I recently participated in a Home Depot Lumber DIY Challenge where I built a Connect-4-style yard game. The project called for some quite a few cuts with the hole saw. By the end of the project, I’d learned some tricks to get the cuts just right. Check out the step-by-step tutorial below!


See all Build Basic Tool Tutorals


Cost: None

Time: 15 Minutes

Difficulty: Moderate. This tool requires some practice, but one you get the hang of it, it’s very simple to use.

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Hole Saw

Hole Saw Arbor – This is the drill bit that the set into the drill and the hole saw attaches to. Some hole saws come with this attached. If not, pick one up that fits your drill/driver (½-inch or 3/8-inch).

Plywood or board that’s thinner than the depth of the hole saw, so that the teeth can run all the way through the material.




1. Drill the Pilot Hole


Mark the center of the circle on the board. Because hole saws have a tendency to wander until the drill bit bites into the wood, begin by drilling a pilot hole. For pinpoint accuracy, use a brad point drill bit, which has a sharp point that can be pressed into the wood over the mark.
How to Use a Hole Saw by Build Basic - www.build-basic.com

www.Build-Basic.com2. Place the Hole Saw


Place the hole saw’s drill bit into the pilot hole.


3. Make the Cut


Holding the drill/driver with both hands, start the drill and bring the bit up to speed. The trick is to gently plunge the bit until the hole saw scuffs the surface of the wood for a second. If you plunge too fast, the hole saw bites in too hard and binds up. Once the saw begins to cut, slowly plunge through the cut without pushing. Once the saw breaks through the opposite side, stop the drill/driver, allow the bit to stop turning, and then lift the saw out of the hole.


4. Remove the Disc


Unplug the battery from the drill/driver. Insert the end of a screwdriver into a hole on the side of the saw, and then push out the disc.




6 thoughts on “How to Use a Hole Saw

    1. Jenn Post author

      Hi Toni,

      I cut the holes with the hole saw and then filled the holes with wood filler before I painted them. Hope this helps!


  1. Johnny Rodebaugh

    I’m building this game for our church teens class. Was wondering with 35 five inch disk………there need to be equal colored disk, so 17 of one color and 18 of another, right? This game has 35 holes, other games of this style have 42 holes (with 42 disks) 21 of each color……….just wondering what your total disk numbers were painted when you completed your game?


  2. Steve S.

    Your hole saws should be a ½” smaller, e.g. 3″ and 3 ½ or 4″ as the two shown cost $65. Large hole saws like these demand a corded drill, preferably a half-inch which few of your hobbiests would have.

    The hole saw does not leave a hole “about 3 ¾” – the wall of hole saws is exactly 1/16″ thus leaving a hole ⅛” smaller which is essential to know in laying out the full sheet as others have called to your attrention.

    Your drawings as you have already acknowledged to other writers should show diumensions to center of hole and be more ccomplete/better drawn


  3. brad hook

    i love your plans&tips i find your site very interesting& have learned a few tricks from it it is what it is build basic.your plans are very well laid out .good for you keep up the good work! have a nice day.
    brad hook@ca.


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