A Devil of a Spade Bit?

Spade bits are not necessarily the first drill bits you look toward when drilling holes while woodworking, but we all have a few sizes at hand. I generally turn to spade bits for specially-sized holes. If I need something slightly undersized, say just below 3/4″, I’ll buy an inexpensive 3/4″ spade bit, then do a bit of grinding (at a disc sander, if you must know) until the bit is the correct size for my task. I use the bit, then drop it into my drawer full of other partially-mutilated spade bits.

A good idea is to mark the bit with a black permanant marker so you can recall the size at a later date, if you should ever need that specific size bit again.

The folks at Bosch have taken the lowly spade bit to new levels. Bosch just introduced a new type of spade bit called DareDevil. This funky-looking bit shows a number of improvements the company says will “take performance to another level.”

Patented features abound with this bit. First, Bosch has brought innovation to the ordinary spade bit with the first ever full-cone, threaded tip. (Click here for more Bosch innovations.) Woodworkers have had those tips on drill bits , auger-style bits , for some time (see photo below). In fact, Craftsman has a line of spade bits, both regular and stubby designs, that have a self-feed tip, but the tip is only threaded on two edges; it’s not a full cone.

Additionally, the DareDevil spade bits have a patented, contoured paddle. According to the company, “This wave-like shape speeds up chip removal, adding to the speed of the bit.”

If one of the reasons you’ve moved away from drilling holes with spade bits is due to the average, or sometimes less than average, hole quality, Bosch suggests you take another look. The DareDevil bits, with the spur and reamer design, not only scores the wood leaving a clean entry, but the exit hole exhibits less tearout due to angled cutting edges.

DareDevil bits are available in lengths of 4″, 6″ and 16″.  They are sold individually or in eight different packages and range in price from as little as $2.56 for single bits to full packs priced above $45.

We’ve been promised a few samples, so when they arrive, we’ll drill a few dozen holes, compare bits and report back to you.

How about it? Are spade bits a part of your regular drilling gear? Do you manipulate these bits to special sizes? If so, where do you use these bits? Leave a comment. We would like to know.

– Glen D. Huey

6 thoughts on “A Devil of a Spade Bit?

  1. Chuck Nickerson

    I use spade bits often because their worst feature, wandering on entry, is easily fixed. A standard spade bit’s tip is chisel-shaped. Quickly touching each side to a grinder gives it an awl-shaped tip, and virtually eliminates wandering on entry.

  2. Robert Galloway

    If you have access, a metal turning lathe with a moto tool on the tool holder well give exactly equal wings, harder to get with free hand sanding. You then use the same setup with the lathe turned off to hollow grind the paddle.

  3. Mike siemsen

    I have ground spade bits to give a profile on the bottom of the cut like a rosette cutter and they are easily ground to slightly smaller diameters or tapers.
    Mike

  4. Rob Shaw

    I use 3 types of drill bits, regular wood bits, auger bits and flat bits.

    Wood drills only go so big so after say 12-14 mm I move on to auger bits.
    Auger bits are my favourite fo churning out the wood very quickly but they are quite brutal.

    Flat bits I find tend to be neater when sharp and providing care is taken. But these are slower than the auger bits.

  5. Paul Chapman

    I’ve never liked threaded tips on drill bits intended for power drill use. Those I’ve tried have been quite dangerous in that the threaded tip draws the bit into the work so fast that it almost pulls the drill out of your hand. It can also carry on drilling when the trigger is released, so is really out of control. If I have to buy one because a plain tip is unavailable, I always file it into a plain tip.

    I’d welcome your comments on this aspect of threaded tips.

    Paul Chapman

Comments are closed.