Maxtech Quick-Draw Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set

Unique and convenient quick-draw mandrel and arbor system

maxtech_52043MX

Maxtech Quick-Draw Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set



Hole saws are a staple for plumbers, electricians, renovators, carpenters and avid DIYers - there's just no quicker or better way to punch holes through 2-by lumber, drywall, plaster, aluminum, plastic, fiberglass and thin sheet metal.
 
The Maxtech Quick-Draw Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set (52043MX) comes with 9 bi-metal hole saws from 3/4" to 2-1/2". This is a good selection of the most frequently used sizes for general purpose cutting. The set also includes 9 matching arbors, 9 twist bits, a quick-draw mandrel, and a storage case.


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The kit: 9 saws, 9 arbors, 1 quick-draw mandrel and storage case

The kit comes in a hard plastic storage case, which makes it convenient to store and transport the hole saw set to and from a job site. However, I would have preferred a more durable case - this case looks like it won't withstand jobsite abuse for very long.
 

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Twist bit, hole saw and arbor

Each hole saw comes with its own arbor (or adapter). The arbor fits tightly against the saw, virtually eliminating vibration in use. It's easy to remove the saw and bit from the arbor, and you can replace them with any brand of 1/4" bit and any standard bi-metal hole saw.
 
The twist bits are made of titanium-coated 4241 high speed steel that is slightly below the medium grade 4341 steel. However, these bits can still drill steel of common hardness reasonably well, and they are very suitable for wood, plastic and composite materials. Replacement bits are widely available for around $6.


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Variable tooth set (A) and size (B)  
      
The welding on these saws looks to be very good, and as with most of the better quality hole saws today, these feature a variable tooth pattern (both the tooth set and size vary), which provides for quicker cutting and less heat build-up, particularly in wood. The saws are made from a molybdenum high speed grade of M3 steel that provides fast cutting and good impact resistance, though it's a somewhat lower grade than M3 steel that has a high percentage of cobalt content.
 
The saws have an ample 1-3/4" depth of cut, which you'll appreciate when you need to cut through 2-by lumber.
 
How long the Maxtech saws will last is hard to tell. Tool life - the number of holes you can expect to cut over the life of the saw - is affected by a number of factors, including the type and thickness of stock you're cutting, drilling speed, how prudent you are about removing swarf from the teeth, and whether you use a lubricant (when cutting metal).
 
Heat is the number one enemy of all saw blades, and hole saws, in particular, have trouble getting rid of the swarf (wood or metal chips) that builds up around the cutting edge. You can reduce heat build-up by blowing out the swarf periodically (retract the hole saw from the hole when doing this), and by matching your drilling speed to the size of hole saw - when drilling 1" or smaller holes in dimensional lumber keep the speed at around 700 RPM; for holes up to 2-1/2" reduce the speed to 500 RPM. When drilling 1" or smaller holes in mild steel keep your drill at 500 RPM, dropping to 350 RPM for holes over 1". If you want to use higher speeds then consider purchasing carbide-tipped saws, which work better on hard steel, ceramic tile, brick and cinder block, cement board, and fiber cement anyway.


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Quick-Draw mandrel
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Hole saw mounted on mandrel
The quick-draw mandrel is essentially an oversized hex bit holder. It has a 3/8" shank - just chuck it into your drill driver, and then push into onto the arbor of the hole saw you want to use. Two ball detents in the mandrel snap onto the shank of the hole saw adapter providing super fast hole saw change-out.
 

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It's 'hand's off' with the quick-draw adapter

Anyone who has used hole saws knows that they heat up in use, particularly when drilling metal. With the quick-draw system you don't touch the hole saws with your hands. Simply push the mandrel onto the arbor of the saw you want to use - the two will snap together. To release the arbor just pull back on the collar of the mandrel. Very cool.


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Reasonably easy plug removal    

Plug removal is the bane of anyone who uses a hole saw. On the Maxtech saws there are two slots in which you can insert a screwdriver or other tool to pry out the plug. I found it works quite well.
 
I feel that the Maxtech Quick-Draw Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set (52043MX) represents good value, and if you don't particularly like the hole saws, you can replace them with your preferred brand as they wear out. However, the quick-draw mandrel and arbor system is a keeper.


maxtech_logo

KEY FEATURES:

  • 9 hole saws with arbors: 3/4", 7/8", 1-18", 1-3/8", 1-1/2", 1-3/4", 2", 2-1/4", 2-1/2"
  • Arbors can be used with any standard bi-metal hole saw
  • Quick-draw mandrel
  • M3 bi-metal steel with variable tooth pattern
  • Plastic storage case

MANUFACTURER:Maxtech
AVAILABLE FROM:Home Hardware
Sears
RETAIL PRICE:$89.99
MODEL #:52043MX
MADE IN:China

Carl Duguay, May 2012
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