BEST MILWAUKEE HOLE SAW SETS

For drilling precise and tidy holes, a hole saw is the perfect tool, and Milwaukee Tool is a trusted brand with a range of sets to offer. Milwaukee Tool hole saws are known for their durable bi-metal construction and wide range of sizes. Combine this with their ice-hardened designs, and you have versatile hole saw sets that will last for years. Their sets come in a range of prices so you don’t have to break the bank you you need a smaller set with the same quality construction. Milwaukee hole saws can cut through wood and metal, though they tend to cut metal a bit slower.

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Pros
Cons
 Milwaukee 49-22-4185
Milwaukee 49-22-4185
Milwaukee
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Milwaukee 49-22-4185 All Purpose Professional Ice Hardened Hole Saw Kit 28 Piece
Pros
Positive rake angle for aggressive cutting. Deep gullets remove chips quickly. Radiused back face to reduce stress on teeth.
Cons
Cuts metal, but not concrete. Residue can make it difficult to disassemble after use.
 Milwaukee 49-22-4025
Milwaukee 49-22-4025
Milwaukee
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Milwaukee 49-22-4025 13-Piece General Purpose Hole Dozer Hole Saw Kit
Pros
Precision-ground tooth geometry for fast cutting. Positive rake angle for better cutting. Radiused back face reduces wear and tear.
Cons
May not work well on stainless steel.
 Milwaukee 49-22-4105
Milwaukee 49-22-4105
Milwaukee
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Milwaukee 49-22-4105 Master Electricians Ice Hardened Hole Saw Kit 19 Piece
Pros
Positive Rake Angle cuts quickly. Less stress on teeth, thanks to radiused Tooth Back. Deep gullet makes it easy to remove chips. Easy plug removal.
Cons
Saws will cut through soft metal 1/4 inches and thinner. Cutting harder metals may damage the teeth.
TYPES OF HOLE SAWS

Most hole saws are comprised of an arbor, a metal cup with a toothed edge, and a pilot drill. The metal cup usually has straight sides – which makes it easier to cut a parallel hole – though some have sloped sides, which reduces friction or any chance of them binding in thick material. Not all models have a pilot drill, but it’s usually included because without it, the hole saw has a tendency to wander – making it difficult to position accurately.

There is another tool called a hole saw, though more accurately it ought to be called a hole cutter. This consists of a bar with a cutting blade at one end and a shank to fit a drill chuck. As the drill rotates, the cutting blade cuts a circle. The main advantage of this type is that the blade can slide along the bar, making it adjustable. The disadvantage is that it has quite limited depth, and can only cut drywall, plywood and similar thin sheets.

HOLE SAW MATERIALS

What the hole saw is made of will define the materials it can cut through.

  • High carbon steel (HCS) is a relatively low-cost metal used for entry-level hole saw sets. You don’t really need anything more if you’re working with drywall or softwood.
  • Bi-metal is the most popular choice for hole saws. The main body is a flexible steel, which gives good resistance to the harsh pounding these tools can take. The toothed section is made from high speed steel (HSS) which is very hard and gives a sharp edge. In some cases, cobalt is added, making it even harder. M2 and M3 are types of HSS often found in these tools. Bi-metal hole saws will cut through wood, plastics, laminates, aluminum and even thin sheet steel.
  • Tungsten carbide tip (TCT) and solid HSS hole saws are good for cutting  thicker metal.
  • Diamond hole saws are used for cutting glass, tile, concrete, granite, marble and other types of stone. Instead of teeth, these hole saws have a particle coating of silicon carbide (SiC), also known as carborundum – not diamond at all. The thickness, depth and quality of the coating has a big impact on performance and the depth of material they can cut through, so it’s important to check before purchasing. Some, for example, are not suitable for concrete.
TIPS FOR USING HOLE SAWS
  • If your hole saw is cutting at an angle, you’ll end up with an oval hole, not a round one. Patience is important. Let the saw cut, don’t try to force it.
  • Splintering can be a problem when the hole saw exits out of the material – particularly with wood and plywood. If the resulting hole will be seen from both sides, you can either attach a sacrificial board to the back, or drill half way from one side, then use the pilot hole to line up and complete the cut from the other side.
  • If you need to make an existing hole bigger, you’ll often find a pilot drill isn’t large enough to provide a guide – but cutting without one is almost impossible because of the way a hole saw wanders. If you have a hole saw of the same size to the existing hole, you can ‘double up’ – attaching that one and the large one on the same arbor, thus benefiting from the guide you need.
  • Use water as a lubricant for cutting concrete, stone, granite, etc. Use cooling oil when sawing into metals. They not only keep the blade cool and cutting better, they help disperse debris away from the cut.
  • The hex keys that hold hole saw, arbor and pilot drill together can work loose. Often you’ll notice a change in sound. Check regularly and tighten if necessary. If it comes apart it can ruin your work.
  • Pilot drills typically wear more quickly than the hole saw. They need to be sharp to give you an accurate start. They are cheap and easy to replace, so don’t struggle with blunt bits.

FAQ
Q: Should any special safety precautions be taken when using a hole saw?
A: As when using any power tool, always wear eye protection. Hole saws can produce a considerable amount of dust and airborne debris, so a lightweight breathing mask is a good idea.

When the cutting edge of the hole saw itself makes contact, there can be a noticeable torque reaction that can cause the drill to twist in your hands. Make sure you have a firm grip, and wherever possible keep the cutting edge level with the work surface.

If you’re working with a corded drill and using water as a coolant, make sure the drill is connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) to prevent electric shock.

Q: Can I use hole saws with any type of drill?
A: You can, but you need to consider the material you are drilling and the size of the hole. A one-inch hole in plywood shouldn’t present any problems for a DIY-type cordless drill. A two-inch hole in concrete is a very different proposition. If you have lots of heavy-duty work in hard materials, a powerful Slotted Drive System SDS drill is the obvious choice.

Bear in mind whatever the drill, you should only use rotary, not hammer action. A hole saw is not designed to cut that way, and you’ll very likely damage it and possibly deform the hole, too.

Q: What’s the difference between an annular cutter and a hole saw?
A: In essence, all hole saws are a type of annular cutter in that they are a ring shape with teeth or cutting material on the edge. Machine tool annular cutters have a much thicker cutting edge and no pilot drill. They are designed for precision engineering work and normally used in lathes or milling machines.

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