Hole Saw Recommendations

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Forum topic by AM420 posted 09-23-2021 12:13 AM 590 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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344 posts in 1631 days

09-23-2021 12:13 AM

I recently told my wife about a video I saw of someone making a salt cellar set using hole saws, and now she is asking for a set of her own. I’ve never used hole saws and generally think of them for rough hole cuts rather than used in fine woodworking.

I would appreciate any recommendations for a hole saw brand/kit that makes decent clean cuts. I’m sure there are other ways to go about it, but I also have some ideas to makes some toys for my toddler daughter using hole saws.

In case you’re wondering, the video is on YouTube made by 3×3 Custom.

12 replies so far

View StevoWevo's profile


35 posts in 96 days

#1 posted 09-23-2021 12:44 PM

I picked up on of the newer style Milwaukees from the borg for a quick plumbing rough-in. I was surprised how quickly and clean it cut. Albeit, was only cutting DF framing and then again I’m not really a hole saw connoisseur. I think a sold drill press with minimal runout and the correct speed are going to play a big part in getting good results

View Ocelot's profile (online now)


3414 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 09-24-2021 09:51 PM

M. K. Morse is made in USA.

I only have one of them, and haven’t used it yet, but it has a deeper cup than some.

At Acme Tools%


-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8111 posts in 2068 days

#3 posted 09-24-2021 11:42 PM

And when using a holesaw, try this trick...

I do NOT recommend buying one of those cheap flimsy sets, wven though the above tip may make their use a tad easier.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Axis39's profile (online now)


549 posts in 844 days

#4 posted 09-25-2021 12:45 AM

I’ve been using hole saws from the big box stores for years!

I usually buy the one size I need for the project of the moment… I have about four or five arbors of different sizes and brands. For framing stuff, the old bits (blades?) work well enough. But, there are definitely a few in the bin that need to get chucked. If the hole will show (like the back of a cabinet for plumbing, etc,), and I don’t have a Forstner bit of the proper size, I will make sure the bit I pick is sharp, or I go buy a new one. They are pretty disposable, really….

I have an assortment of the Milwaukee, Diablo, Irwin, etc…. I haven’t found any that really wowed me as far as finish of the cut. But, I find those with smaller teeth in a drill press can produce decent results.

Of course most hole saws are created for a quick, aggressive cut….

I haven’t used the Milwaukees with the replaceable blade sets? Maybe they’re better? Sorry I don’t know.

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

View Oughtsix's profile


71 posts in 2422 days

#5 posted 09-25-2021 08:12 AM

Lenox makes nice hole saws.

What is a salt cellar set?

View Dutchy's profile


4194 posts in 3415 days

#6 posted 09-25-2021 10:46 AM

All above mentioned hole saws are made for making holes in metal and frequently used for woodworking. They have too many teeth which results in poor chip evacuation, they are dull quickly and burn badly. This can be a solution


View jdh122's profile


1268 posts in 4065 days

#7 posted 09-25-2021 07:16 PM

I’ve made several small salt cellars using two hole saws plus a bandsaw. I have a very cheap set (Mastercraft, store brand for Canadian Tire) and it works fine. You have to go pretty slowly in hard woods (maple and birch I’ve used) and keep pulling the hole saw out regularly or it will clog and smoke or stop turning. You don’t need a really clean cut because you can sand the inside on a spindle sander before gluing the bottom back on, and the outside is easy to clean up with a spokeshave or a sander.
If I was going to do more than just make an occasional one I’d probably look for a better set of hole saws. I tried one of the circle-cutting drill press thingies for a few seconds, but was too afraid of it and stopped.

I thought I had invented the process, should have known that there’s nothing new in woodworking…

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View JackDuren's profile


1722 posts in 2206 days

#8 posted 09-25-2021 07:18 PM

I buy old lenox bits. I heard the newer are cheaper so I don’t know. Haven’t been dissatisfied….

View therealSteveN's profile


8900 posts in 1821 days

#9 posted 09-25-2021 07:36 PM

Milwaukee, Lennox and Morse would be the only ones on my list, but I haven’t bought a new one in over 20 years, so there may be some better ones available now, with the influx of good Euro tool brands. The Mandrels are the magic, you want something stout as the circle is big, no weenie little one size fits all crap. Also needs to have a bit that you can easily replace, they do/will break long before you damage the rim blade.

-- Think safe, be safe

View DevinT's profile


1944 posts in 213 days

#10 posted 09-27-2021 04:08 PM

I own and enjoy using the Diablo hole saw … here I am using it

-- Devin, SF, CA

View AM420's profile


344 posts in 1631 days

#11 posted 09-27-2021 06:46 PM

I own and enjoy using the Diablo hole saw … here I am using it

- DevinT

Thanks. I’ve been looking at these and think I’m going with them.

View pottz's profile


20718 posts in 2231 days

#12 posted 09-29-2021 01:34 AM

I own and enjoy using the Diablo hole saw … here I am using it

- DevinT

I own and enjoy using the Diablo hole saw … here I am using it

- DevinT

if you ever need another and cant find it let me know i sell them in hss and carbide.i love their they have adaptors to convert other brands to use theirs.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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