136 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | SEP. 16 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
bimetal hole saw, except the cutting edge
is coated with tungsten-carbide grains,
which is ideal for cutting more abrasive
materials such as ceramic tile, cement
board, lath and plaster, brick, cast iron
and cinder block,” Bentley said.
Matthew Lacroix, director of brand
marketing at Lenox, East Longmeadow,
Mass., discussed his company’s approach
to hole saws.
“Electricians use hole saws to cut wood
and metal,” he said. “For wood, they cut holes in framing lumber to run wires or PVC piping. Thin metal is cut for electrical
panel installations. Hole saws also are used to cut through
masonry siding to run wires through the side of a building into
a basement where the circuit breakers are contained. They can
cut through drywall or lumber to install overhead lighting.
“The top attributes for a quality hole saw are life [number of
cuts], durability [robustness, resistance to tooth loss], speed of
cut, cleanliness of cut and plug removal. Changes in hole saws
include high-speed steel-edge wire used for the tooth edge in
bimetal saws and growth in diamond grit edge hole saws for
tiles, countertops and more.
“Tooth design—tooth shape, set pattern, gullet depth—plays
a key role in how the saw performs. There are improvements
in life and cutting speed in wood and metal-cutting applications, and major advancements in plug removal. Bimetal hole
saws provide longer life and increased durability from bimetal
saws. Other major improvements include diamond hole saws,
wet and dry cutting, and quick-change arbors,” Lacroix said.
Lenox offers bimetal hole saws from 9/16- to 6 inches in diameter and carbide hole cutters from ¾- to 3 inches in diameter.
Ryan Rudzinski, product manager for Milwaukee Tool, said
not all hole saws are as similar as they appear.
“On the surface, hole saws may look alike, but when closely
viewed, differences begin to emerge,” he said. “Metallurgic and
manufacturing technology continues to advance in the power-tool accessory arena. Durability is key for users and critical to
get through a range of both soft and hard materials that come
in a variety of thicknesses and accommodate different applications. Teeth need to stay on a hole saw while cutting in any of
these materials, allowing the user to complete each job.
“Impact drivers continue to grow in popularity among
electricians. Impact hole saws are designed for the speed and
torque of an impact driver, while also being versatile enough
to use in a regular drill. Milwaukee’s Shockwave impact hole
saws feature an 8-TPI design for quick, burr-free cuts, a stop
shoulder to prevent overdrilling and an ejection spring to
immediately remove the plug of material cut.
“It is important that arbors create secure connections that
result in quality holes with minimal cleanup. Many manu-
facturers promote [that] their arbors
are faster to change between sizes. But
because most users typically have a few
hole saw sizes during daily work, that
doesn’t really have an impact. More
important is how secure the arbor con-
nection is. The quality of the holes cut is
more important than how quickly the saw
can be changed out.
“Milwaukee offers a full range of hole
saws for the electrical market. Bimetal hole
saws are always a great choice because they can cut through a
complete range of materials, basically anything an electrician
would need to cut into on a job,” he said.
Tayler Brinson, product specialist at Southwire Tools, Carrollton, Ga., stressed the importance of reliability and longevity.
“Reliability and tool life are the most important considerations for hole saws,” he said.
Recent advancements in hole saws include quick-connect
“The primary sizes of hole saws used by electricians are
in the 2- to 7-inch range depending on applications,” Brinson
said. “Larger sizes usually are for installing recessed can lights,
and sizes like the 2-inch saws are used for feeders. Southwire
Tools offers bimetal hole saws, carbide-tipped hole saws and
an adjustable hole saw. Bimetal holes saws cut steel, aluminum,
brass, wood and plastic. Carbide-tipped hole cutters cut metals
and stainless steel.”
GRI FF I N, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be
Southwire Tools’ bimetal
hole saws and arbors
Milwaukee Hole Dozer hole saw