Hiya all, I finally put in my application for Pro membership. Waiting to hear back! In the meantime, I'm excited to be able to discuss these things with a large group of people so that I can hear as much feedback as possible. So I have a bunch of tool and to a lesser extent, how-to question for you all.

First up I want to ask about drilling holes. The way I was taught to do it was to drill out a bunch of holes in a circle then knock it out. I absolutely hate this method. I've started finding the right path lately, however.

Cutting holes in wood:

I used spades like these.

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I'm not very fond of them. They wear out FAST, snag a whole lot, and generally make a huge mess. But they got the job done. This is for cutting holes through 2x4 wood. Then I used things like the following;

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I like these better, but they do seem to struggle when going through 2x4's.

The vast majority of the application I need these for is to drill a hole from the inside of the house to the outside, usually 7/8" maximum (soft and hard copper up to 7/8", PVC up to 3/4", conduit up to 3/4".) The hole saws are not so good for this because they are not long enough to penetrate to the other side of the wall (approx. 3.5" for the 2x4 beam, .5" of drywall, .5" of outside material for approx. 4.5").

Consequently, what I usually do is take a 8" long 5/16" drill and make a pilot hole. Then I cut out from the inside, move around to the outside and cut the rest out.

This works but I'm wondering if there's a easier way.

Then it gets a bit more complicated.... stucco;

Stucco is where things get more difficult. I've recently tried out stucco hole saws such as these;

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And it worked well. However, they suck for cutting through wood. So what I did was use this to cut out the stucco, then changed to a wood hole saw and cut the rest of the way.

Same question.. is there an easier or faster way than how I am doing it? A better tool for this job?

And furthermore, how about all of above... except for cutting 1.5" to 6" holes. Such as a 6" hole in the roof for 4" double wall flue pipe. What's the best tool for this job? I've been using a powered hack saw. Or a 3" hole in the side of the house, through wood and stucco, for 2.5" PVC flue.


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Copper tubing bending

I've recently also been enlightened on the joys of a copper tubing bender. However, I'm a bit sad to see that it only really works on soft copper typically used for refrigerant lines. Are there any options for hard copper that's typically used in plumbing? 3/4" or 1/2" typically.

Any brand or specific recommendations of soft copper tubing benders and hard copper tubing benders would be appreciated. It does not have to be a 2 in 1 tool.

Thanks!