Tin Can Hole Saw




Introduction: Tin Can Hole Saw

About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

I needed a large hole saw for one of my projects. I already had a smaller hole saw, therefore I did not want to buy another one....?

You see, a hole saw is not something I use very often. Last time I bought a hole saw for around 10 - 15 USD only to used it once or twice.

I did not want to spend another 15 USD for a tool that will not be used.

In this Instructable, I demonstrate a way to make a hole saw out of a tin can.

It can cut plastic, acrylic and drywall.

Step 1:

Tin cans come in different sizes, so we can make different size hole saws.

First I emptied the can

Step 2:

Then I cut off the inner rim

Step 3:

Then I drilled a hole in the center

Step 4:

I used a rotary tool to cut teeth

Step 5:

I sharpened one end of the bolt

Step 6:

Then I attached it to the can with nuts on both sides

Step 7:

The bottom of the tin can is very thin. I covered it with some hot glue to make it less flexible.

I also covered nuts so they would not come loose

Step 8:

That's it!

Our hole saw is ready!

It can cut plastic, acrylic and drywall.

Before drilling the hole, use a normal drill bit to drill the center hole, so you can insert the bolt.

I tried to cut wood, but it did not work very good. Maybe I had to sharpen the teeth better or the material is too soft for that kind of job.

It's perfect if you need to cut a few holes in materials mentioned above, but you don't want to spend money on a hole saw.



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    54 Discussions

    You could use the lid to put on the bottom to make a double layer to make it les flexible too

    1 reply

    7 months ago

    Increadible recycling idea....!


    7 months ago

    You can get a "modular hole saw" pretty cheap and it will make different size holes see : https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Shredder-a-co...

    Also, try soldering the bolt instead of the hot glue. If you use a shorter can & bolt it won't wobble as much. I made one out of a metal sink drain pipe that had the edge filed like a knife. I put a dowel in one end & pounded cigar-box nails into it through the sides. Drilled a hole through the dowel center & put a bolt in to make a tool to cut plugs out of carpet for carpet repair. Worked well. Try using a torch on the teeth & quenching immediately;this should increase their hardness.

    1 reply

    I had one of these hole saws. It is pretty handy and cheap. Cheers!


    7 months ago

    if you only plan on cutting plastic, just buy a fly cutter. It's basically an adjustable hole saw.

    1 reply

    I did not even know what is a fly cutter. Now I do. Thanks!

    If you have an existing hole saw, many times you can re-use the arbor.

    Cutting a disk slightly bigger and putting it outside the base will help stiffen it. Then, the first disk you cut goes on the inside to stiffen it from that side.

    Once you have a disk on both sides, drill 2 more holes through the base that are about 5/16 in diameter. These should be fairly close to the edge, and opposite each other. This will allow you to push a pair of bolts through from the back to push the plug out of the front.

    Put a set on every other tooth with a pair of pliers. Bend it about 1/2 mm (1/32 to 1/16 inch) in. Not quite a tooth width. This will slow down the saw, but will make getting the disks out a lot easier.

    2 replies

    'ordinary' can is thin and soft enough to cut with kitchen scissors. I like the idea of case hardening using graphite powder and transformers though, I've only ever used flame or furnace with 'Casenite' case hardening compound. For a one time use cutter for softer material it could be an interesting experiment

    It's not difficult and does not take a lot of time if you have a rotary tool. If you don't then it might take a while.


    7 months ago

    Looking at this cost/benefit wise I'd be inclined to purchase a quality adjustable hole cutter as these can cut a variety of materials including sheet metal. A common size cuts from 1.5 - 7.5 inches. Hole saws are better but if you rarely use may not be worth the investment.

    Like others thumbs up for those loverly saw teeth.

    genius !! I love these types of ideas .

    Did you "set" the teeth? You don't mention this step in the article. I believe if you will bend the teeth slightly in alternating directions it should cut wood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saw_set

    1 reply

    I did try to do it with another can. It still did not cut the wood. I might have done it wrong. I don't know a lot about teeth cutting.

    What amazes me about this is the closeup photo of the teeth that you cut. To get them evenly spaced, shaped the same, and looking like saw teeth that were cut with a Dremel, you must have the steady hands of a surgeon. Great job! Mine would come out as a zig-zag with points.

    1 reply

    I don't have steady hands at all :)

    It does not take a lot of time and is easy to do with a rotary tool.

    I am sure you would do a great job.


    That's good. Will add to my tool box.