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.