How to Cut a Hole in a Kitchen Countertop

Written by gretchen maron
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How to Cut a Hole in a Kitchen Countertop
A hole saw is powered by a drill. (Electric drill with a drill on a white background image by terex from

Whether you're going to install a grommet or a sink in a countertop, you'll first need to cut a hole in the laminate. A hole saw makes short, relatively easy work of the project, and, because it's powered by a drill, is relatively inexpensive. Select one that will cut a hole the right size for your project, and use a high-speed power drill for best results. If you're buying a new hole saw, make sure the one you select will fit on your drill; not all hole saws fit on all drills.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Protective eye wear
  • Hole saw designed to cut wood
  • 3/8 inch electric power drill OR 18 volt or larger cordless drill
  • Drill bit in same approximate size as the hole saw centre bit

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  1. 1

    Put on the protective eye gear.

  2. 2

    Drill a 1/8-inch-deep pilot hole in the centre of the area in which you wish to cut the hole in the laminate using the drill bit installed in the drill. Drill from the top of the countertop.

  3. 3

    Remove the drill bit by loosening the collar. This mechanism varies among different power drill models; follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. 4

    Install the hole saw into the collar mechanism of the power drill, and tighten it securely according to the manufacturer's instructions.

    How to Cut a Hole in a Kitchen Countertop
    Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install and use the hole saw. (circular saw image by Albert Lozano from
  5. 5

    Insert the centre bit of the hole saw into the pilot hole, position the drill so that it is directing the saw straight down into the countertop, and cut an 1/8 of an inch into the laminate. Stop the drill, and check to make sure the hole saw has cut an evenly deep cut circle into the laminate. Adjust the drill angle, if necessary, then continue drilling.

  6. 6

    Drill at nearly top speed, stopping frequently to remove the sawdust that will build up as you cut (usually, the sawdust will disperse if you blow it out with a quick puff of breath), and to allow the hole saw blades to cool off.

  7. 7

    Continue as in Step 6 until the hole saw breaks through to the underside of the countertop.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're cutting out a section of countertop to install a sink, you'll need to cut a hole, as described above, so that you'll have an opening in which to insert the sabre saw blade.
  • Keep the drill and hole saw perpendicular to the countertop, and don't let it tilt or the saw will bind, wrenching your arm and possibly resulting in injury. Hold the drill firmly in both hands, and brace your hip against a wall or counter for increased stability. Don't wear loose clothing or jewellery when you operate power tools.

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