Hands on: Compare Hole saws to Hole cutters

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hands on: Compare Hole saws to Hole cutters


Is a Hole Saw or Hole Cutter better for your project? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley puts his hands on each type and compares hole saws to hole cutters.

Hole cutter (Amazon affiliate)

Hole saws (Amazon affiliate)

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For a written transcript, go to Hands on: Compare Hole saws to Hole cutters

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com


Hole saw versus circle cutter.

Which is best for your project?

Today we're going to talk about the pros and cons of each.

Today at the House of Hacks.


Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers.

Harley here.

Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to talk about hole saws and circle cutters and the pros and cons of each and which is going to be best for your project.

But first I want to thank all the subscribers for joining me on a regular basis for this creative journey that we're on.

And if you haven't subscribed and you're interested in shop projects and reviews of tools and tips and tricks and things of that nature, for woodworking, metalworking, electronics, photography, things of that nature, I encourage you to check out the channel and subscribe.

So a hole saw looks like this and it's basically a saw that's wrapped around in a circle. It has teeth on it just like a normal saw does and a center drill bit in the middle to keep it in one place and get it started.

A circle cutter is very similar in that it has a center bit to start the cut but it differs in that it has a bar and an adjustable cutter bit that can be placed anywhere along this bar.

So right away you can see two of the principle differences between the two.

These come in fixed sizes. You have to have one saw for each size that you want to cut. Whereas these are infinitely adjustable from the minimum size to the maximum size for the particular piece that you have. And there's pros and cons of both.

With a hole saw, you don't have to worry about measuring. You just grab the one for the size that you need and chuck it up and you're ready to go.

With the hole cutter, you need to adjust the size, if it's not already set, to what you need for that particular hole. They're just a little bit more fiddly for this one, rather than this one.

But this one, you have to have an exact size for the exact hole that you need, whereas this one can be adjusted to any size you might happen to need.

And there's a couple things that fall out from that difference.

With hole saws, you have to have one for each size that you need. If you have a whole set, it's going to take up more storage space just because there's physically more of these to store.

Whereas the hole cutter, this is all you need for cutting anything from about, I think the minimum size on this is about 3/4" all the way up to a 6" hole. So this fits in your tool bag a lot better, a lot less to carry, a lot less weight, a lot less space.

The other thing that's a fall out from the two basic design differences is the hole saw, when it gets dull, you have all these teeth that need to be sharpened. It's probably easier to just throw it away and get a new one that's sharp than to try to sharpen this.

Whereas with the hole cutter, it's basically just a square piece of high speed steel that you can put on a grinder and get a new edge on. Also, you can buy the tips separately and they're replaceable. You just pull out a setscrew and the old one
pops out and the new one can pop in.

Another thing the design drives is whether you can use it handheld or not.

With the hole saw, because you have pressure going all the way around the hole evenly, you easily use a hand drill with these.

These have a tendency to catch, so if you're using a hand drill, you need to be careful that there's nothing for your hand to slam into if the drill catches and the torque spins your hand around.

I have a friend that has a metal plate in the side of his hand because that exact thing happened to him. One of these hole saws caught, it drove his hand into a pole or something that was right next to the hole he was drilling and he ended up having to have some orthopedic surgery done on his hand.

So you do need to be careful with these if you're doing hand held, but it can be done.

With these, because the pressure is always on one edge, you've got wobble if you're trying to do it hand held, and I don't think it's possible to use a hand held drill on these. You have to use a drill press when cutting with these.

So those are the major pros and cons that I'm aware of between a hole saw and a hole cutter.

If you have any others that you've run into that you like one or the other for some other reason than what I've talked about, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

In the description below, I've left links to Amazon for both hole saw systems and hole cutter systems. And if you're interested in either one, you can go check those out.

Thanks for joining me again here at House of Hacks for this continuing creative journey that we're on.

Until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!