how to use a hole saw without pilot bit

How to Use a Hole Saw Without Pilot Bit?

With the help of a hole saw, you can make round holes in different materials. Hole saws are suitable when drilling thick materials because the pilot bit of a hole saw can break or split a thin material.

So, is it possible to avoid breaking or splitting a thin material when making a hole using a hole saw? Yes, you can. When drilling a large diameter hole, using a hole is mandatory without a pilot bit.

Let’s learn how to use a hole saw without a pilot bit reading this article.

Important Parts of a Hole Saw

Process of Using a Hole Saw Without Pilot Bit

Required ingredients

  • Hex-head wrench (1/16”)
  • Guide plate to match the hole saw
  • Hand clamps (2)
  • Drill (cordless)
  • ¾” X 4” X 4” scrap wood

Step 01: The bit needs to take out from the saw; by unscrewing the collet you can do so. Take assistance from a 1/16” hex-head wrench to remove the drill bit. Then again, the collet needs to be screwed onto the hole saw.

Step 02: Now, it is time to clamp the object onto the guide plate. Ensure you clamped the object in the position where you want to drill. If the clamp can’t hold the material, hold it using your hand.

Step 03: The hole saw needs to be inserted without the pilot bit into the drill.

Step 04: Next, the hole saw requires to be inserted into the guide plate. Turn the tool on and start drilling with less speed. Allow the teeth to create a perimeter hole. Don’t stop until you drill ½” deep. After making the hole, turn the tool off.

Step 05: Hold the drill at your arm’s length, it is necessary to generate enough pressure. Ensure you hold the drill into the hole as you move backward and confirm your position, which should be aligned vertically. Whenever required, adjust. And then drilling should be continued. 

Step 06: If you experience a bind or burn in the hole when drilling, take out the hole saw from the hole. Clean the hole by blowing the dust. Then again, start drilling. This way, drilling through an object is perfect and you will have access to the back of it. While you are within approximately ½” of the entrance to the other side of the wood, hold a scrap wood piece behind the drilled wood. Hold the wood piece tightly against the back where the saw creates the hole. Let the drill create a complete hole, and the hole saw will get stopped by the scrap wood piece.


A hole saw is prone to kick back, so be prepared for that when working with it. Don’t forget to brace your arms and wrist throughout the drilling process.

Tips When Dealing with Hole Saw

Using Side Handle

It would be best if you use a side handle when drilling a larger hole. It will let you get additional stability. Moreover, drilling harder materials are quite challenging. With the side handle installed in your hole saw, you can provide extra download pressure to drill through hard materials.

Remember to Keep the Drill Straight

It will help if you hold the drill straight because it will ensure the hole will be neat and clean. Also, an accurate result is guaranteed.

Use of Lubricating Oil

You need to use lubricating oil when you are drilling metallic materials. Rotating and making the drill by the hole saw through metal will be easier if you do so. Besides, it also removes metal shards from the kerf.

How Can I Get Long-Term Service from a Hole Saw?

To get long-term service, it is essential to know how to take proper care of the hole saw.


Periodic cleaning will make sure that your hole saw will deliver the best result all the time. When drilling a wood or metal piece, the production of dust and chipping is common. For this reason, clean your hole saw thoroughly.

Remember, sharpening hole saw teeth is challenging when they are dull. Moreover, don’t force the saw to drill. Otherwise, tooth stripping will happen.


When your hole saw blade gets dull, replace it instead of sharpening it. Hole saw teeth are relatively inexpensive.

If you decide to sharpen the teeth, you can use a hand file to clean every tooth separately. However, you can do the task using a bench grinder, but it will take too much time to finish.

So, replacing the teeth is much more beneficial than re-sharpening.


Many of us forget to store a tool after using it correctly; this should be avoided.

After using your hole, proper storage is compulsory. Check and ensure whether the hole saw is cleaned correctly. This will ensure that the hole saw will deliver the best result when you use it for another project in the future.

Store it in a dry place so that rust or corrode can’t damage the tool.

Can I Cut Tiles Using a Hole Saw Without a Pilot Bit?

Tiles are brittle materials, and when cutting them using a hole saw, they can break or split because of the powerful force of the hole saw. You can avoid damaging brittle materials when you use a hole saw without a pilot bit.

Wrap Up

Dealing with a hole saw requires small practice, and when you are familiar with it, making an accurate, clean, and neat hole will be a matter of time.

They can make holes through a variety of materials such as wood, metal, etc. And learning how to use a hole saw without a pilot bit will let you make a hole in brittle materials effortlessly. If you don’t have a hole saw in your toolbox, buy one and take your woodworking or carpentry task to the next level.