So VERY Thankful no one was hurt!!

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Review by CFrye posted 12-01-2013 03:02 AM 8696 views 0 times favorited 68 comments Add to Favorites Watch
So VERY Thankful no one was hurt!! No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

This could have easily become the most expensive tool in the shop! We bought this adjustable circle cutter a few weeks ago at Harbor Freight. Seemed like it’d be a useful little tool. I’d set it up once on the drill press and used it to drill a test hole on a piece of pine. The arms sticking out spinning around made me kind of uneasy so I switched to a hole cutting saw bit. My husband set the cutter up today on the DP and was using it. One of the cutters came loose during operation! Finally found the errant piece about 15 feet to his left.

It had some red residue on the cutting tip.

Then he saw the gouge in the plastic of the band saw behind where he was standing.

So this missile flew off the drill press past his right shoulder into the band saw and richochetted across the shop behind me where I was standing at the scroll saw and hit another cabinet! The set screw on the cutter holder was as tight as it could go. So he was not lax in his set up of the tool. The set screw just did not do it’s job. We both said quite a few thankful prayers. This tool will not be used in any drill again. The parts will be recycled into other tools and I will be contacting Harbor Freight. Do NOT buy this tool. If you have one in your tool box, do NOT use it!

-- God bless, Candy

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3127 days

68 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1986 posts in 3257 days

#1 posted 12-01-2013 03:09 AM

Miss Candy, did you guys have the speed at full when using this cutter? With bigger cutters you don’t want a fast speed on the drill press. If I’m saying something you know, please ignore it. Happy you weren’t hurt

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View TheOldTimer's profile


226 posts in 4373 days

#2 posted 12-01-2013 03:28 AM

The swede is correct, this cutter needs to operated at a very low speed. Is your drill press equipped with speed adjustments? So glad you guys were not injured. I operate mine at 550 RPM. I also prefer the single cutter as it is very hard to adjust the dwell cutters for accuracy.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3127 days

#3 posted 12-01-2013 03:43 AM

Kaleb and Old Timer, thank you both for the speed info. There were no instructions on the packaging about what speed to operate the tool.

-- God bless, Candy

View Deycart's profile


444 posts in 3545 days

#4 posted 12-01-2013 03:48 AM

In addition to what was already said. That type of cutter is for cutting very thin material. I wouldn’t try to cut anything thicker than 1/4”!

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3127 days

#5 posted 12-01-2013 04:03 AM

More information NOT included with the tool. Thanks Deycart.

-- God bless, Candy

View bobasaurus's profile


3743 posts in 4471 days

#6 posted 12-01-2013 06:13 AM

These circle cutters have always looked very sketchy to me. Good thing nobody got hurt.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5339 days

#7 posted 12-01-2013 06:17 AM


Yep… SLOW SPEED for sure…

... and, once you have it rotating, DO NOT FORGET where that thing is going!
... it;s very easy for a hand to get closer & closer & the next thing you know, you’re getting some busted knuckles!

If the cutting edge is kept sharp, it does a nice job at cutting a nice Circle.

Glad no one was hurt… that can be a SCARY moment when something like that happens.

Take care…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View shelly_b's profile


850 posts in 3405 days

#8 posted 12-01-2013 06:31 AM

I got one of these at menards. Stuck it in the drill press and turned it on…then turned it right back off after it got up to speed. Made me too nervous…and I don’t always stop when I think “this isn’t a good idea”. Glad he didn’t get hurt! Mine also came with no instructions.

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3127 days

#9 posted 12-01-2013 06:57 AM

Allen, it sounds like a good idea.
Joe, when I set it up I got that kind of a vision in my head-only mine included much worse than busted knuckles!
Shelly, I think we are in the same mind set. Gotta listen to that little voice.
Thank you all for your good thoughts.

-- God bless, Candy

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4320 days

#10 posted 12-01-2013 07:13 AM

I have one of these. Only Complaint is it will Sometimes Smoke like crazy when using it. I have no Hesitation to use it if the Job calls for what this will do.

These thing are like a lot of tools. There’s Hole Cutters and there’s Hole Cutters. I’ve seen them priced anywhere between $10.95 and $33.00 Bucks. Which is what mine cost at Lee Valley (Below). Same Old Story …... You get what you Pay for.

The fact that Yours had NO Operating Instructions would have turned me off right away.

Cutting Speed? 500 to 550 RPM MAX!!!

Having said all that. I went out and bought a Set of Larger Hole Saws. Much Better!!! The Hole Cutter is still used for various Tasks that the Hole Saws aren’t designed for.

Glad No one was hurt also!!



We don’t have Harbor Freight In Canada. I wanted to see what this thing was all about. Google Naturally.

Is this the one you bought at $5.99? I’m trying to figure out what that piece on the Far Left is for



-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3769 days

#11 posted 12-01-2013 07:22 AM

That was a close call, good to know you are both injury free. Drill bits, cutters and router bits all have suggested rpm ranges for their size. Bigger the cut slower the speed. And of course always listen to the little voice in your head or gut feel when using tools, it seems to know when it’s time to STOP and take a break. Thanks for posting your experience, we can all learn from it. I use a full face shield cause I got tired of getting hit by small stuff that seems to fly off occasionally.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View terryR's profile


7679 posts in 3596 days

#12 posted 12-01-2013 08:20 AM

Wow, glad no one was hurt! To me, that looks like a dangerous tool…cannot believe it didn’t ship with red warning labels all over it.

Candy, next time that you want wheels or circles, please PM me and I’ll turn a bunch on the lathe; Forstner bit for the center hole.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View BryanatWoodstock's profile


101 posts in 3321 days

#13 posted 12-01-2013 10:21 AM

I have had one for years, always on the lowest speed . With anything on a drill press, larger = slower speed. Mine looks to be different in the locking mechanism. The allen screws bite into the cross bar from the top. Yours looks to be a clamping action.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30651 posts in 3625 days

#14 posted 12-01-2013 11:07 AM

Two things, the pressure on the tool on these types of cutters is extreme. Slower speeds and taking small cuts at a time is the safest.

Second, there is a good and bad time for cheaper tools. Often times we buyless expensive tools without thinking about thier usage. If it’s something that safety could be an issue or will be heavily used, we need to grit our teeth and buy the best we can afford.

I am exceptionally glad no one was hurt. Unfortunately with tools, whether you buy the most or least expensive, there is a risk of tool failure and injury.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View theoldfart's profile


12913 posts in 3738 days

#15 posted 12-01-2013 12:45 PM

Candy, glad you and yours are OK. Scary moment.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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