There are times when you need to make significant and perfectly round holes in the surface of your material. Maybe it’s time to fit a new faucet in the kitchen, or lay cables during a home remodel?
You are going to need the best hole saw kit to get the neatest outcome, and that’s where we come in. We have found the best hole saw kits that top the bill so you can make the right choices.
- Ice hardened for durability
- Bi-metal teeth
- Positive rake
- Cobalt steel pilot drill
- 6-piece set
- Comes as a 10-piece set
- Cuts through glass
- 35 percent more durable
- 8-piece set
- 17-piece set
- Quick change system
- Large size selection
- Precision teeth
- Carbon steel
- 5-piece set
- Good size range
- Precision cutting
- Ideal for woodworking
What Are Hole Saw Kits For?
A hole saw kit has an annular-shaped blade that cuts perfectly round holes in a variety of materials. Plumbers, electricians, and trade professionals use them in their daily work because they are ideal for laying cables, pipework and more for general uses like drilling through walls, drywall, work surfaces and ceilings.
They allow the user to bore out wider diameter holes than a standard drill bit, and they attach to a hand-held drill and typically have a pilot drill in the center to stop the hole saw from walking.
What to Look for in a Hole Saw Kit
There are many types of hole saw kits available, so knowing what they are best suited for and when to use them is vital. Let’s look at some critical considerations when choosing a hole saw kit.
The type of stock you want to drill through determines what kind of saw material is the best. If you are drilling wood, fiberglass, or plastics, then a steel hole saw is probably going to work. It doesn’t mean that cobalt hole saws are ineffective on these materials, but you would be needlessly spending more money for hole saws designed for a harder material.
Cobalt hole saws are robust and perform better when working with dense materials like steel and aluminum. This added strength is all thanks to the cobalt-steel alloy and its ability to withstand heat. Heat is the main reason why drills dull over time, so deflecting the heat is crucial for the longevity of the attachment.
Carbide-tipped hole saws stay sharpest for longest, while tungsten or titanium-tipped hole saws make the best all-round hole cutters. These last two types are the most common material used in hole saw kits.
If you are repeatedly cutting the same size holes, it is unlikely you are going to benefit from a large selection of hole saws. It also means you could buy one better quality hole cutter rather than getting a set that you don’t need.
However, if you are cutting many different size holes, investing in a hole saw kit is useful. It gives you the freedom to choose the size of the hole and saves you money in the long run.
Drill bits come in different shapes and sizes. The longer the bit, the more effective it is at anchoring the hole saw to the material. Shorter drill bits give more stability and less flex, meaning they may be better suited to harder substances.
The power of these hole saws comes from the number of teeth they have, the gullet depth, and the angle of the teeth. A rake angle describes the angle of the cutting surface relative to the material.
A positive rake slopes away from the cutting edge on the inner side, while negative rakes slope away from the outer side.
Deeper gullets help to remove material more efficiently and scoop debris away from the stock, while the number of teeth determines how neat the sides of the hole are. Having more teeth means creating a neater hole, but it does make the sawing process slower.
Hole saws with fewer teeth are better suited to lumber and material that requires a less precise edge because it rips the wood rather than cutting it smoothly.
The warranties vary as much as the prices of these hole saw kits.
The well-known brands like DeWALT and Milwaukee offer a 3-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee, respectively. In comparison, some of the cheaper brands have little in the way of a warranty, so expect these tools to dull more quickly.
The adage is correct, you get what you pay for.
Who Makes the Best Hole Saw Kits?
You will be familiar with many of the names we feature here, regardless of whether or not you are a DIY enthusiast.
DeWALT is an American institution when it comes to brand awareness. They are known across the world for quality. The company was started in 1923 by Raymond E. DeWalt when he invented the first radial arm saw to increase productivity at a sawmill (1).
It has since grown into one of the most internationally recognized tool brands in the world.
In 1886, Robert Bosch founded the catchily-named “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1901, Bosch moved into automotive supplies and developed a reputation for innovation (2).
It now has over 400,000 employees and has a revenue of approximately 78.5 billion euros.
Milwaukee is another all-American brand with a great pedigree. In 1918, Henry Ford was looking for someone to produce a portable power drill to use on his production lines. He approached A.H. Peterson, and the rest is history (3).
Milwaukee is now a major manufacturer, building over 500 models of tools and over 3,500 accessories.
In 1862, Pennsylvanian brothers Ralph and Robert Greenlee started making barrels just as the oil industry began in that great state. Demand skyrocketed, and the Greenlee brothers increased production to meet demand (4).
Their move into power tools came in 1874 when they invented the hollow chisel mortiser. This tool revolutionized the process of making mortise and tenon joints for the woodworking industry.
The Best Hole Saw Kits of 2020
With so many hole saw kits to choose from, narrowing the field to the best seven was a tough ask. However, we decided on what we consider to be the top contenders in each category to make your selection that little bit easier.
1. Milwaukee 49-22-4285 All Purpose Hole Saw Kit
Milwaukee is a great American brand, and this hole saw kit tops the bill as far as we are concerned. It has bi-metal teeth with a positive rake for faster, more efficient drilling. This is a 28-piece kit, so no matter what the task is or the required hole size needed, this kit has got you covered.
This kit has also been ice treated to make the hole saws 50 percent tougher for a longer life, and the gullets are deeper to make scooping out the debris easier. This Milwaukee set has hole saws that range from the smallest size, at 0.75 inches, up to the largest size, at 4.75 inches. It also comes with three arbors and three drill bits.
The only downside with this kit is the price, which may deter some people, especially the DIY novices and the home improvement community.
- 28-piece kit.
- Ice hardened for durability.
- Bi-metal teeth.
- Positive rake.
- The price tag.
|Number of pieces||28|
2. Greenlee Carbide Cutter 6-Piece Hole Saw Kit
If you are looking for a hole saw set that makes light work of metal, this could be the kit for you. It has 6-pieces, consisting of 5 cutter heads ranging in size from 0.87 inches to 2 inches. Plus, there’s a spring-loaded pilot drill to make removing the slug easier.
This kit is constructed from steel with carbide-tipped teeth for optimum performance, and a cobalt steel pilot. It also comes with a quick-change auger for when you need to swap to another size cutter head.
The price is the only black cloud on the horizon. Like the Milwaukee set, this Greenlee hole saw kit is expensive. However, unlike the Milwaukee set, which contains 28 pieces, this kit has far fewer parts, so you are more limited with the size range.
- Cobalt steel pilot drill.
- 6-piece set.
- Perfect for drilling through metal.
- Limited size range.
|Material||Cobalt steel, carbide-tipped teeth|
|Suitable for||Metal, all-purpose|
|Number of pieces||6|
3. Tacklife Glass Holes Saws
This Tacklife set is diamond-coated, meaning that they are among the toughest cutting tools out there. They cut through glass, tile, ceramics, and even granite. So, if you are fitting work surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom, this hole cutter is ideal.
It comes as a 10-piece set, with sizes ranging from 0.25 inches to 2 inches. The drill bits are constructed from carbon steel, which has then been coated in nickel to preserve the material and increase its useful life.
The diamond coating cuts in a different way to standard hole saws. Diamond grit scrapes minute particles off the surface of the material, giving you a smoother and more precise finish. This cutting process allows you to cut holes in the most fragile surfaces.
The only downside as far as we can see is the lack of a pilot drill. It makes lining up the hole that little bit trickier as well as trying to stop it from walking across the material surface.
- Comes as a 10-piece set.
- Cuts through glass.
- Specialist tool.
- Limited size range.
|Material||Diamond-coated carbon steel|
|Suitable for||Glass, ceramics, granite, tiles|
|Number of pieces||10|
4. DeWALT Standard Electrician’s Hole Saw Kit
DeWALT had to feature somewhere on this list. After all, they are one of the greatest tool brands in the world. This set is specially designed for use in the electrical industry.
This is an 8-piece set, consisting of 6 hole saws and 2 quick-change mandrels. The material is bi-metal, which is hardwearing and lasts up to 35 percent longer than the industry leader and up to 200 times longer than standard hole saws.
What all this adds up to is a hole saw kit that cuts through wood, metal electrical boxes, and almost any other type of surface you can think of. It means that when you are rewiring a house and need to cut holes through different surfaces, you can get the job done faster, especially with the quick-change pilot drills.
- 35 percent more durable.
- 8-piece set.
- 3-year warranty
- Build quality issues.
|Suitable for||Electricians, metal, wood, drywall|
|Number of pieces||8|
5. Freud DHS17SPL Bi-Metal Plumbing Set
This Freud Diablo hole saw set has a variable tooth design to make boring faster and easier. It is constructed from bi-metal, which is an alloy that is more robust than carbon steel, so if you are plumbing in a sink or toilet, it will be able to cope.
This 17-piece set, ranges from 1-inch- through to 4.5 inch-saws, so it has the scope to drill holes for larger diameter pipes. This set also benefits from a snap-lock plus system that allows for a quick change across the entire range of hole saws.
Also, the arbor fits all Diablo hole saws, so there is no need to buy additional arbors when you need to swap to a larger size. Plus, these hole saws have a fast plug ejection system to enable you to safely remove the waste product without a screwdriver.
- 17-piece set.
- Quick change system.
- One arbor fits the entire range.
- Large size selection.
- The price.
|Suitable for||Plumbers, wood, metal, drywall|
|Number of pieces||17|
6. SUNGATOR 5-Piece Hole Saw Set
If you are cutting through fiberglass, you need a hole saw with precision teeth for the neatest cuts. It doesn’t have to be the most robust hole saw, because fiberglass is not the most durable material.
This SUNGATOR hole saw kit comes with 5 pieces, with sizes ranging from 1.25 inches through to 2.13 inches. It has a maximum cutting depth of 1-inch. The set is constructed from heat-treated carbon steel, so while it isn’t the toughest material, it should still get the job done.
What makes this set stand out, apart from the online ratings, is the price. This set costs less than a tenth of the amount of some hole saw kits on our list. So if you are worried that carbon steel may be too soft for some applications, at least when the teeth dull, you’ll have some spare change to buy another kit.
- The price.
- Precision teeth.
- Carbon steel.
- 5-piece set.
- Only suitable for softer material.
- Hard to clean out waste material.
- Build quality issues.
|Suitable for||Fiberglass, softwood, PVC|
|Number of pieces||5|
7. EONLION 16-Piece Hole Saw Kit
This EONLION 16-piece kit is constructed from heat-treated carbon steel, so like the SUNGATOR set, it is suitable for use on wood, drywall, sheet plywood, and plastics.
The cutter heads range in size from 0.75 inches to 5 inches, making this set the most impressive for cutter sizes. Also, the teeth are designed to cut accurately to leave a super-smooth edge, making them ideal hole saws for cutting through doors to fit handles.
These saws are not compatible with metal or harder surfaces. But if you are working with wood, they give you the flexibility to scale-up the sizes as well as the cutting prowess to tackle any project.
It makes this hole saw kit the ideal choice for cabinet and bespoke wooden furniture makers.
- Good size range.
- Precision cutting.
- Great price.
- Ideal for woodworking.
- Carbon steel.
- Only suitable for use on softer material.
|Suitable for||Wood, plywood, fiberglass, PVC|
|Number of pieces||16|
|Product||Best||Material||Suitable for||No. of pieces||Weight|
|Milwaukee 49-22-4285 Hole Saw Kit||All-Purpose||Bi-metal||All-purpose||28||14.62 lbs|
|Greenlee Carbide Cutter Hole Saw Kit||Metal||Cobalt steel, carbide-tipped teeth||Metal, all-purpose||6||1.3 lbs|
|Tacklife Glass Holes Saws||Glass||Diamond-coated carbon steel||Glass, ceramics, granite, tiles||10||12 oz|
|DeWALT Electrician’s Hole Saw Kit||Electricians||Bi-metal||Electricians, metal, wood, drywall||8||3.25 lbs|
|Freud DHS17SPL Bi-Metal Plumbing Set||Plumbers||Bi-metal||Plumbers, wood, metal, drywall||17||2.39 lbs|
|SUNGATOR 5-Piece Hole Saw Set||Fiberglass||Carbon steel||Fiberglass, softwood, PVC||5||8 oz|
|EONLION 16-Piece Hole Saw Kit||Wood||Carbon steel||Wood, plywood, fiberglass, PVC||16||2.2 lbs|
How to Use a Hole Saw
1. Select the Hole Saw
It is important to choose the correct size hole saw and to match it with the material you are cutting through. If the hole is too small, it can be a challenge enlarging the hole accurately because the pilot drill has nowhere to grip.
2. Make a Pilot Hole
Insert the pilot bit into the drill chuck and make sure it is secure and straight.
It sounds a bit strange, making a pilot hole when the hole saw has a pilot drill in the center for making holes. But because the hole saw is larger in diameter, it makes it challenging to get a clear view of the hole. By making a pilot hole, you are taking away the element of guesswork.
3. Put on Protective Equipment
Whenever you work with power tools, you should take your safety seriously. When drilling, particles are released into the atmosphere and potentially ingested into your lungs. Make sure you have an N95 face mask, as this is the sufficient grade of mask to remove 95 percent of all contaminants from the air.
Make sure you have safety goggles, as you never know what might kick up from the material.
4. Start Drilling the Pilot Hole
Offer up the drill and place the bit on the spot where the hole is going. Make sure that the drill is level so that the hole doesn’t veer off at an angle. Depress the trigger and allow the bit to slowly rotate until it gains purchase. Then you can increase your speed gradually until the drill bites deeper into the material.
When you have reached the desired depth, withdraw the drill. Remove the pilot bit and clean away any debris.
5. Insert the Hole Saw Into the Drill
Insert the arbor into the drill and tighten either by hand or using a chuck key. Make sure the hole saw is secure by checking if there is any movement in the chuck. Also, check the hole saw is straight. The last thing you would want is for the hole to be off-center or drilled at an angle.
6. Line the Hole Saw up to the Pilot Hole
Insert the pilot drill in the center of the hole saw into the predrilled hole. When you are satisfied that the hole saw is straight, depress the trigger on the drill and apply forward pressure as the bit turns slowly.
The hole saw’s teeth should make contact with the surface of the material evenly. If you are drilling through metal, now would be a good time to add drilling oil or lubricant.
7. Increase the Speed
As the hole saw starts to bite into the material, gradually increase the speed. When you are about halfway through the process, stop the drill and remove the hole saw to allow any trapped debris to fall away.
This helps you to keep a clear sightline of the hole and to keep the drill cool.
8. Drill Through to the Other Side
For a smoother outcome, it is recommended that you finish off the hole from the other side using the same techniques. This is something professionals would do because they have the confidence and the skill to complete this with ease.
If you are comfortable with doing this, go ahead and finish the job. If you are a novice, however, don’t attempt it because the holes may not align, which would result in an off-center gap. Carry on drilling from where you started until the hole saw exits on the other side of the material.
The “Hole” Truth
Hole saws kits are specialist attachments and have specific uses, but every professional and DIY enthusiast should have some in their arsenal of tools. Knowing that you can tackle basic plumbing or successfully install a new faucet could save you hundreds of dollars.
And the best part is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your hands on one of these kits.