If you had to compile a short list of must-have tools to ensure a smooth and painless cabinet install, what would you include? A level? An impact driver? A cordless planer? All those tools are perfectly acceptable, and would be on my list for sure, but let me share with you another tool that has made our cabinet installs that much quicker and easier…the lowly hole saw, but more specifically, the Spyder TCT Hole Saws.
Spyder Hole Saw
We have used a plethora of hole saws over the past 8 years on our cabinet installs, I have a drawer full of old burned out ones to prove it, but over the past two years the Spyder hole saws have become king of the construction jungle.
I know that all the major manufacturers design their hole saws to be removed from the center pilot bit, but the Spyder hole saws have the easiest system I have ever used. Simply press the button, the one with the cute little spider on it, and slide off the hole saw. This allows us to easily use one pilot bit for multiple sizes. The “Tab A into Slot B” system make the transition from one size to another quick and easy. If you passed middle school health class then you are already a pro at this.
Core Ejection System
The most novel innovation with these bits, and the reason they captured my attention so completely, was the core ejection system. Everytime you use a hole saw, you are left with the core stuck in the hole saw. I have used all sorts of techniques to deal with the left over core.
My go-to method was to rock the hole saw back and forth as I drilled, thereby making the core slightly loose inside the hole saw and more easily removed. The downside to this method was the fact that it also made the hole a bit larger than desired, which is not a big deal for plumbing lines, but is an issue when drilling for grommets.
My other plan of attack was to use a long drill bit to push the core out, little by little, via the holes in the side of the saw. The irritation and tedium of this task made using a hole saw one of the most-loathed steps on an install.
Don’t let me forget to mention the time I used my pinky finger to work out a wood core and accidentally touched the drill’s trigger. Yeah, it was a dumb move…and it hurt…and it scared the crap out of me…and solidified my hatred of hole saws. Thankfully, no broken finger.
Spyder core ejection
The image above shows how the Spyder hole saw design is light years ahead of anything else I have seen or used. Once a hole has been drilled, push the button with the cute little spider on it, slide the saw backwards to expose the wood core, remove the core from the bit, reset the hole saw, and smile. If you are a coordinated person, this process takes 2 seconds tops. Only slightly longer if you are tired or clumsy.
TCT vs. BiMetal Teeth
Choosing the right drilling teeth is critical for good performance. We prefer the tungsten carbide tooth version versus the BiMetal tooth version, not because of the metal per say, but because of the number of teeth. The TCT version has three teeth and is a speed demon when it comes to drilling through wood. The resulting hole isn’t the most beautiful, but that is the trade off. The BiMetal version has more teeth, giving it a cleaner cut, but is not as fast. We use the TCT versions on all of our cabinet installs, but if you drill a lot of grommet holes, I would look at using the BiMetal version.
Imagine a 50’s style commercial for Spyder. Our hero (Fabio, or me, either one would work) would ride in on a white stallion, calm a furious carpenter (about to go postal from years of dealing with inferior hole saws), whip out a Spyder, and ride off into the sunset, having simultaneously saved the day, and the metal health, of construction workers everywhere!
Cheesy? For sure! But it pretty much illustrates what I think of these hole saws.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.