How to Use a Hole Saw in a Drill Press

A Step by Step Tutorial with Photos

I like to use a hole saw to make large holes in lumber. The only problem I have is that when I attach it to my drill, I can never get it perpendicular to the piece I’m making the hole in! So to solve that issue, I use my drill press which to me is a whole lot easier! I put together a quick tutorial on how to use a hole saw in a drill press.

how to use a hole saw in a drill press

A hole saw is just that – a saw that makes holes. Hole saws come in all sorts of sizes ranging from 9/16″ all the way up to 6″, and can cut holes in a variety of materials such as sheet metal, glass and tile, and wood. I recently used mine to cut a series of holes in a 1×6 to create a wine cradle for a liquor cabinet.

To start, draw lines marking the position of the holes on the lumber. I wanted to drill six holes evenly spaced at 5″ on center. I located the lengthwise center of the board, then made marks evenly spaced across the board.

how to use a hole saw in a drill press mark holes

Insert the hole saw in the chuck of the drill or drill press. Hole saws generally have a pilot bit on the center which makes locating the center of the holes extremely easy. Align the pilot bit over the mark and start drilling the hole.

how to use a hole saw in a drill press inserted

Align the pilot bit over the mark and start drilling the hole.

how to use a hole saw in a drill press pilot bit

Go slow, and do not use a lot of force – that is a quick way to burn the wood, dull the hole saw, and overheat the drill! Only drill partway through the board.

how to use a hole saw in a drill press drilling holes

Flip the board over and align the pilot bit with the pilot hole already created on the opposite side. Finish drilling the hole. If the hole is drilled from both sides, it creates less tearout and makes a much cleaner hole!

how to use a hole saw in a drill press back side

So there you have it! A nice, clean (and in my case – straight) hole!

how to use a hole saw in a drill press finished

how to use a hole saw in a drill press multiple holes

A hole saw is a great tool and an inexpensive kit can be had for around $30. I hope this tutorial on how to use a hole saw in a drill press has taken some of the guess work out of creating holes but if you have questions, leave a comment below!

Originally posted 2013-07-25 08:00:04.