Tool of the Week: Hole Saw

Several weeks ago, I moved into a new rental house. That move is part of the reason I haven’t been blogging lately. I’ve been too busy using tools to write about them.

One of my new projects was to install a new door, complete with a dog door. My landlord obviously didn’t want me to put a big hole in her door, so I bought a new door from Second Use to use while I live at the rental. The door from Second Use was a brand new unfinished door. It needed a bit of trimming, a few coats of paint, and a door knob. I was in a little over my head. My brother (who I convinced to help me with this project) and I made a trip to the West Seattle Tool Library. When we left, we were all set to tackle this door project. We got some great advice from the experts at Ask an Expert, and left with some tools to help make the project easier, including a few hole saws.

A hole saw is a round saw blade that attaches to a drill. It can cut holes quicker and easier than other hole-cutting tools, making it invaluable in cutting large holes. A hole saw is powered by a portable drill. It often contains a drill bit in the middle that sticks out much farther than the hole saw blade to help anchor the hole saw while it’s cutting.

Hole saws come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a quarter of an inch all the way up past six inches. While the Tool Library doesn’t currently carry any that large, we do have more than enough shapes and sizes to assist with most projects. Most of our hole saws have saw teeth cutting blades, which are great for cutting through wood, plastic, and metal. We also have one 1 3/8 diamond blade hole saw that is capable of cutting through stone, brick, glass and concrete. And we are always glad to accept donations of more sizes of hole saws, to help round out our collection.

As with any other saw blade, when using a hole saw it is important to wear safety glasses and ear protection. Gloves may also be helpful, depending on the material being cut. Avoid wearing any loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the saw or the drill. And, if cutting through dense material or if doing a lot of cutting, be sure to take breaks to prevent the blade from overheating. When you finish cutting your hole, allow the saw blade to cool before handling to prevent burning your fingers. I speak from experience here.

Thanks to the Tool Library, we were able to install the door without having to purchase any tools. Here are a few pictures of the process:


My brother, drilling the hole for the doorknob. The blue and yellow plastic piece on the door is a guide for the hole saw, and is part of Tool # 630, Door Lock Installation Kit.


A shot showing the hole saw with the core inside, and the new hole in the door.


A final shot, of my brother, this time drilling the hole for the latch.

I’m going to write a few more articles about installing this door before I post final pictures of the door. Look for the next installment of Christina’s New Door next week!

The West Seattle Tool Library has a collection of over 1,500 tools currently available, is free to use and run primarily on user donations. Our entire inventory is available online. For more information on becoming a member, please visit our website. If you are interested in volunteering at the Tool Library, please contact us at: library@sustainablewestseattle.org

Follow us on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WSToolLibrary

Twitter: @WSToolLibrary

and Meetup: www.meetup.com/West-Seattle-Tool-Library/

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