After drilling hundreds upon hundreds of HAW
holes, and suffering greatly for the fracking shavings, I was about ready to just give up on the dang things. For all the hassle of drilling/cleaning the lights, the PITA of the newer composite headlight housing designs, smaller reflectors in the rears, too big reflectors in the front, manufacturer warnings and voided warranties, need to remove the front bumper covers on some cars, and so on...I just felt the payoff was not worth it. Then came LED HAWs to solve some issues, create their own, and re-interest customers.
So, I was stuck with HAWs, and had to deal with it. Here's the thing...your "miracle" methods or tricks might work well on onesie, twosie jobs, but for repeated installs, ease of install, and speed of install, you can't be spraying Static Guard in light housings, can't be washing them out with water, can't usually use two hands to drill and hold a vacuum nozzle by yourself, etc. Compressed air always, always
has trace lubricant and or moisture in it. Vaseline? Forget that, last thing I need in a halogen light housing is grease or oil to get on the bulbs and blow them. And cleaning up Vaseline of Vaseline-covered shavings that get slung off the drill bit into the reflector or lens area? Ughhh. :x
Well, I finally found a way to solve the shaving problem. After abandoning wood-type hole saws because of the mess, inconsistent hole sizes, and such, I decided to again try step bits. Early tries with them were a bit of a let down. Still made lots of shavings, and single flute designs would tear the plastic and catch. Another problem was finding an affordable one that was good quality and had a one-inch final size while also being able to pilot the hole. Local sources were not satisfactory, but an online search finally located the "Holy Grail
" of HAW
It cuts an perfect one inch hole in seconds. It leaves almost no shavings, instead "apple-peeling" the debris into easy to manage spirals that are simple to remove and tend to actually extract themselves from the housing by wrapping down, around the bit. It pilots its own hole, starting with a 1/4" tip. It is very sharp and, if not abused or used on metal, should last through thousands of holes. It is about 2 1/2" long, so you have to watch the depth to avoid hitting the front (clear lens) of the housing. My rule on this, is that if the housing location is not deep enough for the step bit, then it's likely not suitable for a HAW
, as the clearance is needed for heat management. Anyway, this is the one I got...
I got the SD10. Actually, I bought two. No, you can't have one. They are 1/4" to 1" in 1/16" increments. They come in a plastic storage tube with a screw on cap. They have a 3/8" shank and use two flutes for faster, cleaner cuts. I can run it and have a hole done and fully clean in under 30 seconds. I drill as inverted as possible, but don't fret over it. A quick zap with a shop vac gets any stray stuff out (HINT: remove all bulbs from housing to avoid mint-tornadoes inside which spin and scatter debris into the corners.) No need to de-bur. Haven't torn any reflectors, either.
Best part, I paid about $25 each for them. That is very reasonable for a one tool solution to any problem. I've already run over 100+ holes with the one I have with no issues. Find one, buy one. I don't care how good you think your current hole saw is, this one is better.