Bosch HDH181 18V Drill Plumbers Tool Reviews

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw Review


Hole saws often inspired a sense of wonder in me as a young man. The ability to move from drill bit to spade bit and then to hole saws for the creation of a large diameter hole was not only interesting, it was fun. But then making those holes went from enjoying the science of them to part of the job, and the job just didn’t leave time for wonder. Yet here we are once again talking about science – this time in the Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw.

Originally, hole saws looked pretty much like circle-shaped saws. The teeth were very similar, they just went around in a circle, so it is essentially the same idea as a band saw only all the teeth engage the material at once. Since there is no back and forth action like you find on a hand saw, the teeth could afford to be very consistent in shape and angle all the way around.

People have worked with that original design and a variety of materials to really optimize the efficiency. The nice thing is that those hole saws can cut through both wood and metal, along with several other materials. The problem is that when we need to cut a 3-inch hole through 3/4-inch plywood that’s been attached to a 2 x 4, we can burn up a battery in a hurry thanks to the time and effort involved.

The Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw answers the call for more efficiency through a relatively new design using tungsten carbide teeth.

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Why Tungsten Carbide?

Tungsten Carbide Powder

Tungsten Carbide is a compound formed between the elements tungsten and carbon. It is a very strong, tough metal with a high 5,200 F melting point. The characteristic of being abrasion resistant is one of the reasons I chose it as the material in my wedding band.

When you think of a metal being hard or tough, it’s all relative. But tungsten carbide is something special. One of its uses outside the tool world is to make armor piercing rounds when depleted uranium isn’t available or politically correct. That’s pretty good company.

That hardness and abrasion resistance make it particularly attractive for a cutting edge – it’s going to hold the edge and resist damage much better than bi-metal hole saws. The high melting point brings around the rest of the benefit. Tungsten carbide can cut at higher speeds thanks to the ability to handle higher temperatures.

When you bring all those characteristics together, you end up with one of the best performing materials in cutting applications while still being able to control the cost.

What’s Up With the Completely Different Tooth Design?

The Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw doesn’t have nearly the same number of teeth found on a traditional hole saw. The tungsten carbide tooth tip slices through wood more like a chisel or planer compared to the way a saw blade removes tiny pieces with each tooth.

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw Tooth

The result is that each tooth removes material much more efficiently than bi-metal models. Each tooth is also doing more work on its own. You could theoretically add more than the 1 – 4 teeth found on the Daredevil if you really wanted to. You’d need so much torque to continue working efficiently and the cost would go up enough that it simply isn’t worth it. If we add much more torque to the drills currently on the market, they’re all going to have to come standard with Bosch’s Active Response Technology!

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw Performance

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw Test

To get the Bosch Daredevil stamp of approval, you have to the be class leader in a significant category. The Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw earns it by having best in class cutting speed. There are a few other tungsten carbide hole saws on the market, but Bosch is able to cut faster than the rest of the field.

We chose the Daredevil Hole Saws for our recent 18V Drill Shootout because of the speed. How did it do in our real world tests? The top performing drill was able to make it through 1-1/2″ of plywood in 7.66 seconds on average using the 3-inch Daredevil.

I prefer to cut holes in high speed rather than take the abuse that can be delivered by the high torque in low speed. While these hole saws aren’t rated to be used at the 1800+ RPM found at that speed, I can easily keep enough pressure on the material to keep the speed around 600 RPM without risking wrist or elbow injuries from bind up.

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Other Considerations

In addition to high performance, the Daredevil also has a deeper 2-3/8″ cup. This is critical in common situations where you have 2x material attached to plywood or drywall. Traditional hole saws require you to cut from both sides to complete it or remove the core in order to continue from the same side. One pass means greater efficiency.

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saws

The necessary evil inherent from cutting with hole saws is the core. The physical design of the saw and mandrel can make for a frustrating experience in some cases. Bosch does a nice job by creating access channels that run along the sides. I only had one instance where I couldn’t pull the core out by hand. Thanks to the deep channel, a flat head screwdriver made removal simple.

I have several hole saws that include permanent mandrels. It’s not because I bought them that way, it’s what they became when I torqued them down too tight. The force of the drill only cemented my efforts. Bosch handles this with a sliding lock. Once you get the mandrel screwed down to secure the hole saw in place, slip the lock against the saw to keep it from going anywhere while you’re drilling. When you’re finished, slide the lock back down and you’ll find the mandrel can be unscrewed easily.

Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw Mandrel Lock

Whether you cut in high or low speed, you’ll find significantly faster cut times using the Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw when compared to bi-metal bits. The Daredevil is rated to cut in wood (which is by far the most popular material for it) along with drywall, tile, block, cement block and aluminum. If you haven’t experienced the cutting speed that tungsten carbide has to offer, it’s time to get your hands on the Bosch Daredevil Hole Saw.

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David
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David

The Bosch web page for the Daredevil carbide tipped hole saws claims they will cut holes in brick, block and tile. Aluminum too but any carbide toothed saw blade can handle aluminum and plastic if it has negative rake on the teeth to reduce kickback. To quote Bosch Tools: “Fast, clean holes in multiple materials: wood, drywall, tile, brick, block, cement” block and aluminum” Is this a game changer or did Bosch jump the shark? Why buy a huge and expensive SDS-Max percussion core drill and hundred dollar each large diameter SDS-Max drill bits when you can just use a… Read more »

David
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David

The CPO web site lists Tile, Brick, cement block and several masonry materials as suitable for these Bosch Daredevil carbide tipped hole saws. Also several reviewers at Lowe’s claim the carbide teeth broke off immediately when using carbide hole saws for making holes in brick and block. Why did they think they could use these products for drilling large holes in brick and block??? SDS-Max percussion carbide bits cost hundreds for a single bit and they are designed for drilling large diameter holes in concrete. Diamond tipped core bits also very expensive and use a huge high torque drill rig… Read more »

Mike
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Armor-piercing rounds are made of _depleted_ uranium. Enriched uranium shells would be awfully dangerous to handle. 😉

victor
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victor

Hi kenny are you going to do a video on the bosch daredevil hole saws……….thx…………victor.

Mark Weber
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Thanks for the in depth explanation.