A hole saw is the kind of tool every handyperson needs to have on hand—but out of demand has come an awful lot of supply. So how can you know which hole saws are worth your money and time?
There are several factors that determine the quality of a hole saw, from the materials used to construct it to the design of its teeth. In this guide, we’ll cover the most essential factors and answer your pressing questions regarding hole saws. Once you’re well-equipped with this new knowledge, we’ll also introduce you to our top hole saw kit picks so you can get a head start on your shopping.
Top 3 Picks
Best Overall: Bosch 11-Piece Diamond Hole Saw Set
The Bosch 11-Piece Diamond Hole Saw Set is our pick for “Best Overall” due to its quality diamond edging, practical quick-change adapter, nicely segmented teeth, and attractive case design. While it doesn’t come with too many pieces, the ones it does offer are top-notch!
The SUNGATOR 18-Piece General Purpose Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit gives you a lot for your money: 10 hole saws, plenty of accessories, and the highest-quality cutters for its price range. While this one may not be suitable for professional contexts, it’s the perfect affordable option for DIYers or hobbyists.
Best Compact Option: HYCHIKA 19 Pcs Hole Saw Set
The HYCHIKA 19 Pcs Hole Saw Set is our pick for “Best Compact Option” because it provides the largest number of pieces in the smallest case size. This set is perfect if you require a lot of different cutter sizes, but don’t feel like lugging around a huge case all the time!
How to Choose a Hole Saw
There are several things you’ll want to consider before purchasing a hole saw for your next project.
When it comes to the construction of your hole saw, you should ensure that it’s made of high-quality materials and built to last. The two common construction types you’ll find are carbon steel and bi-metal.
Most people prefer the bi-metal option due to its enhanced cutting ability, which is the result of using two kinds of metal at the cutting end instead of one. The first metal is high speed steel (HSS), which is combined with a soft spring steel to create a cutting end that’s both durable and flexible for maximum efficiency.
Because hole saws come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and builds, it naturally follows that some are better suited for certain tasks than others. Before purchasing a hole saw, ask yourself what you plan to use it for: Sawing through drywall? Wood? Or maybe you need to make holes in a huge sheet of metal?
Once you’ve determined your intended use, you can proceed to find a hole saw designed specifically for cutting through that type of material.
Of course, the hole saw you opt for should have the appropriate hole width for your intended project(s). The hole width determines how large of a hole the bit will produce. Because no two projects are exactly alike, many people purchase entire hole saw kits that feature bits of numerous sizes; this ensures that they always have just the size they need for a given project.
There are two main considerations when it comes to the teeth of your hole saw:
- Teeth Per Inch (TPI). This refers to how many teeth there are per inch of the hole saw. Make sure you pay attention to a hole saw’s TPI rating before making your purchase, because this will affect the speed and quality of the cut as well as which materials the saw can cut through.
- You can find hole saws with a “standard” tooth design and others with a square tooth design. The latter type tends to be better suited for cutting through harder materials such as metal or ceramic.
Once you have the basics covered, you can start exploring your options for additional hole saw features. These include things like:
- A diamond tip. Hole saws with a diamond tip are typically used for tougher jobs that other hole saws can’t handle, such as cutting through ceramic.
- Carbide-tipped teeth. Hole saws with carbide-tipped teeth are well-suited for cutting through fiberglass or Formica, for example.
- Extra-thin kerfs. This feature allows for faster, more efficient hole-cutting.
- A raised shoulder. A raised shoulder will help prevent over-drilling.
Different Types of Hole Saws and Their Uses
There are a few different types of hole saws, each one designed for a specific purpose or use. While I could go on to list every feature of every subset of hole saw, I’ll just cover the most common types here. You’re welcome.
This is one of the most common (and most affordable) types. It’s best suited for cutting softer, more malleable materials such as plastic or soft woods. Many people label carbon steel hole saws as “general use” or “multipurpose,” and they’re a must-have for any serious DIY project enthusiast.
Bi-metal hole saws are equally common, but a bit more expensive due to their greater durability and increased flexibility. Because they’re constructed of two types of metal—high-speed steel and carbon steel—they tend to last longer under more extreme conditions. They can also cut through tougher materials than carbon steel can, such as: plasterboard, hardwood, non-laminated plastics, steel, and cast iron.
Single tooth hole saws are most often used for cutting wood or cement sheeting. They feature only one tooth, which is tungsten carbide-tipped for durability and efficiency. This type of hole saw is known for its incredible speed, but it also collects debris faster.
High-Speed Steel (HSS)
High-speed steel (HSS) hole saws are extremely hardy and make cleaner cuts than many other types of hole saws. However, because they lack the flexible carbon steel element, they are not a great tool for DIYers or general use. They’re most commonly used in electrical work or other fields where a clean cut is paramount.
Tungsten Carbide-Tipped (TCT)
Tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) hole saws are fairly versatile and work quite well with harder materials such as fiberglass and ceramic. They’re similar to single tooth hole saws but have numerous teeth instead of one.
As the name suggests, an adjustable hole saw can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of hole cut sizes. This is done through moving the unit’s metal strips into specific grooves or by adjusting the tightness of the screw, depending on the model.
This type of hole saw has a diamond-grit edge instead of traditional teeth, which gives the unit extra durability and resistance to heat. It can be used to cut through tougher materials such as fiberglass and ceramic, though you should take care to frequently water the tip to keep it cool while working.
Core cutters are a special type of hole saw that remove a cylinder-shaped chunk of material from something, and thus tend to provide cuts of greater depth. This type of hole saw features either diamond edging or a TCT construction. Because they’re crafted of such strong materials, they can be used for tougher jobs such as cutting fiberglass or plasterboard.
The Best Hole Saws
Now that you’re more familiar with hole saws and what to consider while shopping, I think you’re ready to start checking out your options. Here are our top picks!
Let’s start our list with a fantastic set from Milwaukee: the 15-Piece General Purpose Hole Saw Kit. The set consists of 11 hole saws, 2 arbors, and 2 drill bits, as well as an adaptor and a spacer, all made in the USA. The saws feature a bi-metal construction that has been ice-hardened via a cryogenic process that enhances the metal’s core strength for greater longevity. You’ll also appreciate such features as its radiused tooth back and positive rake angle, which contribute to the fast and effective nature of the product. In addition, removing debris is a breeze due to the unique slot design. Get your set today and get ready for a simple, effective hole sawing experience!
- Ice-hardened bi-metal construction
- Versatile use
- Radiused tooth back
- Easy debris removal
- Made in USA
- Some buyers reported receiving the wrong kit
The DEWALT 14-Piece Hole Saw Kit is another choice product, constructed and assembled in the US. It features 11 bi-metal hole saws of excellent quality, each one able to cut through thick materials with ease. Their hardened backing plates reduce thread stripping to ensure increased longevity, and they’re also optimized for efficient chip/plug removal and fast mandrel changes. In short, these hardy, versatile hole saws are a joy to work with on any project!
- Durable bi-metal construction
- Cuts through thick materials
- Fast chip/plug removal
- Easy mandrel changes
- Made in USA
- Some buyers received defective products
- Product may be scratched out-of-box
Need an affordable kit for a job that just came up or your next DIY project? Then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the SUNGATOR 18-Piece General Purpose Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit.
Though not perfect or intended for professional use, this kit does provide several unique features you won’t find in many others. Chief among these include a solid plastic case with a foam base that holds the pieces in place, a 3-point fixation system for greater cutting accuracy, and a 4-slot design for much easier plug removal. The set includes 10 bi-metal hole saws, each one rust- and heat-resistant; their cutting depths range from 43mm to 55mm for great versatility. Finally, you’ll appreciate the included user’s manual and the hole saws’ compatibility with off-brand drills. This should be your first choice when searching for a casual, low-budget option!
- Bi-metal construction
- Heat- and rust-resistant
- Solid plastic base w/ foam base
- 3-point fixation
- 4 slots for easy plug removal
- 43mm to 55mm depth range
- User’s manual included
- Affordable option
- Not for professional use
- An attachment/removal system isn’t ideal
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning good ol’ Makita. Its Multi-Material 9-Piece Hole Saw Set is one of the best, though a bit pricey compared to the ones we’ve seen so far. Here are just a few things to love about it…
The set includes 6 hole saws, each of which features TCT (tungsten carbide-tipped) teeth for extra durability and Quick Release pilot drills for a much easier bit changing experience. In addition, they have an SDS (slotted drive shaft) arbor which is shortened to prevent damage to the core. You can also look forward to speedy drilling and reduced vibration to the unique build of the body, the enlarged boring chamber, and the waste exhaust slots. For efficiency and near-flawless performance, look no further!
- TCT teeth
- Quick Release pilot drills
- Protective SDS arbor
- Reduced vibration
- Fast, effective drilling
- Not as many pieces as other sets
- Thread size not compatible with other brands
The Bosch 11-Piece Diamond Hole Saw Set is just about as high-end as they come. Its hole saws feature diamond grit for faster and cleaner cuts, as well as segmented teeth to prevent debris buildup and overheating. The retractable shaft fosters a walk-free cutting experience (without the need for a pilot hole!), while the spring-loaded AutoStart pilot bit and quick-change adaptor add to the saws’ overall user-friendliness. In addition, the grind on the pilot bit allows for maximum cutting accuracy—which is mandatory for any serious cutting job! All the pieces come in a sturdy, blue plastic case for that extra peace of mind.
- Diamond grit cutting
- Segmented teeth
- Retractable shaft
- AutoStart pilot bit
- Quick-change adaptor
- Fast, accurate cuts
- Sturdy blue case
- Not as many pieces as other sets
- Does not come with mandrel
Do you need several different hole saw sizes or want to be prepared for any scenario? Then you need to check out the HYCHIKA 19 Pcs Hole Saw Set. It features 13 saws crafted of heat-treated carbon steel, each one boasting sharp serrations that can easily cut up to 25mm deep. You can also rest assured that these hole saws will last a long time, due to their rust- and wear-resistant design and included protective case. This is one of the best sets available for use with softer materials, but keep in mind it’s not up to the task of cutting hardwood or other tough materials. All in all, though, this is a quality kit for basic everyday use!
- Lots of hole saws
- Sharp serrations
- Cuts up to 25mm deep
- Rust- and wear-resistant
- Not for use with tougher materials (hardwood, etc.)
- Not as durable as other models
This one is a slightly smaller set from the brand we just looked at. The HYCHIKA 17 Pcs Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit features 11 bi-metal hole saws with blades crafted of high-speed steel and high-strength hard alloy steel. In addition to being super-durable and efficient, they boast grooves specially designed for quick chip removal and a design that promotes fast loading—no more struggling to get that new bit in when you need it most! This is a versatile tool that’s perfect for casual everyday use (though it’s not ideal for cutting through tougher materials like concrete or ceramic), and it comes in a sturdy protective case. This is a solid choice if you’re looking for a quality hole saw kit at a price that won’t break the bank!
- Bi-metal construction
- Quick chip removal
- Fast loading
- Versatile kit
- Not for use with tougher materials (concrete, ceramic, etc.)
- Some buyers received defective units
The LENOX 13-Piece Bi-Metal Hole Saw Kit for Wood and Metals is another affordable option that doesn’t skimp on quality. It features 9 hole saws that, as the name suggests, are designed for use with wood and metal. Their durable bi-metal construction is complemented by their non-binding coating (which provides faster, deeper cuts than the previous LENOX model of this line) and split point pilot bit (which allows for faster penetration and reduces the amount of walking). To top it all off, this kit comes in compact, sturdy box you can rely on. What are you still on the fence for? Order yours today and get to work.
- Bi-metal construction
- Non-binding coating
- Split point pilot bit
- Perfect for wood and metal
- Sturdy case
- Teeth are a bit coarse
Frequently Asked Questions
Still looking for answers to your questions? Here they are!
What’s the best hole saw kit?
The best hole saw kit is the one that meets your needs and fits within your budget. There’s no one-size-fits-all kit, but our Top 3 Picks represent some of the best the market has to offer. These are sets that:
- provide hole saws of high-quality construction.
- offer a solid variety of hole widths.
- boast practical, user-friendly features.
- have tons of great reviews to back them up.
Who makes the best hole saw kit?
As with my previous answer, no one company or brand can be said to have “the best” hole saw kit. Different brands tend to cater to different people, and no two people have the exact same needs when it comes to their tools.
That said, we’ve only included reputable brands on our list. These include trusted names such as:
What is a hole saw kit?
A hole saw kit is an all-in-one hole saw solution that provides a number of bit pieces in different sizes, in addition to other accessories and usually a hardy protective case. Kits are a great place to start for those who are purchasing their first hole saw, as they contain just about everything needed to get started. As time goes on, you can purchase individual hole saws to fulfill unmet sawing needs or replace worn-out pieces.
What size do hole saws come in?
Hole saws are measured by their diameter and their depth. You can find them in a wide range of sizes, and hole saw kits provide several saws of different sizes.
- You can find hole saws with a diameter anywhere from 14mm to 210mm.
- As for depth, you can find hole saws that cut anywhere from 22mm to 350mm.
Really, the size(s) you need will depend on your intended use. Keep in mind that you can also purchase an adjustable hole saw or an arbor extension to achieve a more specific hole size.
A Final Look
Hole saws are such a handy tool to have around, whether you’re a serious DIYer or a working professional. We hope our guide provided you with the information you need to make the best possible purchase, and that our top picks gave you some inspiration on where to look. Happy shopping!