Troubleshooting Problems with a Hole Saw

A hole saw.

A hole saw can be an excellent tool for cutting round holes in woods and other materials, such as for locks in doors. You can have problems with them, however, and that will necessitate some troubleshooting on your part to discover what’s wrong. Most problems you’ll encounter with a hole saw are quite simple to resolve and can be fixed quickly.

Not Cutting Properly

If you’re experiencing a great deal of trouble in making the saw cut through the wood there are two possible causes. The first could be the drill itself. Your drill needs to have plenty of torque to power a hole saw through the wood. If you have a cheap drill, it’s perfectly possible that you simply don’t have the power in the drill to make the hole saw cut properly. The solution is to buy a drill with greater torque.

If your hole saw has worked well with the dill in the past, it might be that the teeth on the hole saw blade are no longer as sharp as they need to be to do the job properly. If this is the case, sharpening them with a sharpening tool with take care of the problem very easily.


A hole saw can easily bind with dust if it’s not used correctly. The problem here will usually be your technique. You have to keep the drill bit firmly on the center of the planned hole. If you allow it to wander, not only will your cut be wrong, but you’ll also find sawdust binding and stopping the hole saw.

If you’re not sure of the correct way to use a hole saw, practice on scrap wood to learn before using it on an important project. That way you’ll be certain to obtain a clean cut when you need it.


A relatively common problem with a hole saw is for a slug of wood to become stuck in the saw. You can buy a slug ejector tool to remove them, but this costs money you don’t need to spend.

If you look at the blade of the hole saw you’ll notice two small holes in the back. You can insert small objects into both of these and push down to remove the slug. An alternative method is to drive a pair of screws into the slug from the underside and then pull the slug out with a pair of pliers. Both these methods will work well and cost you absolutely nothing except a short amount of time.

Other Materials

Make sure you have the correct hole saw for the material. You can use a hole saw on many different things. In addition to wood, it’s also useful on sheet metal and even tile. Note that a single hole saw isn’t right for everything. If you’re having problems with cutting, be certain that the blade is the right one. If you use the wrong blade, not only will it not cut or cut raggedly, but you also risk doing great damage to the blade.