I need to make good round 3 inches hole in the wooden cabinet (see blue circle) to pass feed and load wires to a subpanel I'll put outside the cabinet.

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What's the best way to make that hole? My carpenter planned to just hammer it with nail to create rough hole but it is not pure hard wood and I'm afraid the impact may make the cabinet misaligned. Is there a better way? Can I drill around the circle circumference with a small metal or concrete drill bit? What do you do?

1 Answer 1


Use a 3" hole saw or closest metric size on a drill. 3 inch hole saw

Use whatever tools you use to make a round hole in a door for a lock.


What is on the other side of the cabinet where you want the hole? Is it open space or is it against a wall? I would say that pounding a nail repeatedly around a 3" diameter hole would likely damage the cabinet and maybe pull it apart at the joints. The right tool would be what used to be called a "keyhole saw" but is now usually called a "jab saw" (shown in the another answer, currently deleted). This tool is commonly used for drywall but can be used on other materials. You would drill a hole (say 3/8" or 1/2" diameter just inside the 3" circle and start sawing there. Best jab saws

  • I didn't know such thing exist. We don't have it on stock locally. Any other idea? Even a square hole would be ok.. but one just manually saws one side at a time.. is this effective too? What do you guys do if you don't have the machine hole saw?
    – Samzun
    Nov 18, 2018 at 0:28
  • 2
    I've used hole saws for a long time (at least 25 years). They're nothing new and I'm surprised you can't find them in your area. Brand doesn't matter - for a one-time use (though unless it falls apart, which it shouldn't, save it for the next time you need to drill a big hole) anything will do fine and they fit any battery or wired drill. But if you absolutely can't find a hole saw locally, just drill a starter hole with the largest regular bit you have and then use a sawzall (or equivalent) to cut out a square. Nov 18, 2018 at 1:16
  • 1
    Any building supplier, hardware store, or electrical or plumbing supplier should be able to sell you one. I can think of a dozen chains in my city that carry them. Nov 18, 2018 at 11:08

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