Commonly used for installing door hardware, light fixtures, piping, vents, wiring, and even a garden birdhouse, a hole saw kit has many uses. You can convert any standard drill, whether keyed or keyless, into a hole saw with the right kit, which we will discuss in this article.
Different hole saw kits are made for various types of materials. If you are looking for the best hole saw kits for your next DIY project, check out my list of suggestions below to help you decide.
My top choice is the Milwaukee 49-22-4185 All Purpose Hole Saw Kit, which uses Matrix II Bi-Metal Teeth to cut through most hard materials in addition to wood. The teeth are designed with a radius tooth back, which puts less stress on them and adds to their longevity. Because it has been ice-hardened before it is sent to your doorstep, it is sturdier and more durable, so it can handle most drilling speeds.
To prevent excessive chipping, there are deeper gullets on each blade. Altogether, there are 28 pieces that come in this hole saw kit. The set contains 22 hole saws, 3 arbors, and 3 drill bits. The gear case also has additional hole saw spaces in case you need them. The sizes of the saws range from 3/4 (smallest) to 4-3/4 (largest), the arbors include 49-56-7000, 49-56-7010, and 49-56-9100, while it has three 49-56-8010 drill bits.
Functional slot geometry allows for easy removal of the plug and waste material after drilling. The material of the blades will allow you to cut metal, sheetrock, and steel, in addition to wood. The standard 1/2 diameter quick connect allows the tool to fit any 1/2-inch chuck drill.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a lot of sizes in the kit and it is ice-hardened for superior durability.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The cutter with a fixture can be slightly difficult to disassemble.
If you prefer a low-budget pick that still gets the job done right, the Tacklife 16-Piece Hole Saw Kit is for you. This kit has a total of 16 sizes from 3/4-inch to 5-inch blades, so it has significantly larger pieces (up to 5 inches) than the Milwaukee, although it has fewer pieces.
It will work for softwood, plastic, and PVC boards, making it ideal for small DIY projects. The set also comes with accessories for installation such as a hex key, two mandrels, an installation plate, a 2.5mm hex wrench, and the case. The blades are made of carbon steel and can work as a hole saw with drill speeds around 1,000 RPM.
Each drill has an approximate cutting depth of 25 mm and can be installed on an electric drill, bench drill, impact drill, and the like. The mandrel bit is replaceable and it can also work on plexiglass as long as you handle it carefully.
Things I Like About This Product: This affordable set contains the most commonly-used saw sizes, plus it includes bigger sizes up to 5 inches.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It is not suitable for metal and hardwoods, such as particleboard and density board.
The DEKO 26-Piece Hole Saw Set is the choice for you if you are tackling woodworking projects. It comes with a total of 22 saw blades, with the largest measuring 4-3/4 inches in size and the smallest being 3/4-inch.
Aside from the drill bit, it also comes with two small mandrels and a gear case. The design of the blades will work well on softwood, plywood, and even plastic board and PVC if you like. I also like that the storage case is dust-proof to protect your gear and helps to avoid losing small parts.
The mandrels are made of high-speed steel (HSS), so making the holes will be quicker and fuss-free. Aside from the smaller mandrels, it also has a larger one for different uses. High-speed steel has the advantage of withstanding extreme conditions due to the special heating process while the corrosion protection feature will keep it usable for the years to come (with proper care).
Things I Like About This Product: It has the most common blade sizes and a wide range (22 blades) at that. Moreover, it has a durable and portable case that is dust-proof.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The hole saws might not be as ideal for use on hardwoods or similar tougher materials.
If you are working with metal, you will find that the DeWalt DWACM1802 Metal Cutting Carbide Hole Saw Kit may catch your eye. If break-through is a common issue when you drill through metal, it’s no longer a problem – these saws have a raised shoulder design to prevent that from happening. The set contains three common saw sizes for metal: 7/8, 1-1/8, and 1/3-8 inches, all made of carbide teeth so it will last longer when used on metal.
What I like is the optimized pilot bit is super-durable while making precise drills, and the ejection spring simplifies plug ejection to save you time and effort when working on a project or material. What’s more, the gear case looks durable and well-made to keep all your parts in place.
Its optimized tooth design will deliver fast drilling speed when working on mental. While it can cut through stainless steel (about 1/8-inch), you do need to use cutting fluid or oil on the surface and to operate at a slower speed to avoid overheating. It will work well for mild steel, electrical panel boxes, and galvanized steel, and using cutting oil will make the work faster.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a raised shoulder design which helps to prevent break-through, while the optimized pilot bit speeds up the drilling process.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The smaller blades might not be as durable as the larger ones.
For those who need faster drilling for piping or if you work in plumbing, the Freud DHS17SPL Bi-Metal Plumbing Set is a good choice for you. This 17-piece set contains sizes 1-1/8 to 4-1/2 inches. It also comes with two pilot bits, two mandrels, and two adaptor nuts for easy installation. Aside from plumbing, this tool is also great for drilling holes for light fixtures.
Because of the fast plug ejection, you don’t need to use a screwdriver to get the plug out of the material safely. It has a 2-3/8-inch cutting depth so it will work in a single pass. Variable tooth design allows for a faster and easier boring method. Changing the saw blades is simple as well, thanks to the snap-lock plus system.
Things I Like About This Product: The snap-lock plus system allows for easy blade changes, while the variable tooth design speeds up drilling.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It doesn’t have a lot of pieces or saw blade sizes compared to bigger sets with 20 pieces or more.
One considerable option on my list is the Bosch HB25M 25-Piece Master Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit, which is applicable for metal and wood projects due to its easy-snap pilot bit. To keep the saw blade from seizing up in the mandrel, it has a no-thread design.
With a total of 11 saw sizes from 7/8 to 2-1/2 inches, it also has 7 adapters from 1-1/3 to 6 inches, 4 smaller adapters from 9/16 to 1-3/16 inches, some washers, a 3-3/8-inch pilot bit, and a 3/8-inch mandrel. The material of the saw is 8% cobalt alloy, which improves its heat resistance when working on difficult material and drilling at a high RPM.
Because it has a positive lock, you will experience fewer wobbles during operation. It also has a reinforced shoulder (similar to the DeWalt DWACM1802 mentioned above) so it will cut items faster without easily breaking apart.
Whether you have a standard or a quick-change arbor, this saw kit can be used on both due to its universal hole saw system and it has a wide range of adapters. In addition to that, it has an alternating teeth size design, which will cut faster and prevent the blade from easily wearing out.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a quick-change universal hole saw system to get the job done faster. It also has a wide range of adapters.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The pilot bit holder could be better, to avoid frequently falling out.
For simple DIY and door installation projects, you can count on the DeWalt D180005 14-Piece Hole Saw Kit. This set contains sizes from 3/4 to 2-1/2-inch sizes, allowing you to drill holes for door locks, electrical work, and simple plumbing projects. Due to the injection-molded kit box, all items stay in place and are tightly-packed for easy carrying to the job site or wherever your project takes you.
The special deep-cut geometry allows the blades to cut efficiently while the hardened backing plates will ensure durability and minimize thread stripping. Because it has small and large quick-change mandrels, switching to a different size is easy and convenient. Durability is also improved by its double tooth design, while the pilot point centering bits and placement parts keep maintenance simple and to a minimum.
Other materials it can cut through include acrylic, steel bumpers, hardwood, Corian, and other thin metals. It is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Things I Like About This Product: The quick-change mandrels allow easy switching of sizes while the injection-molded kit box keeps everything neatly in place.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The pilot bit isn’t quite as durable as similar saw kits in its class. The case doesn’t include a sizing chart either.
Applicable for fast drilling speeds, the DeWalt D1800IR5 Impact-Ready Hole Saw Kit is a powerful choice for drilling metal. What makes it speedy is the optimized tooth technology, while the impact-ready design makes it durable for long-term use. The set comes with five bits, from 3/4 to 1-3/8 inches, which are all neatly packed in a durable plastic case.
The set also comes with a 1/4-inch hex shank, which is unique because most sets include only a 3/8-inch shank. The hexagon shank included means it is usable for an impact driver, as the product name implies.
Because the cutting blade is not too thick, it keeps the temperature low and prolongs the tool’s lifespan. Waste material is easily removed using the spring in the center. Each of the saws come with their arbors for the driver, which means you can use it in nearly any drill. It is backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Things I Like About This Product: It can be connected to an impact driver using the 1/4-inch shank, which makes it a multipurpose hole saw kit.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It is not applicable for heavier metal or steel since it is not carbide-toothed.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Hole Saw Sets Featured Above
Do you want to know how I came up with the list of hole saw kits mentioned above? Here are some criteria that I depended on:
1. Hole Saw Sizes
When you consider a hole saw kit or set, the first question you should ask should be “which sizes are included?” to give you an idea of what it is best used for. The majority of the kits I mentioned above have 3/4-inch saw blades as the smallest sizes, while the largest is around 4 to 5 inches.
By having a large range of sizes, you can work on different kinds of projects – from doorknobs, pet houses to lighting fixtures. Keep in mind that usually, hole saw kits that are meant for metal and difficult material tend to have fewer sizes, unlike general ones that are more applicable for woodworking.
One important aspect of a hole saw kit is durability – the saw blades and the materials should be properly treated in the manufacturing process so they will last for a long time with proper care and usage.
Nonetheless, to keep the hole saw in good shape, read the user’s manual to understand the appropriate right drilling speed for each blade and the material you are working on. If you pick a speed that’s too high, you could potentially ruin the hole saw.
Just like carrying a set of drill bits, a hole saw kit has small parts such as the special bit used for attaching the saw blades, the mandrels, and any adapters for different types of drills (or impact drivers, as I will mention below).
The durability and the design of the case will be a key factor in keeping your hole saw kit well-protected from work debris and the elements. This is especially true if you will use the kit for a job site.
4. Usability and Assembly
The hole saws should be simple and fuss-free to put together to cut down time used for preparing and changing drill bits and to improve productivity. Fortunately, many of the picks I mentioned above have a quick-change system so switching between sizes is easy.
Furthermore, the removal of waste material is also a plus point when choosing a good hole saw kit. This is especially true when dealing with plumbing or metal projects where the waste material is difficult to remove manually.
Since you will be using these for different brands of drills (or impact drivers), having the right adapter for the job should be included in the set. For that reason, many of my picks above have different drill adapters for your needs. If you are going to work with an impact driver, the 1/4-inch shank adapter of the DeWalt D1800IR5 Impact-Ready Hole Saw Kit will be particularly helpful for you.
6. Work Material
Are you mainly working with wood, metal, or PVC? You should know what material you intend to use in the hole saw kit first before you buy it. Carbide-tipped hole saws are more applicable for metal while high-speed steel (HSS) will do just fine for wood.
As I mentioned above, different hole saw kits are designed for specific purposes. For example, I recommend the DeWalt DWACM1802 Metal Cutting Carbide Hole Saw Kit to those who work with metal – it can even be used on stainless steel with the right amount of fluid to keep it from overheating.
On the other hand, the DEKO 26-Piece Hole Saw Set is sufficient for wood projects thanks to its HSS blades. What’s more, since it has a lot of different sizes, choosing the appropriate one for your project needs will be a breeze.
The Freud DHS17SPL Bi-Metal Plumbing Set, as the name implies, is ideal for piping and similar projects. Due to its snap-lock plus system, working underneath a sink or any piping installation will be easier for plumbers.
7. Saw Material
As I mentioned above, some saws have carbide-tipped teeth that allow them to work better on metal. However, some are simply made of HSS or high-speed steel, better suiting them for general woodworking and even PVC cutting. Some are made from other combinations, such as the Bosch HB25M 25-Piece Master Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit which is made from 8% cobalt alloy.
The majority of the hole saw kits I mentioned above (and those that are available on the market) are bi-metal saws. So what’s the difference between bi-metal and alloy? Well, alloys are already a mixture of melted metals while a bi-metal construction is composed of layers. Think of it as one metal structure wrapped or coated with another metal to make it durable.
8. Special Features
Considering they need to drill holes as perfectly as possible, such saws need to have specially-designed teeth. For instance, most of my picks above have alternating teeth sizes or raised shoulder designs. Both these two features will help your saw to drill quickly and grip onto the material properly without staggering or ruining anything, especially with metal, which cannot be chiseled and smoothened, unlike wood.
To wrap it up, my top pick is the Milwaukee 49-22-4185 All Purpose Hole Saw Kit due to its wide range and selection of sizes. If you simply don’t have the budget for that, the Tacklife 16-Piece Hole Saw Kit is an alternative option for you, although keep in mind that it is not made for hardwood and metal.
For drilling into wood materials, I recommend the DEKO 26-Piece Hole Saw Set with its high-speed steel blades. If you are working on metal projects, I suggest the DeWalt DWACM1802 Metal Cutting Carbide Hole Saw Kit due to the raised shoulder design for extra force. The Freud DHS17SPL Bi-Metal Plumbing Set, on the other hand, is ideal for piping projects.
Other considerations include the Bosch HB25M 25-Piece Master Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit, which is ideal for quickly changing sizes for speeding up your work. If you need to work with Corian and steel bumpers, you will find the DeWalt D180005 14-Piece Hole Saw Kit useful. For those who want a set for an impact driver with a 1/4-inch shank, the DeWalt D1800IR5 Impact-Ready Hole Saw Kit is the set for you.