Jameel “Jamal-Alabama” Abraham of Benchcrafted introduced me to these bits, and I still need to repay the favor with beer and/or bratwurst. These bits are the cat’s meow, knees and pyjamas.
Made in Japan, the WoodOwls cut through tough, wet, thick wood like it almost isn’t there. When you drill a lot of holes through 6”-thick wet French oak, these bits are a lifesaver. But even if you don’t build benches as part of your living, the WoodOwls are a great piece of kit.
I use them in chairmaking, especially when boring the holes in the seat for the legs. Even with a hand brace, the WoodOwls perform spectacularly, reducing the effort to make a deep hole.
The Ultra-Smooth Tri-spur Augers are ideal for general work. If you work in reclaimed wood, the Nailchipper version is a good choice (I have several Nailchippers x for construction jobs). Even though the Nailchipper bit is supposed to be for coarse work, it leave a surprisingly clean hole.
The only downside to the bits is they are metric, but they are sized closely to SAE. I honestly haven’t run into a problem where I needed a bigger- or smaller-diameter hole.
Now before you buy a whole set, I’d recommend you give one a try. Buy a 3/4” ($16.95) or 1” ($19.95) bit for some new holdfast holes in your workbench. After you use them, you’ll think they are ridiculously inexpensive for what you get.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Megan Fitzpatrick has started a competing gift guide on the editor’s blog. Check it out here.
Read Day 1 of the gift guide here: Clauss Scissors.
Day two on a Boot Tray for Sharpening.
Day three on humidity monitors.
Day four on a MWTCA membership is here.
Day five on the Arno burnisher.
If you’d like to read gift guides from past years, check this link.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.