particularly well on plastic buckets and barrels for projects that involve putting in valves.  It is important to drill the hole the right size the first time as it is difficult to come back and re-drill the hole to a larger size.  If you find yourself needing to re-drill you will have to put something in the hole for the center guide drill.


Author: Jerry Ward

Working on creating a 10 acre urban homestead in S.E. Michigan. To pay the bills I work as a product manager/business analyst in the IT field. Now the admin of Save Our Skills