The hole saw is one of the most frequently used cutting tools in the electrical trades. A Hole Saw Kit is a collection of many different size hole saws, usually ranging from 3/8” to 2”, that are used with a drill to cut holes in drywall, plywood, or other materials.
Electricians use hole saws to cut holes in a variety of materials. Hole saws are frequently used in construction, remodelling and repair projects to create holes in drywall, plastic, metal and other materials. Hole saws are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be used with a drill or drill press. A good hole saw kit includes everything you need to make holes quickly and efficiently.
The best hole saw kits for electricians are:
- Starrett — Top Pick (High Quality – All Rounder)
- Makita — Best Bi Metal
- SHDIATOOL — Best Wet & Dry Drilling
- Bosch — Quick Release
- Aussel — Best For Downlights
- Easy to change when making different hole sizes.
- Cuts different types of material.
- New tooth material for enhanced heat and wear resistance and greater product life.
- The perfect set. The only drawback is there are only 6 hole saws.
Starret has improved from their previous design with the new Fast Cut hole saws. With a new tooth design and a new tooth material, these blades provide a smoother, faster cut on a variety of materials. Besides cutting through stainless steel and mild steel sheets, they can also cut tubes with walls as thick as 3mm (1/8″).
There is a decent range of cutter sizes and the set includes a pilot bit, and arbours which will fit additional Starrett cutters. The blades are strong and can easily cut through a variety of materials. They can cut through wood, plasterboard, and metal with no problems.
What we like
Easy to use: It’s easy to install and remove the cutter after cutting light materials.
Quality: Starret is a great brand and known for quality.
Case: Good quality and convenient case.
Pair it with the Starrett debris collector
What is a Hole Saw?
Hole saws are cylindrical-shaped saw blade attachments used with power drills to create perfectly round holes. When drilling big, deep holes or enlarging existing ones, they are much more efficient than flat or twist drill bits.
Some hole saws have diamond tips or made from more durable metals, so they can cut a cylindrical hole in marble, metal, wood, etc.
How to use a Hole Saw
Hole saws can be used for a variety of purposes. Some examples include installing drainage pipes and drilling holes for electrical wiring.
It is actually quite easy to use a hole saw once you have determined the size of hole you need to cut and chosen a hole saw that is appropriate for the material you are cutting. Here are our steps:
1. Insert the arbor through the back of the hole saw, so the drill bit and hole saw are facing the same way.
2. Secure the hole saw onto the arbors thread (usually by twisting it on the thread).
3. Tighten the arbor until it is secure in the drill chuck.
4. If your arbor does not come with a pilot drill bit, you may want to drill one yourself (although this is not required).
5. Prepare your hole saw for cutting by lining it up with the area that needs to be cut.
6. Drill slowly at first, and then increase the speed of the drill gradually.
7. Occasionally, back the hole saw out of the hole to remove dust.
8. Remove the waste material from your hole saw once you have successfully drilled your hole
That’s all there is to it. You should always use a power drill for hole cutting and wear appropriate personal protective equipment when drilling.
Note: If you’re cutting through a countertop and its marble, make sure to get the right hole saw and spray water on the cutting area.
Parts of a Hole Saw
The hole saw consists of teeth, slots, and sometimes a pilot drill and arbor (as explained above).
The teeth are usually set at a 60° angle and either have a variable or constant pitch. The pitch of a variable pitch is determined by the distance between the teeth. As a result, the blade wears less and the cut is smoother. Constant pitch refers to a constant distance between two points. Although they cut a little slower than variable pitch, they make finer cuts.
There are different TPIs (teeth per inch) for hole saws. The higher the TPI, the slower the cut, but the smoother the finish. When the TPI is low, the cut will be faster, but it will be less smooth.
The higher the TPI, the less likely the hole saw is to tear your workpiece. This is more likely to happen at lower TPIs. A low TPI is defined as 1-4 teeth per inch, while a high TPI is defined as 10 or more teeth per inch.
Most hole saws have slots in their sides. The purpose of these vents is to allow chips and dust to escape.
Different types of hole saw kits
It is possible to find different types of hole saw kits on the market, and each type has its own benefits. Electricians prefer hole saw kits with a variety of sizes mainly cutting out downlights and making holes for wires in joists.
So just standard hole saws unless there is dry or wet drinking involved (stone or tiles).
Carbon Steel Hole Saws
Home improvement and DIY enthusiasts primarily use carbon steel hole saws for general-purpose use.
Although they are less durable than bi metal hole saws, they are suitable for light duty applications. Only use them on plasterboard, non-laminated plastic, and wood.
Variable Pitch Bi-Metallic Hole Saws
Hardened high-speed steel teeth are used in some hole saws manufactured from bi-metal material for fast, smooth cutting. Due to the fact that bi-metal hole saws will not shatter under constant use, they provide increased safety for the user.
Among the materials they can cut are hardwood, chipboard, plywood, non-laminated plastics, plasterboard, and non-ferrous metals.
Variable Pitch Bi-Metallic Hole Saws (Deep Cut)
Designed for heavy-duty cutting, these hole saws are rugged and durable. They feature extra hard, variable pitch teeth for extended hole saw life and a cut depth of 42.5mm. Most variable speed power drills can be used with them.
You can use these hole saws on wood, metal, and hard plastics.
Constant Pitch Smooth Cut Hole Saws
High-speed steel is hardened, heat-resistant, and abrasion-resistant, and has constant tooth pitch. This hole saw’s hexagonal shank has a slight indentation. The indentation helps the shank lock into a drill’s chuck.
A wide variety of materials can be cut with them, including stainless steel, tool steel, mild steel sheeting, plasterboard, wood, and thin plastics.
Tungsten Carbide Tipped Hole Saws
Fast cutting action and long life can be achieved with hole saws with tungsten carbide teeth.
From construction engineers to DIY enthusiasts, these saws are perfect for multi-purpose applications. It is capable of cutting woods (including hardwoods), nonferrous metals, plastics, and tiles.
Gulleted Tungsten Silicon/Carbide Grit Hole Saws
With gulleted square teeth coated in tungsten carbide or silicon carbide grit, these hole saws can cut through hard and abrasive materials quickly. Their square teeth do not bite into the material like curved saw teeth. Therefore, they can cut through harder materials (such as ceramics or glass) without shattering them.
Among the materials they can cut are brick, fibreglass, slate, marble, cement board, laminated plastics, plywood, and cast iron. In spite of the fact that these hole saws can be used on wood, standard shaped saw teeth are much more efficient.
Welded Shank Soffit Cutter Hole Saws
A non-detachable arbour is welded to the base of these hole saws.
HSS (high speed steel) and variable tooth pitch make these hole saws ideal for cutting holes in plywood, metal, and PVC.
Diamond-Edged Hole Saws
For hardness and durability, some hole saws do not have teeth at all but are coated or infused with diamonds. Due to their high heat and wear resistance, they are very durable. Although these saws have a high heat resistance, it is recommended to quench them periodically in water to cool down the blades. Some of this type of hole saw can be fitted to any sized drill chuck without the need of an arbor.
Typically, ceramic tiles are drilled with diamond-edged hole saws.
Multi-Hole Saw Set (7 piece)
There are multi-hole saw sets that are specifically designed for cutting holes of different diameters.
These hole saws can be used on a wide range of materials, including wood, chipboard, plywood, non-laminated plastics, plasterboard, and non-ferrous metals (except stainless steel).
Speciality Hole Saws
Despite their differences, the hole saws listed below are still considered hole saws. Other tools can also be used to cut holes in a given material.
Circular Tile Cutter with Tungsten Carbide Blade
There is a slight difference between the design of this type of hole cutter and the standard hole cutter. It has a sharp, straight, tungsten carbide blade attached to an arbour that rotates at high speed.
This blade can be adjusted and set at various distances from the centre point, allowing it to cut holes in a range of diameters. There is a safety cage surrounding its blade to reduce the risk of chips being expelled. Typically, it is used to cut ceramic tiles.
Tungsten Carbide Tipped Hole Cutter
Hole cutters have tungsten carbide tips instead of saw teeth, which create a cutting edge when rotated rapidly. The tool can be used with both mains-powered and battery-powered tools.
It can cut through wood, MDF, plastic, and ceramic tiles with ease.
Tungsten Carbide Tipped Core Drill Bits
When rotated at high speed, tungsten carbide tips ensure easy penetration with minimal effort. Don’t use a hammer drill as they will damage the bit.
Rotary drill bits with tungsten carbide tips are used to drill through brickwork, stone, and concrete.
Diamond Core Drill Bits
Instead of pointed saw teeth, this type of hole saw has squared teeth embedded with industrial diamonds. Power drills equipped with a safety clutch and variable speed function should always be used with diamond core drill bits.
Hole saws with diamond core drill bits are suitable for cutting clean holes in brick and concrete.
They are called core drill bits because they cut out a core of the material they are drilling through. The cutting teeth of diamond core drill bits can be damaged by hammer or impact drilling, so they should never be used with these methods. During use, diamond core drill bits don’t need to be cooled with water.
Diamond Core Drill Bits (Wet/Dry Cutting)
The diamond core drill bits can be used wet or dry and will cut clean holes in most building materials. These batteries are ideal for use with hand-held power tools ranging from 800 to 1500 watts. To cut into masonry, these core drill bits require a drill with a high wattage.
You can use diamond core drill bits to cut holes in granite, concrete, brickwork, and stone.
What’s Wet Drilling?
While drilling holes in masonry (stone, concrete, brickwork), some core drill bits need to be quenched with water. The reason for this is that cutting into dense materials like this creates a lot of friction. By keeping the drill bit from getting too hot and becoming blunt, water will increase their working life.
What size hole saws do electricians use?
The primary sizes of the hole saw used by electricians vary according to application. However for recessed lighting you want a kit that ranges from 50mm to 90mm and even small for drilling holes in joints for feeds.
What kind of drill do I need for a hole saw?
You need a drill with a bit of torque for cutting holes in wood or anything sturdier. Most named brands do the job, checkout or best drills for electricians post for more info. You want to stay away from cheap brands as they tend to lack power.
Electricians hole saws Reviews
There is no doubt that Makita is the leading manufacturer of professional power tools in the world. The D-47282 Electricians Holesaw Kit is a Bi-Metal holesaw range with a vari-pitch tooth design and is suitable for cutting steel, aluminium, brass, wood and plastic.
The nine pieces of this set are fast cutting and long lasting. The sizes have been chosen to meet the needs of a professional electrician.
What we like
Vari-pitch tooth design: It’s capable of cutting steel, aluminium, brass, wood and plastic.
Multiple sizes: The kit contains sizes 19mm, 22mm, 29mm, 35mm, 38mm, 51mm, 54mm, 57mm, 68mm, 2 arbours and 1 eject spring.
Storage: It comes in a sleek aluminium case, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them in the back of your van.
You get a great variety of diamond tipped hole saws. This set is perfect for when you need to cut circular holes in porcelain, marble, granite and hard ceramic. The vacuum brazed technology provides high efficiency working performance for both wet and dry drilling.
We picked this 7 kit set as the best option, however you can get 1-10 piece sets if you need a wider or smaller variety. We all know how much of a pain it can be to work with materials that need to be wet or dry drilled so getting a set from SHDIATOOL is a must.
What we like
Wet & Dry: Best for tile ceramic, granite marble stone, porcelain, marble, hard ceramic, etc.
Design: High diamond exposure rate provides a faster and more aggressive drilling.
Different Sizes: We have featured the 7 piece set, but you can find multiple options from the brand.
The 9-piece hole saw set for electricians includes everything you need for electrical installations. Since the pilot drill bit and Power Change Adapter are already included, you can get started right away.
The holes at the bottom of the saws can be used to remove wood or plasterboard after cutting. With the quick release arbor, changing between sizes can be done quickly and easily with a single click. Plus the Bosch has improved the progressive tooth strip in the hole saw for a faster cut.
What we like
Used for: Cutting holes in wood, drywalls, plastics, metals, non-ferrous metals and stainless steel. They are suitable for all cordless and mains drill drivers.
Robust quality: Bosch bi-metal alloy with 8% cobalt ensures twice the service life of previous models.
One click: With the Power Change Plus Adapter, hole saws can be changed easily without tools.
This is our budget friendly option for the sparky that just wants to be covered for any size downlight that needs cutting out. This 20 piece set will definitely have you covered. However, because it’s the cheapest on the list and also has the most variety, there is a drawback.
The quality isn’t the best, and we would only recommend using these as a spare to cover wider holes when cutting through plasterboard. They may struggle with metal and sometimes wood.
What we like
Selection: It’s a 20 piece set ranging from 19-152mm.
Great Value: It’s one of the cheapest hole saw sets.
Compact: They all fit in a small space in the case, so easy to carry around.
Every electrician should have a hole saw kit (especially domestic electricians). After testing multiple brands and going through customer reviews we have found that the Starret hole saw set ticks all of the boxes.
They are a quality brand, so you won’t have to replace them for a long time. You won’t have to worry about damaging them and needing a trip to the wholesalers, like some budget models frequently make sparkies do.
We hope this guide helped, catch you in the next one. Happy shopping.