What is a spade bit?

 
     
     
 Shop for Spade Bits 
     
     
 An example of a spade bit 

A spade bit is a type of wood boring drill bit that was invented in 1968 by the Irwin tools company. It is flat, with two sharp lips able to rapidly scoop out material from a bore hole.

 
     
 Diagram showing the location of the spurs on a spade bit 

These lips can sometimes have spurs at the edges, which cut around the edge of the bore hole to make a cleaner cut.

 
     
 An illustration of tear out caused by a spade bit 

Spade bits have a reputation for cutting rough, scrappy holes, and for causing splintering when the bit enters and leaves a wooden workpiece. This is known as tear out.

 
     
 Diagram showing the position on a spade bit where you might find a hole, designed to pull cables back through wooden partitions after you have drilled through them. 

Some spade bits have been designed with holes in the body of the bit so that they can pull electrical cables back through bore holes in walls (you might be trying to connect an aerial to a TV, for example). Their shanks are long enough for you to tie the cable to the bit using string or a piece of thin wire.

 

For more information on this process, see: How to use a spade bit to pull a cable through a wall

 
     
 Spade bits are similar in shape to spades, which is how they got their name 

The spade bit's name comes from its shape. It is also referred to as a paddle bit or a flat bit.

 
     
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