The way it really is

February 24, 2023

By Jeff Becraft


A few weeks ago, I had to put some deadbolts in some doors. So I looked it up on YouTube just to see what advice I could glean.

The first guy I watched highly recommended getting a deadbolt kit from a hardware store that has the guide you clamp on the door, two hole saws, a pilot bit, and some other drill bits. He did the whole operation in about 10 minutes.

I took his advice and went and bought the deadbolt kit. But I am going to start my own YouTube channel one day. It’s going to be called, “The Way It Really Is.”

After taking the kit out of the child-proof, adult-proof, grizzly-proof, plastic sealed container, I watched a second dude to get any insights he had.

I then clamped the guide on the door. I screwed the larger hole saw on the pilot bit… except the threads weren’t right and it wouldn’t screw all the way down. I figured I didn’t have time to replace it and I would have to try to see if it still worked.  It worked all right… and in the process, screwed the hole saw all the way down… to the point that that thing is never coming off.  (One must keep in mind that there is only one pilot bit… and you need to use that bit with the smaller hole saw as well… except the larger hole saw is not coming off that bit.)

Time was of the essence (my 10 minutes from my YouTube buddy had long been spent), so I jump into the car and run to a big box hardware store near the house. I buy another deadbolt kit.  Except this one was $6 more. It was the exact same brand and from the exact same franchise store (just different location). What kind of shenanigans is that? I didn’t have time to squabble over micro-economics, so I just got it.

I get back to the house. It is time to drill with the smaller hole saw for where the bolt itself will slide through.

There I am, drilling away… and the doorframe starts smoking… and you can smell something burning.

I pull the drill out and the hole saw is all black on the end and there are no teeth left on the hole saw. I can’t believe it.

I go back to the packaging and immediately call customer support. I tell them the teeth have totally burned off of the hole saw. The lady is perplexed and can’t explain what is going on. I am even more perplexed and say to her over the phone, “It even says it is for wood or metal doors. How do the teeth just burn off of it?” It was a friendly conversation. I wasn’t mad… just thoroughly perplexed.

She tells me she will send me a new deadbolt kit. I respond, “Well, I bought two deadbolt kits because on the first one, the threads didn’t work right.”  She answers, “Sir, we will send you two new deadbolt kits.”

Not sure what to do, I decide to try the smaller hole saw in the second kit I bought.  I needed to finish this job.  I start drilling and the same thing happens again.  There is smoke and it smells like fire.  It’s like I am Lewis and Clark and I’m trying to start a fire without any matches.  I pull the drill out and the end of the hole saw is all black and the teeth had all burned off.  I can’t believe it.

I then noticed that there was wood jammed in the hole saw… and it was all black. I then accidentally tapped the hole saw and some black saw dust fell out… from between the teeth.

Then I saw the picture… the wood that was being sawn away was jammed in the hole saw so the saw couldn’t cut any deeper. The wood in the hole saw was simply spinning around and around against the wood on the door, not going anywhere. Thus, the friction, the smoke and the beginnings of a fire. Because the end of the saw was all burnt and blackened, I couldn’t see the sawdust jammed in between the teeth and so the end of the saw simply looked smooth. (They never showed any of this in the 10-minute video.)

I had to chuckle. I was totally bewildered and had the customer support of a company also totally puzzled… and it was simply from the hole saw being clogged with wood.

Well, there is more to the story but I gotta go… I hear my phone ringing. I’m sure it is one of the home repair shows that wants to add me to their team.

Even when it is “the way it really is,” it is still a great day to have a great day!


Jeff Becraft is the Interim Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].