Wiki: Holesaw

another one.... feedback welcome
NT
Holesaw choice and tips on use.
==Holesaw types=There are 2 main types of holesaw used in DIY, plus a couple of related items.
===Standard holesaw==DIY holesaws are usually a cylinder shaped barrel with [[saw]] teeth on the open end. A central pilot [[drill bit]] is fitted. These usually come in sets with sizes optimised for electricians or plumbers.
===Interchangeable blade holesaw==These comprise a cast metal base with circular grooves, and a bent sawblade to fit each groove. To use them, one blade is clipped into the base. They also have a central pilot [[drill bit]].
These are very poor performers, though just about workable with care. They also don't last long, expect half a dozen holes per blade size if you're consistently careful.
The [[saw]]blades are weak and have little support, and very gentle pressure must be used at all times. A momentary application of moderate force and they break, damaging the workpiece. They also don't tolerate fast rotational speed, since the [[saw]]blade is poorly supported.
===Core drill==These have an abrasive cutting edge rather than saw teeth, and are used on masonry.
===Flat bit==Flat [[drill bit]]s are also used to produce medium to large holes. They tend to produce a messier edge to the hole.
==Use=* In use the drill needs to be kept straight, or the hole will be misshapen * Keep pressure fairly gentle, or the [[saw]] will snag * The final hole size often doesn't match the holesaw size. If size matters, test first on some scrap wood * If the pilot drill is blunt, pre-drill a centre hole with another [[drill bit]] * To enlarge an existing hole, just fill the hole first. Jam a piece of round timber into it, or attach a bit of sheet wood under the old hole * Holesaws are for use on wood, not masonry * Core drills are for masonry, not wood * Holesaws with no pilot bit are occasionally seen. These may be used on a pillar drill with a [[clamp]]ed workpiece. They're not usable in hand held tools.
==Safety=The main [[safety]] issue with holesaws is the tendency to snag. When this happens, the drill is yanked round forcefully, potentially causing a wrist injury. Its best to use a drill with a safety clutch, this is designed to slip in such situations, minimising the likelihood of injury. Nearly all cordless drills have this feature.
Where a holesaw is used in a drill with no safety clutch, take care not to let the drill wander over to one side during drilling, and keep drilling speed and force low. Less than careful use with no safety clutch can easily lead to hospital.
==See Also=* [[Special:Allpages|Wiki Contents]] * [[Special:Categories|Wiki Subject Categories]] * [[Special:Categories&limit 0&offset=0|Wiki Subject Categories]]
[[Category:Tools]] [[Category:Safety]] [[Category:Basics]]
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Got a bit of overlap with some sections of:
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/powertools/drillfaq.htm
--
Cheers,

John.

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You haven't mentioned auger bits - products like the Irwin blue groove (http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/detail.jhtml ? prodId=IrwinProd160003), produce excellent results - up to 32mm. For deep drillings (e.g. oak post and beam), long auger bits are essential. They will also produce very straight holes. It's essential to start augers off on the correct line, no chance of correcting it once started.
Unusually, stubby auger bits work well with impact drivers.
For diameters larger than augers can go (or you can afford) holesaws have to do. They may also require *a lot* of torque (I resorted to a mains sds (which has an interchangable 3 jaw chuck) to cut holes through heavy timbers reasonably quickly).
MAD (multi angle drill) bits can be useful to correct mistakes (http:// www.screwfix.com/prods/61263/Drill-Bits/Wood-Drill-Bits/Multi-Angle-Drill-Bits/Mad-Bit-Multi-Angle-Drill-Bit-25-x-130mm).
They're rubbish at drilling neat, straight holes - but say an augered hole isn't quite perpendicular to the surface and must be corrected - the MAD bit is ideal for skimming a bit off the sides deep inside the hole.
Finally, for large or very large holes - a staright bit in a router on a home-made turntable jig can produce extremely neat results - though obviously multiple passes are necessary to gain depth.
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com coughed up some electrons that declared:

I agree with the bit about those dodgey circular open blades held in a slot - horrible things...
For less massive holes (upto about an inch), how about:
http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/detail.jhtml?prodId=IrwinProd100162
The good old hand brace and auger bit - a much underrated tool. It slices the wood, is self driving (no pushing needed except to start) and cuts fairly clean holes. Used one the other day on a fence post - much easier than getting the power drill and extension lead out.
And - in a similar vein:
(What my father would have called a trepanning bit):
http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/jhtml/detail.jhtml?prodId=IrwinProd100162 http://www.toolbay.co.uk/Laser-Tools/Hole-Cutters/3287-Adjustable-Hole-Cutter.aspx http://www.avenue35.co.uk/shopping/shopexd.asp?idU161
Basically the same tool, with the advantage of being adjustable.
Cheers
Tim
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Cutting holes in people's heads to let the evil spirits out?
Seriously though - hand augers are hard work - I'd say harder than handsawing through an equivalent section. There's always a time when the hand tool is the right approach - but any other time, give me a slow-running, high-torque drill to twist that auger round.
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On 10 Apr, 01:31, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

On the other hand, the Bosch Progressor QR system is excellent.
Worth noting that there are carbide grit-edged holesaws (as opposed to core-drills), as well as saw-toothed ones.
And diamond ones for tiling.
The only tip on use for the normal sort I can think of is cutting circles/plugs etc without a pilot hole in the middle by drilling a hole through some scrap first, removing the pilot, and using the scrap piece as a guide hole.
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In uk.d-i-y, wrote:

It might also be worth mentioning hole punches (Q-Max etc) for sheet metals and plastics.
--
Mike Barnes

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On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 17:31:43 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

I thought this article was about hole saws and related tools?

Soft materials really like plastic as well as wood. Useful for cutting holes in plastic tanks for ball valves and overflow connections and tank lids for vent pipes. When cutting thin and flexible materials clamp a bit of scrap wood behind the area of the hole to provide support and stiffing.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Dave Liquorice coughed up some electrons that declared:

I think to be fair, it's worth mentioning as sometimes people dive for the holesaws for a 20-30 mm hole :)
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

ok, here we go...
Holesaw choice and tips on use.
==Holesaw types=There are 2 main types of holesaw used in DIY, plus a couple of related items.
===Standard holesaw==DIY holesaws are usually a cylinder shaped barrel with [[saw]] teeth on the open end. A central pilot [[drill bit]] is fitted. These usually come in sets with sizes optimised for electricians or plumbers.
These can drill to almost the depth of the holesaw. For very thick materials, if the saw is withdrawn and the cut centre of the wood chopped out, it can then drill the same depth again.
===Interchangeable blade holesaw==These comprise a cast metal base with circular grooves, and a bent sawblade to fit each groove. To use them, one blade is clipped into the base. They also have a central pilot [[drill bit]].
These are very poor performers, though just about workable with care. They also don't last long, expect half a dozen holes per blade size if you're consistently careful. Often they wont last that long.
The [[saw]]blades are weak and have little support, and very gentle pressure must be used at all times. A momentary application of moderate force and they break, damaging the workpiece. They also don't tolerate fast rotational speed, since the [[saw]]blade is poorly supported.
These need to be withdrawn to clear debris regularly during use. They can only drill to the depth of the blade protrusion, so thick items like doors will need to be drilled from both sides to make the hole. Stop just short of full depth penetration, or the metal casting will scrape the workpiece.
===Core drill==These have an abrasive cutting edge rather than saw teeth, and are used on masonry. Most used in DIY are designed to work dry, but there are also ones that need a flow of water to cool and clear debris.
Due to the hard nature of masonry, a snag is likely to cause injury, and core drills should be used with a drill that has a safety clutch.
Holesawes may use carbide or diamond abrasive. Diamond is used on tiles.
===Pilotless holesaw==Holesaws with no pilot bit are occasionally seen. These are for use on a pillar drill with a [[clamp]]ed workpiece. They're not usable in hand held tools.
===Drill bits==Some drill bits are also used for large holes. These include * Flat bit - tend to produce a messy edge to the hole. * adjustable flat bit - adjustable hole width * Auger - very neat, but drilling angle not correctable during work. Can also be used in a hand brace or impact driver. * MAD bit - wander readily, can correct misaligned holes * Cone bit - these make large holes in thin sheet material, mainly plastic & metal. Available in continuous and stepped size types. Tidy the hole up by drilling from the other side a little too.
For more detailed info on these drill bits, see [[Drill bit]]
===Router==A router can be used to make very large holes in sheet material.
==Use=* In use the drill needs to be kept straight, or the hole will be misshapen * Keep pressure fairly gentle, or the [[saw]] will snag * The final hole size often doesn't match the holesaw size. If size matters, test first on some scrap wood * If the pilot drill is blunt, pre-drill a centre hole with another [[drill bit]] * To enlarge an existing hole, just fill the hole first. Jam a piece of round timber into it, or attach a bit of sheet wood under the old hole * Holesaws are for use on wood & plastic, not masonry * Core drills are for masonry, not wood * When cutting thin or flexible material, [[clamp]] some wood to the back of it * If you need to cut out a disc with no centre hole, cut a disc from some scrap the usual way, fix it onto the material you wish to drill, then holesaw over it without the pilot bit protruding into the interior of the holesaw. This way the first disc controls the holesaw position instead of the pilot bit.
==Safety=The main [[safety]] issue with holesaws is the tendency to snag. When this happens, the drill is yanked round forcefully, potentially causing a wrist injury. Its best to use a drill with a safety clutch, this is designed to slip in such situations, minimising the likelihood of injury. Nearly all cordless drills have this feature.
Where a holesaw is used in a drill with no safety clutch, take care not to let the drill wander over to one side during drilling, and keep drilling speed and force low. Less than careful use with no safety clutch can easily lead to hospital.
==See Also=* [[Special:Allpages|Wiki Contents]] * [[Special:Categories|Wiki Subject Categories]] * [[Special:Categories&limit 0&offset=0|Wiki Subject Categories]]
[[Category:Tools]] [[Category:Safety]] [[Category:Basics]]
cheers, NT
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com coughed up some electrons that declared:

Looking good :)
Don't forget:
http://www.screwfix.com/prods/48984/Drill-Bits/Holesaws/Hole-Cutters/Adjustable-Hole-Cutter-with-Cowl
Perhaps:
=== Adjustable holesaws ==These comprise a rotating arm with one or two moveable cutting blades.
Typically designed for large holes (commonly around 30mm to 150mm) in thinner soft materials.
Limited depth of cut (around 20-30mm) so more often useful for sheet materials, eg: cutting downlighter holes in a plasterboard ceiling.
**********
Cheers
Tim
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Tim S wrote:

thanks you two, adjustable holesaw and punch now added. Also nibbler...
Holesaw choice and tips on use.
==Holesaw types=There are 2 main types of holesaw used in DIY, plus a couple of related items.
===Standard holesaw==DIY holesaws are usually a cylinder shaped barrel with [[saw]] teeth on the open end. A central pilot [[drill bit]] is fitted. These usually come in sets with sizes optimised for electricians or plumbers.
These can drill to almost the depth of the holesaw. For very thick materials, if the saw is withdrawn and the cut centre of the wood chopped out, it can then drill the same depth again.
===Interchangeable blade holesaw==These comprise a cast metal base with circular grooves, and a bent sawblade to fit each groove. To use them, one blade is clipped into the base. They also have a central pilot [[drill bit]].
These are very poor performers, though just about workable with care. They also don't last long, expect half a dozen holes per blade size if you're consistently careful. Often they wont last that long.
The [[saw]]blades are weak and have little support, and very gentle pressure must be used at all times. A momentary application of moderate force and they break, damaging the workpiece. They also don't tolerate fast rotational speed, since the [[saw]]blade is poorly supported.
These need to be withdrawn to clear debris regularly during use. They can only drill to the depth of the blade protrusion, so thick items like doors will need to be drilled from both sides to make the hole. Stop just short of full depth penetration, or the metal casting will scrape the workpiece.
===Core drill==These have an abrasive cutting edge rather than saw teeth, and are used on masonry. Most used in DIY are designed to work dry, but there are also ones that need a flow of water to cool and clear debris.
Due to the hard nature of masonry, a snag is likely to cause injury, and core drills should be used with a drill that has a safety clutch.
Holesawes may use carbide or diamond abrasive. Diamond is used on tiles.
===Pilotless holesaw==Holesaws with no pilot bit are occasionally seen. These are for use on a pillar drill with a [[clamp]]ed workpiece. They're not usable in hand held tools.
===Drill bits==Some drill bits are also used for large holes. These include * Flat bit - tend to produce a messy edge to the hole. * adjustable flat bit - adjustable hole width * Auger - very neat, but drilling angle not correctable during work. Can also be used in a hand brace or impact driver. * MAD bit - wander readily, can correct misaligned holes * Cone bit - these make large holes in thin sheet material, mainly plastic & metal. Available in continuous and stepped size types. Tidy the hole up by drilling from the other side a little too.
For more detailed info on these drill bits, see [[Drill bit]]
==justable holesaw==[http://www.screwfix.com/prods/48984/Drill-Bits/Holesaws/Hole-Cutters / Adjustable-Hole-Cutter-with-Cowl piccy] These comprise a rotating arm with one or two moveable cutting blades.
Typically designed for large holes (commonly around 30mm to 150mm) in thin soft materials. Limited depth of cut (around 20-30mm) so more often useful for sheet materials, eg: cutting downlighter holes in a plasterboard ceiling.
===Router==A router can be used to make very large holes in sheet material.
===Punch==Punches can be used with sheet metals and non-brittle plastics.
===Nibbler==Nibblers make holes of almost any shape in sheet metal. A file or grinder is used to clean the hole up.
==Use=* In use the drill needs to be kept straight, or the hole will be misshapen * Keep pressure fairly gentle, or the [[saw]] will snag * The final hole size often doesn't match the holesaw size. If size matters, test first on some scrap wood * If the pilot drill is blunt, pre-drill a centre hole with another [[drill bit]] * To enlarge an existing hole, just fill the hole first. Jam a piece of round timber into it, or attach a bit of sheet wood under the old hole * Holesaws are for use on wood & plastic, not masonry * Core drills are for masonry, not wood * When cutting thin or flexible material, [[clamp]] some wood to the back of it * If you need to cut out a disc with no centre hole, cut a disc from some scrap the usual way, fix it onto the material you wish to drill, then holesaw over it without the pilot bit protruding into the interior of the holesaw. This way the first disc controls the holesaw position instead of the pilot bit.
==Safety=The main [[safety]] issue with holesaws is the tendency to snag. When this happens, the drill is yanked round forcefully, potentially causing a wrist injury. Its best to use a drill with a safety clutch, this is designed to slip in such situations, minimising the likelihood of injury. Nearly all cordless drills have this feature.
Where a holesaw is used in a drill with no safety clutch, take care not to let the drill wander over to one side during drilling, and keep drilling speed and force low. Less than careful use with no safety clutch can easily lead to hospital.
==See Also=* [[Special:Allpages|Wiki Contents]] * [[Special:Categories|Wiki Subject Categories]] * [[Special:Categories&limit 0&offset=0|Wiki Subject Categories]]
[[Category:Tools]] [[Category:Safety]] [[Category:Basics]]
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:
<snip everything!>

A couple of points.
Firstly, most dedicated-size hole saws are HSS, which means that they can be used for metal, plastics and wood. They actually perform worse on wood than steel or plastics because a hole in wood is generally deeper and the holesaw is more prone to overheating. Oh and it's more difficult to get the resulting plug out.
You should mention that with Starrett cutters and all systems which are compatible (e.g. Bosch and Sandvik), the arbor and the cutter are separate and that there are two sizes or arbor and two types of pilot drill.
Finally, you should mention that you do not use hammer action with a diamond core drill or an abrasive tile drill. This is a most important point, as people do tend to get locked into the idea that you automatically use hammer action on anything masonary/brick/tile-like.
HTH Rumble.
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On Thu, 09 Apr 2009 17:31:43 -0700, meow2222 wrote:

======================================== I think you might include a reference to jigsaws since they are saws and they're frequently used for cutting holes. Obviously they differ from the common perception of 'hole saw' = round hole, but they're a versatile tool capable of working in most materials.
Cic.
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