What are spade bits made of?

 
     
     
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 Tool steel, which is used to make spade bits 

Spade bits are almost always made from tool steel, which is a type of steel with a high carbon content that is designed to be hard and strong.

 
     
 Drilling part way through a wooden workpiece with a spade bit 

Tool steel is not as hard as high speed steel (HSS), which is used for some other drill bits. However, it is cheaper, and is more than hard enough to bore through wood (including chipboard and fibreboard), plastic-laminated wood, acrylic and plasterboard.

 

For more information on types of steel, see: What are drill bits made of?

 
     
   Wonkee Donkee explains that tool steel can be sharpened by files meaning that you don't have to spend a lot of money on a bench grinder to sharpen your spade bit 
     
 A set of spade bits made from high speed steel 

You may find high speed steel spade bits made by some manufacturers. These are more difficult to sharpen (you will need a diamond file or bench grinder), but they will stay sharp for longer.

 
     
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