FastCap Quick Mandrel Review – Quick install & release hole saw Mandrel

FastCap has recently came out with a new hole saw mandrel called the FastCap Quick Mandrel and they were kind enough to send one over so I could check out to see what it’s all about.

The FastCap Quick Mandrel is designed to accept standard hole saw sizes and unlike traditional hole saw arbors, it’s much quicker and also easier to install. On typical arbors there’s a few steps to install an arbor onto a hole saw, first you have to thread it on, then make sure to line up two pins into the center holes, and then tighten a nut to hold it all firmly in place. I wouldn’t say this is tedious and it actually only takes a few seconds to do if you’re quick enough. This is what I’ve been doing everytime I reach for a hole saw and I’m perfectly fine with the traditional method but I don’t use hole saws daily or repeatedly and usually when I need a hole saw, usually one size is all I need. But what if you need to change between hole saws often, then the traditional arbors can become tedious and time consuming as you have to install and remove one hole saw, then move on to the other, and then back and forth again. This is where a traditional arbor becomes time consuming to change between hole saws.

The FastCap Quick Mandrel makes installing hole saws onto the arbor much quicker and easier with basically a quick two step process to install a new hole saw onto the mandrel.

  1. place the FastCap Quick Mandrel into a hole saw making sure to allign the two pins with the hole saw pin holes
  2. tighten the center collar with a slight turn and voila!

And removing hole saws is even easier with basically a one step process to remove hole saws.

  1. turn the center collar the opposite direction and the hole saw pops right off!

There’s no need to thread it on to install and remove, just place inside a hole saw and twist to tighten, and twist the opposite way to remove. The FastCap Quick Mandrel even causes the hole saw to pop off when you release – very cool! I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the way it works and it’s a pleasure to use in person swapping out hole saws.

Even though the FastCap Quick Mandrel doesn’t thread on, it still grabs on tight with 3 pins in the center that grab the rim of the hole saw opening. The FastCap Quick Mandrel also uses two pins just like a regular hole saw arbor to grip onto the face of the hole saw so it doesn’t rotate as you drill.

One word of advice is that if you are installing the mandrel onto a hole saw when the mandrel is not chucked in the drill, make sure to hold the mandrel by the shaft and not the center collar otherwise the center pins wont engage and grip the hole saw. Typically you’ll find it easier to install and remove hole saws from the mandrel if the mandrel is already chucked into the drill.

Now the FastCap Quick Mandrel isn’t the first quick install and release mandrel out there, as I’ve previously tried out the Spyder hole saw system with their quick eject hole saw arbor system. The Spyder arbor is very fast for removing and installing hole saws and I’d say that the FastCap Quick Mandrel is about as fast as the Spyder system. The way the Spyder arbor works is the arbor itself is two pieces with a pilot bit also serving as the shank and then you have the separate arbor piece. The Spyder arbor is unique because it has a button on the side you press to be able to insert and remove the pilot bit. This allows you to move about different hole saws with not only ease but super speed. The downside of the Spyder arbor system is that in order to move about quickly between hole saws you need to purchase a separate Spyder arbor for each hole saw so the pilot bit has an anchor to grab onto for each hole saw. Having to buy extra arbors can get costly quick and get’s worse the more arbors you need. So that’s one of the added benefits of the FastCap Quick Mandrel is that it’s about as quick as the Spyder system to install and remove but you only need one FastCap Quick Mandrel to switch between as many hole saws as you’d like. And if you only have one Spyder arbor, it actually takes more time to install than the FastCap Quick Mandrel because each separate mandrel piece has to be attached to the hole saw requiring more time and effort. But in all fairness Spyder’s arbor is still much quicker to install than a traditional arbor.

A couple of things the Spyder system has over the FastCap Quick Mandrel is that the Spyder arbor can slide the hole saw down the pilot bit after drilling holes to quickly and easily remove the left over core piece with your hand. Normally you have to get a screwdriver and pry the core piece out with some leverage with hole saws using a regular arbor and this includes the FastCap Quick Mandrel as well but not on the Spyder arbor.

Also the Spyder hole saw has the ability to easily drill holes with a hole saw at an angle. Basically you pull down the hole saw which extends the pilot bit, similar to removing the core, and the added length of the pilot bit allows for drilling at an angle. Although the amount of angle is limited by the length of the pilot bit. These are two things the Spyder arbor can do that the FastCap Quick Mandrel can’t do.

As far as quality goes, the FastCap Quick Mandrel is very solid and well made. Basically the whole thing is made of metal, well except for the paper sticker label on the center collar that tells you which way to turn to tighten and loosen. This sticker is the only thing I will guarantee will be destroyed after thorough use but I expect the rest of the mandrel to last.

As I was saying at the beggining of this review, the FastCap Quick Mandrel is designed for use with standard hole saws, basically the majority of hole saws out there. It can not accept small hole saws as those require a different smaller arbor altogether. I was also notified by FastCap prior to review that their Quick Mandrel can fit most standard hole saw sizes but not the smallest in the large mandrel range. This is what they had to say below:

this mandrel does not work with the two smallest hole saw bits in the large mandrel range. For Millwaukee it is 1 ¼”&1 3/8”. This is because for these sizes the pair of engagement pins cuts into the walls of the hole saw bit and the back plate thickness must be increased to compensate. We do not see this as a large drawback as this is in the range of common spade bits. However, we will be producing a set of hole saw bits where this will not be an issue and are also investigating a turn around service for the users existing bits. All that is needed is a small countersink around the threaded area to bring the back plate thickness there within specs.

In conclusion I’m very pleased with how fast and easy the FastCap Quick Mandrel actually is and is leaps and bounds better than traditional hole saw arbors. It’s about as quick as Spyder hole saw arbors although unlike the Spyder arbors, you only need one FastCap Quick Mandrel to move about hole saws quickly which means one arbor is all you need and it will surely cut down on costs for each user. The FastCap Quick Mandrel doesn’t offer the more advanced features of the Spyder hole saw arbors like super quick and easy plug removal or the ability to drill at angles beyond what a regular hole saw arbor lets you but I think most users are ok with that.

The FastCap Quick Mandrel is out now and is priced around $20.

For a quick demo of the tool, check out the video below.

For more info, check out!prettyPhoto

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