We introduced the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saw System back in September. This innovation in the hole saw world came with great anticipation due to the potential to alleviate one of the more irritating hole saw characteristics – core ejection. A second feature built in to the same system is the Spyder Rapid Switch. This gives the ability to quickly change out hole saws for different sizes or applications. We got our hands on several of the options within the system to try them out and see if they are everything that they are advertised to be.
Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbors
At the heart of the system is the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbor. You’ve got two options for material based on the application you’re tackling. You’ll want to make sure that you match the High Speed Steel arbors with the Bi-Metal Hole Saws and Tungsten Carbide Arbors with Tungsten Carbide Hole Saws to avoid damage to the pilot bits.
The Spyder Rapid Switch feature eliminates the need to tighten down the hole saw with an additional nut on the arbor. Two prongs that stick up hold the hole saw securely. To install a saw, pull down at the base of the arbor to recess the prongs while you screw down the hole saw. Then release the arbor and rotate the saw until it lock into place. To release the saw, pull the prongs down again and unscrew it.
To initiate the Spyder Rapid Core Eject, push the blue spider button on the front of the arbor. Then slide the saw down the pilot bit to expose the core. Grab hold and pull the core off. Push the arbor back until it snaps into place and you’re ready for the next application.
Spyder Rapid Core Eject arbors are available in either 10 mm or 13 mm sizes. The pilot drill bit can be removed and replaced without having to replace the entire arbor. They are sold either individually or as part of a set with other Spyder Hole Saws.
Spyder Rapid Core Eject System Hole Saws
There are three types of hole saws in Spyder’s family. These are just hole saws and not specific to the Spyder Rapid Core Eject System, but Spyder is proud of the products they produce and heartily recommend them. One unique feature of the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbor is that it give you the ability to stack two hole saws. If you cut your first hole too small, use it as the pilot by placing inside a larger hole saw and drill with both at the same time. The prongs are long enough to securely hold both.
Spyder Bi-Metal Hole Saws HSS
Matching up with the High Speed Steel Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbor are the HSS Bi-Metal Hole Saws. These low speed hole saws range in diameter from 5/8″ to 8-9/32″ (16 – 210 mm). You’ll notice a 4/6 variable pitch and size to the teeth which is designed to leave clean edges. They are capable of cutting a 1-1/2″ deep hole into the following materials:
- Cast Iron
- Acrylic Glass
- Non-Ferrous Metals
Spyder Bi-Metal Hole Saws HSS+
Spyder’s HSS+ Bi-Metal Hole Saws are designed to do exactly what the HSS line does only better. The inclusion of an 8% Cobalt blend makes these a high speed option that improves performance and durability. These also use the High Speed Steel Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbor.
Spyder Pro TCT Hole Saws
The Spyder Pro TCT Hole Saws offer a Tungsten Carbide Tipped option. These claim to provide extreme durability with at least 5x the cutting speed and 50x more cuts than bi-metal saws in recommended applications. You’ll notice fewer teeth on these as they resemble the teeth found on high end circular saw blades rather than hand saw blades. The 1-3/4″ hole saw we received has only two teeth while the 2-9/16″ has just 3. The available diameters are the same range as the bi-metal hole saws at 5/8″ to 8-9/32″. These are deeper and and can cut up to a 2″ hole. You’ll need to pair the Pro TCT Hole Saws with the Tungsten Carbide Tipped Spyder Rapid Core Eject Arbor. The Pro TCT Hole Saws are rated for the following materials:
- Tropical Hardwoods
- Tile (up to hardness level 6)
- Cellular Concrete
- Plastics (including PVC, Nylon, and Polyester)
Using the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saw System
I’m going to be putting the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saw System through a variety of application to test the features. I’ll compare the Spyder Rapid Core Eject and Rapid Change systems to a traditional hole saw. I’ll also test the claims of performance increases of the Pro TCT Hole Saws to the Bi-Metal Hole Saws in wood. In addition to that, I’ll try out this idea of using two hole saws to increase the diameter of a hole drilled too small.
Cutting Through OSB
OSB is a relatively easy test for any hole saw. Even bargain basement hole saws should be able to push through in well under one minute. Although bi-metal is technically a “low speed” hole saw, most users are going with maximum speed to push through faster. In the spirit of fairness, I tested all three in both high and low speeds.
The standard hole saw was able to cut through in 27.55 seconds in low speed and 10.68 seconds in high speed. Not bad all things considered. The Spyder Rapid Core Eject Bi-Metal Hole Saw made it through at a slightly faster pace in low speed – 24.86 seconds. At high speed though, it ripped through the OSB sheet in just 5.11 seconds. Then came the Pro TCT Hole Saw… at low speed, it chewed through in 4.68 seconds, faster than either bi-metal hole saw at high speed. It shaved almost 2 seconds off of that in high speed at 2.77 seconds.
Making Holes in 2x Pressure Treated Lumber
This is the real stress test for hole saws. A lot of applications call for making holes in 2x material, though not always in pressure treated. Many professionals opt for spade bits before trying to use a hole saw and for good reason. It’s very possible for a cut to take several minutes to make it through, particularly if the wood is damp. For interior applications, the wood is often not pressure treated and should be dry, but for exterior….
The lumber I used was slightly damp and there was some significant effect on the drilling speed because of it. The standard hole saw didn’t get to play this time around. Why not? It was too short to make it all the way through. This is not uncommon, though. Most people drill as deep as they can go on one side, then use the pilot hole made by the bit to know where to drill in on the opposite side. I decided not to even put up with that mess since both Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saws were long enough.
The Bi-Metal Hole Saw took a while to chew through. As my arms got tired of pushing the drill, I was really wanting a better option. At high speed, it took 1:10.22, but at a high torque low speed setting? An arm numbing 3:07.11! I sincerely hoped that the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Pro TCT Hole was as awesome in this material. I wasn’t disappointed. 46.06 seconds in low speed and blasting through in 27.18 seconds in high speed.
Several points of discussion came up during this test. First, I noticed that the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Pro TCT Hole Saws really shave wood as opposed to sawing at it. When you look at the wood shavings coming out during cutting, you being to realize that the high material removal is why this style is so much faster than traditional teeth.
The blessing of fast material removal can also be a curse though. Even in my fastest test, I managed to get the hole saw to bind up the drill as it went deeper into the material. While fast, it was also tough to keep the momentum going through the entire cut. While not as frequent in high torque/low speed, you have to be very careful of bind up. I lost focus for just a second and wrenched my arm pretty well when the hole saw caught. You’re likely better off in high speed/low torque where the drill binds up rather than risking the injury.
I only ran into one issue with the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Bi-Metal Hole Saw, but it was significant. When testing the 2-9/16″ hole saw, the core actually got stuck to the point that I couldn’t come close to removing it. The most likely cause for this is that the heat generated during the cut caused the wood to swell inside the saw. Users dealing with damp lumber will want to be conscience of this. I ended up taking a mallet to pound the arbor out until it finally came loose.
Dual Hole Saw Function?
Spyder claims that if you cut a hole too small that you can double up your hole saws and use the smaller diameter as a pilot. I tried that in the pressure treated 2x material. I was indeed able to pull it off, but it wasn’t as smooth as I thought it might be. The smaller diameter saw doesn’t stick out very far above the larger diameter, so it’s actually pretty easy for it to get off to a rough starts by coming out of the hole.
This is definitely an easier task for the Pro TCT Hole Saws. By starting slowly, the wood shaving characteristics of the Pro TCT allows the new hole to get started more confidently. Neither the bi-metal nor TCT was as easy to get going as using a single hole saw on an uncut point.
How Did The Spyder Rapid Core Eject and Quick Change Functions Perform?
For the most part, these innovations perform as advertised. Installing and changing the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saws take about half the time as the traditional ones. Instead of taking the entire system apart, pulling down on the arbor releases the hole saw to be quickly unscrewed and changed. With the exception of the stuck core, all of the other cores either fell out on their own or were easily removed by pushing the blue spider button and pulling down the saw. The core presented itself and was easily pulled off.
One note about the arbor system. When you pull the arbor down or place in on the pilot drill bit, it is possible to slide it fast enough to shoot right on past its locking point. Just slide it up or down easily and it will lock in place when it reaches that point.
The Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saw System is a significant step forward for hole saws at this time. On the smaller diameters, the system works extremely well. There are a few concerns with using the larger diameters that may be resolved with time as I begin to be more familiar with their characteristics. I don’t think this is the pinnacle of hole saw innovation yet. The improvement that Spyder has shown us with the Rapid Core Eject and Rapid Switch features are likely a stepping stone to what will come next. I’d like to see something that would help dig out that stuck core that I experienced easier. I don’t place the blame on the fact that it got stuck on the saw. Rather, with the knowledge that it can happen when cutting into damp lumber, I’d like a better option to get it out.
Overall, yes, I would heartily recommend the Spyder Rapid Core Eject Hole Saw System to the professional user. For the bi-metal user, the benefit will be in the arbor system. For those willing to spend more on the Pro TCT Hole Saws, the entire system will change the way you look at hole saw applications.