Published: Aug 11, 2010
Review: General Tools Wheel & Circle Cutter
Finally, a circle cutter that doesn't suck
$24 from Amazon. Highland Woodworking sells a hole cutter that looks very similar with a graduated beam, larger 1.75"-8" diameter and 1" depth for $29.
I've used a variety of circle cutters in the past. Or, rather, I should say that I've tried to use them. They've always been terrible, jamming, ragged edges, just horrible.
So it was a real pleasure to use this circle cutter from General Tools. Simple, robust, and it works. It cuts holes cleanly, both entry and exit sides (assuming you're using a backing board). It's also easy to adjust, if you need to get really picky the blade design makes it easy to set the diameter using a micrometer on the blade edge and the pilot bit (just subtract .125" for the bit radius).
Both the the blade and pilot bit are replaceable. The supplied hex wrench fits all three setscrews (blade, bit, & beam).
The only real criticism I have is that I wish you could use a brad-point bit as the pilot, it's kinda hard to hit an exact point on your wood with this bit.
The cutter will make holes from 1" to 6" and by shifting the blade down in the holder a little, I was able to cut through 3/4" material.
Safety note: This is not a typical hole saw, it should only be used in a drill press. Never a hand-held drill.