LumberJocks

Need some better Hole Saws

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Richard posted 04-27-2020 08:13 PM 622 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Richard's profile

Richard

1944 posts in 3705 days


04-27-2020 08:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press question

I started making some Gumball machines and need to drill some 4” and 5” holes for some of them. I have a set of hole saws from HF that I bought to drill holes for pipes and wires in a remodel job I helped a friend do and they worked fine for that. They seem to be a bit out of round so the holes are just a bit off. I know it is not a problem with my drill press since my forstner bits cut just fine with no wobble or out of round holes.
So I am looking for a higher quality set but I don’t want to Break the Bank to buy them. Any suggestions on a good set that is not going to kill my wallet ?

Thanks

Thanks for all the ideas , I got a set of Lennox saws and they are doing a great job , I also like that the hole saws can be changed quickly and don’t require any setup to get the size the same every time .


21 replies so far

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2279 posts in 3808 days


#1 posted 04-27-2020 08:28 PM

Brand name hole saws are round. Just try stepping up to something like a Menards store brand, then up to Klein or Lennox or Milwaukee, till you find a good round / price balance. Are you sure the arbor in the saw is true?

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5103 posts in 3003 days


#2 posted 04-27-2020 08:41 PM

I have used Lennox and Milwaukee and worked well. It takes a lot to use such a big hole saw and you need to really hold down your work piece. It can come loose and be dangerous.

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

7750 posts in 3219 days


#3 posted 04-27-2020 09:06 PM

Use one of your two routers and make a template works every time.

Note : a 4 or 5” hole saw will eventually destroy your drill press.

Suggested Method:
1 Mark out the template dimensions
2 drill a hole with your 220 V drill
3 Use your jig saw to remove the bulk of the waste
4 position template guide over your job
5 rout out to the guide using one of your cheap router bits with a bearing on it
6 remove the template you made
7 Pat yourself on the back and have a gunmball
8 Job complete, or
9 Repeat

Live in the garage is now better! ....
that is assuming your daughter is not screaming at you to shut the @#$% up down there!

-- Regards Rob

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1475 posts in 2664 days


#4 posted 04-27-2020 09:31 PM

++ on the router. Nice spiral bit and you are in business.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3713 posts in 4452 days


#5 posted 04-27-2020 10:18 PM

The router is a good bet like they say above.

My drill press has two cone shaped pullies with several levels that I can put them so, slower but more powerful for turning a large bit like a hole saw. And my arbor is massive on this old craftsman unit so no issues. If yours isn’t like that then you might consider the strain on it.

Anyway…. I’ve had good luck with bi-metalic bits. They last a long time if you can find some that size.
Either way. If you do this make sure you clamp the wood down good. When a large hole saw grabs it it’s pretty dangerous.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7254 posts in 1589 days


#6 posted 04-27-2020 10:36 PM

Router, on 4” and 5” a piece of cake with a router trammel. big is easy to a point, it’s teeeny tiny that can be tough.

Using a template your only qualifier is size of the bit.

Just make sure to do the holes prior to making any shapes, cutting flat work is easy, bumpy not so much.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

3171 posts in 1618 days


#7 posted 04-27-2020 11:05 PM

.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View xedos's profile

xedos

214 posts in 315 days


#8 posted 04-27-2020 11:33 PM

I’m also of the mindset that a small router, spiral bit and a circle jig would be the best way to go.

Faster, and cleaner too.

But if you’re set on a hole saw; then you should look at a carbide tipped one. Milwaukee has a multi-tooth one in the sizes you need. $40-$50 each. Almost certainly a special order too.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-5-in-Carbide-Hole-Dozer-Saw-49-56-0748/310212743

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

5103 posts in 3003 days


#9 posted 04-27-2020 11:37 PM

Make a template and use a router….best idea!

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

438 posts in 612 days


#10 posted 04-27-2020 11:41 PM

+ however many we’re at for a template and router.

I do speaker and amp cabinets that require 10-ish and 12-ish inch holes. I use a router with a circle template to make the template. Then, I follow RobCastle’s steps. The router bit and jigsaw blades last longer than hole saws and are more accurate in the long run.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3128 posts in 3040 days


#11 posted 04-28-2020 12:22 AM

My gripe with hole saws is that so often they wobble in the mandrel leaving a hole slightly larger than the nominal size of the hole saw. I’ve tried the more expensive mandrels with some improvement, but still not wholly satisfactory. I sometimes use them to make holes in aluminum or even steel, and their faults are even more pronounced. They dull quickly with this sort of use, naturally.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7254 posts in 1589 days


#12 posted 04-28-2020 04:44 AM

My experience with the wobble is they do it when using too small a mandrel for the size of the saw’s diameter. One of the reasons I wouldn’t buy a “set” unless it came with enough mandrels, and of the appropriate size to cover the saws included. Milwaukee tends to do this with theirs, lower level pieces like HF do not, they go more with one size fits all. Tiny bit, and mandrel on even a 2” saw will wobble.

-- Think safe, be safe

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4180 posts in 2509 days


#13 posted 04-28-2020 01:08 PM

Have drilled a LOT of large holes into wood over years. Use several methods.
Often needed odd ball sizes not available as standard hole saw used for drilling clearance holes for installing pipe in walls.
Router and template work well, they are just slow.
If you don’t want to DIY a template, Jasper Tools offers a range templates for different hole size ranges. http://jaspertools.com/
Jasper templates are stuck with holes cut in 1/8 in increments? The other challenge is using recommended 1/4in bit, means you have limit cut depth to 1/4 in per pass or bit burns up in most woods.

Back when I was cutting 50+ holes per day; used fly cutter or circle cutter like this:

https://www.generaltools.com/heavy-duty-circle-cutter
Own 18 of them, each set for standard hole sizes I needed at time.
Have a love/hate relationship with silly things. They can be really scary to use.
Drill press is must for these, but it still vibrates some with larger holes on cheap drill press.
Can be fussy to set up, but stay set and can make a lot of holes the exact same size once set properly.
Never want to get your hand near one while it’s spinning, or you might break a finger.
If you change the HSS cutter to carbide, they last really long time between sharpening, even when cutting holes in plywood.
If need larger holes than 7.5 in standard, can change out the cross bar with longer shaft. With 8-12 in hole cutters I made, added a counterbalance to opposite side to help it run smoother.
YMMV

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1475 posts in 2664 days


#14 posted 04-28-2020 01:22 PM

Fly cutter works if your drill press has a slow enough speed. Many do not. When I was building speakers, I found ny benchtop Delta was too fast for anything over about 4 inches. Scary. My new (old) floor model might a be a bit less intimidating. I went to a DIT router jig with an adjustable slide.

View Richard's profile

Richard

1944 posts in 3705 days


#15 posted 04-29-2020 06:21 PM



Brand name hole saws are round. Just try stepping up to something like a Menards store brand, then up to Klein or Lennox or Milwaukee, till you find a good round / price balance. Are you sure the arbor in the saw is true?

- ibewjon


I found a set of Lennox saws at a local tool store for about half of what the Big Box stores charge and they seem to be doing fine. I like the fact that the hole saws are quick to change and don’t require any setup to get the size right like most jigs do.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com