We had an ideal project with which to test the Rigid Hole Saw Set (Model 7040), a 13 piece Bi-metal hole saw set. We were in the middle of remodeling an older home and had just finished framing the floor for the new guest bathroom. Since there was not much room to get into the crawlspace, we had to finalize all the plumbing stacks and stubs prior to closing in the floor. That being said, we had to drill a good number of large diameter holes for all the PVC piping penetrations.
The first thing we liked about the Ridgid 7040 13 piece Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set is the compact case that the hole saws come in. The latches on the case seem to be a little on the light side and wanted to pop open on their own. Upon opening the lid, all the parts and pieces were neatly arranged within. All the hole saws are bi-metal using Rigid’s CG Power which, they tell us, is a state of the art technology for making metals stronger and helps to create a faster and more durable hole saw. A bi-metal blade is designed to last eight to ten times as long as the more common carbon steel blades for just a slightly higher cost. Two different size mandrels are included, one for the 3/4″ through 1-1/4″ sizes and the other for the 1-1/2″ and larger sizes. The pilot bits are made of hi-speed carbon steel and are easily removable from the mandrel in the event they need to be sharpened or replaced. These are pretty straightforward mandrels as opposed to more fancy mandrels like the new Diablo Snap Lock Hole Saw system.
Ergonomics and Use
Now back to our project. First off, we had to drill a few holes for the supply piping though some existing wood in the house. This is not just any wood, but some 85 year old rock hard lumber. The supply pipe was 1/2″ Pex so we decided to drill the holes needed with the 7/8″ hole saw. To attach the hole saw to the small size mandrel was an easy process that involved threading it on until it was tight. We started to drill into the lumber and immediately realized this was no #2 pine like we build with today. The pilot bit started in just fine and once the teeth of the hole saw made contact with the wood, there was no stopping it. Since the material was so hard, we had to make sure to keep a good grip on the drill because the hole saw was not slowed at all. Removal of the core from the hole saw was an easy task due to the large open eyelets that are provide on the sides of the hole saw. Not only were these eyelets good for prying out the core but also for visibility while cutting into the wood. This was pretty much the same experience when we did the larger size holes for the 2″ tub and shower drains. We loaded the 2-1/2″ diameter hole saw on the large size mandrel in the same fashion as before with the exception that there are locking lugs on the larger mandrel that ensured the hole saw stayed put once it is assembled. The hole saw cut smoothly though the sub flooring and left a clean hole.
So far we have tested various sizes of the hole saws on these materials with complete success: steel sheet metal, 3/8″ thick fiberglass, and all kinds of solid wood and plywood. All the bits have remained sharp and, other than bending one of the pilot bits, we have not had any trouble. A new Ridgid pilot bit was purchased to replace the damaged one for a very nominal fee.
Though we did not test The Ridgid 7040 13 piece Bi-Metal Hole Saw Set on cast iron or stainless steel, this kit is a sure performer for anyone needing to do larger size holes in most common materials. From our testing, the build quality is evident by the performance we saw in the field. This set is a must-have that represents great value.