How to Choose Between a Metal Hole Saw And an Annular Cutter

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Published: 21st January 2011
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It can be difficult to decide whether a metal hole saw or annular cutter will be best to drill the holes that you need. It all comes down to the specifics of your project. In very few cases will both tools be equally preferable. Normally, one will vastly outperform the other. Some of the most common factors that will dictate which tool is better includes: size of hole, material being drilled into, necessary precision, ect. Here is quick comparison of these tools and what they can do for you.

The first thing to look at in any tool you are considering is versatility. If you currently don't own either of these tools, then you want to make sure that you choose the tool that is most versatile. Until recently, the metal hole saw would always be considered the most versatile because a drill press was needed for an annular cutter. However, recently a number of cutters have been designed to work the lower amount of torque that a twist drill provides. If there is a versatility drawback to the saw, it is the arbor. In some cases, you might be better off making some adjustments to the tool such as replacing the standard arbor with a larger bolt for added stability.

The next thing that you should consider is whether you want to purchase a full tool set or an accessory. If you have the ability to purchase a full set of tools, then a metal hole saw is the way to go. Remember the saw itself is the primary tool; however the annular is more similar to a bit, which is considered an accessory. By purchasing the complete tool set, you have the option to work through a variety of different projects simply by adding more accessories. In the long run, it could prove to be a much wiser purchase.

The final thing to consider is effectiveness. The annular bit is very effective at creating precise holes; however the sizes are limited because the bits are only made so large. If the size of the hole is your big selling point, then using a metal hole saw will likely be a better choice. In most cases it will offer you a larger overall selection in hole size options. Additionally, a number of tactics can be used to overcome potential deficiencies. For example, if the blades are getting caught up with dust or bits of excess material, using a shop vacuum can quickly clear all of this up and get you back to work.

As you can see, if you are trying to choose between a metal hole saw and an annular cutter, then there are a number of different factors that you can look at. If you are rarely going to need to drill holes, then you may not want to purchase a full set of tools for this purpose, which means that an annular bit attached to your twist drill might be the best choice. However, if you will need to create a varying size of holes, in varying materials on a regular basis, then the hole saw is going to be the best choice.


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