Using a backing board meaning a piece of wood behind the board that is drilled into, splintering should be a minimum. Not sure what kind of hole saw you have but most are modular. You could buy a 7/8" hole saw to add to the shank or mandrel, not sure what it is called. I forgot which I used but remember there is a black or some other color adapter that will be between your tap and whatever it is mounted in, the hole could be very ugly and no one would know. However if you have a too big hole you might have a lot of trouble getting a group of taps to line up vertically or horizontally in the face. If you don't have a caliper you can get one for $2 at Harbor Freight. I would invest in a caliper and the exact sized bit for the right sized hole. If you do want the cleanest holes though look at a set of forstner bits.