5 Tips On How To Sharpen A Hole Saw

A hole saw is confusing since, at first glance, it is barely recognizable as a saw. Even the most expert woodworker would, at times, find it hard to recognize the tool. Nonetheless, the woodworking industry has been using the hole saw extensively to make round shapes in a thin surface of wood or plywood.  

It works swiftly and accurately, but the drawback is that the blade gets dull somewhat quicker than your expectation. So, you may want to know how to sharpen a hole saw for precise and high-productive cutting results. 

Our tutorial includes the same with step-by-step instructions to sharpen the hole saw. We will also briefly describe the tool’s essential maintenance to keep it sharper for a long period. 

What Is A Hole Saw?

Since the hole saw is a confusing term, let us clarify its definition and usage in the woodworking sector. 

The hole saw is an especial cutting tool with an annular or ring-shaped blade. Workers use it to make holes inside the material without cutting the core of the material. So, the whole creation becomes faster and produces less wastage. 

The hole saw uses an annular kerf with a ring-shaped blade to perform such intricate and decorative cuts. Some people refer to it as a hole cutter also. You will need to attach the hole saw with a drill to use it on the cutting material. 

Its cup shape is unique. The depth of the cup shape will also define how deep you can cut on the wood and ply boards. You will see its most common applications in the following sectors. 

  • In the plumbing industry to create holes 
  • Cutting through wood 
  • Creating small holes in masonry 
  • Cutting through the entire stone 
  • Drainage pipe installation 

The cutting accuracy and speed depend on the sharpness of the hole saw. The sharper it is, the better you can make those essential holes. 

Read moreBest hole saw kit

How to Sharpen A Hole Saw

The cutting tool accommodates tiny teeth at its end. As the drill rotates the saw, these teeth cut through the material. Nonetheless, the teeth would worn-out to become dull too quickly. So, you will have to sharpen them frequently. 

But hole saw sharpening is not so easy as most people consider. In fact, it is way tougher than sharpening the circular saw or table saw blade. It needs penultimate precision, and so is challenging enough to test your skills. 

Step 1: Using A Universal Sharpener 

You can use a universal sharpener to remove the hole saw dullness. At first, hold the power saw firmly with your non-dominant hand. Find the vice-grip of the sharpener and then locate the drill end. Now, carefully place the hole saw in the drill end. 

Since the vice grip drill end is disconnected, you will have to fix it with the correct fitting. If you can’t identify the drill end, you might follow the below-mentioned tip. 

If you have ever seen a standard drill, the drill end will be similar to that of the drill’s chuck grip. The end accommodates a twisting head. It is easily evolvable to attach and fix any pieces within it with any length. 

Your sharpener will come with a key to fix the chunk grip. Use the key to tighten the sharpener grip to hold the hole saw firmly. Make sure you don’t over pull the saw. Otherwise, the saw teeth will get damaged. 

Step 2: Set Up the Sharpener 

At first, loosen the grip head of the universal sharpener. You can use the key provided with the sharpener to loosen the head grip. 

Once loosened, put the hole saw on the sharpener head. The teeth of the hole saw should rest on the sharpener blade. The teeth resting on the saw needs to be gentle and not firm. Fix the hole saw teeth on the sharpener blade by tightening the screw knob. You can use the key or screwdriver to fix the knob firmly. 

Make sure the hole saw doesn’t move once you start the sharpening process. If any movement happens, it will ruin the entire project. You will also have to place the teeth properly. Use the head angle changer of the sharpener to adjust the teeth quickly. You will find the head knob changer right at the front of the tool. 

Step 3: Mark the Starting Point 

A hole saw sharpening process requires you to complete an entire circle to perform the task. It is necessary to avoid dual revolution without even understating when and how did the second round happen. If you perform the second revolution unknowingly, it will damage the hole saw teeth. 

So, fix the starting point on the hole saw and use a pencil or permanent marker to identify the beginning point. It will help you avoid the unnecessary and harmful second sharpening revolution. So, your hole saw will become accurately sharp. 

Step 4: Adjust the Dust-Collector Hose 

When you sharpen a hole saw, the workplace will become dirty with specs of dust. So, you might face difficulty in seeing the hole saw. Also, it might harm your eyesight. So, attach a hose with the vacuum cleaner or shop-vac at your workshop. 

In most cases, the universal sharpener will come with a hose attachment for dust collection. You will have to place the hose right under the attached saw with the sharpening blade. When you set up the dust collector hose correctly, it will accumulate the flying metal dust to keep the workplace neat and clean. 

Step 5: Start the Sharpening 

Once again, check that the hole saw setup, shop-vac connection, and the head grip fixing is all done correctly. Then, start the sharpening machine. Once the machine’s blade starts rotating, press the hole saw firmly against it. 

Hold each tooth of the power saw against the blade for two to three seconds. Then, twist the saw to shift to the next teeth. You will have to repeat the sharpening process until you reach the last tooth of the hole saw. 

This way, you can quickly sharpen all the teeth of the hole saw without overdoing the process. 

You May Interested:Best Hole Saw for Cutting Thick Metal

Maintenance Tips for the Hole Saw

A hole saw is a susceptible tool. So, it asks for extensive maintenance. It includes-

  1. After each use of the hole saw, don’t forget to clean it. The timely cleaning will remove the fillings, chips, and dust from its teeth. 
  2. Pull out the saw now and then from the hole. It will allow you to clear out the sawdust and chippings from it. This way, the teeth remain sharp for an extended period. 
  3. Always ensure that the teeth of the power saw are aligned correctly with the cutting material. It offers precision cutting results. It also stops erratic saw movement and reduces its slippage for safe use. 
  4. Always use premium lubricating oil to lubricate the hole saw when you use it to prepare holes on the metal and plumbing pipes. The lubrication reduces the cutting friction and allows an extended cutting period. 
  5. When sharpening doesn’t work, or the blade is too dull, you must replace it without a second thought. 

how to keep a hole saw from walking


Due to excessive use and sensitivity, the hole saw teeth get dull too soon. And a dull saw is injurious for use. It might slip anytime to cause the users cuts and wounds. Also, your cutting results will be much less accurate than your expectation. 

You can eliminate these issues with our guidelines on how to sharpen a hole saw. The process has been described with detailed steps. Thereby, even a newbie will find the sharpening process easy.

Sharing Is Caring:

Hi! I'm James D. Miller, a professional pro woodworker, have 10 years of experience as a woodworker and 12 years of expertise as a saw user. I've revealed this power saw review site for you guys who have a genuine interest in power tools. Thanks for showing your affinity for the review blog. Find me on Twitter here. Happy reading.

Leave a Comment