What is the Best Hole Saw For Metal? (2024) — Top Picks For Thick Metal

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When working with saws, I often find that many are designed for softer materials. In my experience, to effectively cut through thick metals, additional drill bits are essential. It’s also crucial to mention that not every hole saw kit meets the necessary professional standards. As an expert, I look for kits that possess exceptional heat resistance and are constructed from robust materials.

Having encountered numerous disappointing products, I rely on specific choices that our construction team has rigorously tested and proven effective.

Premium Pick
Greenlee Hole Saw Kit
Editor’s Choice
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
Budget Option
ASNOMY Hole Saw Kit
Greenlee Hole Saw Kit
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
• High-quality hole cutters
• Includes many sizes
• Tested by professionals
• Quick-change arbor
• 50% longer life
• Easy ejection
• Penetrating tooth design
• Includes common sizes
• Budget price
• Three-blade designs
• High precision
• Works with wood & plastic too
Premium Pick
Greenlee Hole Saw Kit
Greenlee Hole Saw Kit
• High-quality hole cutters
• Includes many sizes
• Tested by professionals
• Quick-change arbor
Editor’s Choice
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
• 50% longer life
• Easy ejection
• Penetrating tooth design
• Includes common sizes
Budget Option
ASNOMY Hole Saw Kit
LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit
• Budget price
• Three-blade designs
• High precision
• Works with wood & plastic too

Reviews of the Top Hole Saws For Metal

1. LENOX Tools Hole Saw Kit

The Lenox Tools Hole Saw Kit combo will have no problem cutting through thick metal with a much more durable design with a 50% longer lifespan than previous hole saw kits. Don’t worry about the sizing, because Lenox included the most common sizes in this particular kit. 

The walls have been further enhanced on these accessories to minimize tooth loss and, of course, increase the strength of the units even more. The convenience is elevated as well with the speed slot that features a staircase design for quick plug removal.

The saw features larger and sharper teeth for more precision when drilling holes.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

2. Greenlee Hole Saw Kit

The Greenlee Hole Saw Kit was tested in detail by me and other professionals in the industry. The hole saw kit comes with a hex key, a quick-change auger, and of course, various cutter head sizes.

The best hole saws for metal will definitely be easy to change so you won’t need to waste precious minutes on the job. The Greenlee kit comes with a quick-change arbor that can be used with all drill bit sizes. 

The cutters are all created with improved carbide quality for even better performance and durability, with the manufacturing done within the USA.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

3. ASNOMY Hole Saw Kit

If you’re not a professional construction contractor or electrician, the Asnomy hole saw combo pack is an excellent option made from tungsten carbide and is the perfect match for metal sheets. The titanium-plated teeth are extra hard, rustproof, and very sturdy.

The packaging for the Asnomy hole saw kit was also exceptional as each one came individually encased in its own packaging and pre-oiled to prevent rust.

At a budget price, you still get high-quality designs. Each of these bits has a three-blade design that can get through harder materials more efficiently for a smooth job. 

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

4. TCT Hole Saw Set

You get 10 pieces with TCT Hole Saws set that work well for stainless steel, metal, iron, and even wood! They come in a sturdy storage case and in various sizes ready for cutting holes in a thick metal sheet.

When purchasing sets for cutting through thick materials at a higher speed, I always ensure I apply a coolant for enhanced heat resistance. In my professional assessment, these bits, made from cemented carbide, are of superior quality and inherently durable.

I also appreciate the three-blade design of these hole saws, as it notably enhances both efficiency and accuracy in my work.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

5. Klein Tools 31872

The Klein Tools 31872 Hole Saws are excellent options to drill holes through stainless steel, copper, iron, and any sheets up to 5 mm thick. There is a split point pilot drill that will prevent bit walking, which can permanently damage materials.

It offers three distinct bit sizes, along with an additional pilot drill bit. I particularly value the integrated flange; it’s a thoughtful feature that ensures I don’t drill beyond the intended depth, potentially compromising the material.

Everything within this kit is neatly housed in a rust-proof molded plastic case, offering both protection and organization.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

6. Rocaris HSS Hole Saw Cutting Kit

If variety and options are what you’re looking for, then the Rocaris Hole Saw Cutting Kit is the one for you. There are 23 pieces in total, enough to definitely fit any sized hole you need. Each one has a three-blade design that makes sure these hole saws cut precisely and smoothly, and this type of design is also much more durable.

Each cutter is made from high-speed steel that has great heat resistance and the teeth are made from titanium-plated tungsten carbide. They are fast-cutting hole saws that work on a variety of materials including mild steel, hard metal, aluminum, and plastic. 

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

7. Lovefish HSS Hole Saw Kits for Metal

The brand Lovefish also has a high-speed hole saw combo, or HSS, that has 15 pieces in total for cutting thick metal pieces. As one of the most versatile tools, these hole saws work on a multitude of materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and even plastic.

They are also highly durable, have a high hardness strength and high impact resistance. The bits come in a plastic carrying case to store them well and keep them away from moisture and impact. 

Although the Lovefish HSS Hole Saws do not run in reverse, they are one of the best choices for straight applications.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

Hole Saws For Metal Buyer’s Guide

In pursuing the best hole saw for metal, finding one that delivers the intended results is crucial. To aid in your decision-making process, I’ve drafted a concise checklist of vital characteristics you should consider.

Size

The size of the hole saw depends on the size of the hole you need. For instance, a much smaller hole saw size is needed for the door knob hole drilling. There are single hole saws you can pick on the market, but I always recommend purchasing a kit, unless you only need one application. 

Hole saw kits come with a variety of hole saw sizes, so make sure to check out the size chart of hole saws. Some cutters will be good for drilling metal, while others are better for plastic and even wood. The kits will give you more options to cut the perfect hole.

Kit Inclusions

In the kit I use, there are both drill bits and hole saws. While I often find the longer ones more effective, I can’t stress enough the importance of variety. You see, in my line of work, there are times when a shorter drill is just what’s needed. For instance, the kit includes pilot drills, which are typically used before employing the hole saw.

Some hole saw kits come with a spare pilot drill just in case the first one wears out. You may also find most hole saws with other accessories such as hex keys, quick-change augers, and a carrying case. While it’s not necessary if you already have these accessories in your arsenal, I say a carrying case is a great extra bonus to keep the components together.

Compatibility

Are hole saws compatible with both corded and cordless tools? In most cases, they are, but double-checking is always advisable. Ensure that the size of the hole cutter you require is compatible with the drill chuck and that the arbors and mandrels also fit properly. Additionally, check if the plugs are easy to change, preferably with an ejection spring or a speed slot.

Cutting Performance

In my line of work, the effectiveness of the hole saws determines the value of a kit. This becomes particularly evident when frequently cutting through thick metal. The ideal hole saw for metal should seamlessly drill through a metal workpiece, reminiscent of how a hot knife glides through butter.

Based on conversations with fellow electricians, the key is to ensure that the hole saw kit contains saws specifically designed to cut your material of choice, be it hardened steel or softer metals.

A way to guarantee the efficiency of the hole saw is also to look at the material and the durability, which brings us to the next section. 

Material Quality and Durability

You will get more holes and cuts out of the best models if they are crafted from high-grade robust materials. You may see terms like tungsten carbide, diamond hole saws, and titanium [1] plating, all of which are coveted materials that can make sure your hole saw will drill the perfect hole. 

Aside from the saw itself, you may also see the teeth of the saws coated with an extra coating of a tough element that will increase the strength even more. I have seen their fair share of broken and chipped teeth and trust us, it’s not something you want. 

The material quality will also increase heat resistance so you can get a good hole that’s clean with easy chip removal as well. 

There are hole saws that have gone through heat treatment processes that make them durable, but ice-hardened hole saws, which have gone through cryogenics are even more robust. As for the pilot drill, a cobalt steel pilot drill has proven to be reliable every time. 

Availability of Parts

No matter how tough the hole saw and pilot bits are, they will wear down over time and that’s just a fact. This is why it’s so important to know where you can get replacement pieces. Just in case components break, wear over time, or don’t fulfill your needs, having easy accessibility to parts will make all the difference.

Will the company send replacement parts if they’re broken on arrival? Can you purchase the parts you need easily either through their website or locally? These are all questions you can ask the manufacturer before clicking the buy button.

Price and Warranty

Speaking of sending replacement parts, another indicator of excellent quality in a hole cutter kit is the warranty. The warranty outlines what the brand will do if you are sent faulty products that can’t even drill one hole without breaking, or if the components break within a certain time frame.

The longer the warranty coverage is, the better quality the hole saw kit possesses. This is a generalization and may not always be true, so it’s vital to look at all the items in my buyer’s guide when you’re purchasing and not to only base your decision on the length of the warranty.

The standard warranty for many hole saw kits is about a year. However, I’ve come across some options that offer extended warranties. Impressively, some even come with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. This essentially means if the product doesn’t meet your expectations in any way, you can request a refund or a replacement.

Price is invariably a factor for many, regardless of the product in question. In the above selections, I strive to include items across various price points to cater to different needs and budgets. It’s worth noting that a heftier price tag doesn’t always equate to superior quality, so it’s essential to weigh all factors before making a decision.

Which is Better: Spade Bit or Hole Saw?

Do you need a hole saw or will a spade bit suffice? Spade bits are cheaper than a hole saw, which is much more attractive to many people. The role of the spade bit is to create rough holes through materials, but usually wood.

The hole saw is recommended if you need to cut through materials instead of just a partial hole. It cuts quickly through rather than adopting a gradual chipping movement. When you purchase a hole saw kit, you may get a series of saws that are diamond tipped, bi-metal with deep gullets, or carbide tipped.

The first one is excellent for glass and stone, bi-metal blades are for metals and wood and carbide-tipped blades are the best for wood. The main difference is that hole saws cannot create partial holes, while spade bits can. Hole saws are also available in larger sizes and are suitable for a variety of purposes. 

Attaching a Hole Saw to a Drill

To use a hole saw, one would need to attach it to a drill as a hole saw isn’t a completely separate independent saw. How exactly do you attach a hole saw to a drill without risking the drill bit coming loose or “walking”? 

The first part is to get to know the different parts of the hole saw, which look like cylindrical cups with sharp serrated edges. Most importantly, the pilot bit, the cutting blade, the arbor, and the slots. 

Arbors, also known as mandrels, are for connecting the drill chuck to the hole saw. Another function is to hold the pilot bit steady. The pilot bit is the part of the saw that drills a hole in order to guide the cutting blade through. This is the part that will see a lot of wear, which is why brands often include an extra one.

Users would attach the hole saw to the drill by attaching the pilot bit to the drill shaft securely. You would then use the threads on the spindle shaft to act as the primary attachment between the pilot drill and the saw, and then screw the parts together tightly and lock them in place with the positive locking system. 

FAQ

How thick of metal can you cut with a hole saw?

You can cut through thicker metal using a hole saw with bigger teeth. The thickness of the metal depends on the size of the hole cutter. In general, hole saws can cut steel up to 25mm thick which carbide-toothed blades can carry out without issue. 

Can you use diamond hole saw on metal?

Yes, you can use a diamond hole saw on metal. In fact, it is what I suggest to use on metal materials. Diamond-tipped saws are stronger and harder and have the most excellent heat resistance. You won’t need to exert too much pressure to get perfect round holes. 

What is the best bit to drill through metal?

The best bit to drill through metal is any of the ones included in the Lenox Tools hole saw combo. Each of the saws is 50% more durable than previous models and can handle metal sheets and are compatible with a cordless or corded tool. 

My Top Pick For a Hole Saw For Metal:
Lenox Tool Hole Saw Kit

Among the best hole saws for metal we tested, I raved about the Lenox Tool Hole Saw Kit because of the durability along with the reliability of the parts. 

The design effectively removes sawdust and chips with wood and the thicker walls make the saw blades strong enough to handle thicker metal without any tooth loss. The speed slot makes it easy to remove and replace the hole saws as needed for various applications.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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