Milwaukee Big Hawg vs. Bosch Carbide Hole Saws

First things First, this is not an equal comparison of two identical products. Looks are deceiving with these new hole saws because while they look very similar they function very differently and are also priced very differently. The only reason we even are comparing the two products is because a lot of people that are looking at these as equal products. Hopefully this post will help highlight some of the similarities and differences of these two products.  

The Milwaukee Big Hawg is primarily a wood hole saw. The pilot is a 3/8” spade like bit and the teeth are hardened steel. While an occasional nail will not damage the saw it is not intended for metal, concrete, fiber board or any other materials. The advantage over a bi-metal hole saw is that it is faster, longer lasting, much easier to get the wood core out as well as easier to sharpen. The advantage over self-feed bits it that they are much cleaner (far less shavings) and will last longer, up to 600 holes between sharpening.  

The Bosch Carbide Hole Saw has a drill bit pilot and is made to go through a wide range of materials including: cinder block, metal, cement board, wood and many other materials. The tips are diamond ground carbide and extremely tough.

At first glance the Bosch Carbide looks like the superiors product and it is but the price tag is also double that of the Milwaukee Big Hawgs. Comparison price on a 2-1/8” hole saw: Bosch $55.40 vs. Milwaukee $26.32. While both Hole Saws made it through the wood test in almost identical times the Milwaukee would obviously be the smarter choice at half the price. However if you want a hole saw that is going to do more than cut wood do not buy the Big Hawg. We tested the Milwaukee on all the other materials in the video but basically ruined the pilot bit and damaged the saw by doing so.

Hopefully this post and video will help you determine the right hole saw for you. There are also many hole saw kits from Bosch and Milwaukee listed on OhioPowerTool.com.

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  1. Video comparison: Milwaukee Big Hawg vs Bosch Carbide Hole Saws

    The guys over at CopTool put together a really good video comparing the two car…

  2. GLORIA COOK says:

    I have seen that Milwaukee has a patten, and yes it is made for wood – look like bosch has a knock-off and no patten.

  3. Bruce says:

    Milwaukee claims that their Big Hawg hole cutters are good for up to 600 holes, not 600 holes without sharpening. The high speed steel cutting tips need regular sharpening which is why Milwaukee includes a diamond sharpening file in all their Big Hawg kits. The massive tips of the Big Hawg make for fast cutting in timbers but really tear up plywood or any laminated wood material. Not being able to cut Formica, MDF, Hardie or fiber cement board, backer board, sheetrock, plaster, etc. is a real drawback to using the Big Hawg hole cutters. The only time bi-metal hole saws provide superior cutting action is when cutting metal, otherwise any other type of hole cutter will provide a better solution. The Bosch and the Blue Boar TCT (tungsten carbide tipped) hole cutters are a better choice for people who do not want to carry around 3 or 4 different sets of hole cutters just to deal with the range of materials used in commercial and residential construction. One key aspect of the Hawg/Bosch/Blue Boar hole cutter designs is that they enable the user to cut a much larger hole than would be possible with an old fashioned bi-metal hole saw. Most 1/2″ cord drills will handle at most a 3-1/2″ hole saw when cutting wood, and with a cordless drill the maximum size is under 2″. Holes up to 6-1/4″ can be cut with these more efficient cutters using the same hand drills. Even more impressive are the Hole Pro adjustable hole cutters that will cut holes in plywood up to 12″ in diameter with these same hand drills and cut just as wide a range of materials as the Bosch/Blue Boar TCT hole cutters.

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