How does a spade bit work?

 
     
     
 Shop for Spade Bits 
     
     
 An example of a spade bit 

Spade bits are among the most simply designed drill bits in that they are flat, with sharp edges on opposite sides.

 
     
 Warning to DIYers to make sure wood is clamped to drill press table 

When you drill a hole with a spade bit, the first part of it to touch the wood is the centre point. This sharp point keeps the bit from skipping around while it bores a hole.

 
     
 Diagram showing the location of the spurs on a spade bit 

If the spade bit has spurs, these are the next to get to work, scoring around the edge of the hole and effectively cutting it from the outside in.

 
     
 A DIYer using a spade bit to drill through plasterboard, which could result in the bit becoming blunt more quickly than if they were using it to drill through wood 

The lips are the last to engage, and they cut material from the bottom of the hole. When it comes to removing waste material, the lips do the majority of the work.

 
     
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